NEW YORK (AP) — Fans outside New York’s Beacon Theatre were cheering for Taylor Swift before she arrived, belting her songs before she stepped on stage.
That energy remained throughout her stop at the 21st Tribeca Festival on Saturday, where Swift discussed transitioning into the director’s chair, the nuances of visual storytelling, and the possibility of future film projects with Mike Mills, writer, and director of “C’mon, C’mon” and “20th Century Women,” before surprising fans with special guests and acoustic performance.
It wasn’t Swift’s first time on a film festival stage — her Netflix documentary “Miss Americana” premiered at Sundance in 2020 — but it was her first time as a director. And as Swift and Mills compared and dissected their processes, it was clear that was an honor she didn’t take lightly.
Her 13-minute film, “All Too Well: The Short Film,” was a product of that learning process. Released in November alongside her latest re-recorded album, “Red (Taylor’s Version),” the video put imagery and a fictionalized story to an extended version of “All Too Well,” a fan favorite from her 2012 “Red” album. Since its release, the video has amassed over 67 million views on YouTube.
That tension was something she wanted people to feel while watching the couple at the center of the film. “I wanted it to feel like their falling together was inevitable and their falling apart was just as inevitable,” Swift said. “They couldn’t stop from colliding, and they couldn’t stop from being dismantled.”
Sink and O’Brien surprised the audience halfway through by joining Swift and Mills on stage, narrowing in on the motivations of their characters and how Swift directed them in portraying the fraught relationship at the film’s center.
Swift is among several Tribeca Festival speakers and film subjects from the world of music. The festival opened with Netflix’s “Halftime,” an intimate documentary following Jennifer Lopez in the year she turned 50 and co-headlined the Super Bowl. Swift’s talk was one of few public appearances she’s made this year, the most recent of which was her commencement address at NYU’s 2022 graduation — a speech that Mills said could double as a letter to a future Swift, film director.
Acknowledging her privilege as a filmmaker with an existing platform and the ability to finance her own projects, Swift said that idea of losing things got back to what catalyzed this film in the first place — the process of re-recording her albums, which began because she wasn’t able to own her master recordings. “I think that when I was talking about losing things, it doesn’t mean just losing,” she said.
When asked about future directing projects, Swift didn’t rule out the possibility of directing a feature film but said she wouldn’t necessarily want the scale of her next film project to be much bigger than this one.
She stuck to her roots when closing the event, grabbing a red guitar for an acoustic performance of the extended “All Too Well” punctuated by the audience’s cheers, cries, and, screamed-out-loud lyrics.
Finally words she is a top popular singer in America and gets more popular day by day.