Before director Mark Romanek was helping Taylor Swift shake it off — and then perhaps, unwittingly helping fuel the hate, hate, hate, hate, hate of all those she’s singing about — he was making videos for the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Lenny Kravitz, David Bowie and more than one member of the Rolling Stones.
Swift said she’s wanted to work with Romanek for years because, in her opinion, he’s directed some of the most iconic videos in history. And it’s true, his resumé is an impressive one that includes Beck’s escape to New York in “Devil’s Haircut,” Jay Z’s black and white clip for “99 Problems, and Michael Jackson’s foray into space with “Scream,” still considered to be the most expensive video ever made by the Guinness Book of World Records. Though, Romanek has always refuted this claim.
Romanek has directed 43 videos, starting with the 1986 clip for The The’s “Sweet Bird of Truth.” But it didn’t take long before he was directing some of the biggest clips of the ’90s including Nine Inch Nails’ rather creepy, non-sequitur of an art film “Closer,” that featured beating hearts, miniature skeletons and a crucified capuchin monkey. Not to mention Trent Reznor being tied up in ways only 50 Shades of Grey fans will understand.
He’s been awarded with three GRAMMYs for Best Short Form Music Video — the most of any director — for Michael Jackson’s “Scream,” Janet Jackson’s “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” and Johnny Cash’s heartbreaking cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”