Unstoppable Taylor Swift (2023) Movie Script

[wind blowing softly]
So how did you find out?
I found out when
it was online, like when it hit the news.
Nobody in your
inner circle knew.
Nobody knew.
And you didn't smell it?
I knew he would sell my music.
I knew he would do that.
I couldn't believe
who he sold it to.
Because we've had
endless conversations about Scooter Braun,
and he has 300 million reasons
to conveniently forget
those conversations.
Now, could you rerecord?
Oh, yeah.
Might you do that?
Oh, yeah.
- That's a plan.
- Yeah, absolutely.
[gentle music]
[Narrator] Under
US copyright law,
a music release is subject
to two separate copyrights,
the copyright to the song or
musical composition itself
and the copyright to the
specific recording of that song,
which is usually
contained on a master.
[gentle music]
The master from which copies
are made for use in sales
and distribution is the
original recording of the song.
Therefore, the owner of the
master also holds the copyright
to all means of distribution
for the recording,
including physical media,
like CDs and final LPs,
as well as digital distribution
for download or streaming.
On the other hand, owning the
musical work is referred to
as the publishing rights,
which covers the lyrics before
it became a sound recording.
Its melodies sheet,
music, composition,
and instrumental arrangements.
Songwriters generally
own the publishing rights
and are referred to as the
publishers of the music.
[reporters speak indistinctly]
[gentle music]
[Reporter] Over
your shoulder, Taylor,
and the back of the dress.
[Reporter] Over
your shoulder, love.
[video rewinding]
No one told us it
was country night.
Y'all wanna hear
some country music?
[Audience] Yeah.
Later on you wanna
hear some Jack Ingram?
[Audience] Yeah.
Right now you wanna
hear some Taylor Swift?
[audience cheering]
You're in the right place.
[country music]
I was riding shotgun
with my hair undone
In the front seat of his car
He's got a one-hand feel
on the steering wheel
The other on my heart
I look around,
turn the radio down
He says, Baby, is
something wrong
I say, Nothing, I
was just thinking
How we don't have a song
And he says
Our song is the
slamming screen door
Sneaking out late,
tapping on your window
When we're on the phone,
and you talk real slow
[Narrator] In 2003
at the age of 13,
Taylor went to Nashville
to try and sign
with some major labels,
but was rejected.
And when I got home
[Narrator] She tried her
luck again the following year
and received an
artist development deal with RCA records
before becoming the
youngest artist, aged 15,
signed by the Sony
Publishing house,
but left shortly
afterwards due to concerns
that development deals
may shelf artists.
Had gone all wrong
and been trampled on
[Narrator] Swift took
part in an industry showcase
later that year at
Nashville's Bluebird Cafe,
where she was recognized
by Scott Borchetta,
a Dreamworks Records
executive, who was considering
starting his own
independent record company.
Our song is the
slamming screen door
[Narrator] Swift
ultimately agreed
to a 13-year recording contract
with Big Machine Records,
the new Nashville-based record
label founded by Borchetta.
In exchange for a cash
advance, Big Machine
received ownership of
the masters for Swift's
first six albums under the
terms of the agreement.
[wind rustling]
[gentle music]
Through his media company,
SB Projects, Scooter Braun,
an American media
proprietor, talent manager,
and businessman, is credited
with managing the careers
of musicians Justin
Bieber, Ariana Grande,
Demi Lovato, and Kanye West.
When Braun acquired Big
Machine Label Group,
they encompassed all aspects
of Big Machine's business,
including its client
roster, distribution deals,
publishing rights,
and music masters.
[gentle music]
On June 30th, 2019, Swift
made a post and stated
that she had tried to buy
the masters for years,
but was not given a chance
unless she signed another
contract that would require her
to create six more
albums under the label
in exchange for the
masters of the first six,
which she felt was unacceptable.
[gentle music]
She emphasized
Braun's contribution
to making Kanye West's
2016 famous music video,
where West used a stunt
double to play Taylor,
which she called a
revenge porn video
which strips her body naked.
Swift also alleged that Braun
colluded with two clients
to bully Swift online, and
persuaded Kim Kardashian,
who was then married to West,
to arrange an
illegally-recorded snippet
of Swift's phone call with West.
She was alluding to a FaceTime
screenshot of Bieber, West,
and Braun that was posted
to Bieber's Instagram
after Kardashian
released the snippet.
