The Main Idea


Behind the Scenes: Only NY



Only NY is a New York City-based streetwear brand with a crystal clear mission: create quality goods in limited quantities inspired by the city, nature, fishing, skateboarding, graffiti, sports, art and photography.  Simply put; there is no brand that embodies the quintessential NYC lifestyle as well as Only NY.

We wanted to show their buzzing Harlem office, offering a look into the behind the scenes happenings of the brand.  The video begins with a visceral one-take look through a typical day at the uptown headquarters.  From there, we jump to their flagship retail location in the Lower East Side, where our goal was to establish the store as a hub of both retail and culture while simultaneously showcasing the vibrant energy of the L.E.S.  A loose day-in-the-life feel incorporating the activities and neighborhoods that inspire the core ideology of the brand was essential to maintaining authenticity. The video wraps up with a beautiful golden hour beer with the Only NY squad on their uptown rooftop.



During the tail-end of summer 2016, we spent two days working alongside the Only NY team with the goal of creating a brand anthem that would ring true for years to come.  With that in mind, we took a deep look at the core elements of the brand, and built production plans around capturing Only’s unique “inner-city outdoors” aesthetic.  Our producer Ben has known the Only team for a few years, so jumping off of his knowledge was essential before and during the production of this video. 

Day one of the shoot was spent in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the location of the brand’s first and only flagship retail location - 176 Stanton.  Gathering a crew composed of Only NY family to skate, play basketball & soccer, and show love at the store allowed us to effectively build off Only’s “Stanton Street Sports” sub-brand while underlining the cultural importance of the store.

Our second day with the team was spent on the west side of Harlem which has been the home of Only NY headquarters since the brand’s early days. A focus on office life, as well as heavy NYC-focused b-roll was the goal for the second day. We were able to show off Only’s office culture with the one-take of their space mentioned above. From there, quickly transitioning to golden-hour b-roll of the surrounding neighborhood and the Hudson River waterfront allowed us to capture much of the footage that was essential in contextualizing Only in their unmistakable brand identity.


Production noteS

Given the fluid nature of the shoot we worked primarily with natural light for all of the NYC b-roll. One benefit of shooting in a city is that even during high noon, you can usually find a spot of shade to put your subject in. In addition to that, the light reflecting off of buildings can create some really beautiful and unexpected light. Day one was spent running around the LES with the camera on and off the gimbal.

On day two, we had a small amount of time scheduled to light and block out the one-take at the Harlem HQ. We augmented the natural light in the office with a tungsten 2k and 650, as well as a 4x4 kino. The latter two were hung overhead and shot through a 6x6 half grid towards the end of the shot to bring up the light levels while still feeling natural to the space. We also placed a couple of flags and nets throughout the space to help shape and cut down some of the existing light.

Camera: RED Scarlet Dragon
Lenses: Zeiss Contax



Director: Joey Szela
DP: Galin Foley
Producer: Ben Weigher
Skateboard Cam Op/1st AC: Andrew Percival
Edited by: Joey Szela
Color: Galin Foley
Sound Design: Andrew Percival

Joseph Szela