Casey Neistat is a filmmaker, entrepreneur, vlogger (unbelievably talented at that), and an influential American YouTube personality with a whopping 10.3 million subscribers (to date). He has made short films for Nike, produced a successful HBO show called “The Neistat Brothers” as well as an indie film called “Daddy Longlegs”.
Neistat’s life itself sounds like something straight out of a movie. Choosing to leave his childhood home at 17, he became a teen dad and dropped out of high school to raise his son with his then-girlfriend. For three years, he lived in a trailer park working as a dishwasher to make ends meet, but when his girlfriend left him, he decided to move to New York City. In NYC, he made movies non-stop. Neistat says of this time in his life, “I didn’t have any friends so I would just sit at home all night editing on my iMac…it was this sensation, this feeling I had that got me so excited that I wanted to pursue it for the rest of my life. That’s the love of the game.”
Neistat’s first gig was working with artist Tom Sachs, to make a series of films about the artist’s sculptures and installations. He says 2010 “marked the height of [his] success in the mainstream film universe”. His HBO show launched while his indie film, “Daddy Longlegs” premiered internationally in Cannes and won an Independent Spirit award at the U.S. Sundance festival. During his rise to fame, he had a “What am I doing?” moment or in his own words, a “Jesus” moment, where he comes to this realization that he’s not down to be this big-deal Hollywood producer-type character. The man just wanted a simple life; to tell stories.
He found that life on YouTube where he has posted daily vlogs as well as a wide range of films entailing the ticketing of NYC cyclists to Chatroulette. Neistat says of the platform during an IndieWire interview, “To succeed in a democracy, to succeed among a sea of anyone who wants to be there, I think is a higher mark than to maybe get a show on HBO, which is why I’m so proud of it and take such ownership in the title ‘YouTube filmmaker.’“
Biography & Image sourcesBiography: https://www.indiewire.com/2014/03/from-teen-welfare-dad-to-youtube-icon-casey-neistat-tells-sxsw-how-he-did-it-29103/ ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casey_Neistat
Banner image: Casey Neistat's Youtube Channel
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