[gentle music]
Despite being aware
of Braun's involvement
in harassing Swift, Borchetta
was accused by Taylor
of betraying her loyalty by
selling the masters to Braun.
[gentle music]
On November 14th, 2019,
Swift claimed that Braun
and Borchetta had
stopped her from singing
some of her older songs at
the 2019 American Music Awards
and using some of them in
her upcoming documentary,
"Miss Americana."
She said they were
exercising tyrannical control
over her music, and claimed
Borchetta told her team
that she would be
allowed to use the music
only if she agreed to not
rerecord copycat versions
of her songs.
Swift commented, "The
message being sent to me
is very clear.
Basically, 'Be a good
little girl and shut up,
or you'll be punished.'"
[soft dramatic music]
For an estimated $405 million
Braun sold the masters,
related videos, and artwork
to Shamrock Holdings
in October, 2020.
[soft dramatic music]
Swift claimed that she
tried to bargain with Braun,
but that he only gave
her the opportunity
to get the masters back if
she signed an ironclad NDA
that only let her talk
favorably of Braun.
She refused to sign the NDA.
She also claimed that
Braun mandated Shamrock
not to notify her about the
sale until it was complete.
[soft dramatic music]
After the news came out,
#WeLoveYouTaylor started
trending worldwide on Twitter,
with Swifties making
their feelings known.
Fans wondered if
Taylor was connected
to the investment fund,
but she released a statement
clarifying she wasn't part
of this deal at all, and still
does not own the masters.
[soft dramatic music]
Swift wrote her album
"Reputation" as a defense mechanism
that allowed her to to
cope with the fallout
in public scrutiny.
She secluded herself
from press attention
because she needed to
protect her mental health
and stop feeling obliged
to explain herself.
[soft dramatic music]
On the Reputation Stadium Tour,
Swift was inspired by the
love she received from fans
to embrace positivity
and vulnerability.
Despite her tarnished
reputation in the press,
she realized her fans see her
as a flesh-and-blood
human being.
To this end, she conceived
her seventh studio album
as a personal vulnerable record
that would connect
her with her audience
and showcase her strengths
as a singer-songwriter.
[gentle music]
Swift wrote "Lover" as a
reflection of her personal life,
describing it as
very confessional and autobiographical,
yet also playful and whimsical.
She also said the album
was a love letter to love
in all of its maddening,
passionate, exciting, enchanting,
horrific, tragic,
wonderful glory.
Or 20 years
Can I go where you go
Can we always be this close
[Narrator] The track
list consists of 18 songs,
more than any of
her other albums,
depicting many sentiments
stemming from love.
[gentle music]
The imagery of "Reputation"
was dark and cold.
"Lover" 's bright colors
and themes contrasted this.
However, a common misconception
is that "Reputation"
lyrically is all about revenge.
Although some songs
do touch on this,
the majority of the album
details falling in love with Joe
amidst all the personal tumult.
[gentle music]
"Lover" acts almost
as a sister album,
further detailing
the relationship and the highs and lows
of what she had
been going through.
In the closing track,
"Daylight," Swift contemplates
that love to her now is golden,
rather than burning red,
as she once believed, a
reference to the title track
of her 2012 Studio album, "Red."
[gentle music]
The song represents Swift's
mature understanding of love,
her personal life,
and her public image.
[gentle music]
Although mainly positive,
some critics felt as though
"Lover" was a bit too much
like an unnecessary course
correction from "Reputation,"
rather than a
collection of themes
Swift was really
interested in pursuing.
The album features
some career highlights,
"Cruel Summer,"
"Lover," "Cornelia Street," and "Daylight."
However, fans often feel as
though the album is too long
and includes some of
Swift's worst work today,
including the lead single, "ME!"
Because of "Reputation" 's
poor critical success,
many believe Swift wanted to
distance herself completely
and start new with the pop
sounds and bright colors.
Both albums have now
become fan favorites
and have received their flowers,
but at the time it
seemed as though Taylor
was at a crossroads
with her career.
Although she was still
doing well commercially,
she wasn't at the height she
was at a couple years prior,
during her "1989" era.
[gentle music]
The ongoing Kanye feud and
relentless tabloid scrutiny
had taken a toll on Taylor.
