Exclusive Premiere: The Bright Smoke, ‘Terrible Towns’ Video Trilogy
Based in Brooklyn, indie-rock duo the Bright Smoke recently released their sophomore studio effort, Terrible Towns, on May 5. Packed with 10 brand-new tracks from vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Mia Wilson and multi-instrumentalist Quincy Ledbetter, the new record is a beautifully eerie example of what music can sound like when it has no limitations.
Today (June 23), Diffuser is excited to partner with the Bright Smoke to push those limits even further with the premiere of three new, intricately-connected music videos, "City on an Island," "On Ten" and "Exit Door."
"When we thought about video concepts, we decided we wanted to do something more engaging than beautifully composed shots of us staring off into the distance, lip syncing our songs," Ledbetter -- who is not only one-half of the Bright Smoke, but also a self-taught filmmaker -- tells us. "I'm always itching to find a new way to tells stories and sort of mentioned that we could shoot a three-part short film and make each part a music video for our singles. We thought it would be cool to have each part focus on a different character, but those characters are connected in some way. The story gets pretty crazy, so you'll have to watch them all to see how they tie into each other."
He also tells us that the trilogy was created through his production company, The Bang Bang Theory. "We kept the budget very low. We relied instead on sheer grit and determination, very limited resources and a crew that consisted only of our spouses and the two other actors in the series," he explains. "We knew going in that it would be an overwhelming process. Putting ourselves in grueling uncomfortable situations is a thing that we seem to always be doing with this band, but in a way it's my favorite thing about being a part of it."
As the Bright Smoke continue celebrating Terrible Towns, we think it's safe to say that they've taken their already powerful music and elevated it to an astonishingly captivating new level with these latest visuals; the ardent zeal found in their music is on full-display throughout the Terrible Towns video trilogy.
But don't just take our word for it -- check out all three parts of the trilogy below:
'Terrible Towns' -- Part 1: "City on an Island"
"When I'm making a film, I'm always looking for something. I can't say what that something is, specifically, but once you get it there's nothing like it. While we were shooting the scene where Mia is out on the deck looking out to the street, a weird thing happened where she got into character and the space around her became inferior, which is exactly what her character had to be able to do. She did these very subtle movements where everything seemed to get out of her way. Mia doesn't give herself enough credit for her performance, but it was damn near flawless." -- Quincy Ledbetter
'Terrible Towns' -- Part 2: "On Ten"
"The tone of this video is very different from the others. The lead actress, Arianne Warner, is this character who is very over the top and she played it exactly how we wanted. What we didn't expect is how her performance would change the tone of the video from something that was, perhaps, a little too intense to something that towed the line between drama and comedy. It's a really funny video, but you don't miss out on the drama behind seeing this character fall apart at the seams." -- Quincy Ledbetter
'Terrible Towns' -- Part 3: "Exit Door"
"I was the most worried about how this video would turn out because I play the lead in it. I've acted in other projects before but this is the first time I had to be concerned with what I'm doing in front of the camera and what is happening behind the camera. I really like how it turned out. I tried some new things as far as lighting and execution, so it was exciting to take on those challenges.
Also, I cut my self very badly during the scene where I was shaving my head. (The dabs of blood on the tissues are real and there were many more of them.) I was also wearing shorts that were a few sizes too small for me for the entire day and into the night. I just feel the need to say that. I don't know why." -- Quincy Ledbetter