Taylor Swift: ‘It would be so fantastic to write and direct a feature’

Last year, Taylor Swift released the longer version of “All Too Well,” and she surprised fans by releasing a short film of the same name, which acted as a music video for the longer version of the song. “All Too Well” is very clearly about Taylor’s brief romance with Jake Gyllenhaal and how he’s a f–king creep, narcissist and gaslighter. Taylor directed the short film herself and cast Sadie Sink in the Taylor role and Dylan O’Brien in the Jake role. Well, Taylor still wants people to see the short film, so she showed it at the Tribeca Film Festival. She also participated in a rare public Q&A session conducted by director Mike Mills. Some highlights from the convo:

When she first became interested in filmmaking: “I was always very curious. I was always looking, and learning, and trying to absorb as much as I possibly could. A few music videos [into my career], I just started going into the edit, and making changes. It started with meddling, and it went from meddling with the edit to then writing the treatments for the music videos… That was almost ten years ago,” recalled Swift, noting that she’d often conceptualize her own music videos before handing the work off to a seasoned director — until 2019’s “The Man.”

Deciding to direct: “All my favorite female directors were booked and busy, which is great. We love that.” She ended up directing “The Man” herself, which sparked a new creative desire for the singer-songwriter. “Once I started directing music videos, I didn’t not want to do it.”

Imposter syndrome: “I think I had this imposter syndrome in my head saying, ‘No, you don’t do that. Other people do that who went to school to [direct]… Saying ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’m not sure’ really isn’t an option most of the time. Maybe that’s just being a female director.”

She wants to direct a feature film: “It would be so fantastic to write and direct a feature,” revealed Swift, adding that she’d approach a full-length project the same way she approached the short film. “I don’t see it being bigger in terms of scale. I loved making a film that was so intimate with a crew that was relatively small, just a really solid group of people that I trusted.”

Secret agent: “I’m really secret agent-y about people not finding out about what we’re making while we’re making it. So everything was codewords, and writing things in codes that only certain people knew … I’m so weird with stuff like that.”

Inevitability: “I wanted it to feel like them falling together was inevitable and them falling apart was just as inevitable. I wanted it to feel like there were forces at play and they couldn’t stop from colliding or being dismantled.”

[From Page Six and People]

I think she has very good instincts as a director, honestly. Whatever my beef with Taylor, I acknowledge that she has a good eye for striking visuals. Maybe her storytelling could use some help here and there – nothing that a good co-writer or “script fixer” couldn’t handle – but she absolutely has a better director’s vision than most established directors. I hope she continues to direct her own music videos, and I would love it if she transitions, Barbra Streisand-style, to directing full-length features. Why not?

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Instar.

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10 Responses to “Taylor Swift: ‘It would be so fantastic to write and direct a feature’”

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  1. IForget says:

    I love hearing this, because I never went to uni. I’ve been working for two decades, and I still have imposter syndrome. I’ve changed careers a few times, and being an immigrant in London now, I still question whether I deserve to be here in my job, when most of my colleagues have masters degrees. I think she works really hard, and for all of her faults, nobody can take that away from her. It’s inspiring to me.

  2. Julia K says:

    Taylor can do whatever she puts her mind to; she does her homework and is not afraid to take a risk and grow. Much older Swiftie here.

  3. mia girl says:

    I’m no Taylor super fan, but from a general gossip standpoint I kinda love the idea of Swift showing her film at the Tribeca FF given it’s more the bastion of Jake Gyllenhaal and the fancy, artsy group of friends that he snubbed her for back then.

    • Gigi lama says:

      Exactly!!! And if you’ve heard that song and « I bet you think about me » it really is a fun cold revenge 🙂

      (Don’t follow jake but I’m guessing he’s not shown a film as a director)

  4. Lucía says:

    Not being a huge TS fan, I loved the All Too Well video. Mostly because of Sadie and Dylan, but watching that story develop was interesting, and that was obviously all Taylor. It was not a good look for JG at all, though. That’s for sure.

  5. Gina says:

    I have huge respect for talented and creative people. Also, no one can say that she isn’t hard worker. I’m not a Swiftee because I’m not “fandom” type of fan (apart from Harry and Meghan), but I respect Taylor very much, love a lot of her songs and wish her success.

  6. Betsy says:

    I’d love it if she did this.

  7. jferber says:

    She should write and direct a film. She’s so mega-talented, I bet she could pull it off.

  8. Abby says:

    Taylor’s music videos are one of my favorite things about her music. They’re always so fun, creative and visually impactful. All Too Well was incredible. I’m not a film critic but I absolutely loved it. I feel like if she tackles writing/directing a full-length film, she’ll do her research, surround herself with talented people, and she’ll do great. And I’ll definitely watch it.

  9. Noel945 says:

    Yeah, if only people knew what really pushed her into directing. She’s got her sight on a very famous star-director with whom she’s been beefing since 2019. That star made his direcorial debut at the age of 35 and established himself as an auteur almost overnght. She’s proving she can do that too and would want to go into Hollywood in a more equal footing in her beefing with him, and also prove to herself. I wouldn’t be surprised if she tries to make a film at most 35, just to make a point.