Videos

Watch a Locksmith Do His Work in New York's Smallest Free-Standing Building

"I wanna see a guy with an MBA in business, give him 125 square feet. He wouldn't be able to do it."

"125 square feet. I wanna see a guy with an MBA in business -- give him 125 square feet and say 'you gotta support three wives, two mistresses, and five kids' -- he'd be fucked, man, he wouldn't be able to do it."

Phil Mortillaro, a New Yorker born and raised, runs his locksmith business in Manhattan's smallest freestanding building: a small, cave-like room packed with hundreds of keys and related machinery. His passion, however, is welding sculptures from keys and other metal parts. The shop is his living and he gives his art away for free. This short documentary is part of an ongoing series from Moonshot Productions called New Yorkers. The producers discuss the ongoing project in an interview with the Atlantic Video channel here. Don't miss their profiles of a Shaolin warrior monk and an obsessive graffiti artist named Guess.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

  • Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore
    Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.