Couldn't think of a better place to ask this as everyone on here is so knowledgable. Could you please give me a general idea on how long it takes a 2-man mix team, a 3-man dialogue-editing team and a 3-man SFX editing team to realize a 2-hour feature?

Supernatural thriller. About 20 minutes of heavy action. But all the scenes will be flushed out with full foley with the utmost detail. Going for highest quality. Music is being mixed elsewhere and will drop stems for the final mix.

I got an estimate of 5 weeks from editorial to final mix printed - does this seem reasonable? I haven't supervised a film before so I don't have a comparable reference. It seems to me like it would take this size of a team longer.

Your answers are always highly appreciated.

3 Answers 3


The tightest schedule I have worked under was 5 weeks from start of editorial to predubs for an animated feature. With an experienced 6 person crew it was very tight but we got it done.

Your 5 weeks could likely break down this way:

  • 4 weeks editorial, including all dialog editing/premixing, ADR recording and editing, foley cueing/walking/edting, and all SFX work (FX/BG/Design work)
  • You should plan on cutting in 5.1 predub groups and delivering predubs to the final stage. You probably won't have time or money for real predubs, so get familiar with real-time EQs and other processing.
  • Final mix will be a 1 reel/day, including notes and fixes.

I'd hazard to say that, based on a scenario like that, you'll be hard pressed. It will get done, but it won't be pretty. (I'm also assuming this is a non-union project?)

  • Thanks Jay. I appreciate the answer and the workout - thanks for spending the time. I ultimately chose not to do it. You're right, won't be pretty. I had no idea of what a proper time expectancy is.
    – Utopia
    Sep 27, 2010 at 0:21

What's the total budget of the film? Most films I do have an 8 week sound edit period, 2 weeks of pre dubs, 1 week final mix (one reel a day) then 2 days of mix screening and fixes, followed by print master, m&e mix, and deliveries, so (8 +4) weeks total

  • Total budget's about 100K. Thanks for the info, I don't think I'll be working on this film.
    – Utopia
    Sep 27, 2010 at 0:18

Personally I would be a bit nervous. I know on big budget films there can be as many as 16 people working on post... and thats for a 3 month turn around.

It boils down to the talent of the team, efficiency of the equipment being used, and the lives of the people involved. If everyone is as free as a bird then the time might not be as big of a problem. If there is a TON of design work to be done, and not many sfx that can be tagged with stock library, then the talent plays a factor.

You mentioned foley being a big deal in the film, if you are lumping foley into the SFX (which some people do and some people dont... I think it has to do if you work in the US or if you work in Canada) and your team is handling it all, then its gonna be work and a lot of overtime. If foley is being handled somewhere else, then maybe just dialog and sfx isnt that bad. But what about BG's? (same US and Canada concept applies)

A full element mix can/usually take 2-3 hours per 10 min depending on the material to be mixed. (If you are faster, then 'friggin awesome) With breaks and no problems and using a usual work day for reference, I would say it could take around 3-5 days for final verification on the print. 'Leaving about 4 weeks to edit a 2 hour film... yeah I still stand by my first statement.

But good luck to you and your team! It may seem crazy for now, but it usually all works out in the end.



  • Thanks. I chose not to do it based off your guys' comments. Thanks a lot - could have been an exhausting 5 weeks.
    – Utopia
    Sep 27, 2010 at 0:19

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