Top directors do more than movies. Take a look at these clips from Emmy-nominated television series and these music videos made by some of the most talented directors working in Hollywood, including Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), David Fincher (“Fight Club”), and Paul Thomas Anderson (“Boogie Nights,” “The Master”). Taylor Swift’s new Shake it Off video was directed by Mark Romanek, who also directed Johnny Cash’s classic “Hurt” and Michael Jackson’s “Scream” as well a films like Robin Williams’ “One Hour Photo” and the haunting “Never Let Me Go.” He said that the ideas were Swift’s, but explained how he added his own thoughts.
We met and she told me that she wanted to make a sort of paean to the awkward ones, the “uncool” kids that are actually cooler than the “cool” kids. She said she wanted to shoot all these styles of dance and then be the individualist dork in the midst of these established genres. And that she somehow wanted her fans involved. I loved that idea, so over the following week or so, we narrowed down our choices for styles of dance. I think she imagined it in more natural settings and I suggested giving it a starker, more minimalist look. And I suggested the idea of incorporating her fans as a climax, for the ending as a kind of surprise.
Did you know that Fincher directed Madonna’s “Vogue?” It is a lot of fun to see directors freed from the structure of narrative arcs, having fun with the visuals and the music.