Research your ‘HERO’

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  • Who is your hero?

Casey Neistat

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  • Describe his/ her practice. What is the ‘shape’ of this practice?

Filmmaker – creative that started out making short videos that interested him using very simple and affordable equipment and software. Wrote and starred in his own tv show and sold it to HBO. He was involved in making/producing/editing some feature films, before returning to short videos through YouTube.

Internet stardom when he started ‘vlogging’ everyday and posting it to YouTube. This grew his YouTube channel and helped support his company ‘BEME’, which he runs as a technology based industry. Recently, he sold this to CNN and does work for them as well as continues his own channel posting videos of random events or topics close to him


  • How is he/she situated in his/her field?

Casey Neistat is a well-regarded filmmaker and successful in that he produced content for some of the biggest names in tv such as HBO, as well as endorsements for NIKE, all whilst raising awareness and trending viral videos such as ‘Bike Lanes’. His field today, I would place him as an influential YouTuber. He has a very creditable subscription list and is able to collaborate with some ‘famous’ creatives. He became influential through his unique style and ability to continue to produce original content that was still in the style of a ‘vlog’ that encouraged his followers to pump out their stories. His interaction with the audience and perhaps his generosity have contributed to his influence as well. I think his ability to resonate as an ‘everyday’ guy and his inclusion of his interactions with others in his video is notable, in that he doesn’t edit out content such as fans coming to say hi to him. His key points that have also contributed to his success is his general personality, worldview, unparalleled motivation and even to some extent his recklessness.

  • Are his/her influential in this field? How did they become influential?
  • What is his/her contribution?
  • Changed the way creatives are thought about in a mainstream society. YouTubers that create content up until recently weren’t considered careers or taken seriously by some members of society. He challenges this mindset saying that now there are so many ways to create something meaningful for the individual, and with platforms such as YouTube that allow sharing to be free, anyone with a story can potentially quit the day job. Seen here:

  • What is his/her working methods?


  • Casey for his vlogs,  uses a range of filming devices and techniques to create montages and quick cuts that are a video diary entry into the day. Film ranges from footage with his SLR cameras, phone, drone and also found footage from the past. It’s this interaction between the tools he uses I think that’s unique and why he’s inspirational to me. The music is normally a “Brooklyn” styled theme with upbeat tempos for action filled content. He uses materialistic transitions and ways to explain his works. Normally with items very affordable and easy to find, like cardboard cut outs and permanent marker pen drawings. Hand-held devices and having himself as the subject for the narrative is something he’s mastered and made popular with gorilla type filming and shaky footage creating his aesthetic.


  • Does he/she have any advice?

– “If you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’re doing it wrong”

  • Describe his/ her practice/ work.

– i believe Casey Neistat began his career with a hybrid mix of ‘gonzo journalism, guerilla filmmaking and cinema verite. He’s captured these elements working in a professional practise and then applied them to his daily vlogs. Cinema Verite often makes its way into the films or apart of the story, and Neistat takes this further by always showcasing his equipment and his work area giving them their own stigma in the videos he produces. Each of the devices he shoots with have it’s own character, his drones have a certain aesthetic or feeling behind them, to when he films on his iPhone that’s raw and seemingly unedited in the process.

– Casey neistat brought an element of his own craft and his professionalism to a sub genre in daily vlogging that was originally prompted at amateurs. Daily vlogs have become so popular due to their element of amateur that defines them “real”. Casey once said at an acceptance speech that “YouTubing or vlogging is the closest thing to or the evolution of reality tv.

  • Find out more about them: What are his/ her skills started with? What may be some of their failures? What are some of the hurdles they overcame (or not)? How has he/ she contributed to his/ her field?
  • How do you relate to this core value?

– His core value sits very similar to the right way to approach this class and definitely this degree. If more content creatives were to just start with whatever they could get their hands on at the time and post about what they’re passionate about then we’d start seeing the fears of work after study start to disappear. We’d start to build portfolios and this resonates with me, as I love to document new things and try new things and see where the creation leads to. My practise at the moment is that I want to work in a field using drone technology to encourage people to interact with them and push the boundaries of what kind of uses they hold, whether it be creative or assistance or even artistic. Some of the motivation he carries and advice he gives on cracking this field isn’t a guide that everyone should follow, it’s inspiration based on his experience. His core values are simple in that “getting the shot” is the most important part to tell a story. His viral sensations that escalated his career we both shot on devices he could afford at the time, a camcorder and a mobile phone.

Another value that I have that’s associated with a University level, is that my proof reading and my editing of text and ‘essays’ are very poor. I have tried to improve these but I’ve come to a mindset and it’s perhaps very basic but when I editing or proof read, I continuously change my mind and re-write sections in which the original/raw idea is lost and I’ve found often that this is the most valuable piece I had. So i’m more likely to suffer the poor result for grammer and punctuality and leave the interesting views or topics I’ve covered. I think this kind of subjective view means that I can empathise with alot of Casey’s world views and life advice. Perhaps something that draws me into his content.

  • What are his/her working methods? How does he/she work? (e.g. Find out what his/her workplace/ workshop might look like. Does he/she work with other people? Who are the people she/he works with?)

– His studio is where he works the most that’s a building in New York City. It houses his famous office, as well as a team of employees for his company BEME. He works throughout the day and carries a variety of cameras to document this. As he works for himself, it allows him to showcase a 7-8min video of what he did that day, yet somehow he can make some of the more simple things we do everyday seem interesting, through a variety of camera angles and editing skill.


2 thoughts on “Research your ‘HERO’

    samnoakes responded:
    March 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Free Look.


    […] friend in Ted Mitew and Chris Moore from the university of Wollongong. That and my introduction to Casey Neistat, where the idea of an idea is now dead and unless you jump into something you love and just […]


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