Taylor Swift’s new video features the singer bathing in a tub with $10 million of diamonds
These singers put their money where their mouth is.
Taylor Swift’s reputation has just undergone a monumental shift with the release of her new single “Look What You Made Me Do.” The former country-turned-pop singer has shifted her persona yet again, from America’s serial dating sweetheart to a serious badass. And she’s sparing no expense in the transformation.
Swift’s new music video shows her bathing in a tub full of Neil Lane diamonds, worth more than $10 million, estimates the New York Post. The jewels were reportedly loaned to the star for the shoot, accompanied by their very own security team—making this one of the most expensive music videos ever made.
Chris Clavadetscher, executive producer at Black Dog Films, the music content division of Ridley Scott’s Scott Free/RSA films, tells Moneyish, “Video is the best way for a fan to relate to and idolize their favorite artist. Madonna and Michael Jackson set the standard for this in the 80s and 90s, and artists like Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift really benefit from making music videos.”
Here are four more of the priciest music videos out there:
Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, “Scream”
The cost of this music video featuring the iconic dynamic sibling duo topped $7 million in May 1995 — the equivalent of $11 million today. The futuristic black and white film directed by Mark Romanek is said to have cost so much because of the five-week deadline in which the video was made. In an interview with Slash Film, Romanek said, “The song brought to mind these sounds of explosions and stuff in the beginning sounded like spaceship engines igniting—so we had to build huge sets and do all these huge effects.”
Madonna, “Express Yourself”
The queen of pop is no stranger to spending a pretty penny on music videos. This May 1989 short directed by David Fincher was based on the 1927 film Metropolis and a large portion of the then $5 million budget went to pay Fincher’s salary.
Guns N’ Roses, “Estranged”
This 9.5 minute video made in 1993 by Propaganda Films is the third part of an unofficial series based on a story by Axl Rose’s friend Del James. The video is rumored to have cost $4 million, though director Mark Romanek suggested it actually hit the $9 million mark. Dolphins, an oil tanker and Slash emerging from the ocean like Venus on the half-shell are among the special effects that made the video so costly.
Gwen Stefani, “Make Me Like You”
The Sophie Muller-directed video was created during Stefani’s live performance at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Multiple sets, costume changes and creative camerawork added up to create the approximate $4 million cost of creating something in real-time. According to Clavadetscher, the biggest change to the industry has been the budgets creatives have to work with. “We are all suffering the effects of the MP3 world where nobody buys music anymore,” he says.
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