[gentle music]
In April, 2020, Taylor
Swift was set to embark
on Lover Fest, her
sixth concert tour
in support of the album.
However, the tour was canceled
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
[dramatic music]
On July 23rd, 202O,
nine captionless black and white images
of Taylor standing alone
in the woods were uploaded
to Swift's Instagram account.
She posted another message
on all of her social
media platforms
saying that her
eighth studio album
would be released at midnight.
Swift stated, "Most of the
things I had planned this summer
didn't end up happening,
but there is something I hadn't
planned on that did happen,
and that thing is my eighth
studio album, 'Folklore.'"
[wind blowing softly]
The creation of the album
was totally unexpected.
Whilst Taylor was in quarantine,
she watched numerous films,
from "LA Confidential,"
"Jane Eyre," "Rear Window,"
and "Marriage Story."
She also read more books
than she ever had before.
Books that dealt
with times past,
a world that doesn't
exist anymore,
such as "Rebecca" by
Daphne du Maurier.
The fiction encouraged
Swift to write songs
that weren't strictly
and instead experimented with
alternative points of view.
She allowed her
imagination to run wild
when she was alone during
the period of lockdown,
creating a series of
thoughts and visuals
that later became "Folklore."
[gentle music]
"Folklore" was supposed to
be released in early 2021,
but it ended up
being done earlier
and released without a
second thought in July, 2020.
She approached the
album's creation
without subjecting
herself to any rules,
and explained that she used
to put all these parameters
on herself like, how will
this song sound in a stadium?
How will this song
sound on the radio?
If you take away all the
parameters, what do you make?
And I guess the
answer is "Folklore."
[gentle music]
Swift told Billboard,
"It started with imagery,
visuals that popped into my
mind and peaked my curiosity.
Stars drawn around scars.
A cardigan that still bears
the scent of loss
20 years later.
Battleships sinking into
the ocean, down, down, down.
The tree swing in the
woods of my childhood.
Hushed tones of, 'Let's run
away' and never doing it.
The sun-drenched
month of August,
sipped away like
a bottle of wine.
A mirrored disco ball
hovering above a dance floor.
A whiskey bottle beckoning,
hands held through plastic.
A single thread, that
for better or worse,
ties you to your fate.
[soft dramatic music]
Pretty soon these images
in my head grew faces
or names and became characters.
I found myself not only
writing my own stories,
but also writing about
or from the perspective
of people I've never
met, people I've known,
or those I wish I hadn't."
[soft dramatic music]
For "Folklore, Swift's lyrics
veered towards escapism
and romanticism.
She enlisted two producers
to achieve her desired sound,
her longtime collaborator,
Jack Antonoff,
with whom she'd
previously collaborated
on the albums "1989,"
"Reputation," and "Lover,"
and Aaron Dessner,
guitarist for the American
indie rock band, The National.
Due to COVID-19 concerns,
Swift, Antonoff, and Dessner
quarantined remotely
separate from each other,
creating "Folklore"
by continually exchanging digital files
of instrumentals and vocals.
The album ensued
from a DIY process,
mixed and engineered
by personnel scattered across the US.
"Folklore" was written
and recorded in secrecy.
Swift, her boyfriend,
family, management team,
Antonoff, and Dessner were
aware of the album's creation.
She did not disclose the
news or play the album
to her friends, like she
did with her previous works.
[soft dramatic music]
Near the end of "Folklore" 's
recording process,
Dessner reached out to
his regular collaborators,
including The
National band mates,
to provide
instrumentation remotely.
[soft dramatic music]
"Folklore" asserts
something that has been true
from the very start
of Swift's career.
Her biggest strength
is her storytelling,
but this time her sound
departed from pop maximalism
and synth-driven to an
alternative indie folk sound.
[soft dramatic music]
The stories told in
"Folklore" include a ghost
that discovers its
murderer at its funeral,
a young girl with a
traumatized friend,
an elderly widow shunned
by her community,
recovering alcoholics,
and a love triangle
between the fictional
characters, Betty, James,
and an unnamed woman, as
depicted in the tracks
"Cardigan," "Betty,"
and "August,"
with each of the
three songs written
from each of the
character's perspective
at different points
in their lives.
[soft dramatic music]
DIY techniques were used
to produce the album art,
packaging, and lyric
videos for "Folklore."
