Casey Neistat made me do THIS

I started making videos again this year after discovering Casey Neistat’s vlogs 6 years late! Here are the three big things I’ve learned from his videos, why I think filmmaking is so similar to making music, and why I’ve signed up for Casey’s new online course. Plus dogs! And British winter chips! And a very cold, windy beach!

Audio was recorded on the new Rode Lavalier 2 – impressive!

Scroll down for the video transcript, and subscribe to my channel for more!

+ Get $20 off Casey Neistat’s “Filmmaking & Storytelling” course with my link.
(sign up by 27th December 2021!)

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THANK YOU for visiting my website! I’m Laura Kidd, a music producer, songwriter and podcaster based in Bristol, UK. It’s great to meet you.

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Have a lovely day xo

Casey Neistat made me do this

It’s true: I’m only standing out here on a very chilly December day – right before Christmas! – because of Casey Neistat.

(It’s so cold…I’m wearing so many layers…)

I’m a firm believer in JOMO – the joy of missing out – so I really don’t mind when I’m late to the party on things. I only discovered Casey’s very famous vlogs this summer. 2021! – and he started uploading them in 2015…so that is pretty late to the party.

Benji’s eating sand.

[Tim, off camera – “Come on, Sandman!”]


[“Come on, mate…”]

For the first time ever, Casey is sharing his filmmaking and storytelling secrets in an online course through Monthly, and I signed up immediately.

I actually started vlogging in 2007 – 8 years before Casey did! – and I uploaded a couple of hundred videos to my old channel. But it was a lot harder to make videos for YouTube then – I was using camcorders with tapes. Tapes! Added to that, I’d sort of missed the memo about storytelling – it’s just something I’ve been learning about much more recently. So I’m not surprised my channel didn’t blow up, and that’s absolutely fine.

Watching Casey’s vlogs has taught me three big things:

1. It is possible to film yourself in really interesting ways, so you don’t have to rely on other people.

2. There are lots of different and fun ways to structure edits to tell a story, even when you think there might not be anything that interesting going on.

3. Just get on with it!

I’m aware there’s a backlash against this course, I get the sense that people are concerned this kind of course will just spawn thousands of copycat vloggers that will up YouTube with all of their stuff that looks the same as Casey Neistat’s.

The thing is, it’s very normal to copy people when you start out in any creative field. That’s just how we learn. Over time, hopefully you develop your own style and your own voice, through getting to know yourself better and gaining confidence in your skills. All that deliberate practice is what gets you there.

I’ve made music for a lot of years, and it’s a good way of learning how to take inspiration from a lot of places without ending up sounding like you’ve copied one band’s sound. The reason I’m so rubbish at answering the question “who are your musical influences?” is because I genuinely don’t think of it that way any more.

I’m more inspired by someone’s story, or the way that their song made me feel, than what the music actually sounds like. Keeping your influences varied and refreshing them from time to time is a really good way to help with all of this. You start filtering everything through the prism of your own experience, your own taste, your own values, and you keep the things that resonate with you and just sort of leave the things that don’t.

Most of the time I don’t listen to much music at all, because I find that ignoring what’s going on in the world helps me focus on trying to make stuff that I like.

So, why have I signed up to Casey Neistat’s filmmaking course?

I only started this channel properly a few months ago, and that was in large part down to watching Casey Neistat’s vlogs. There’s something about how he shares his life and his experience and his thoughts that really appeals to me. Basically, he’s already made me get over myself, get off my sofa and start making videos, so I want to see where the course will push me next.

I also want to be making videos all throughout 2022 and beyond, and I think this will really help.

I’ve got a lot of footage that I’ve shot over the years and never shared, and I’m really interested in trying to find out if there’s a way of pulling that stuff together into some kind of story that would be interesting to other humans, and I think this course will help with that too.

I want to film outdoors more – like this! – and I know that’s to do with overcoming laziness slash discomfort, but it’s also about overcoming fear. What will people think of me? Standing here like this isn’t an easy thing for me to do, I feel really weird. When I was walking over from the car with all the stuff, I just felt like I couldn’t be bothered, but I know that’s to do with procrastination and fear, so I’m doing it. Look, I’m doing it! Look, I’ve done it!

I’m also fascinated to learn more about Casey’s thought process, and the technical details of what he does, how he sets up his shots, and just the decisions he’s making on the fly, because I think that’s how you learn from other people, by watching them do stuff.

I think making videos is so similar to making music. It’s all about getting to know yourself more and more deeply, gaining experience at the thing you want to do to the point where you feel confident, to the point where no-one can take that away from you and you can communicate the things you want to communicate. They’re both about experimentation and finding your voice.

I don’t want to make videos that look like Casey Neistat’s videos. I want to make videos that look like my videos. I’m interested in his creative process and his structure, not his style. That’s his style, not mine.

These are so I can see!

So, I’m excited to start the course.

It’s time for fish and chips now, but before I go: online learning has become a big part of my life in the past few years. This video isn’t sponsored – I don’t have any sponsors yet – but there is an affiliate link down below for Skillshare.

I choose to pay full price for Skillshare membership every year because it’s become so valuable to me.

The next course I’m going to be doing is Andy J. Pizza’s “Social Media For Creatives”, it sounds really interesting, so if you want to join me click this link to get 40% off your first year of membership, or you can get a free month’s trial and just get it done really quick!

Click this link for $20 off the Casey Neistat “Filmmaking & Storytelling” course, if you want to join me in there.

Next, watch this video I made about how not to suck at Youtube like I did for 14 years. Bridgerton fans, you might recognise someone..

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