She reveals every hidden reference in Vevo Footnights
Ten-time GRAMMY winner Taylor Swift has teamed with Vevo to reveal the carefully placed Easter eggs and deeper meanings within her latest music video, “Cardigan,” from her critically-adored new album, Folklore for a brand new episode of Vevo Footnotes. Vevo Footnotes dives into all the behind-the-scenes details, from social distancing standards to the cinematic styles that influenced Swift’s vision for this project.
“I was inspired by the feeling of isolation and how that can be either freeing or terrifying,” Swift tells Vevo exclusively about her creation process during a worldwide pandemic. Swift was inspired by some of the period pieces and fantasy films she was watching in quarantine. With a health inspector on-set, Swift did her own make-up, hair and wardrobe styling, while the photography crew, used a “techo crane” for closeups to ensure social distancing at all times.
Swift wrote and directed the video herself. She wanted it to have a clever plot device that also served as a metaphor. Swift worked on the music video with Oscar nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto who she previously worked with on her music video for “The Man.”
She was inspired by some of the period pieces and fantasy films she was watching at the time and sent Prieto a number of visual references for each scene, including photographs and drawings as well as a time-coded storyboard shot list. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, Swift did her own hair, make-up and styling on set. She wore her own nightgown.
A health inspector was also on site and used UV lights and sprayed down the piano keys in between every single take. A “techno crane” was used to film in order to eliminate a close up camera operator to ensure rigorous social distancing standards. Editor Chancler Haynes and Swift worked simultaneously from two separate locations on set in order to edit the video in real time.
“Cardigan” is the first official music video from Swift’s record shattering eighth studio album Folklore which was released on July 24th. Swift wrote and recorded the album while in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both “Cardigan” and the album landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and 200 charts, making her the only artist in history to simultaneously debut at No. 1 on both charts.
“I was inspired by the feeling of isolation and how that can be either freeing or terrifying, and how it causes you to reminisce on the past,” Swift shares.
With all 16 songs from the project charting on Billboard Hot 100, Taylor Swift becomes the female artist with the most simultaneous debut entries. The physical deluxe editions include 17 tracks.