The Neistat Brothers, Casey Neistat (born in New London, Connecticut, on March 25, 1981) and Van Neistat (born Van Paul Moody in Augusta, Maine, on March 22, 1975), are filmmakers based in New York City. Their self-titled television show, The Neistat Brothers, debuted on HBO in 2010. The pair have created over two hundred films, including iPod's Dirty Secret, which focuses on Apple's policy on replacing iPod batteries, and Bike Thief, chronicling the ease with which they steal their own bicycle. Their films have been shown in film festivals, art museums and various institutions around the world.
In July 2008 HBO purchased a television series titled The Neistat Brothers. The eight episode series was created by Casey and Van Neistat, and Tom Scott. Written and directed by Casey and Van Neistat the show is autobiographical and told from 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.
iPod's Dirty Secret
They gained international fame in late 2003 for a three minute film titled iPod's Dirty Secret, criticising Apple's lack of a battery replacement program for the iPod. Their film received national media exposure and brought broad attention on Apple's policy towards iPod battery replacements.
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 Neistat 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.
The film was posted to the Internet on November 20, 2003 and within six weeks 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.
Apple officially announced a battery replacement policy on November 14, 2003 and also announced an extended iPod warranty program on November 21. The Washington Post incorrectly stated that both programs were announced "days after" the movie became public. 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.
The Neistat Brothers created Bike Thief, a film documenting their repeated success in stealing their own bike even when making their intentions obvious, free of intervention from passersby. The video got coverage on a local Fox morning show in which they were supposed to demonstrate how easy it was to steal a bike but instead played a prank on the host by pretending to accidentally amputate a finger. Her reaction gained coverage in press and on the Internet.
A June 2011 YouTube video, "Bike Lanes", exposes New York City's campaign against illegal cycling. Casey Neistat is ticketed for riding outside a bike lane. He is then filmed riding in Manhattan's bike lanes, which are congested with parked vehicles and other obstructions (including a police car), with which he collides. "Bike Lanes" was an Official Selection of the International Cycling Film Festival 2011.
- Official website. neistatbrothers.com
- New York Magazine review
- "Battery and Assault", The Washington Post, Hank Steuver, 20 December 2003.
- Kim, Arnold (November 14, 2003). "iPod Battery Replacement Details from Apple". MacRumors.com. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
- Kim, Arnold (November 21, 2003). "AppleCare for iPod". MacRumors.com. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
- Bike Thief on YouTube
- Matt Seaton, "Casey Neistat: bike lane warrior", The Guardian, 9 June 2011.