This year has been a big Taylor Swift moment for all of us, but Rodrigo Prieto has perhaps had the biggest: with the release of “willow” last week, the three-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer (for Brokeback Mountain, Silence and The Irishman) became also a three-time T-Swift music video collaborator—and all three were made in 2020.
Taylor invited Rodrigo (Martin Scorsese’s go-to cinematographer of late) into her whirlwind year way back in February. As she planned for her debut as a music video director (for her single “The Man”), Rodrigo was “at the top of [her] dream list of DPs,” she told American Cinematographer. That larger-than-life music video—which does, appropriately, give Wolf of Wall Street vibes—launched the two of them on an unexpected creative partnership across songs from three different Taylor albums (she has been quite prolific lately) and an ongoing public health crisis, complicating production for their two most recent pieces.
But you’d never know, because the videos for “cardigan” and “willow” come together so cohesively. Both take place in the same solitary cottage, and trace similar surreal, allegorical paths.
Taylor and Rodrigo don’t have more collaborations in the works as of now, but we’re not sure we’d know if they did: both “cardigan” and “willow” dropped without warning, to kick off Taylor’s surprise album releases.
More Academy members can be found in the credits of Taylor’s 2020 music video works: production designer Ethan Tobman (of Beyoncé: Lemonade and Room) collaborated on all three, and Oscar winner Bill Corso (of Deadpool and Foxcatcher) was the makeup artist behind Taylor’s gender transformation in “The Man.”
Header image via YouTube