Taylor Swift, Soon to Be Feature Filmmaker, Directed Her First Music Video ‘Out of Necessity’

"When I did direct, I just thought, 'This is actually more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined,'" Swift said of her 2019 video "The Man."
Taylor Swift Cats world premiere
Taylor Swift
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty

Taylor Swift rarely turns down a chance to be a multi-hyphenate.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter recently announced her feature film directorial debut with Searchlight Pictures. Swift is confirmed to be writing an original script for the feature after helming Oscar-qualifying short film “All Too Well” starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. The “Anti-Hero” singer directed her first music video in 2019 for “The Man.”

“This actually came out of necessity,” Swift said during Variety’s Directors on Directors series opposite “Banshees of Inisherin” director Martin McDonagh. “I was writing my videos for years, and I had a video that was a very specific concept I had written [2019’s ‘The Man’], which was that I wanted to be prosthetically turned into a man and live my life as a man. And I wanted a female director to direct it.”

Swift continued, “And the few that I reached out to were fortunately booked. We like it when women work. So I was like, ‘I could do it, maybe.’ And when I did direct, I just thought, ‘This is actually more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined.'”

She added, “It was, sort of [by accident]. I think I’ve directed about 10 music videos and now one short. I’m just inching my way along toward taking on more responsibility.”

Swift recently directed Laura Dern and HAIM for the “Bejeweled” video and said she would want to trade places with Guillermo del Toro for a day. Also an actress, Swift appeared in David O. Russell’s “Amsterdam,” formerly stole scenes in Tom Hooper’s “Cats,” and infamously auditioned for Oscar-winning “Les Misérables.”

The Grammy winner recently shared behind-the-scenes footage of “All Too Well,” saying that the short film was over a decade in the making. “I loved every second of it and I will always remember it,” Swift captioned.

“I think I gave myself permission to completely make that jump into making a narrative short film because this is not a music video; we approached everything differently,” Swift said during a Tribeca Festival screening of the buzzy short. “You know, in shooting on 35 millimeter and all the decisions that were made to create these characters and dive into this world.”

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