There’s an adventurer in all of us. But if you’re stuck at home, you can always live vicariously through Casey Neistat.
Neistat, 35, is a New York City YouTuber whose videos remind us just how fun life can be for the outgoing – and for those who go outside. And his videos have clearly found an audience as he has racked up over 3 million subscribers who dutifully watch his adventures. (He has three videos with over 14 million views, and his clips often amass over 1 million views within days of being posted.)
In anticipation of Neistat’s appearance at VidCon this week in Anaheim, California, here are five things to know about one of YouTube’s biggest stars.
1. His claim to fame is a Dirty Secret
In 2003 Neistat, along with his older brother Van, created the video “iPod’s Dirty Secret,” a digital assault on Apple iPods (a fairly new product at the time). The video begins with a call to Apple’s customer service, where a service rep tells Neistat that his one-year warranty is up and that the cost to replace the battery would be near the price of a new one, $299-$499, so he should just buy a new one. The film then depicts the brothers traversing all over Manhattan, spray-painting over Apple’s pretty pastel ad campaigns with a warning: “iPod’s Unreplaceable Battery Lasts Only 18 Months.” The video went viral. And Neistat became a star.
2. He had his own HBO show.
After the success of “iPod’s Dirty Secret” and subsequent videos, it wasn’t long before Hollywood came calling. In 2010 HBO debuted The Neistat Brothers, an eight-episode autobiographical series that follow the brothers on multiple adventures with friends and family.
3. He created a social media app.
In 2015 Neistat, along with co-founder Matt Hackett, released a kind of non-social-media social media app, Beme. The app is a video messaging platform without any filters or gimmicky enhancements. As Neistat told The New York Times, “There’s nothing cute or twee about it. We want you to feel like you’re taking a peek under the hood.”
He added, “Truth is so much more interesting than the fiction we’re used to.”
4. He’s an adrenaline junkie.
If a picture is worth a thousand words than a video is worth a million. Warning: Neistat’s adventures are not for the faint of heart.
5. He didn’t attend film school.
Neistat and his brother Van are entirely self-taught when it comes to filmmaking – but that hasn’t stopped their videos from having a profesional-level look and feel. Using multiple cameras and often shot on the move, Neistat’s videos are all the more impressive knowing no one told him how to do it.
If you’re heading to VidCon this week, be sure to check out our Q&A with Neistat and Beme on Friday at the Instant Interview Stage by PEOPLE/EW.