Most of my LP videos tend to be, at most, ten to fifteen minute affairs. Some drift into twenty minutes, but that is very rare. I’d say that the average fifteen minute video takes about two to three hours to produce. Why so long?
1. You need to record the game itself. I might die and need to make a few different takes if I botch something.
2. Editing the video. If there’s multiple takes or if I wasted a lot of time wandering, I need to cut and splice the video to look nice. This doesn’t take too long, but probably ten minutes or so to examine the video and clean things up on top of rewatching the video to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes.
3. Recording the audio commentary. This, obviously, takes the exact length of the video unless I need to do multiple takes or record extra material. That might put an extra ten minutes on top of it.
4. Cleaning up the audio commentary. This is the toughest part. First, I need to remove any ambient noise contributed by microphone electronics or computer fans. Audacity makes this very easy; the noise reduction filter only takes a few minutes to fix up the file. But I always make sure to re-listen to all of my commentary to make sure there’s no clicks, pops, mike hits, breathing, or tongue clicks in the audio. This is laborious and probably takes about forty five minutes per fifteen minutes of video. I imagine I could save myself a lot of grief in this regard if I had a better microphone with a good windscreen.
5. Rendering videos. All videos need to be rendered twice – once for MP4, another time for FLV. FLV takes longer to render because Camtasia’s VP6 codec is not multithreaded, apparently. I’d wager MP4 takes about half the time to render. This will take about twenty to thirty minutes, depending on video length. I do this because blip.tv’s conversions to FLV suck and I don’t want to pay for an account that has a six hour (!) conversion time. It’s better to just render twice up front.
6. Uploading videos. This takes about ten, fifteen minutes tops depending on filesizes. I have a fast upload internet connection, so this is not a problem.
It’s easy to see why people get burned out on this stuff. It’s a lot of work if you want to present a quality video. But the extra effort is important if you’re looking for quality. People DO notice this stuff when they’re watching your videos.