Due to COVID-19
issues, Swift worked
without a technical
crew on the visuals
with photographer
Beth Garrabrant.
The photo shoot marked a change
from Swift's older shoots,
where she would have
100 people on set
commanding alongside
other people
in a very committee fashion.
She styled herself, including
hair, makeup, and wardrobe,
and prescribed Garrabrant
a specific moodboard.
The black and white,
gray-scale filter on the photos
gives them their
distinguishing look.
[soft dramatic music]
Swift departs from the
technicolor carnival
of its predecessor, "Lover,"
and adopts a rustic,
nature-focused, cottage-core aesthetic
for "Folklore" that reflects
its lyrical ideas of escapism.
She opens the music video for
"Cardigan" by settling down
at an old piano an a
quaint cabin in the woods.
[soft dramatic music]
But I knew you
Dancing in your Levi's
Drunk under a streetlight, I
I knew you
Hand under my sweatshirt
Baby, kiss it better, I
And when I felt like
I was an old cardigan
Under someone's bed
You put me on and said
I was your favorite
[Narrator] The album
was instantly hailed
as Swift's magnum opus, met
with widespread critical acclaim
from critics and fans alike.
"Folklore" shows Swift
at her most vulnerable,
the emotional weight and
introspective songwriting
made it her most sophisticated
and subdued body of work.
[soft dramatic music]
She uses the eccentric
debutante, Rebekah Harkness,
who married into the
standard oil dynasty
and once lived in Swift's
Rhode Island house,
in her story in "The Last
Great American Dynasty"
to celebrate women who
have a marvelous time
ruining everything.
[soft dramatic music]
You're able to visualize the
song's events in your head
like a tale because it is rich
with historical information
and Americana imagery,
but it also makes a
powerful statement
about how society
views outspoken women.
[soft dramatic music]
At the conclusion, Swift
skillfully creates a distinction
between Harkness and herself.
[soft dramatic music]
The album has been
as the quintessential
lockdown album,
and felt like the
perfect accompaniment
for the weird
loneliness of 2020.
It is hailed as the
first great pandemic art.
"Folklore" and
its songs received
five Grammy-Award nominations
at the 63rd ceremony,
winning the Album of the Year.
Swift became the
first woman in history
to win Album of the Year thrice,
and the fourth artist overall,
tied with Frank Sinatra,
Stevie Wonder, and Paul Simon.
[soft dramatic music]
On December 10th, 2020, Swift
once again surprised her fans
with the announcement of
her ninth studio album
and "Folklore"'s sister
record, "Evermore."
She described "Evermore"
as an offshoot
of the Folklorian woods.
[gentle music]
Swift and Dessner continued
to collaborate virtually.
After the release of
"Folklore," he would give her
instrumental recordings, to
which she would add vocals.
[gentle music]
She stated the rave
reception of "Folklore"
encouraged her to experiment
further with its musical style.
"Evermore" was dubbed
"a weird avalanche,"
effecting from
"Folklore" by Dessner.
"Evermore" 's creation was
a more experimental process
than its predecessor was,
during which the duo did
not subject themselves
to any limitations.
[gentle music]
Much like "Folklore,"
on December 10th, 2020,
three days prior to
her 31st birthday,
Swift posted nine
photos on Instagram,
which together formed an image
depicting the singer's back,
with her hair in a braid,
and facing a forest.
Swift wrote, "You've all
been so caring, supportive,
and thoughtful on my birthdays,
and so this time I thought
I would give you something.
I also know this holiday season
will be a lonely
one for most of us,
and if there are any of you
out there who turn to music
to cope with missing
loved ones the way I do,
this is for you."
[gentle music]
Prior to the "Willow"
music video premiere,
Swift said she likens
"Evermore" to fall and winter,
in contrast to
its predecessor's, spring and summer.
The more that you
say, the less I know
Wherever you stray, I follow
I'm begging for
you to take my hand
Wreck my plans,
that's my man
You know that my train
could take you home
Anywhere else is hollow
I'm begging for
you to take my hand
Wreck my plans,
that's my man
The more that you
say, the less I know
Wherever you stray, I follow
Begging for you to take
my hand, wreck my plans
[gentle music]
[Narrator] "Evermore"
is a personal album
that has a strong foundation
in character studies,
narrative mythmaking,
and complex first-person storytelling
from third-person views.
