Casey Neistat is a film maker and general good guy based out of NYC. He grew up in neighbouring CT, but now embodies everything that’s great about New York and New Yorkers. He has a studio on Broadway that is a place of unsullied wonder, and it looks much more like a primary school woodwork classroom than a film studio.
He has a brother, Van, who does similar work (he did the ‘Ten bullets‘ video for Tom Sachs, as well as numerous others) but Casey is still my favourite. They had a show together on HBO before Lena Dunham had even picked up a camera, called ‘The Neistat Brothers.’
I first found out about Casey after watching ‘The Peanut Butter Solution” it was his honest, hands-on approach that endeared me to him. I then spent the afternoon on youtube watching everything he’d ever put out. The word ‘Film-maker’ has a kind of gravitas to it, because to become what most people would consider a ‘film-maker’ you need big budgets and expensive equipment and planning and producers, and I am still to this day unsure of what exactly it is an ‘executive producer’ does. Then there’s this guy, he uses only off-the-shelf cameras, (well within my price range) and builds his own rigs, and when his lens hood breaks, he sticks a Smuckers lid on there like it’s no big thing; this is the kind of accessible and inspiring film-making that is possible now. Watching a Casey Neistat video it’s almost as if he’s putting the camera in your hand and challenging you to make something just as cool.
When Nike hired him to do a puff piece on their Fuelband project, he took the entire budget and he did this
When he received a ticket for riding outside the NYC Bike Lanes even though they are unsafe and often obstructed, he did this
When Mayor Bloomberg introduced a proposed bill against the sale of large sodas, New Yorkers were angry and confused by a 67 page red-tape document, so he did this