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Meet Mark Romanek: The Man Behind The Shake It Off Video

August 19th, 2014

Never Let Me Go - Press Conference: 54th BFI London Film Festival

Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. It exists. It is being watched. It is being talked about. It is a thing. And I can guess that is going to be a thing for a very long time. And for all it’s visual sampling, one surprising thing about it is the director, Mark Romanek. That name may not be the most familiar to you but he is one of the most prolific music video directors of all time. He has probably directed at least one of your favourites and you may not even know it.

The name of the video’s director got my attention when I read about it on Twitter because he also directed one of my favourite movies, Never Let Me Go, a dystopiam coming of age sci-fi about a group of young people with a dark predetermined fate. He also directed one of Robin Williams’ darkest movies One Hour Photo, about a photo technician who becomes obsessed with a family. He worked in a dark room. It was dark. Noticing a pattern?

And although including twerking in your video after what Miley and Lilly have taught us isn’t very smart, the video is far from dark. It is the dictionary definition of light. So to introduce you to more of the Romanek touch, here are his darkest, most un T-Swift music videos:

Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson – Scream (1995)

No Doubt – Hella Good (2002)

Johnny Cash – Hurt (2003)

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Can’t Stop (2003) (Okay this is actually a really bright video but I couldn’t help myself. It is just so great!)

Jay Z – 99 Problems (2004)

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