Taylor Swift has been telling stories through her song lyrics for nearly two decades, but it’s only been the second half of her career that she’s been trying her hand at illustrating them visually. Ever since she first took the plunge of overseeing the visual for her Lover single “The Man” in 2019, though, more of her music videos than not have been directed entirely by the country-turned-pop star herself.
Her directorial journey started years before that, however. In 2010, she tried sitting in the director’s chair when she teamed up with Roman White — who’d previously directed Swift’s “You Belong With Me” and “Fifteen” videos — in supervising her Speak Now lead single’s mini-motion picture, “Mine.” It would take around nine years after that for the Grammy winner to step back onto the other side of the clapperboard, eventually taking on the role of co-director again with “Me!”
Several self-directed projects later, Swift’s video-making prowess culminated in the form of her very first short film All Too Well. The project doubled as a music video for the 10-minute “Taylor’s Version” re-release of a 10-year-old fan-favorite song of the same title, originally released on her 2012 record Red. After that would come a portfolio of music videos made by Swift for her 2022 10th studio record Midnights, the first taste of which came with the Oct. 21 premiere of “Anti-Hero.”
But what will come next for the full-time pop star, part-time filmmaker? “I’d like to keep taking baby steps forward and I’m at a place now where the next baby step is not a baby step,” she revealed at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2022. “It would be committing to making a film and I feel like I would absolutely love for the right opportunity to arise, because I absolutely adore telling stories this way.”
“I think I will always want to tell human stories about human emotion,” she added. “I never say never, but I can’t imagine myself filming an action sequence. If it happens one day, that will be funny character growth. Could see it going in a more comedic, irreverent place. I don’t always see myself telling stories about extreme guttural heartbreak at your most formative age.”
Not counting music videos such s “The Best Day” and “Christmas Tree Farm,” which are comprised of childhood footage curated by Swift, keep reading to see all of Taylor Swift’s self-directed music videos.