Taylor Swift has directed a number of music videos, including the 2020 hit documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions. However, the singer or new filmmaker had an ‘impostor syndrome,’ while directing her recent hit All Too Well. The singer has recently debuted All Too Well: The Short Film at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, where she had a panel conversation with director Mike Mills.
During the conversation, Swift explained the filmmaking process. Swift began by noting, “I was always very curious. I was always looking and learning, and trying to absorb as much as I possibly could.” She added that after making a few of her first music videos she just started going into the edit, and making changes. The singer added, “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.”
Taylor went on to reveal, “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]'” Mills, who has directed critically-acclaimed films such as Beginners, 20th Century Women and most recently C’mon C’mon, added, ‘I didn’t go to school to do that.’ Swift was certainly reassured after that comment, adding, ‘Oh! It’s fantastic to know that. That makes me feel better.’
Now that she has the short film and a number of music videos under her belt, Taylor shared that she would be interested in directing a feature film. The singer added that being on set as a director was, ‘such a fulfilling experience,’ adding, “I’m really secret agent-y about people not finding out what we’re making. Everything was [discussed using] code words. I’m so weird.”
While she hasn’t said much about the origins of All Too Well: The Short Film, she did tell the audience what inspired her to make it. “I wanted to make a film about an effervescent, curious young woman who ends up completely out of her depth,” Swift said. “You know when you’re walking into the ocean? It’s so fun, the idea of going out so far your feet don’t touch the ground. But you can get swept away,” she said.