Did you see the guy riding a snowboard in New York City this weekend?
How about magic carpet Aladdin in New York before Halloween? That’s Casey Neistat.
His videos online routinely rack up millions of views. Despite the fact that he claims to be the person who created influencer marketing for a Nike-sponsored video that has earned 17 million views, Neistat is an accomplished filmmaker with a “very traditional” media background.
Speaking Thursday to Bailey Richardson of Instagram at an Andreessen Horowitz event held at Medium’s office in San Francisco, he said he only wants to referred to as a YouTuber.
Why is that his preferred title?
“My background is very traditional. The last feature film I made premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, premiered in North America at Sundance, it won an Independent Spirit Award that like my parents got to watch it on TV, theatrical distribution, the HBO show I wrote, directed, produced and starred in, it was on HBO and a big deal and I was probably like I’d achieved a level of success in mainstream media that I had sought my entire career and in that mainstream media the idea of being a YouTuber is it’s a really dirty word, it’s something that’s looked down upon, at least that’s my own insecure perspective on it. And it wasn’t until really this year that I started to reject this term of being a filmmaker and now I only want to be known as a YouTuber.
That’s all I want to be identified as, and the reason why is that I’ve just experienced, it’s really come into focus for me that mainstream media where I was anyway it is a one-way street.
It wasn’t until really this year that I started to reject this term of being a filmmaker and now I only want to be known as a YouTuber.
It is a one-way conversation. It’s me talking to you and that’s where it ends. And YouTube is a symbiotic relationship between the creator and the audience. It’s a symbotic relationship that’s built on a democratic, egalitarian platform that everyone has the same entry point on, and when it comes to the romance, the power, what moving images and videos are capable of, I don’t know like a more sort of beautiful idea of what can be accomplished with that than what’s happening on YouTube, on the internet right now, so like I don’t care about 800 snobby Frenchmen sitting in a theater watching my movie on screen. I care about the 11-year-old kid sitting in the corner of the classroom with his white headphone in one ear hiding his cell phone in his book watching vlog like that.
That is a much more profound relationship with the content than even watching it in the theater. So for me there is no higher watermark in the world of filmmaking than what it means to succeed on the internet, what it means to embrace that title.”