Ads are being blocked

For us to continue writing great stories, we need to display ads.

Un-block Learn more


Please select the extension that is blocking ads.

Ad Block Plus Ghostery uBlock Other Blockers

Please follow the steps below


Brooklyn Building Transforms Into a Huge Equalizer

Truly mesmerizing.


A sleek office building might not be the obvious setting for a Nine Inch Nails music video. But it works in a weirdly glorious way, as demonstrated in this short film by Paris-based director Supralude.

For his story of a Brooklyn tower lit up by pulsing, alien flashes, called "That Night in Williamsburg," the artist has chosen a contemplative, almost Philip Glassian tune from NIN's Ghosts project. Windows in the structure blaze with a peacock palette of colors, illuminating worker drones going about their duties in frenetic time lapse. What begins as a seemingly random light show soon develops form as the bass line kicks in: The entire facade of the building, as well as another building across the street, is functioning as an immense graphic equalizer synced to the music.

Supralude did not accomplish this effect by rushing through cube mazes, hitting light switches on and off, as impressive as that would've been. He hammered the video out over 20 days in his computer-graphics studio, using arcane methods like conjuring "rushes of flying dusts" melded into a flare effect. Says the director on his Vimeo page:

About the method, fortunately Trent Reznor (NIN) shared the GHOSTS multitracks for free remixes purpose. Mostly I achieved it manually (copy/paste keyframes of sound sequences, long work sweating under the headphones) and some of the sounds were enough precise to be detected and to synchronize actions automatically in after effects. Then Éric Cervera (Near Deaf Experience) made this remix, a real enhancement of the multitracks, richer, stronger, with a lot of new details, loops and sounds modifications.

If you must know more, try playing the film a couple thousand of times. Supralude says he'll release a detailed making-of video if "One Night" reaches "one million plays ; )."

TNIW [That Night In Williamsburg] from Supralude on Vimeo.

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.