It further explores the
fantastical universe that Swift
created with "Folklore," by
using fact and imagination.
[gentle music]
The escapist themes of
both albums are similar,
but "Evermore" is bolder,
unrestrained, frivolous,
and impressionistic, digging
deeply into Swift's concepts
of adult love and grief,
in contrast to "Folklore" 's
more introspective and
sentimental nature.
[gentle music]
It was at this point in Swift's
career that she was regarded
as the songwriter
of her generation.
These two albums were
and threw emphasis on
Swift's work ethic,
helping critics recognize
her musicianship,
now viewing her as
a dedicated singer
moving away from her pop
star image in the mid 2010s.
[gentle music]
Being a Taylor Swift
fan is hard work,
and she doesn't make it easy.
Ever since the beginning
of her music career,
the singer has constantly
left Easter eggs
within her work to
leave fans guessing.
Whether it be hidden
messages in lyric booklets
or teasing albums
months in advance,
Swift has been the queen of
teasing fans since day one.
"It's sort of a
tradition that we started
a very long time ago,"
Swift said to Jimmy Fallon
about the origins
of her Easter eggs.
"I think the first time
that I started dropping
sort of cryptic clues in my
music was when I was 14 or 15,
putting together
my first album."
[gentle music]
While Swift stopped
this tradition
during the "Reputation" era,
she had a habit of hiding
messages in her old work.
Specifically, she
would hide liner notes
in the lyrics of each of her
songs in her CD booklets.
From "Fearless" to "Red," all
of her lyrics were lowercase
and the message
could be deciphered
through the capitalized letters.
For "1989," she
did the opposite.
[gentle music]
During these eras,
Swift's dating life
was often much more
publicized than it is now.
The singer even used her
music to address her romances,
from hidden messages
to pointed lyrics.
Some of her references
were more obvious,
as the liner message
for "Should've Said No,"
just said the name
Sam repeatedly,
addressing a former boyfriend
who allegedly cheated on her.
Others were more subtle,
like the liner note
for "Last Kiss," being,
"Forever and always,"
a reference to a song
title from her former album
that is said to be
about Joe Jonas.
[gentle music]
As the "Reputation" album
kicked into full gear,
the music video for
her lead single,
"Look What You Made Me Do,"
was full of Easter eggs.
Since she wasn't doing
interviews during this era,
Swift said it was her
way of communicating
and staying connected
to her fans.
"Literally the whole video
is just an Easter egg,"
she said to
Entertainment Weekly.
"There are thousands
of Easter eggs.
There are some that people
still haven't found.
It will be decades before
people find them all."
[gentle music]
One of Swift's biggest
Easter eggs came in the form
of an Instagram post
in April of 2020,
when she shared a photo
of herself with a caption,
"Not a lot going
on at the moment."
Given that this was during
the height of the pandemic,
fans did not consider this
an Easter egg at the time.
Of course, once the singer
revealed she was releasing
her eighth studio album,
"Folklore," all became clear.
[gentle music]
As "Folklore" 's release
had fans scrambling
to figure out all
her Easter eggs,
one major one was
William Bowery,
who was credited on
two "Folklore" tracks
and is later credited
on three for "Evermore."
Swifties were quick to figure
out that William Bowery
was a pen name for Swift's
boyfriend Joe Alwyn,
as his great-grandfather's
name was William Alwyn,
and the Bowery Hotel was
where Swift and Alwyn
first hung out in 2016.
[gentle music]
Swift confirms William
Bowery's identity
in her Disney Plus
film, teasing that,
"William Bowery is
Joe, as we know."
[gentle music]
On February 11th,
2021, she announced
on "Good Morning America"
that the rerecording
of "Fearless," to which
she added the subtitle,
"Taylor's Version," was
the first in the series
of her rerecorded albums.
[gentle music]
She released an anagram-filled
video from the vault,
which referred to all
of her unreleased songs
from the album.
"The vault door is
about to be as unhinged
as you think I am after
you watch this video,"
she said on social media.
"Level: Expert.
Happy, decoding."
[gentle music]
Fans managed to decode
the titles of the six new
vault tracks and the name
of one of her collaborators,
Keith Urban, who is
featured on a song.
The vault tracks Swift
wrote when she was
in her teenage years and
intended to include in,
but ultimately left out of the
original "Fearless" release.
