And … cut. Taylor Swift released her longest directorial project to date last year when she dropped “All Too Well: The Short Film,” a heartbreaking 14-minute music video starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. And now, she’s giving fans a glimpse into how she put the whole thing together.
In a Thursday (Dec. 8) post on Instagram, the 32-year-old pop star shared several minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from her shoot with Sink and O’Brien, who portrayed onscreen the dysfunctional, age-gap relationship Swift describes in her record-setting No. 1 Red (Taylor’s Version) track “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” In many of the clips, a pony-tailed Swift describes to the actors in detail how they should be feeling in the moment, sometimes trading places with them and tracking their approximate movements for them.
“The first seeds of this short film were planted over ten years ago, and I’ll never forget the behind the scenes moments of the shoot,” she wrote in her caption. “I owe everything to @sadiesink_, Dylan O’Brien, my incredible DP @the_rinayang and my producer @saulysaulysauly.”
Not only does Swift closely direct the video’s two stars, but she also gives specific instructions to its many background extras. In one of the short film’s most meticulously planned scenes, she instructs when exactly the camera should zoom in and out, when exactly an actor should place a birthday cake in front of Sink, and when exactly the Stranger Things star should blow out the candles.
“I also want to say thank you to our wonderful background actors and crew who made this story come to life so naturally,” she added. “I loved every second of it and I will always remember it. All. Too. Well. The behind the scenes footage of ATW the short film is out now!”
Both the “All Too Well” song and short film have become some of the 11-time Grammy winner’s most critically acclaimed projects, with the video winning video of the year at this year’s VMAs. Swift has made appearances at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival to speak about her directorial process, and the short film is eligible for a nomination at next year’s Oscars in the live-action short category.
See Taylor Swift’s post below, and watch the behind-the-scenes video for “All Too Well: The Short Film” above.