‘The Other Side’ – SZA, Justin Timberlake Music Video

Breaking Down: ‘The Other Side’ – SZA, Justin Timberlake Music Video

The joy of creating a music video is that it can be absolutely anything your heart desires, and can be made in so many different ways. Three music videos which capture this variety well, are three of the most popular from March 2020. Blinding Lights from The Weeknd uses a huge range of camera angles and different scenes to construct a story that can be interpreted in many different ways, potentially referring to a man getting carried away by his way of life, and at the end recognising this. Stupid Love by Lady Gaga shows that with enough planning, you can film an amazing music video, even with just your phone. Along with these major hits of music videos, with 10s of millions of views of YouTube each, is The Other Side, by SZA and Justin Timberlake.

Even with the flashy look and stunning visuals of this video, it can actually be an example of how a video with a simple concept can turn out as something amazing to watch, and is an example of how several of our music videos have been shot. First of all, is the transition between shots. Throughout the music video, you may notice that rarely does a shot last longer than a second, and in fact from the first chorus onwards, no shot will be shown for longer than 4 beats at a time. This results in a more visually interesting experience for the audience, as there is always something new to be watching.

Along with these transitions, there are several times where the lead singers will continue singing into a different shot. While it might seem like meticulous planning went into exactly what words would be sang in a certain area and at a certain angle, this is more than likely not the case, as this would take a large part of time for such a small portion of footage. Instead, it is likely that the song will have been performed in these different areas in full, or at least a large portion, like the chorus. In this way, during editing, it gives the ability to swap between these areas, and lead to the visually impressive segments you can see throughout.

These also splice in well with B-roll footage, such as Justin fixing his hair, kicking the camera, or dancing along to the beat of the video. B-roll, while initially seemingly unimportant, can be crucial during the final edit, as portions of video that may be uninteresting in longer lengths, can be cut in different sections, but relevant pieces of b-roll helping to bridge across important shots.

A standout feature of this video is definitely the shining visuals, the silver sparkly suit of SZA, the set design background where a majority of Justin’s dancing takes place, and the turntable SZA can be seen lying on several times throughout the video. You can also see a fish eye lens being used several times throughout the video, as if the dancers are looking into a CCTV camera, and diamonds being thrown about several times towards the end of the video. This helps the video stand out amongst other videos releasing, and can really help in structuring how the video is filmed as well. The video is grounded in this theme of shining diamonds, and this overall can help the end product be as visually stunning as The Other Side.

As a final takeaway from this music video, it really shows how a music video can look great, and be visually interesting to the audience, whilst not being overly complex or a deep story. While these types of video are also great and immensely satisfying to watch through, they can also take months of work, and may be confusing. The Other Side uses shots taken from several different scenes, b-roll spliced in to break up long parts of the same scene, some distinct features such as the fish-eye lens, and the central them being diamonds, and combines these together with smooth editing, and a few effects for a final touch, in order to define itself. The set design alone would have been a trciky and unique build and they probably spent alot of budget and time on this aspect. So keeping the performance element simple would have been key.

If you are shooting a low budget music video, achieveing this look may seem impossible. Set Design can go into the 100’s of thousands, but you can create something either in a green screen studio or hire a studio that has interesting features to look like a higher production value.

We sometimes get to play with set design even on low budget productions, here is a great example of a studio we hired that came with all the props and all we had to do was dress each scene:

This type of video we can produce for around the £5k mark, you can check out our other productions here: https://www.budgetmusicvideo.co.uk/portfolio/

So wether you are an independent artist or a signed artist, you should be constantly analysiyig the current music video trends and styles to help encourage your ideas to stand out and be unique. Most artists have lots of ideas, but the biggest issue is budget. If you cant afford the budget, its sometimes better to keep to a simple idea. Hope this article helps and you have fun filming!

Author: Richard Callender

How to make a music video on a low budget?

How to make a music video on a low budget?

So you’re in the music scene and you haven’t quite made enough to afford the expense of an expensive music that all those professional studios are charging for, let alone all the bells and whistles that they charge even more for like makeup, hair, costumes and extras.

HAVE NO FEAR, because with enough preparation you can pull it off on your own and save big bucks.

Before you go to a production company, sit down a practice your styling. Being able to do your own hair and makeup efficiently will save you big time instead of getting a professional hired in. All it takes is a bit of practice or a friend who knows what they’re doing and what you want. Here is a tutorial on how to do your own makeup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1g92Xghz-8

Being organised saves time AND money. Come up with storyboards of how you want your video to play out as this will help everything move on a lot quicker and possibly inspire changes you like more than the original idea. Planning out a story board can also help start the process of reinventing the shots in the case anything goes wrong. Try and opt for filming outide in the sunlight, this is the cheapest way to shoot a music video. Outside is free, the sun is free and it can be very simple. If you want a studio, you then have to think to times, lighting, set design and many more elements.