Swift said by including
these unreleased tracks,
which she absolutely adored
but were held back
for different reasons,
the rerecorded album
proved that the artist
is the only one who really
knows that body of work.
[gentle music]
The same arrangements and lyrics
are used as they were on
the original recordings,
which prompted numerous
critics to note
that a casual listener might
not know any differences,
but underlined
that the production
includes more
defined instruments,
a crisper mix, and
greater quality.
Journalists described
"Fearless [Taylor's Version]"
as a key event in
raising awareness
for artists' rights
in the music industry.
They considered that
Taylor's Version branding
an effective strategy
in mobilizing Swift fans
to consume the rerecorded
album over the original.
The album debuted at number
one on the Billboard 200 chart,
a return to the number one spot,
13 years after the
original release in 2008.
[gentle music]
[soft upbeat music]
On June 18th, 2021,
Swift revealed that
"Red [Taylor's Version]"
would be released on
November 19th, 2021
and would contain all 30 songs
that were meant to be
on the 2012 version.
She also teased the original
10-minute-long version
of the fan favorite
track, "All Too Well,"
which had been highly
requested by fans,
as part of the track listing.
[soft upbeat music]
On August 5th, Swift
posted a cryptic video
across her social media
teasing a word puzzle
for the fans to solve.
It's spelled out, "Chris
Stapleton," "Phoebe Bridgers,"
"Babe," "Better Man," and "All
Too Well 10 Minute Version."
[soft upbeat music]
Swift revealed a teaser for
"All Too Well: The Short Film."
The Teaser showed a vintage
car driving past a road
bounded by autumnal woods, and
it was written and directed
by Swift, starring herself,
Sadie Sink, and Dylan O'Brien.
This song has always been
hailed as Swift's magnum opus
by critics and fans.
The song details the
story of her breakup
with actor Jake Gyllenhaal.
[soft dramatic music]
Before "All Too Well" was cut
down to a 10-minute version
and then more to a final five
minute and 28 second version,
American songwriter, Liz Rose,
with whom Swift wrote the song,
believed it was probably
a 20-minute song.
Memories are the building
blocks of "All Too Well."
The song relies on specifics
of the rise and fall
of a romantic relationship
drawn from memory.
[soft dramatic music]
Apart from mentioning
more expository details,
"All Too Well [10
Minute Version]"
provides greater context
than the five-minute version.
Swift mentions the age
difference between her
and the subject several times,
and states how the subject
used it as an excuse
to terminate their relationship,
but continued to date
women of her age.
She recollects the
buildup and intensity
of falling in love and
acknowledges her naivety.
The track was met with
universal critical acclaim,
often hailed as the
standout track on "Red"
and a career
highlight for Swift.
Publications have
said the release
of "Red [Taylor's Version],"
"All Too Well [10
Minute Version],"
the accompanying short film,
and Swift's rerecording venture,
collectively is one of
the biggest newsmakers
in pop culture
moments of all time.
Keep my old scarf from
that very first week
'Cause it reminds
you of innocence and it smells like me
You can't get rid of it
'Cause you remember
it all too well, yeah
'Cause there we are
again when I loved you so
Back before you lost the one
real thing you've ever known
It was rare, I was there
I remember it all too well
[soft dramatic music]
At the 2022 MTV
Video Music Awards,
Swift received five
nominations for the short film,
winning three of them.
In her acceptance speech for
the Video of the Year award,
she announced a brand
new studio album
scheduled for release
on October 21st, 2022.
Soon after, the phrase,
"Meet me at midnight"
and a clock that was
ticking down to midnight
were added to Swift's
official website.
Some of Swift's tracks on
Spotify had their song canvases
changed to a picture of a clock.
[soft dramatic music]
At midnight, Swift posted
across her social media accounts
that her 10th studio album
would be titled "Midnights."
She described the
album as the stories
of 13 sleepless nights
scattered throughout her life.
[soft dramatic music]
Swift's official website
crashed due to heavy traffic
following the posts.
According to Swift, the
subject matter of "Midnights"
was inspired by five
major topics, self-hatred,
revenge fantasies, wondering
what might have been,
falling in love,
and falling apart.
[soft dramatic music]
When Swift's and Antonoff's
partners, Joe Alwyn,
and American actress Margaret
Qualley, respectively,
were filming in Panama for the
2022 romantic thriller movie,
"Stars at Noon,"
they decided to team up
to co-produce "Midnights."
