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David Knight - 12th Nov 2014

Just as he was about to deliver his keynote speech at the first MusicVidFest in London on Monday, Joseph Kahn discovered that his latest video for Taylor Swift had leaked onto the internet, a day ahead of schedule. Several hours later, Joseph could only be distracted from his white-hot Twitter feed when he realised he was the guy they were talking about on stage at the UKMVAs at the beginning of the presentation of the Icon Award.     

It's no surprise that Joseph's video for Blank Space broke the internet a bit on Monday, as few music videos have done before without resorting to explicit content. It presents a glorious fantasy of Taylor in her princess's castle - actually Oheka Castle and Woolworth Mansion in New York State - falling for her prince. The setting is sumptuous, the guy is drop-dead gorgeous... and then comes the surprise. 

Taylor turns nasty. In fact, not just nasty. She's mad. She's evil. An irrational green-eyed jealous monster who destroys her fairytale piece by piece, and his car, and his clothes. This big pop video is driven by the sarcastic edge of Blank Space, addressing her complicated love life, and the gossip. And Joseph does a typically masterful job seamlessly combining the glamour with the sarcasm and creating a 'bad Taylor' that is so over the top, so knowing, you feel she's still lovely underneath.

At his keynote speech Joseph made much of his belief that the role of the video director was 'at the spearhead' of the marketing of the artist. That the job was not all about getting supportive comments from other directors from the Vimeo community, but was actually ll about what the artist (and their record company) want to project about themselves. This is a very good example of what he is talking about.

Could have been very tricky, turning Taylor Swift into a bad, mad girl. But this is both an artistic statement and irresistable entertainment. 

Credits

DirectorJoseph Kahn
Production CompanyHSI London
Executive ProducerRebecca Skinner
ProducerJil Hardin
1st ADDavid Backus
Director of PhotographyChris Probst
Production designerMaria Weinhoff Studio
StylistEdda Gudman
Location ManagerMark Bodnar
EditorJoseph Kahn
PostIngenuity Post
Director's Rep (UK)HSI London

David Knight - 12th Nov 2014

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