Thanks for the loveletter. I am touched. Happy to hear that our movies made art more accessible to you. Upon seeing Tom’s work at his studio in 2001, I felt for the first time that museum artwork made sense to me too. Before then, I really had little idea of why certain things were considered art and displayed in museums, collected by rich people, and priced exorbitantly. I’m still confounded, but at least i have a better handle on why the work of one man is considered art.
Tom is about 8 years older than me which makes us both the Last of the Analogs generation. I was born in the '70s and growing up we had no idea that computers would be ubiquitous in the future. To us they were just toys or gadgets for the rich. 2 kids in my home town had commodore 64s. When the first Macintosh came out there was only 1 for our entire school DISTRICT. It cost $2000 in 1984. I bought my first car in 1992 for $650. Our generation just didn’t really pay attention to computers until much later in life. The first time i ever used the internet i was about 21 years old. I sent my first email at age 22. It wasn’t until computers had video editing capability with the advent of the iMac DV in 2000 that i bought my own. I was 25.
Like many people nowadays, I began my film making by making first-person short videos. My brother Casey followed suit a couple weeks after me, and we partnered up soon after that. My first-person (aka “selfie”) film making culminated with our HBO show “The Neistat Brothers.” Casey continues to work in this new genre. He was born 6 years after me. Maybe it’s an age thing.
After the “The Neistat Brothers” aired on HBO in 2010, i made a few advertisements for some fashion companies, and went to work making more films with Sachs. Since “The Neistat Brothers” premier Tom’s studio and I have made 10 BULLETS, COLOR, LOVE LETTER TO PLYWOOD, HOW TO SWEEP and SPACE CAMP. The culmination of my work with Sachs is our newest project A SPACE PROGRAM which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX last month. It should be out this summer or fall. A SPACE PROGRAM is the first project I’ve edited on Final Cut Pro X as well as my first feature film. It’s basically an hour of Tom’s ingenious gadgetry with a little story so you don’t fall asleep. It took almost 3 years to make. Largely due to the heavy amount of computer work that us analog guys had to endure.
As far as my lack of internet footprint. This a luxury for me. The truth is, though i consider today’s computers and internet a miracle and understand how they’ve improved the lives of billions including myself, i don’t like using computers. I don’t like using the actual devices. Also, they don’t work well for me. Seems they’re always in a state of broken. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results but with computers insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results.
This explains why i don’t do Facebook, twitter, instagram, vine and the rest. To me it’s more time spent on a device. None of my devices in the history of my computer life have ever worked properly for me. They are a constant broken struggle. Even while composing this post here, my computer won’t allow me to highlight words without highlighting the entire body of the text. I must erase one letter at a time using the delete button. Didn’t happen when i sent an email yesterday, but won’t go away now.
Once, on a particularly bad computer day when my iPhone and both laptops were in a constant state of malfunction, i took a hybrid Ford taxi cab to the airport. One of these new cars that is half computerized and half mechanical. We were driving south on the West Side Highway in Manhattan. We pulled up along side the Intrepid aircraft carrier/museum and the entire car died. The computer that controlled the cab had crashed. The driver, a man from Niger, coasted the car over to the side of the road and powered it down. He waited a few seconds and started it back up.
“Sorry about that,” he said.
I said, "It’s not the car, it’s me. All computers behave like this when i use them."
He said, “In my country we have people like you who have problems with anything made out of metal. If they ride a bicycle, they crash into things. They cannot drive cars.”
Ah, I thought. So it’s just a simple curse. Like when Eve ate the fruit and all hell broke loose.
I’ve since bought 3 typewriters, dozens of books of stamps, and a couple Super 8 cameras. I make a living making digital videos, so i continue to use digital cameras and Macintosh computers. I’ve befriended a core of computer experts who help me in times of need. But the other social media stuff? No thanks. Too stressful.
So thank you, Clinton, for sticking it out and finishing your love letter. It’s comforting to know that our handyman film making has touched someone out there in the cutting edge computer world. Your 3d printing process is sort of the reverse of our analog process. You plug something into a computer and a printer makes it exist in the real world. We make things in the real world and digital cameras and computers make them exist in the computer world.
If you post your email address for me, I’ll contact you personally to get your shipping address. I’ll see if i can’t post you a copy of “THE NEISTAT BROTHERS” through the analog mail.
servidor de usted,
(or an imposter, I suppose)