Casey Neistat

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Casey Neistat
Filmmaker casey neistat 2012.jpg
Neistat in Egypt, 2012
Born Casey Owen Neistat
(1981-03-25) March 25, 1981 (age 33)
New London, Connecticut, US
Occupation Director, Producer
Website
caseyneistat.com

Casey Owen Neistat (born March 25, 1981) is an American film director, producer and creator of popular YouTube videos since 2010. He is also the creator of the HBO series The Neistat Brothers.[1]

He worked with his brother Van under the professional name The Neistat Brothers from 2001 until 2009.

Early life[edit]

Neistat was born and raised in New London, Connecticut.[2] He dropped out[3] of Ledyard High School in the 10th grade at age 15 and did not return to school or graduate. At age 17 Neistat had a son, Owen. From age 17 until 20 he lived in a trailer park with his son and son's mother, it was during this time Neistat was on welfare, a detail cited by Neistat when delivering his own biography.

In 2001 Neistat moved to New York City.

Early career[edit]

Prior to moving to New York City Neistat worked as a dishwasher[4] and short order cook in Mystic, Connecticut. His first job in New York City was as a bike messenger.

Tom Sachs Films[edit]

In mid-2001 Neistat and his brother Van began working with the artist Tom Sachs, ultimately making a series of films[5] about the artist's sculptures and installations. This was the earliest work done by the brothers as a collective.

iPod's Dirty Secret[edit]

Neistat first gained international fame in 2003 for a three-minute film titled iPod's Dirty Secret, criticizing Apple's lack of a battery replacement program for the iPod. The film received national media exposure and brought broad attention on Apple's policy towards iPod battery replacements.[6]

The video clip begins with a phone call to the Apple Support 800 number, and a conversation between Casey Neistat and an operator named Ryan. Casey explains that after 18 months of use his iPod battery is dead. Ryan suggests that for the cost of labor and shipping to replace the battery Casey is better off buying a new iPod. To the music of NWA's rap song "Express Yourself" the brothers begin a "public service announcement" campaign to inform consumers about the batteries. Using a stenciled sign reading "iPod's Unreplaceable Battery Lasts Only 18 Months", they spray paint the warning over iPod advertisement posters on the streets of Manhattan.

Reaction[edit]

The film was posted to the Internet on November 20, 2003 and within six days was viewed over a million times. The film quickly attracted media attention and the controversy was covered worldwide by over 130 sources including The Washington Post, Rolling Stone Magazine, Fox News, CBS News, and BBC News. The film was praised as "wonderfully renegade" by the Washington Post.[7]

Apple officially announced a battery replacement policy on November 14, 2003[8] and also announced an extended iPod warranty program on November 21.[9] The Washington Post incorrectly stated that both programs were announced "days after" the movie became public.[7] Fox News set the date of the policy change at "two weeks" after the posting of the clip and Neil Cavuto called it a "David and Goliath story" on Fox News Your World. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Sequeira denied any connection between the film and the new policy, stating the policy revision had been in the works for months before the film was released.[7]

Science Experiments[edit]

In 2004 Neistat and his brother created a film series titled Science Experiments. The 15 minute series featured a number of short films documenting various experiments. The series was included in the 26th Sao Paulo Biennial[10] in São Paulo Brazil. The work was popular and was eventually featured in Creative Time's 59th Minute program showing a one-minute excerpt from Neistat's film every 59 minutes on the Panasonic Time Square Astrovision.[11]

Television and Film[edit]

HBO[edit]

In July 2008 Home Box Office HBO purchased an eight episode television series entitled The Neistat Brothers.[12] The series was created by Casey Neistat, Van Neistat and Tom Scott. Independent film producer Christine Vachon served as consulting producer. Written and directed by Casey and Van, the show is autobiographical and told in the first person. Each of the eight episodes is made up of short stories about the brothers' lives. The show premiered June 4, 2010 at midnight on HBO.

Critical Response[edit]

The show reviews were generally positive. The Hollywood Reporter[13] said 'the Neistat Brothers are to film what Dr. Seuss is to literature'.[13] Hank Stuever of the Washington post noted 'the Neistats exhibit an enthusiasm for life that you can't help but love'.[14] The show was not without detractors. The blog The Zeitgeisty Report called the show 'A cutesy, hipster-y, pretentious mess'[15] and went on to suggest it was "the most irritating show in HBO’s history."[15]

The Pleasure of Being Robbed[edit]

Casey Neistat served as Executive Producer on the 2008 film The Pleasure of Being Robbed.[16] The film premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival[17]

Daddy Longlegs[edit]

Neistat along with Tom Scott was the producer of Josh and Benny Safdie's second feature film, which premiered at Cannes under an alternate title Go Get Some Rosemary in 2009. Film critic A.O. Scott praised its "loose, intimate shooting-style," and the film's star Ronald Bronstein's performance. He called it a "lovely, hair-raising film".[18] Neistat and Scott alongside director's Josh and Benny Safdie won the Cassavetes Award at the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards for the film, under its American title: Daddy Long Legs[19]

Internet videos[edit]

Neistat has released 82 short movies on YouTube since the account was opened on February 15, 2010. The subject matter of the movies varies greatly and most feature Neistat.

