What is Imposter Syndrome? Taylor Swift opens up about overcoming condition while serving as a director

Taylor Swift directed the music video of All Too Well: The Short Film, which starred Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. (Image via Getty Images/Neilson Barnard)
Taylor Swift directed the music video of All Too Well: The Short Film, which starred Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. (Image via Getty Images/Neilson Barnard)

American pop star Taylor Swift has opened up about experiencing imposter syndrome and her big plans to venture into filmmaking.

In a surprise appearance at the 2022 Tribeca Festival at the Beacon Theater in New York City, the 32-year-old star spoke about her directorial music video All Too Well: The Short Film and how she overcame imposter syndrome while also expressing her desire to direct a full-length feature film in the future.

Speaking to director Mike Mills, Swift said:

"I was always very curious. I was always looking, and learning, and trying to absorb as much as I possibly could. A few music videos [into my career], I just started going into the edit, and making changes."

Taylor Swift also discussed her experience directing music videos such as The Man, Cardigan, and Willow, which led to the production of All Too Well: The Short Film, which she wrote and directed.

the best quotes said by taylor swift during her tribeca film festival talk (a thread)
"It started with meddling, and it went from meddling with the edit to then writing the treatments for the music videos… That was almost ten years ago."

Taylor Swift noted that she would frequently design her music videos before entrusting them to a seasoned filmmaker – until 2019's The Man.

What is imposter syndrome, and how did Taylor Swift experience it?

As per Very Well Mind, imposter syndrome is the experience of feeling like an imposter— a person with imposter syndrome feels as though at any moment they are going to be found out as a fraud—like they don't belong where they are. They only got there through dumb luck. It can affect anyone, no matter their social status, work background, skill level, or degree of expertise.

During her conversation with Mike Mills at the Tribeca Festival, Taylor Swift revealed that she sought to find a female director after developing the video concept for The Man. Still, none that she knew of were available.

"All my favorite female directors were booked and busy, which is great. We love that."
📷| @TaylorSwift13's second public appearance this year!

Taylor Swift was shooting 2020's Miss Americana documentary at the time. After consulting with its director, Lana Wilson, she directed The Man herself, sparking a new creative ambition in the singer-songwriter. She said:

"Once I started directing music videos, I didn't not want to do it."

She did, however, have to overcome self-doubt before she could call herself a director.

"I think I had this imposter syndrome in my head saying, 'No, you don't do that. Other people do that who went to school to [direct]."

Swift was relieved when Mills acknowledged he didn't go to directing school either:

"Oh! It's fantastic to know that. That makes me feel better. Don't you feel like it's an amazing exercise in trusting gut instinct? There are so many decisions you have to make. Saying 'I don't know' or 'I'm not sure' really isn't an option most of the time."

Swift had widened her goals for herself as a filmmaker since writing and directing All Too Well: The Short Film, starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O'Brien. She said it would be "fantastic" to direct a feature, which she'd approach the same way as the short film.

"I don't see it being bigger in terms of scale. I loved making a film that was so intimate with a crew that was relatively small, just a really solid group of people that I trusted."

Taylor Swift released a 13-minute short film in November 2021 as a music video for All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor's Version), an extended rendition of the fan-favorite song from 2012's Red included on last year's Red (Taylor's Version) — the latest album in her continuous series of re-recordings.

Quick Links

Edited by Suchitra
Be the first one to comment