Can The Same Video Be Created With Different Budgets?

Can the same video idea be created with Different budgets?

What would that look like? – A “One, Ten, One Hundred” Case Study

August 21st, 2022 by Hussein Farghaly

Picture this, you’re with a client/video creator and you’re having the typical “I want a video about..” meeting/call. After specifying the idea you move on to see how will this be implemented. Here’s a typical dialogue that follows:


Client: “How much would this cost?”.

Video Creator: “What’s the budget?”.

Client: “I haven’t set one, I’d like to know the offer”.

Video Creator: “How about this reference video?”.

Client: “Yes that’s nice I’d like something like that”.

Video Creator: “That would cost around $ 2,000”.


Here we have two problems; one, the cost might not be suitable, and two, people usually like a variety of options to pick from. How about this alternative conversation?


Client: “How much would this cost?”.

Video Creator: “What’s the budget?”.

Client: “I haven’t set one, I’d like to know the offer”.

Video Creator: “Well, we can turn your idea into a video with three different budgets. Let me show you examples”.


So, can one idea be made into a video with several budgets? Ladies and gentlemen buckle up, we’re about to show you one exciting experiment called “One-Ten-One Hundred” which fully answered this question.


One, Ten, One Hundred 


One, Ten, One Hundred is the name of the award-winning documentary done by Wistia. They challenged a media production agency to produce 3 ads with 3 different budgets.


They tried creating one ad with a total budget of $1,000, the second with $10,000, and the third with a HUGE budget of $100,000. The idea was that the three ads would have to promote Wistia’s new product “Soap Box”. 

One Ten One Hundred 3 ads

Let’s check out Ad #1: $1,000 budget

Play Video

Let’s just clear things out, this version was shot on an iPhone, having no lighting nor a crew. It took a very basic approach of pointing and shooting and just getting an idea to the audience with minimal capabilities.

Here’s the budget breakdown:

  • iPhone tripod adapter: $30
  • Budget tripod: $150
  • Audio recording gear: $250
  • Props: $75
  • Post-production & music licensing: $300
  • Meals and on-set snacks: $295
video 1 budget pie chart

This video got the message out clearly, but we can definitely say we can see a huge room for improvement. This was their shot at showing everyone how a “relatively” low budget would perform.

Ad #2: $10,000 budget

Play Video

Moving on to the second version of this documentary, it was shot on a Canon c300. We could surely see a difference in picture quality. Having this subtle blur of background with better lighting totally stepped up the game.


There’s also a difference in the setting as they used better locations and brought in more actors. Yet, they kept the actors’ cost at $0 by making Sandwich Videos’ (the production company) employees act instead.


The video editing has seen improvements as well, better transitions, custom animations, and logo (replacing that DIY logo in the 1st video). All in all, I’d say it’s a pretty decent video for this price range.

Here’s the budget breakdown:

  • Crew (7 production heads & 1 assistant): $3,800
  • Fees associated with the crew: $931
  • Gear rentals and props: $2,230
  • Meals and on-set snacks: $480
  • Crew parking: $150
  • Post-production (media licensing, equipment and media storage): $2,300
video 2 budget pie chart

Ad #3: $100,000 budget

Play Video

It’s time for the mega-budget video which they had to go all-in for. Casting, crews, equipment, post-production, you name it, everything was upgraded to the next level.


They even got a look-alike upgrade to the 1st video’s leading actor, it’s super hilarious, he acknowledged “it’s like an extra level of embarrassment to me just seeing an elevated version of myself”.

Budget breakdown:

  • 15-person crew (to get everything ready for the shooting day): $12,000
  • 29-person crew (shooting day): $24,000
  • Fees associated with the crew: $8,100
  • Talent payroll & casting: $10,000
  • Equipment rentals: $16,000
  • Location expenses: $6000
  • Equipment and location insurance: $500
  • Post-production expenses (editing, motion graphics, music licensing & a colorist): $20,000
video 2 budget pie chart

This version definitely had a Hollywood feel to it. It got the message out the same as the first two videos, but perhaps way too fancier.



Wistia also produced 3 videos showcasing behind-the-scenes of the three versions. I absolutely recommend watching them if you want to know more details about how they prepare the three versions, from the creative concepts up to production and post-production. Besides, it’s pretty entertaining, and I giggled a lot along the way. 


Which one was the best?

Let’s check out what people think from the comments they had. 


  • “$10k seems like the best bang for the buck on this project, not as much gain as one would have hoped for the 100k, though maybe because it is the 3rd time hearing the message. The interconnected storylines are great though.


  • “100k video has a premium look and sound to it, but this video was the most entertaining. 1k was just too limiting. Thanks for the comparison.”


  • “This is the best version of the commercial! 10k for the win!”


Honestly, it’s a tough decision to take. We need to know a bunch of variables to decide this. For example, if Soap Box had lots of competitors targeting the same audience, a flashy $100k ad might probably be a good idea to stand out, that is if it’s within the budget, of course, it could run on several platforms such as TV and social media.


The $1k video perhaps would be a good idea if Soap Box was just starting out, also not having tough competition. The audience isn’t looking for a substitute so they’d have to outperform them. Instead, they’re being introduced to a new idea so it just needs to put the message out there and doesn’t have to be that fancy.


In general, I have to agree with the 1st comment. the $10k video seems like the best bang for the buck. It’s fancy enough to outperform the competition, it’s catchy enough to attract the audience and it’s not that expensive relative to the $100k version. But I’m curious to know your opinion too, let me know in the comments down below!


Keep in mind that the same message could have been done in other concepts as well which could lower the cost even further. You can check out our previous article if you’d like to know the other types of videos that could’ve been done.




So the answer is yes, absolutely. You can definitely create the same video idea with several budgets. One advantage of videos is that they’re very flexible. You can tweak them to fit a very low budget, and they would still work. Or you could boost them with extra cash and they would do wonders for your brand.


So whether you’re a video producer or you’re someone looking to hire one, you can be sure that there’s room for discussion so that you get the best bang for buck out of your video. 

Author: Hussein Farghaly
Marketing Executive at Glydrs