On Thursday, Dec. 8, Taylor Swift dropped the official behind-the-scenes video of her All Too Well short film. The seven-minute-long clip, which shows the “Anti-Hero” singer in full-on director mode, gives so much insight into the meaning behind the song and the relationship that inspired it.
Swift shared a preview of her BTS video on Instagram but posted the full version on YouTube. “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,” Swift captioned her IG post, which featured a few clips of her directing Stranger Things star Sadie Sink and Teen Wolf actor Dylan O’Brien on set. “I owe everything to @sadiesink_, Dylan O’Brien, my incredible DP @the_rinayang and my producer @saulysaulysauly.”
The star also thanked her “wonderful background actors and crew” for helping bring her idea to life. “I loved every second of it and I will always remember it. All. Too. Well,” Swift said.
In her video, Swift helps Sink and O’Brien channel her song’s emotions by explaining more about their characters’ complicated relationship. “I feel like you guys have this natural chemistry that comes around once in a lifetime that just like happens and it’s sweet and it’s playful and you could be laughing in the middle of it, but it’s also got elements of physical chemistry to it,” Swift told the actors, prompting them to try and take her advice in “a few different ways.”
The results? Sink and O’Brien kissed while taking a romantic walk in the middle of the woods.
During the dinner scene, Swift urged Sink to try and hold O’Brien’s hand only to be rejected by him. “When she goes to hold your hand, kind of put it back down on the table,” Swift said, adding that the moment should feel “embarrassing.” She also said there’s meant to be a “disconnect” between Sink and O’Brien while their friends don’t even notice.
Swift’s behind-the-scenes video also showed her directing Sink during the birthday cake scene. “We should always see a falseness to your smile. It should be contrasted by how real your smile in the last shot was,” Swift told Sink. The Dear Zoe actor brought Swift’s vision to life so perfectly that it left the singer in awe. “Oh my God. That was amazing!” Swift said while reacting to the scene.
Then, while talking about the time-skip in the video, Swift explained the scene by saying, “We’re watching a person lose an element of innocence and naivety. We’re watching her figure out how to turn it into something beautiful. In the older her, there’s a stillness and a stoicism and a seriousness and a stillness but a sadness. She’s fine but she’s not who we met.”