Brooklyn-based rock duo Brick + Mortar released a sick video this week for their single “Train.” Directed by Caitlin Smith, the video features Brittney Markert and John Hein, who deliciously reenact iconic scenes from 16 different films, including, but not limited to Annie Hall, American Beauty, Blue Valentine, Grease, Dirty Dancing. The list is too long to mention. You just need to watch.

Brick + Mortar, comprised of frontman Brandon Asraf (bass, vocals) and John Tacon (drums, samples, vocals) release this video just a week before releasing a new EP: “Dropped” out July 17th on Merovee Records. They will kick off their summer tour next Thursday at Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA. For a full list of dates head over to http://www.brmr.net/

We had a moment to chat with Brittany Markert—who we know as an artist/photographer and creator of “In Rooms,” a narrative photo project created with some old school darkroom chops—and she was kind enough to tell us about “Train,” and what it was like to act out so many iconic film scenarios.

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First of all, how did this project come about?Did you know the band at first? How did they contact you?

This project seemed to appear at my doorstep one afternoon. I had never met the band nor the director, Caitlin Smith. A mutual friend, cinematographer Kate Arizmendi, referred me to Smith. I was lucky. There were no auditions or meetings, I simply said yes! The challenge of portraying 16 different women from films I love immediately intrigued me, not too mention to portray them alongside easy-on-the-eyes, funnyman John Hein.


And what was filming like and how long did it take?

Filming this video was quite impressive! The team was incredible, relaxed and dedicated. We filmed all 16 looks in one weekend in various locations around Brooklyn. The several hours of time we had allotted for outdoor shooting was even interrupted by a rainstorm, but we made it all work

There are so many choice pieces in “Train.” Which one is your favorite?

There are several, but I am partial to It’s a Wonderful Life. Who doesn’t love an overly dramatic cry and being given a good shake! A vintage world silenced in black and white is a place I feel comfortable; it most closely resembles my own artwork and how I dress up in real life. I also had the most fun filming the Annie Hall scene.

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Were you intimidated at all playing all those iconic characters?

Yes, greatly intimidated, but having a wonderful team and male counterpart made everything easier. I’m not an actress by trade or study, but pursuing opportunities with acting and film work has been on my mind lately. I’ve been shy to push this desire out into the world and this was an exciting opportunity to have some fun, test out the waters and let go of the characters I’m so confined to play in my own artwork and life.


This video seems like it’s made by a film buff for a buffs. How did the director Caitlin Smith explain each scene to you? What was it like working with her? Was it collaborative at all?

Caitlin did an excellent job communicating her vision. References of all the original films were sent out prior to shoot date and accessible to us while filming, making our jobs much easier. During filming, she was incredibly calm and relaxed while making sure every detail turned out as she wanted.

Caitlin was also great to work with because she let everyone step up and do what they were best at. There was no budget for the shoot and we had limited time and resources so we all chipped in what we could to make her vision come to life. From styling, to coordinating, everyone participated and helped each other. In this sense it was collaborative, I provided clothing for several of the looks, did makeup and hair for a few, and offered up my room/set as a location for 4 of the looks. Caitlin created a warm and passionate environment in which we all wanted this video to turn out well.

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But wait, you don’t just appear in music videos. You’re an artist. Can you tell us what you’ve got going on in the art world right now?

No I don’t often find myself in music videos, actually ever usually, in fact I live “in rooms”! I’m a ghost. shhh. But I do identify with ‘artist’, for years I have understood myself as a visual and emotional storyteller. Photography and traditional darkroom printing has been my medium to explore human existence and carry my voice for the past several years (www.in-rooms.com). I follow a path with my heart wide open and collect experiences from those who desire to enter. I’ve surrendered my body, intellect and emotions into a character in my work (mostly self portraits)… and in some sense I suppose I’ve trained myself to act for others which I’ve been doing increasingly so over the last month.

My world currently consists of printing away in the darkroom. I was lucky to gain representation with an amazing dealer in Soho this year, who works with Joel Peter Witkin, Duane Michals and Roger Ballen to name a few. It has been a dream come true (still pinching myself) and we are working slowly and carefully to breath life into my project on walls and pages near all of you… Some of my work is currently up at Brandts Museum in Denmark

Aside from train, what are you listening to right now?

Although I wanna take the train with dreamy romantics all the time, Im currently listening to a lot of Tom Waits, Billie Holiday, Bach, Philip Glass and I’ve rediscovered my childhood favorites of Nine Inch Nails and Ace of Base to keep me up and running in the darkroom.

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