At the end of 2014 we presented our plan for how Taylor Swift's 'Style' video could have worked. She didn't listen. So let's try again.
This time round it's 'New Romantics', which is apparently a single. Taylor announced this in February and there's still no video. Meanwhile Joseph Kahn, who directed 'Blank Space', 'Out Of The Woods', 'Bad Blood' and 'Wildest Dreams', is not being particularly helpful.
So if nobody else is going to take control of this situation it falls, as ever, to us to sort things out.
Let's take a moment to imagine five possible scenarios for a 'New Romantics' video. Key things to bear in mind about the song:
- It's about triumph in the face of adversity.
- "I could build a castle out of all the bricks you threw at me" — it's about taking revenge, in a way, but it's also about protecting yourself and becoming bulletproof, and finding a way to turn problems to your advantage.
- IT'S AMAZING.
Here we go.
Idea 1: Taylor Swift is… Mother of Dragons
If you're looking for the reason behind Joseph Kahn not directing the video, if we can indeed take his tweets at face value, well what if Taylor filmed it ages ago with the crew and cast of Game Of Thrones? What if it's going to premiere on April 24, the same day Game Of Thrones returns to HBO? What if there's no product placement in this video because there were no costs to recoup, with HBO simply factoring this video in as a promotional cost?
This video idea would be incredible for two big reasons.
- "Every day is like a battle" — there are battles in Game Of Thrones.
- "I could build a castle" — Game Of Thrones contains literally numerous castles.
The video starts with Taylor climbing up a tower then being shoved out of a window.
She lands on a cart (a deliberate reference to the opening scene of the 'Bad Blood' video) and then sees a crow with three eyes, stabs a snowman and bums a dragon or something. Look we're making this up as we go along but if that's good enough for George 'RR' so-called 'Martin' that's good enough for us.
Idea 2: Taylor Swift is… confronting some trolls
What you have here is basically a documentary in which Taylor speaks to fans who've been trolled online. There are tears and hands rested supportively on shoulders. It's intense but powerful.
'New Romantics' plays in the background a bit. It's the 2014 Swiftmas thing but with a different song.
In the final stages of the video Taylor's fans are introduced to the trolls who made their lives so miserable. It turns out those trolls are themselves troubled and in need of someone to listen to them and we all learn an important lesson about humanity. Lots of crying, lots of hugs, job done.
Idea 3: Taylor Swift isa let Kanye finish
The scene: an awards ceremony. (This is actually quite a good idea, has anyone done an awards ceremony video since Britney's 'Lucky'?) Kanye West, played by Kanye West, wins the big award! Just as he's doing his speech Taylor invades the stage, interrupts Kanye and sings 'New Romantics' at him. THE END.
Idea 4: Taylor Swift is… in portrait
It doesn't really matter what's happening in this video. It could just be a Taylor interacting with a handsome man in some moody locations like the 'Style' video'. What's important is the aspect ratio. Taylor Swift's the first major pop artist to create a video specifically for Snapchat. Lots of people write things about Taylor Swift revolutionising the music industry etc etc. (It's the 'FourFiveSeconds' video but narrower.)
Idea 5: Taylor Swift is… Katy Perry
Through the miracle of prosthetics and a bra containing two cans of squirty cream, Taylor transforms into Katy Perry.
The video opens with 'Katy' browsing the interweb superhighnet on the afternoon of May 17 2015.
PING! NEW NOTIFICATION — the 'Bad Blood' video has just appeared online. Katy's curious, then sad. She knows that the song is supposedly written about her, and it's hard to watch a video where so many people take Taylor's side. Sadness turns to anger. Anger turns to a need to put forward her own side of the story.
As 'New Romantics' plays, we see Katy (played by Taylor) calling, messaging and visiting each of the stars of the 'Bad Blood' video: Ellie Goulding, Hailee Steinfeld, Lena Dunham, the whole lot. We see Taylor's friends gradually being charmed by Katy. Katy explains that actually it was Taylor who was the wanker. Taylor's friends decide to switch allegiances. They're now with Katy. Katy has, in a way, built a castle (group of friends) out of the bricks (people) thrown at her in the 'Bad Blood' video. Look we know this sounds a bit tenuous but it'll all come out in the edit don't you worry.
Final scene: Taylor's apartment. Taylor is played BY ACTUAL KATY PERRY. Katy (Taylor) barges in and shoves Taylor (Katy) through a plate glass window.
Idea 6: Taylor Swift is… in the 1980s
The song is called 'New Romantics' and new romantics were people in the 80s who wore funny hats and went to discos.
So Taylor would dress up a bit and there would probably be some cameos from Boy George and Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran and all that lot.
We're not really sure how Taylor would fit in with all this, maybe she'd be singing on a stage or something. This idea's not a very good one.
Idea 7: Taylor Swift is… in the 1800s
Taylor Swift is situated within scenes known from notable works by Romantic-era artists. Not sure what the plot would be for this but there could be some nice wigs.
And finally, Idea 8: Taylor Swift is… phoning it in
A video made up entirely of live footage and 'candid' backstage glimpses from the 1989 World Tour. It's in black and white. This is a real bargain basement only-use-in-an-emergency idea and should be approached with extreme caution.
(The Game Of Thrones one is best isn't it.)