Taylor Swift managed to capture the mood of her “Hunger Games” soundtrack tune “Safe & Sound” in the video, which premiered Monday (February 13) during “MTV First: Taylor Swift.” Co-starring the Civil Wars , the video’s chilliness encapsulates the sadness of the song, the lead single from the “Games” soundtrack .
The moody, emotional clip features Swift, walking barefoot through the woods, her hair and makeup noticeably undone, wearing a long, white gown. As she makes her way through the cloudy, damp forest, there’s destruction around her, as parts of the wooded area burn behind her (clearly an homage to the upcoming movie).
In between scenes of her meandering through the woods, singing the T-Bone Burnett-produced track , are shots of the Civil Wars, hanging out in a dark cabin, lit only by the fireplace, as they accompany Swift. As the song crescendos, Swift reaches the cabin, which has been abandoned, and finds the now-famous Mockingjay pin. As the video closes, a glimpse of the sun shines down on Swift as she continues her pilgrimage.
The video’s simple concept punctuates the quiet beauty of the sullen track, about the pains of life and love — certainly themes relevant to “The Hunger Games.”
In fact, the video location is as dreary as the song’s mood: It was shot at a cemetery. “It’s one of my favorite moments in the video; there’s this wide shot, where I’m just kind of crumpled up sitting on a gravestone, and it’s actually the gravesite of a couple who lived and died in 1853,” she recalled. “I’m sitting here thinking, ’What were their lives like?’ It’s really eerie, considering what the movie is about and how it deals with life and death. It just absolutely blew my mind.”
During “MTV First: Taylor Swift,” Swift sat down with MTV News’ Sway Calloway and opened up about the video and what it means to have the lead single from the “Hunger Games” soundtrack, which drops March 20, days before the highly anticipated movie opens on March 23. The film adaptation stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.
During the chat, Swift gushed about working with director Philip Andelman, despite the uncomfortable shooting conditions. “It was so cold. It was freezing. I was shaking the whole time and trying not to be shaking when the cameras were rolling. It was about 40 degrees in Nashville. It had just rained,” she said of the shoot, which also included a lot of barefoot walking in the mud. “I’m wearing this 1920s vintage nightgown that didn’t provide much warmth. I didn’t get sick. I thought I was going to get sick. That was the upside.”
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Stick with MTV News as we roll out more from our exclusive interview with Taylor Swift about her “Hunger Games” soundtrack song!