[soft upbeat music]
Since "1989," Jack Antonoff
has worked with
Swift repeatedly.
Swift and Antonoff
collaborated in New York City.
While their co-stars shot,
the duo wrote 11 of the
album's 13 songs together.
Of the remaining two,
Swift wrote the track
"Vigilante Shit" alone
and "Sweet Nothing" with Alwyn,
who is credited with his
pseudonym, William Bowery.
[soft upbeat music]
In contrast to "Folklore"
and "Evermore"'s
indie and alternative
folk sound,
Swift set out to make an
experimental pop album,
extending her alternative
approach to synth pop sounds.
"Midnight" 's, distinctive
sound has been described
as maximalist minimalism, which
incorporates soft melodies,
emphasized beats, and
vintage synthesizers.
[soft upbeat music]
After experimenting
with fictional plot lines and characters
in "Folklore" and "Evermore,"
Swift makes a return to lyricism
that is primarily
autobiographical with this album.
The New Yorker said
"'Midnights' is a collage
of various emotions
during the spontaneous,
restless headspace
of nighttime thought,
with a distinctive
confessional, but cryptic tone.
The key topics include
feminism, insecurity, anxiety,
and self-criticism."
[soft upbeat music]
The lead single "Anti-Hero"
examines her mental insecurities
in depth, detailing the
things she hates about herself
and her struggle with not
feeling like a person.
Themes addressed include
ghosting acquaintances,
narcissism as altruism,
fears of relationships
being transactional,
and Swift's inability to
co-mingle with people,
normally due to her
celebrity status.
[soft upbeat music]
Upon the release of "Midnights,"
"Anti-Hero" earned
over 17.4 million plays
in its first 24 hours
on Spotify globally,
becoming the biggest
opening day for a song
in the platform's history.
'Cause you got
tired of my scheming
For the last time
It's me, hi, I'm
the problem, it's me
At tea time,
everybody agrees
I'll stare directly at the
sun but never in the mirror
It must be exhausting always
rooting for the anti-hero
[upbeat music]
"Midnights" is Swift's
most commercially successful
album to date.
It broke a string of sales,
streaming, digital, vinyl,
and official chart
records globally.
Billboard declared
it a blockbuster.
According to
Universal Music Group,
"Midnights" moved 3 million
global album equivalent units
in its first week, and over
6 million in two months.
It broke all-time
records on Spotify,
such as those for the most
streamed album in a single day,
with 186 million streams
in its opening day,
surpassing the previous
record of 155 million streams
by Drake's "Certified
Lover Boy."
[soft upbeat music]
She scored the most historic
week in the 64-year history
of the Billboard
Hot 100 Songs chart,
as she was the first artist
to claim the survey's
entire top 10 in a single frame.
Various publications dubbed
Swift as the Paramount pop star
of the 21st century,
wielding a commercial
and cultural dominance
surpassing those of
her contemporaries.
[soft upbeat music]
Swift had now
become unstoppable.
Her career has lasted longer
than that of The Beatles,
and even broke the band's once
deemed unbeatable records.
[soft upbeat music]
Critics lauded her ability
to remain culturally-relevant
and successful 18 years
into her music career,
writing that the Rolling
Stones, Bob Dylan, David Bowie,
and Bruce Springsteen were
past their prime at that age.
[soft upbeat music]
During her promotion of
"Midnights" on talk shows
such as "The Tonight Show
Starring Jimmy Fallon"
and the "Graham Norton
Show" in October, 2022.
Swift hinted at
an upcoming tour.
[soft upbeat music]
On November 1st, she announced
on "Good Morning America"
and through her
social media accounts
her sixth concert tour, The
Eras Tour, describing it
as a journey through the
musical eras of her career.
[soft upbeat music]
The initial US states
were so popular
that several politicians
and government officials
demanded the tour be brought
to their country or city.
[soft upbeat music]
Everyone knew getting
tickets for Taylor Swift's
The Eras Tour was going
to be a challenge,
but no one, especially
not Ticketmaster,
the platform responsible for
distributing said tickets,
seemed remotely aware of
just how messy the process
would turn out to be.
[soft dramatic music]
The Verified Fan program from
Ticketmaster enables users
to sign up in advance and have
access to presale tickets.
