How Long Does It Take To Film A Movie (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 To 4 Years

Entertainment has become a member of every household, making people forget whatever worries they have for a while, and entertainment is a form to convey emotions in a way that everybody could understand.

Everybody has their preferred type of entertainment, some choose drama, some choose music, while some people’s go-to form of entertainment films, the most popular form of entertainment of all time. The film industry involves the work of hundreds of people, and for those who work in the field, it can be a jackpot hit.

For some, it can take years to master the art of acting, filming, casting, writing a story. When somebody wants to make a film, there are many components they need to take care of, for the movie to come out perfect. One thing anybody should know before choosing the world of movies and films is how long it takes to complete a movie.

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How Long Does It Take To Film A Movie?

Stages of FilmingTime
Development1 to 2 years
Pre-production3 to 7 months
Principal Photography1 to 4 months
Post Production7 months to 1 year

Film making is a long process, which is loved by many, and if the process is not loved, it will be hard to complete it. The whole process includes writing the story, finding a producer who will invest in the movie for its expenses, finding the suitable actors to act in the film, the right director to guide them all, and all the other hidden gems like the cameramen, and technicians who make the film what it is.

Normally, a full-length film can run for anywhere between an hour and a half to three hours, but some movies even have a duration of about four hours.

Though the run time of the movie is just two and a half to three hours, the time is taken to complete the entire filming, and edit it takes more than a year, normally about two to four years. The average time taken to complete a movie is about 2 to 3 years, but some take more time, and it all depends on hundreds of factors.

Before starting the movie, the directors and producers must consider the timeline of the whole movie, and all the steps involved in the way. The complete process of filmmaking is broken down into three major parts, pre-production, production, and post-production. Although, even before getting into the pre-production part, there are some things one needs to take care of, like the story, script, finance, location, and such.

Why Does It Take So Long To Film A Movie?

First, the story must be finalized, and then the script must be formed. After the script is also formed properly by the screenwriter, the right financial support must be requested. People will be hired to develop the idea, and the movie will be pitched to various producers to request financial support.

For example, the movie Kill Bill, directed by Quentin Tarantino took more than five years to complete. On the other side, it only took about 3 days for Sylvester Stallone to write the script of the first Rocky movie. After everything is decided and set, the announcement will be launched, and it will be made public that the is being filmed.

The development of the movie itself will take about 1 to 2 years, and the pre-production of the movie will take about 3 months to a year. After preproduction, principal photography will take place, which lasts about 1 to 4 months.


In principal photography, cinematography, film direction, and production design will start happening. Post-production of the film takes place for about 7 months to a year, and this phase includes VFX, sound design, music, color grading, and consolidating all the phases, a movie takes about 3 to 5 years to make.

While full-length films take about 3 to 4 years to make, short films only take about 6 months to make, and music videos can be shot within a month. How long a movie is shot doesn’t decide how good the movie is, since the movies shot in the shortest duration became box office hits.


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