Manage expectations:
Managing your expectations is VERY important when it comes to a video. Every aspect has a price, if it’s the lighting, the effects, the location, everything, so it’s important to know what you want from the video. Starting with a £500 budget you need to understand that the video will be limited in terms of locations, times and equipment available, as well as limits in production such as tweaks you want to make and effects you want to add (that stuff isn’t easy).

If you would like to learn how to shoot your own music video, we offer some great Online Courses: https://www.budgetmusicvideo.co.uk/online-courses/

To summarise, diving head first into making a music video will cost you more time and money than if you take your time, look at your options and plan things carefully (a bit of DIY never hurt anyone, did it?). Here are some video tutorials we have shot with our top tips about shooting a low budget music video:

Author: Thomas Mooney


It has been a long road to get Budget Music Videos off the ground and making profits and Loraa White the compnay director has been there for every step. In the below video Loraa tells her story from before Budget Music Videos and beyond and her journey to get the compnay going. There have been many ups and downs and tribulations and Loraa’s story is quite unique. Have a watch and enjoy!

Written by Gareth Greenfield.


2019 was the most amazing year to date at BMV. From the successes and the downfalls we managed to launch a new website and produce hundreds of music videos at the same time. We are very proud at the content we have created and the people we have worked with. Check out the video below for a summary and examples of the challenges we have had.

Written by Loraa White


Company Director Loraa White recently worked with Academy of Contemporary Music delivering a masterclass about the DIY musician and how to make a low budget music video. Below is a video of one of the masterclass with all of Loraa’s top tips and trade secrets about delivering high end video content without the cost. So if you are an independent musicians or a new film maker, this video will give you all the tips you need to make professional video content on a low budget.

Written by Loraa White


Keeping a budget low for any music video can be difficult. At Budget Music videos (budgetmusicvideo.co.uk) we are experienced at gathering low cost resources for music videos. There are a lot of expenses to think about whether you are considering a small simple video or a more creative video. The main questions to be asked are, what’s the best idea to represent the music? Where should we shoot the video? Should we use, extras/actors/models/dancers? Who is the best team to film and edit the video? Costumes/Hair/Make-up? Props? And many more…..

We have managed to generate lots of ideas to save money when planning your low budget music video. When you are coming up with an idea for a music video, sometimes it can be easy to get very literal with the music, and generate lots of ideas that would be difficult to capture. Sometimes the best way to capture the music is the simplest and your fan base will appreciate it more. For example Azealia Banks – 212. This was a very simple video that went viral and goes to show you that less sometimes is more.

Deciding whether to shoot within a studio or location can affect your costs. Obviously shooting on location will be cheaper; however other factors you should consider is the whether or not you will be able to capture good shots without lighting when on location. One idea we have used are battery operated LED lights, these are cheap and can be bought on EBay. They can be hand held or attached to your camera. These lights are great for close up shots.

If you decide to hire a studio, you will find that the further outside the city, the cheaper the studio cost. However don’t forget to factor in all the travel costs for yourself and all your team. Sometimes the most expensive studio works out the same either way. When hiring a studio check if lights, backdrops etc are included as this can play a huge part on your costs and a lot of studios included them now, to keep fees low. This will also be one less thing to think about.  Also, if you plan your video shoot well and organize timing etc, you can limit the amount of time needed in the studio, therefore cutting down cost.

If you require extras/actors/models/dancers for your video, the first place to look is your friends and family. They always love to get involved and will be happy to do it for free. If you have no luck there, you can put up a free ad on Starnow, however unpaid ads don’t get the best responses. If you offer to pay expenses, you may get a better response as there are lots of people out there trying to build upon their experience and show reels. Always remember less is more. for a low budget music video only one model and one dancers should be enough to create the scenes required for your video.

Costumes are an essential part of your video; they create the image, the brand and set you apart from other artists. Source your ideas online and try and re-create them from cheap high street stores and EBay. You can find anything on EBay, any prop or accessory. You don’t necessarily need to have several costume changes within your video; one very powerful costume is sufficed on a low budget.

Hair and Makeup is more for the females, yet needs to be well thought through, if you can budget for a makeup artist, great, as it needs to be flawless for your video, it also needs to be more creative than your normal make-up. Look online for ideas that can be easily generated by yourself or someone else and do a practice run before hand. This goes the same with the hair styling. Remember only one hair style and one makeup look is enough when making a low budget music video, as long as its powerful and creative.

The most important part of your music video is the filming and editing team. Here at budgetmusicvideo.co.uk we are able to do this in house therefore keeping the costs low. A good camera, good lighting and a good editor are essential and shouldn’t be passed aside, but should be carefully considered even on a low budget!

Overall being organised, having a thorough plan and good resources that have been well researched should make for a professional music video on a low budget! https://www.budgetmusicvideo.co.uk / info@budgetmusicvideo.co.uk