Neistat at the SXSW Music Festival in March 2017
|Born||Casey Owen Neistat|
March 25, 1981
Gales Ferry, Connecticut, U.S.
|Partner(s)||Robin Harris (1998–2001)|
Casey Owen Neistat (//; born March 25, 1981) is an American YouTube personality, filmmaker, vlogger, actor and co-founder of the multimedia company Beme, which was later acquired by CNN. In 2018, he founded 368, a creative space for creators to collaborate and influence each other.
Early life and education
Casey Neistat was born in Gales Ferry, Connecticut. He was brought up in Reform Judaism. He dropped out of high school during his sophomore year at the age of 17. He eventually left his family and had a son named Owen, at age 17, with his then-girlfriend Robin Harris, in 1998. Between the age of 17 and 20 (from 1998 to 2001), he lived in a trailer park with Harris and Owen. It was during this time that Neistat decided to move to New York City.
Early filmmaking career
Work with Tom Sachs
iPod's Dirty Secret
Neistat first gained international exposure in 2003 for a three-minute film titled iPod's Dirty Secret, criticizing Apple for not having a battery replacement program for their iPod line of portable media players. The film received national media attention and brought broad attention to the company's policy towards iPod battery replacements. The film was posted to the Internet on September 20, 2003, and quickly attracted media attention. The film was praised as "wonderfully renegade" by the Washington Post.
Apple announced a battery replacement policy on November 14, 2003, and also announced an extended iPod warranty program on November 21. 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.
In 2004, Neistat and his brother produced 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 São Paulo Biennial 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 Times Square Astrovision.
The Neistat Brothers
In July 2008, HBO purchased an eight-episode television series, The Neistat Brothers, for just under $2 million. The series was produced by Casey and 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.
On February 17, 2010, Neistat uploaded a video about when to use the emergency brake cord on train cars in the New York City Subway. Neistat criticised the way that the MTA did not make it clear when the emergency brake cord should be pulled. According to the video, one should only use the emergency brake system when the motion of the train poses an imminent threat to life or limb.
On February 23, 2010, Neistat released a six-minute film on Vimeo about the Internet site Chatroulette. It explains what the Chatroulette site is, how it works, and why people use it. 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%.
On June 7, 2011, Neistat criticized New York City Police Department's ticketing of cyclists in New York City for riding outside of the marked bike lanes. In a video titled "Bike Lanes", Neistat encounters an officer and receives a $50 ticket for not riding within the lanes. Neistat then proceeds to comically ride his bike in the lane crashing into various obstructions, supporting the argument that lanes aren't the safest at all times and are even sometimes unusable. In response, New York Magazine called Neistat a "Bike-Lane Vigilante" and the film was covered by most mainstream media outlets. Additionally, Time named "Bike Lanes" number 8 on their Top 10 Creative Videos of 2011 list.
Neistat started to post daily vlogs on YouTube on March 26, 2015. Neistat has stated that he sees his vlogs more as a forum as opposed to a daily journal. On January 19, 2016 Neistat posted his 300th vlog., although between November 2016 and March 2017 Neistat stopped making vlogs to focus more on short-films.
As of July 13, 2018, Neistat has released 936 vlogs including other films on his YouTube channel since its creation on February 15, 2010. On August 23, 2015, Neistat reached 1 million subscribers which increased to 4 million by August 2016. As of May 9, 2020, his channel has received 12 million subscribers.
In addition to his career in television and film, Neistat also directs and stars in television commercials, having worked with clients such as Samsung, Nike, Google, Finn Jewelry, J.Crew, and Mercedes-Benz.
Make It Count
Make It Count is a video written, directed, and starring Neistat, for Nike. 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 three days the film garnered over one and a half million views. By July 24, 2019 the video had 29,397,929 views.
Mashable's Zoe Fox commented that it was "The Best Branding Story Ever Told". A number of mainstream outlets referred to Neistat's production of the film as 'going rogue' including CNNGo, Fast Company and Conde Nast Traveler.
In a July 8, 2015 vlog, Neistat announced that he had been working with Matt Hackett on building a video sharing app called Beme. Designed as an alternative to highly edited content found in social media, the app enabled users to produce unedited four-second videos, which were immediately uploaded and shared with the user's subscribers, without the ability to review the video. Users could respond to shared content by sending "reactions", photographs of themselves, back to the video uploader.
