Based off of the heartbreaking Taylor Swift ballad, All Too Well tackles the question everyone asks after some sort of heartbreak: is closure even worth fighting for? And if so, are you even guaranteed to get it? That’s a question I think we’ve all had to deal with, whether it be within family, platonic, or romantic relationships.
Hi! My name is Safi Jafri, I am a 17 year old young filmmaker from San Diego, California, and I am, proudly, a “Swiftie”. I’ve always had a crazy love for Taylor Swift and her music (ever since I first heard Fearless in my babysitter’s car back in 2009), and when I ask myself who, creatively, is my inspiration, it would be her. She takes what she’s passionate about and uses it to further create her art: I’m passionate about Taylor Swift and movies… let’s whip up a Taylor Swift inspired movie!
In writing this short, I knew it had to be a special song so I decided on her most prolific, lyrically genius, and arguably most heartbreaking song she has ever written and released: All Too Well (from her fourth studio album Red – 2012). The original script, which had undergone a few but not too many changes, was whipped up in the matter of a couple hours in a fit of creative passion in my upstairs game room while the show Nashville was most likely on in the background (I was binging it at the time).
Production was pretty difficult in many ways because of the limited time I had to film. I had wanted to be able to submit to at least some notable festivals or perhaps leave enough time for Taylor herself to notice, so the clock was ticking. Though on the day of shooting, our main girl dropped out and I had to employ my friend Phillip, who is an actor, and his help (we were shooting at his house). Phillip was then set to play Tyler, while my other actor Chris was set to play Jace. Upon that mix up happening, it ended up bringing a whole new element to the film that in post-production, I really saw the value.
It was a movie based on a Taylor Swift song – never done before – featuring two guys – done before, but with a Taylor Swift song? Nope – with a script both were pretty unfamiliar with. In fact, that last valuable piece pretty much meant that some of the heated conversational lines had tints of improvisation and just pure emotion, meaning I had to piece together post-production a coherent line for a few instances.
In the end, however, All Too Well ended up gaining much more love than I expected. Unlisted on Youtube, it’s already got a 1.5k views and counting and that’s all because of Taylor’s very own fanbase (now, the video is public). Despite what anyone says, the Swifties and Taylor’s fandom is one of the kindest, warm-hearted, and loving group of hundreds of thousands of people online you’ll ever encounter. I’ve been told how this film makes them cry because of their own personal experiences (especially with toxic relationships) and how this film truly embodied the song. My goal when I film something is to make people feel. I think that’s every filmmakers goal. And in regards to what I hope to do in the future? Well, that’s to make people feel – happy, sad, gleeful, melancholy, reminiscent, etc. – and I’ve already got a couple films in production right now and more feel-worthy films along the way. As I travel up to San Francisco in a couple weeks for college (SFSU’s Cinema program), I hope to also delve even deeper into that endeavor.
Thanks for reading!
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