Casey Neistat is a professional film director and producer who has been crafting unique stories since 2001. You may know him from the “iPod’s Dirty Secret” video that went viral in 2003 or from the HBO series “The Neistat Brothers” which premiered in June 2010.
Casey’s work is creative, prolific, and inspiring. He takes his work very seriously and expends a ton of thought and energy into creating the best stories. Casey’s portfolio includes everything from short films and personal projects to professional pieces for clients like Nike, Inc, Google, J. Crew, and Mercedes-Benz.
In March 2015, Casey shifted his focus to a new venture: a daily vlog that mixes beautiful time-lapse videos, his adventures and collaborations around New York City and the world, as well as an interactive question/answer segment.
In log #83, “How to Vlog,” Casey was kind enough to share his personal approach to creating a worthwhile vlog:
Gear – For “planned” vlog segments, Casey uses a Canon Rebel T6s with a Cannon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens, a RØDE VideoMic Pro Compact VMP Shotgun Microphone, and a Joby GP8-BHEN GorillaPod flexible tripod. He also mixes in impromptu shots captured during the day using a Canon PowerShot G7 X (which he carries with him at all times). Casey has complained in a few segments that the Canon Rebel has a lot of annoying quirks and problems (e.g., cameras stoping mid-shoot, problems writing to high-end memory cards, and auto-focus blips when cameras are setup to be fully manual). He hasn’t migrated to an alternate set of equipment; but, does call out Canon occasionally to make more reliable gear. Note: for high-end professional shots, Casey has even beefier gear.
Story – Every day, Casey looks for a story. It could be a small piece of his day or something that takes place across an entire day. In either case, he builds it into a theme that he tries to weave in for the full daily vlog.
Editing – Casey spends several hours at the end of the day importing clips and editing in Final Cut Pro X. He admits that it’s not great software, but he isn’t willing to take the time to learn something else. Casey is pretty practical when it comes to gear and tools and often advocates using what works well enough to get things done.
Format – Casey says that it’s easier to vlog if you have a format. He admits that his format is loose at best. Though, he does tend to include a time-lapse at the beginning and usually goes for an abrupt cut at the end (he finds that satisfying to watch). Ultimately, Casey says that his goal has never been to share intimate parts of his life. Instead, he focuses on creating a good or entertaining piece of content every day.
You can check out the entire video below. The vlogging tips segment starts at 3:19. If you have any interest in exceptional storytelling and video production, you really should subscribe to Casey’s YouTube channel.