Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Neistat Brothers quietly wonderful

    HBO premiered a fairly unique series a few weeks ago called The Neistat Brothers.  It's hard to sum up what the series is about in just a few sentences, but I'll try.  Independent film makers Casey and Van Neistat make short films about their lives or interesting things they see or do.  It's part reality show, (but not in a bad, cheesy, fake way) part independent short film showcase, and part documentary.  Each episode runs a little under a half hour, and there are usually a number of different films within, with interstitials making the episode flow smoothly.  Casey and Van are young, driven, artistic, but not arrogant, young men.  The show is heart warming, humorous, entertaining, and at times, educational.  They are often joined by former boss (and a producer of the show) Tom Scott, but they seem to have full creative control themselves.

     In last night's episode, Van made 15 films of around a minute or less each, and Casey presented three five minute or less shorts in between the shorter shorts.  Casey's films concerned flying to Aspen and attending a wedding in Las Vegas, while Van's ranged from a buddy getting a box of cigars to making a super-duper tape dispenser to earning a Boy Scout merit badge.  The show itself is kind of inspiring.  After watching it, I'd love to go out and make stuff, or engage in a silly contest.  The way they film with different types of cameras helps break up the show, and because they cover such a range of topics, there's a little bit of everything to entice a wide audience.

     However, it's clear this series is not intended to be pop culture, and nor should it.  It's focused on two lives.  They are normal young men, and except for all of the travel, and financial means to make films for a loving, they are incredibly average.  But the talent shows through in the perspective and the editing, which is what is truly their special skill.  It presents a distinct point of view.

     Love it or hate it (I love it), The Neistat Brothers is something you won't see elsewhere on television.  I applaud HBO for giving them the opportunity to make something so special.  The show airs Friday nights (or Saturday mornings, depending on your perspective) at 12AM.


  1. "Have you seen Casey Neistat's latest clip? It's another cool one about Facebook privacy : The Huffington Post just picked it up."

  2. I had not! Thanks for the link. Quite good.


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