Filmmaking for the modern world: Meet Casey Neistat

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Filmmaking for the modern world: Meet Casey Neistat

Casey during his Mercedes-Benz CLA commercial shoot in the Bonneville salt flats. (Screenshot from Neistat’s YouTube Channel).

Casey during his Mercedes-Benz CLA commercial shoot in the Bonneville salt flats. (Screenshot from Neistat’s YouTube Channel).

Casey during his Mercedes-Benz CLA commercial shoot in the Bonneville salt flats. (Screenshot from Neistat’s YouTube Channel).

Casey during his Mercedes-Benz CLA commercial shoot in the Bonneville salt flats. (Screenshot from Neistat’s YouTube Channel).

Frank Williamson

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Our favorite filmmakers whether it be Tarantino or Scorsese, all usually have one thing in common…They are phenomenal story tellers. They can translate a film reel and a soundtrack into a human experience and they know how to captivate an audience.  

Casey Neistat isn’t a Hollywood director, but rather he is a filmmaker for today’s world. He excels at storytelling; about messages that pertain to his own experiences. He values the story so much more than the cinematography that even bad camera work can be forgiven if the story has meaning. His success has even brought him the opportunity to make ads for Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and J. Crew.

What makes Casey unique in his field is that he values the Internet the most to share his work. Having origins in the TV world with an HBO show, the Neistat Brothers, Casey became vehemently frustrated with the amount of legal and marketing hoops he had to jump through before even being able to distribute his work to the viewer. And in the end the final product wouldn’t even reflect his original intentions. Instead he look towards YouTube, where there was direct access to viewers and no middleman to get in the way.

Casey values execution over ideas. No proposition beats the results of doing something. This is what makes him equipped for today’s world. He favors practicality over perfection. He makes his statement with rough edges. Whether it be his stop motion, paper and sharpie titles, top down camera angles, modern music choices, or quick edits; it is clear that his work reflects the current era of the internet, where visual perfection is sacrificed for high quality internal content.

What’s more, the reason why Casey’s story telling is so impactful is that he makes strong arguments. He writes his theses seamlessly into his videos. All that he’s practically doing is writing an essay, except he makes it flow smoothly while keeping your attention. He avoids blandness by interjecting his own personal life stories because each of his movies are almost just another piece of him.

Filmmaking for the modern world isn’t a fabricated notion, but rather it is real and represents the real world. Modern movie making is just another extension of the democratization of the internet. While Casey Neistat may not be the pioneer, he certainly has popularized this movement.