Beme released the first version of the app on July 17, 2015. Shortly after the launch, BuzzFeed described Beme's minimalist design as "deceptively simple and decidedly weird." The New York Times explained that Beme's user experience was "as if the phone becomes a stand-in for one's body, the camera facing outward to capture what the user is experiencing." Within eight days of the app's release, Beme users had shared 1.1 million videos and logged 2.4 million reactions.
On November 28, 2016, CNN announced that it would acquire the Beme company, reportedly for US$25 million. At the same time, Hackett announced that the Beme app would be shutting down on January 31, 2017, saying: "Beme as a single product failed. Beme as a vision for the kind of technology and media that must be built is just getting started."
On April 5, 2018, Neistat announced a new project: 368 (named after the address of Neistat's studio at the time, 368 Broadway, New York), a creative space for creators to collaborate. On April 12 of that year, Patreon CEO Jack Conte announced a potential collaboration with Neistat on the project.
On May 4, 2018, the first episode of Neistat's podcast Couples Therapy was released. On Couples Therapy, Neistat and his wife Candice Pool discuss the up and downs of their marriage, friendship, parenting, and lives in the YouTube spotlight.
Neistat has lectured on topics related to filmmaking and his life experiences including giving public lectures, speaking at The Nantucket Project, and giving a TEDx talk at TEDxParkerSchool.
In 2005, Neistat eloped with Candice Pool in Houston, Texas. This marriage lasted about a month and ended with an annulment. He later reconciled with Pool and got engaged to her on February 18, 2013. On December 29, 2013, Neistat and Pool were married in a Jewish wedding service in Cape Town, South Africa. They have two daughters, Francine and Georgie. He puts his religion simply, "we're Jewish..."
His grandmother Louise Neistat (born Louise Celice Grossman) was a tap dancer and one of the Radio City Music Hall's Rockettes during World War II. In 2004, he directed a video in which his grandmother made the "world's greatest french toast", and delivered it to his son, Owen. On October 31, 2011, Neistat posted a four-minute short film on YouTube about his grandmother. The video opens with him 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 being the money her tap dancing has raised for cancer research-related charities. The video was tweeted by YouTube's official Twitter handle and appeared on numerous news and viral video websites including the Huffington Post. 22 days after the video was posted, Louise died of natural causes at the age of 92; Neistat wrote her obituary and delivered the eulogy.
On May 10, 2019, Neistat announced that he would be leaving New York City and moving to Los Angeles to be with his family, in a video titled, "i'M Leaving NYC Forever..".
On June 4, 2020, Neistat posted a video with the title "What Black Lives Matter Protests are really about", in which he explained his feelings on the Black Lives Matter movement and recent police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. He stated that he is actively involved in the protest.
On October 11, 2016, Neistat released a video titled "who im voting for president", in which he claimed people having different opinions is "the nature of a healthy democracy, ... but this is not that" claiming the 2016 United States presidential election was different and that the "election had very little to do with politics, policy or legislation". Neistat received criticism for the video because he claimed creators that did not endorse Hillary Clinton were "complicit" with Trump's "lying, racist, misogynist(ic)" attributes and were "partially responsible for handing him (Donald Trump) reins of power".
On September 27, 2019, Neistat acknowledged that he should've taken a more "effective" route to make to the video as he was "too upset, angry and emotional" when it was made. He also said the video lacked "diplomacy" and that he still feels the same way about the president.
|2008||The Pleasure of Being Robbed||No||Executive||No||No|||
|2010||The Neistat Brothers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Himself|||
|2011||Alter Egos||No||No||Yes||No||1 episode|
|2018||The Untitled Action Bronson Show||No||No||No||Yes||Himself||1 episode|
Awards and nominations
|2010||Independent Spirit Awards||John Cassavetes Award||Won||with Tom Scott|
|2016||Shorty Awards||YouTuber of the Year||Won|||
|GQ Men of the Year||New Media Star||Won|||
|Streamy Awards||Entertainer of the Year||Won|
|Best First-Person Series||Won|
|2017||Streamy Awards||Creator of the Year||Nominated|
|2018||Streamy Awards||Creator of the Year||Nominated|||
|Podcast||Nominated||Couples therapy with Candice and Casey|
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In the announcement, he says the facility is called 368, after the 368 Broadway address, but it’s actually next door at 370 Broadway, on the ground floor and two lower levels. (Neistat’s office is still at 368.)
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