The highest registration
in the site's history,
over 3.5 million individuals
registered for the program
in advance of Swift's tour,
and roughly 1.5 million were
allowed access to the presale.
[soft dramatic music]
However, according
to Ticketmaster,
when the presale began
on November 15th, 2022,
bots and fans without invite
codes crowded the site,
causing it to crash repeatedly
and aggravating fans
to the point of rage.
Fans complained of
hours-long wait times
that resulted in
technical glitches
as well as presale phases that
were rescheduled or canceled.
[soft dramatic music]
On November 17th, 2022,
Ticketmaster announced
that the general sale
wouldn't open at all.
"Due to extraordinarily high
demands on ticketing systems
and insufficient
remaining ticket inventory
to meet that demand,
tomorrow's public on sale
for Taylor Swift: The Eras
Tour has been canceled,"
the company tweeted.
[soft dramatic music]
Soon after tickets became
available on Ticketmaster,
they went on sale all
over resale sites,
selling from $200
to over $22,000.
Even some of the few
who did initially get
to purchase tickets may have
paid more than they expected
because of a dynamic
pricing model.
On November 18th, 2022, Swift
took to Instagram stories
to address the controversy,
writing a long statement
that read, in part,
"There are a multitude
of reasons why people had
such a hard time
trying to get tickets,
and I'm trying to figure
out how this situation
can be improved moving forward."
[soft dramatic music]
On December 12th, 2022,
Ticketmaster began notifying
select fans, identified as
fans who received a boost
during the Verified Fan presale
but did not purchase tickets,
of a second
ticket-buying opportunity
to purchase a maximum
of two tickets per user
through Ticketstoday.
Ticketmaster sold
the first US leg's
remaining 170,000
tickets over four weeks.
However, amid all the drama,
the tour received rave reviews
from music and
entertainment critics
who praised both the
high-end spectacle
and polished
artistry of the tour.
[upbeat music]
Are you ready for it
I'm drunk in the
back of the car
And I cried like a baby
coming home from the bar
Said, I'm fine,
but it wasn't true
I love you, ain't that the
worst thing you ever heard
People would come up
to me and they'd be like,
"You're gonna just do a show
with all the albums in it?"
And I was like, "Yeah, it's
gonna be called The Eras Tour."
[soft dramatic music]
[Narrator] The versatility
of the show's, music, visuals,
and performance art was
often a point of praise
in its reviews.
Going through every era
of her musical career
creates a spectacle.
As Swift had released
four new studio albums
since her Reputation
Tour in 2018,
she thought this would
be a good way for fans
to be able to hear all
the different songs.
[soft dramatic music]
The Eras Tour broke ticket
sales records worldwide.
On the first day of
the US presale alone,
the tour sold over
2.4 million tickets,
the most sold by an
artist in a single day.
And on August 31st, 2023,
Swift announced
the concert film,
"Taylor Swift: The Eras
Tour," directed by Sam Wrench.
[soft dramatic music]
The Eras Tour had
a tremendous effect
on the entertainment world,
the music business, and more.
It was said to be one
of the most significant
21st century cultural phenomena,
attracting attention comparable
to Beatlemania in the 1960s.
The tour improved the local
economies of its stops
by boosting small
businesses and tourism,
drew sizable crowds of
fans outside stadiums,
dominated news cycles
and social media,
prompted government and
organization tributes,
and accelerated the public's
consumption of her discography.
Critics often
described The Eras Tour
as a monocultural event
demonstrating Swift's impact
on popular culture.
[soft dramatic music]
Swift is regarded as a
trailblazer of the 21st century
for her diverse music
ability, songwriting skill,
and business acumen,
all of which have served as
an inspiration to musicians,
entrepreneurs, and businessmen
all over the world.
[soft dramatic music]
She started out with country
music, migrated into pop,
and experimented with
alternative rock,
indie rock, and
electronic sounds,
erasing the lines
between musical genres.
Her unique mix of chart
success, critical praise,
and fervent fan devotion has
been characterized by critics
as a cultural quintessence,
allowing her to have
an enormous effect on the
music industry and beyond.
[soft dramatic music]
There really is no
stopping Taylor Swift.
Her career has had
its highs and lows,
but she's now untouchable
and unstoppable.
[soft dramatic music]
[soft upbeat music]