Casey Neistat’s Art of Storytelling

If you don’t know who Casey Neistat is by now, you should (and you will.) He is a creative powerhouse who had created a life for himself that present day wannabe filmmakers dream about.

He was Youtube before there was Youtube.

Creativity Was Born

Creativity was born from slight misdirection, according to Neistat’s “Draw My Life” video. Which is common for YouTubers to partake in, lately. It’s a narrative based story that retells the YouTuber’s life and willingness to create, all the while self-illustrating the events (usually in stick figures and word bubbles). Neistat was a troublemaker high school dropout who left home at 15 and had a child. That’s a lot to carry around, but once Neistat realized he wanted to document his kid’s exploration through childhood, he started making videos at rapid speeds. Each video left him hungry to make more, and so he maxed out his credit card to get an iMac.

After plenty of life events and trial and error, Casey moved to NYC. He and his brother began making movies for anyone who wanted one. Eventually they got a gig with HBO and their videos made it to the home screen.

The video to kickstart his fame is a video called “iPod’s dirty secret” which illustrated the battery life of the first generation iPod and it’s extreme inefficiency. Casey’s style is fun, and straightforward, so he acquired a lot of views and hype quickly. He was featured in magazines and newspapers, even got an interview on Fox News at age 22. So he went viral before viral was a term, and that earned him some status. Now what?

YouTube to Snapchat

Casey Neistat’s YouTube Channel has roughly 500,000 subscribers, with a total of 109,139,189 views. He has over 200 videos on his main channel, and 300 views across all channels. These are monstrous numbers. Sure there are plenty of YouTubers who break the 1 million subscriber mark but, to me, that’s neither here nor there. Casey has a solid following, and he’s a professional who knows how to have fun on social media. He has 3 videos with over 13 million views, and very few popular YouTubers can compete with that.

Casey has a powerful Instagram that he uses to promote his photography and various shots he uses in his films. Currently he has 222,000 followers, and I am one of them. He has made it known that he loves what Instagram can create for people on an individual and social level, and I couldn’t agree more. He enjoys seeing a lifestyle. In a video he compares Justin Beiber to Rick Ross, and declares that Ross has what it takes for a fulfilling and interesting instagram, because it’s more than captionless selfies. Rather, we get to see his day-to day, which is probably why Casey is so obsessed with SnapChat right now.

Casey uploads every snapchat he takes to new YouTube channel called “Casey’s Snap Stories” and it’s worth a look. He is always traveling for films and conferences, and usually on his neon pink penny board. His snapchat stories are even interactive. He does Q&As through snaps, and sometimes puts his travel destination in the hands of a follower.

Casey Neistat has a natural boyhood wonder for creativity and his passion for film seems to have no maximum capacity. He is only 33 and I am excited to see what he does next.


By View Count:

  1. Crazy German Water Park (+14 Million views)
    Casey and his kid travel to Germany and explore this crazy german waterpark during and after working hours.
  2. Bike Lanes by Casey Neistat (+13 Million views)
    He explores the conundrum that is bike lane usage in NYC. It’s fun, fresh, and full of daredevil stunts.
  3. Make It Count (+13 Millions)
    Sponsored by Nike, Casey needed to make an video about how to make life count. A daunting task, but he did quite well for 13 million people to see it.

My Personal Favorites

  1. The Devil’s Pool (1.2 Million views)
    I couldn’t help but talk about this video for weeks. Casey and a filmmaker friend travel to Africa to find the Devil’s pool and it was closed. Months later, Casey found himself an opportunity to return, but with his son. I won’t spoil it for you, but the views are breathtaking and someone ends up getting a tattoo.
  2. My Kid and ME (+700,000 views)
    This sentimental video is roughly 20 minutes long, and it’s truly captivating. The relationship between Casey and his son, and their love for travel gives a great perspective on parenthood and childhood.
  3. Make It Count
    It’s just plain great. The music, pacing, and action makes this cohesive video.
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