Part Two of the Series:  How Much Does it Cost to Make a Video?

And the Worst Video of All Time

There are three things every video has:

  1. an audience
  2. a purpose
  3. a message  

Wait. That may not be true for THIS VIDEO.  In this case, I believe the purpose must have been to have no message or audience, in which, they failed because 4,368,769 people (including you and I) watched it.  Or at least 30 seconds of it. Is it possible that the purpose of this video was, indeed to be THE WORST VIDEO OF ALL TIME?

(Please feel free to share any video you think competes with this one for that title)

For most videos, identifying the audience, purpose and message is crucial. In fact, these three things tend to dictate every aspect of the video,including the best format which impacts the cost significantly.

Purpose + Audience + Message = STYLE ( = cost)

In part one of this series, How Much Does it Cost to Make a Video and 10 Questions You Know the Answer To we talked about some easy questions to help you complete a treatment form that will help a video producer give you an accurate estimate. One of those questions you actually may not know the answer to is about style.

A major factor in the cost of a video is the style or format you choose to tell your story.  More importantly, the style impacts the effectiveness of your video greatly.  There are countless styles and formats of videos these days.  As they pertain to corporate and commercial work, we tend to see three common styles:  documentary-style, animated and live-action narrative.

Determining the best style is often answered by the aforementioned common factors: Audience, purpose and message.   For instance:


DOCUMENTARY-STYLE style lends itself well to a video that demands authenticity.  For instance, when creating a client testimonial video, authenticity is paramount.  Real clients using their own unscripted words to describe the experience they had with your organization, brand, product or service are far more likely to exude authenticity than a video that has been scripted. Many of our not-for-profit clients benefit from this format as well.  When your aim is to connect emotionally with your audience, while maintaining authenticity, the documentary-style format achieves this on many levels.  

Animated Video

An ANIMATED VIDEO format is often utilized in telling a story that is complex (often the case with an “explainer video”).  For instance, a startup company may offer an amazing software solution that profoundly revolutionizes the workflow of a specific audience.  But that solution may be partially or completely intangible.  You cannot film a beautiful slow motion shot of the product racing across the beach at sunset, because it’s all “ones and zeroes” (it does not physically exist).  We often use creative scripting and dynamic animation to personify the intangibles and bring the story to life.  Also a popular format for the “Explainer Video.”

Live-Action Narrative

The LIVE-ACTION NARRATIVE format provides the most visual potential to snare your audience and provide a “WOW” factor.  A “narrative”, by definition, is a story.  Many narrative videos are designed and executed as short films (scripted with actors, locations, etc) and therefore the potential entertainment/ engagement level is very high.  If the purpose of your video is to disrupt a traditional perception in an industry or open the eyes of a new market to your product or service, a scripted narrative can pack a punch that will demand attention.


In part one of this series we covered the creation of a TREATMENT FORM.  Style is just one of the items in the treatment form, but it’s a significant one.  You will need to determine the format of the video as each can fluctuate dramatically in terms of cost. .  And again, once the treatment form is thoroughly completed, a good video producer should be able to provide you a solid estimate.  

Determining audience, purpose and message  is the tip of the iceberg in determining the best format for your video, but ultimately you can work with your producer in honing in on what’s best.  

Still, all of this leaves us at the “estimate” phase.  The next stage of crafting an outline or script for the video will lead us to an accurate quote, so stay tuned for the final installment of this series.

Maybe I’m reading too much into THIS EXTRAORDINARY VIDEO  but I’m pretty sure the guy on the motorcycle at the 2:45 mark is the same guy that’s on the phone at the 2:55 mark. That made the entire story make sense for me.

Feel free to share a video that you think competes with this one for the esteemed award of “Worst Video of All Time”

For more examples of each style, check out our style portfolios:




Written By: Curtis Gilbert – Creative Producer/Owner, p3 mediaworks