We started research for the Mercedes-Benz CLA video series by Casey Niestat in 2012, since then I am a huge fan of his work. He might be the only person in the world who skateboarded in the Mercedes-Benz Museum and spent his whole Nike ad-deal money on a trip around the world. He loves customizing gadgets & cameras, running and new ways to tell stories. This is why he started proper vlogging on his youtube channel. Everyday.
Check out some of the latest daily videos. You will see beautiful time-lapse imagery of Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods. if you start watching a bunch of them, you become part of his NYC downtown life. You follow him, on the bike, at home, at work. You meet his friends and family. Casey tries to present a topic every day. These videos are not perfect – e.g. music could be more engaging, but I know how hard it is to find a good and affordable soundtrack – but if you have a little patience you totally get into it.
In his first announcement (below) he tells us, why he started all this. He is 34 years old and there is so much going on his life, that he doesn’t have time to shoot enough video and tell great stories on the one hand and he doesn’t have enough to capture all the great moments in his life (the new born, the grown up kid, his business, his travels, his MIT media lab stuff, …). I can 100% understand what he is talking about. I am just 33 and I don’t have a global audience, but with kids, projects, work, sports and travel, there is way too much going on, to spend extra time on random projects. This is – by the way – the reason I restructured this website … again. I would love to share more great videos of my kids or tell there cutest incidents. But this will only happen in a private section of this site – I am not ready to go public. 🙂
But back to Casey’s storytelling in his vlogs. This is where the interesting part begins: Because he tells visual stories, he takes you on a journey through his Manhattan concert jungle. The story develops in small steps from episode to episode. It does not seem to be scripted. Casey is still learning and he addresses this in the videos. He understands the value of his social media audience. Interaction is crucial. Stories get better if your viewers are part of it. This is why he reacts to feedback from the day before and even does Q&A sessions in his Vlog.
In one of the sessions he was asked to stop vlogging and going back to film making. His answer is great.
[blue_box]I have premiered movies at Cannes Film Festival, the Sundance Festival and written, directed, edited and starred in my very own HBO TV series. I was awarded the Rockefeller Grant for Film Making and I am a lifetime member of the Sundance Institute. Creating a new movie every 24 hours and releasing that movie to an audience of hundreds of thousands of people is an evolution in filmmaking. Our job as creative’s is to further define any medium and also define a new cliché and not to adhere to generations past. To suggest that this is anything but film making is to highlight some preconceived falsehood of what film making is.
by Casey Niestat[/blue_box]
How is it perceived by his audience? If you look at the numbers: Every Vlog video reaches 150.000+ and up to 350.000+ views in just a few days. With “just” half a million followers, that is a good starting point. If you look at established vloggers like Mr Ben Brown who has 350.000+ followers, he just doesn’t reach the level of Casey’s views. It will be exciting to watch how this develops, how his journey continues and if there will be a way how he is going to monetize this series. So make sure to check out at least a selection of his videos or better subscribe to his Youtube channel for daily updates.