Photo: Raymond Hall/GC Images
If Taylor Swift was a TikTok meme, she’d be “never let them know you’re next move” After an explosive re-release of Red (Taylor’s Version) in November 2021, Swift has been suspiciously quiet, only announcing new music through features ( “The Joker and The Queen,” with friend and ginger Ed Sheeran) and film and TV soundtracks (“This Love (Taylor’s Version),”“Carolina” ). No one expected her next live performance to be in person at… Tribeca Film Festival? During the Storytellers: Taylor Swift event, moderated by C’mon C’mon‘s Mike Mills, Swift dived into her process of creating the All Too Well short film before surprising the rapt audience with a live performance of “All Too Well (Tribeca Version).”
When asked if she would consider making a feature film, Swift said it “would be so fantastic to write a feature,” and would love to keep a small, intimate crew, similar to All Too Well. She’s already directed ten music videos, which basically adds up to one feature film. Swift explained that she created a specialized “manuscript” for every one of her directorial projects, with All Too Well‘s manuscript holding the detailed backstory for her lead protagonists, Her (Sadie Sink) and Him (Dylan O’Brien). As Swift, while explaining her writer-director vision, shared that O’Brien’s character gave Sink’s character the red (of course) typewriter that she’d later use to write her novel, All Too Well. “He’s taken a lot from her in the course of this story but he’s also given her something,” she said, seated next to O’Brien and Sink, surprise guests. “He’s given her this dream and hope she has to be a writer and her experience with her is what galvanized that into her life and her career.”
As someone who began her career at 15, Swift has held the complicated experience of girlhood close to her. Mills referred to Swift’s NYU graduation speech to young adults going into the world when discussing how Sink’s character’s youth and vulnerability comes out in the film. Swift reminisced on a conversation she had with Mills earlier in the week, she’s been “fascinated” by the transition from girlhood for women in the early 20s. “I think [being] 19 and 20 is such an interesting and profound experience for a young woman because you have one foot still in girlhood and yet the society and world is telling you, ‘You’re an adult!’” She continued: “They don’t have these tastes that adults ten years older or more have cultivated at that point. What I wanted to make was a movie about an effervescent, curious young woman who ends up completely out of her depth. ” If Swift could create a vast world for one ten minute song, who’s to say she wo n’t write a feature-length movie inspired by one of her upcoming re-releases? A girl’s trip summer rom-com for 1989? A high school sweetheart romance for Debut? Ratio Ocean’s Eight-inspired heist movie for “Bad Blood (Taylor’s Version)”? Swift effortlessly dances between genres with her songwriting and filmmaking is n’t far from her “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version).