10 Things We Learned at Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ Tribeca Q&A

10 Things We Learned at Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ Tribeca Q&A thumbnail

After directing the short film for the 10-minute version of All Too Well last year, Taylor Swift gave fans a glimpse into her film-making process at a special screening and Q&A at the Tribeca Festival on Saturday (June 11). Swift was interviewed by Mike Mills at New York City’s Beacon Theatre. She spoke with him about her journey into directing, and also saved some surprises for the audience. Swift was joined by Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink, who were both All Too Well actors. Swift ended the afternoon event with an acoustic rendition of “All Too Well”.

Swift touched upon a wide range of topics during the conversation, from how she got behind the camera to some of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it minutiae of the short film. Here are 10 fascinating takeaways from Swift’s Tribeca Q&A:

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1. Swift and Mike Mills share a (famous!) friend.

Mills, the director behind films like C’mon C’mon and Beginners, also helmed the 2019 short film I Am Easy to Find for indie-rock stalwarts The National, which starred Alicia Vikander. Swift spoke highly of the project, saying that it “really inspired me in ways that I can’t possibly overstate.” Swift joked that Mills and Aaron Dessner are now “both members” of the Aaron Dessner Cinematic universe !”

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2. Swift wasn’t originally supposed to make her directorial debut in 2020 with “The Man.”

Swift had previously directed the clip for the All TooWell short film. In it, Swift donnes makeup and prosthetics to play the role of a fictional male counterpart in a satire about gender norms. Swift said that she wanted a female director for the music video, which premiered February 2020,. Swift added, “but all my favorite female directors were book,” and that it was great! We love that !”

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Swift stated that she found the whole experience, from creating shot lists to filming the video, “incredibly satisfying.” This was despite the fact that it was a longer project such as All Too Well. Swift stated that All Too Well , was not a music video. Swift described the process of directing as “interesting exercise in trusting my gut instinct .”

3. All Too Well partly reflects on girlhood.

In describing the struggle of Sadie Sink’s character in the short film, Swift pointed out that “19 and 20 is such an interesting and profound age” for a young woman, with “one foot still in girlhood but society telling you that you’re an adult.” Different shots in the short film were meant to capture Sink’s character falling for an older male, struggling to fit in with his friends, and then feeling isolated from her childhood friends when they break up, as “an effervescent, curious young woman who ends up completely out of her depth … I wanted it to feel like them falling together was inevitable and like them falling apart was inevitable,” Swift pointed out.

4. The red typewriter is an Easter egg.

Swift enlightened the audience about subtle dramatic cues in the short film. The opening line, in which Sink’s character questions O’Brien’s love interest, “Are they for real?” — is intended to foreshadow their fictionalized romance at the end. Swift pointed out that Sink’s character used a red typewriter to write her story. Swift suggested that he gave it to her and that it was a gift that she received. Swift said that Swift believed this to be a sign that he “galvanized” her to find her life and career.

A final shot from the film? Swift sees the man looking into the store window, and then turning away. Swift is now a protagonist. Swift stated, “We can all relate being on the outside looking into,”

5. Swift wants to direct more…

When Mills asked Swift if Swift would consider directing anything beyond All Too Well ,, and possibly even a feature movie, the star responded enthusiastically. She said, “I would love it.” “It would be amazing to write and direct .”

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6. It wouldn’t likely be anything huge.

“I don’t see it being larger in terms of size,” Swift continued, explaining that she values the “intimate” feel of All Too well as an character study. Swift-directed Star Wars film is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

7. Swift wanted Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink to be her All Too Well leaders.

Swift immediately thought of both actors when she was writing her treatment for the film. She said that she was nervous about approaching them with the project because she was nervous. Swift stated that Sink’s “versatility” was what impressed her, as Sink’s character oscillated between isolation and love. Swift said, her voice cracking slightly, “The dinner party scene just killed me,” Swift stated, her voice cracking slightly, “because she is so talented.” These little micro-expressions!” Swift said that O’Brien had “this electric charisma that this role needed to get away all the gaslighting !”

8. The argument scene was not a sure thing at the beginning.

In middle of All too Well ,, the song cuts out for a longer sequence in which the main characters argue in a kitchen after dinner. This is the main focus of the short film’s character-building dialogue. This scene is an exception in the short film and was not guaranteed to make it to the final cut.

” I didn’t think that it was going to make it,” Sink said during the sequence. Swift knew Swift had to include the argument as a centerpiece after Sink and O’Brien had filmed it in one continuous shot. She told her two stars, “You guys absolutely blew my mind,”

9. Taylor spoke out about the loss Sink experiences in the film.

In All Too well , Sink is a character who transforms her heartbreak into a story that can be shared to the masses to help her regain control over her journey. Swift stated that Swift’s narrative arc is “very similar” to the loss of control she felt after she was denied the opportunity of purchasing her master recordings in 2019,. This led to Swift’s Taylor rerecordings, and projects such as the All Too well film.

” Swift admitted that it was difficult for her to get back her recordings. She then said that she is now in a better place because of the re-recording process. “A lot of my most difficult moments, and moments in extreme grief or loss were converted into what my life looks like .”

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10. All Too Well This is for the fans.

Nearly a decade after releasing the original version of “All Too Well” on Red, Swift said that the 10-minute version of the non-single finally saw the light of day because her dedicated fans got wind of it, kept asking about it, and created a special moment just for themselves. Swift said, “You guys just wouldn’t let it go!” to rapturous applause.

That type of interest, enthusiasm and support helped the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” debut atop the Hot 100 chart upon its November release, and helped Swift herself during trying moments. Swift stated that it is the belief in people who care deeply about you that will help you get through the difficult times .”

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