Free $2 Bill Stickers[edit]

Casey Neistat made a video on February 14, 2012 that is almost 3 minutes long. Casey talks about how he made "a bunch of $2 bill stickers" and that he will give them away free to anyone who sends him a self-addressed stamped envelope to his address and he would send you stickers back. It also shows him in New York City putting them on various objects around the city.

Chatroulette[edit]

On February 23, 2010 Neistat released a 5-minute movie about the internet site Chatroulette on Vimeo. The film was described as a 6-minute video that explains what the Chatroulette site is, how it works, and why people use it.[20] Various experiments are conducted in the video with the findings presented in stop frame animations. One experiment found that people on Chatroulette are much more likely to talk to a woman. While 95% "nexted" Neistat, his female friend Genevieve was clicked away by only 5%.[21]

Subway emergency brakes[edit]

In 2010 Neistat made a video about when, and when not, to use the emergency brake cord on train cars in the New York City Subway.[22] According to the video, one should only use the emergency brake when the motion of the train poses an imminent threat to life or limb.[22][23]

Bike lanes[edit]

In 2011 Neistat made a video critical of the New York City Police Department's ticketing of cyclists for riding outside of the marked bike lanes. In the video Neistat films an encounter with an officer wherein he receives a $50 summons for not riding within the marked lanes. Neistat then proceeds to comically ride his bike in the lane crashing into various obstructions to highlight his argument that the lanes are not always the safest place for cyclists to ride. Described in a June 24, 2011 article in the New York Times: "He [Neistat] followed the officer’s order to the letter, keeping to the bike lane even when the way was blocked. And he had a friend record his painful-looking pratfalls as he crashed into obstructions, including a moving truck and a police cruiser, like a modern-day Buster Keaton."[24] The Guardian stated:

The video quickly went viral 'within 24 hours, has [the Bike Lanes video] gone beyond viral and is getting him huge mainstream media attention.

The Guardian

[25]

In response, New York Magazine called Neistat a "Bike-Lane Vigilante"[26] and the film was covered by most main stream media outlets.[27] Additionally, TIME named Bike Lanes number 8 on their Top 10 Creative Videos of 2011 list.[28]

Neistat's grandmother[edit]

Louise Neistat, Casey Neistat's grandmother, was a tap dancer and one of the Radio City Music Hall's Rockettes. On October 31, 2011 Casey Neistat posted a 4 minute short film on YouTube about her. The video opens with Casey asking his grandmother how many more years she thinks she will put on her annual tap dance show then inter-cuts various press clippings from her accomplished life with footage from her most recent tap dance show, the focus of her accomplishments being the money her tap dancing has raised for cancer research-related charities.[29] The video was tweeted by YouTube's official Twitter handle and appeared on numerous news and viral video websites including the Huffington Post.[30] 22 days after the video was released Louise Neistat died[31] of natural causes; Casey wrote her obituary and delivered the eulogy.

Make It Count[edit]

Make It Count is a Nike, Inc video written, directed and starring Casey Neistat. The video begins with scrolling text that reads;

"Nike asked me to make a movie about what it means to #makeitcount Instead of making their movie I spent the entire budget traveling around the world with my friend Max. We'd keep going until the money ran out. It took 10 days."

The video then begins in earnest with Neistat and his collaborator Max Joseph traveling to the airport. Fast editing of their travels with interludes of inspirational quotes make up the film ultimately ending with Neistat returning to New York City where the story began. On April 8, 2012 Nike launched the video on their official YouTube page titled MAKE IT COUNT. The next day Neistat launched the video on his official YouTube. Neistat's posting went viral, as within the first 5 days the film had been viewed over 3 million times.[citation needed]

Response was generally positive with Mashable's Zoe Fox suggesting it was "The Best Branding Story Ever Told".[32] A number of main stream outlets referred to Neistat's production of the film as 'going rogue' including CNNGo,[33] Fast Company[34] and CondeNaste Traveler.[35] The commercial was derided by many as being pretentious and self-serving, while at the same time obliquely fulfilling the original intent of promoting the Nike brand. The going rogue back story helped fuel the viral film. When asked in interviews Neistat explained the film's concept was originally to show how everyday people make it count and at the last minute, without the company's knowledge, he decided instead on the concept executed in Make It Count. Neistat also says he maintains a good working relationship with the company and that they were pleased with the film after some explaining. As of 2013, Make It Count is Neistat's most watched internet short.

Snapchat Stories[edit]

Neistat has also begun to use Snapchat to capture moments of his life and add them to his "story". He then adds these stories to a secondary Youtube account titled Casey Neistat's Snap Stories. Videos for this are roughly made on a daily basis, with some days having multiple videos and other days none at all. There is no main theme to these as they showcase all different parts of his life or whatever he is doing that day.

Advertising[edit]

In addition to his successful career in television and film Neistat also directs television commercials having worked with clients such as Nike, Inc and Google.

Public Speaking[edit]

Neistat has lectured on topics related to filmmaking and his life experiences.

SCAEA South Carolina Arts Education Association

On October 15, 2010 Neistat spoke at the South Carolina Arts Education Association Fall Conference.[36] He was the events Special Feature Media Artist.

MoMA/AIGA Lecture

On February 3, 2011 Neistat Lectured in the Celeste Bartos Theater at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (MoMA). The lecture was described as 'Casey Neistat will show and tell you how he taught himself everything from design to filmmaking since he dropped out of high school. His tools are simple; a camera, a marker, paper and scissors and anything that surrounds him, which he incorporates into stories on topics such as the subway's emergency brake and Facebook's privacy settings. '[3]

Tickets for the event were $40 and it was sold out. Neistat concluded his lecture by inviting Q and A participants onto the stage to choose a gift from his large cardboard box labeled Party Favors,[37] gifts included an iPad, fake Rolex and cases of beer.

The Nantucket Project

Neistat spoke at The Nantucket Project on October 2, 2011. Described as an event experience that brings together a select group of eminent and accomplished visionaries, thinkers, innovators and performers to one of the most storied places in the United States.[38] Neistat spoke for a predetermined 20 minutes along with presenters such as politician Rahm Emanuel, American Businessman Eddie Lampert, former United States Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers, Google Executive Charman Eric Schmidt and stage director Julie Taymor. Neistat's lecture was described as a 'witty explanation of how he chooses his topics and his methods of production gave hope to every potential filmmaker, at any income level'.[39]

TEDx Parker School

Neistat spoke at the TEDx Parker School in Chicago, IL on March 24, 2012. The events theme was The Eye Opening Experience.

Personal life[edit]

On February 18, 2013 Neistat became engaged to his long term on and off girlfriend Candice who is featured in many of his films. On December 29, 2013,[40] Candice and Casey were married in Cape Town, South Africa.

Casey is also a seasoned triathlete, having completed 4 full Ironman triathlons, with the best timing of 11 hours and 10 minutes. Neistat continues to participate in various competitions with his son, Owen. He rides a Cannondale; this bike is often credited to be one of the fastest in its category[citation needed].

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Neistat Brothers (2010– ) TV Series IMDB
  2. ^ Hartford Courant, June 11, 2010
  3. ^ a b MoMA/AIGA Announcement February 3, 2011
  4. ^ New London Day June 4, 2010
  5. ^ New York Times article referencing Tom Sachs films by the Neistat Brothers
  6. ^ New York Magazine review
  7. ^ a b c "Battery and Assault", The Washington Post, Hank Steuver, 20 December 2003.
  8. ^ Kim, Arnold (November 14, 2003). "iPod Battery Replacement Details from Apple". MacRumors.com. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  9. ^ Kim, Arnold (November 21, 2003). "AppleCare for iPod". MacRumors.com. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  10. ^ 26th São Paulo Biennial List of artists
  11. ^ New York Press The 59th Minute
  12. ^ Variety Announcement
  13. ^ a b The Hollywood Reporter Neistat Brothers on HBO Review
  14. ^ The Washington Post Neistat Brothers on HBO Review
  15. ^ a b Zeitgeisty Report Neistat Brothers on HBO Review
  16. ^ The Pleasure of Being Robbed on IMDB
  17. ^ The Pleasure of Being Robbed on Film Filia
  18. ^ Scott, A.O. "A Father Who Needs Some Supervision" New York Times, May 14, 2010
  19. ^ Nominees February 28, 2011
  20. ^ Chatroullete in Business Insider March 17, 2010
  21. ^ Chatroulette Movie in The Guardian
  22. ^ a b Weiner, David (January 29, 2010). "When To Pull The Subway Emergency Brake? Casey Neistat Breaks It Down". The Huffington Post. 
  23. ^ See also MTA Customer Safety and Grynbaum, Michael M. (January 19, 2010). "‘Emergency Brake’ Confuses Many on Subway". New York Times. 
  24. ^ The New York Times June 24, 2011
  25. ^ The Guardian June 9, 2011
  26. ^ New York Magazine June 9, 2011
  27. ^ Associated Press Interview on Bike Lanes via The Washington Post June 10, 2011
  28. ^ TIME's Top 10 Creative Videos of 2011 Bike Lanes
  29. ^ November 2, 2011 Yahoo News Canada, Louise Neistat
  30. ^ November 2, 2011 Huffington Post feature, 92 Year Old Tap Dancer
  31. ^ November 23, 2011 New London Day, Louise Neistat Obituary
  32. ^ Mashable, April 12, 2012
  33. ^ CNNGo, April 12, 2012
  34. ^ Fast Company, April 12, 2012
  35. ^ CondeNaste Traveler, April 11, 2012
  36. ^ South Carolina Arts Education Association Fall Conference Program pdf
  37. ^ MoMA/AIGA Lecture photos February 3, 2011
  38. ^ The Nantucket Project Official Website
  39. ^ Art Info on The Nantucket Project
  40. ^ "Instagram picture of engagement ring". 

External links[edit]