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The Neistat Brothers, Van Neistat (born Van Paul Moody in Augusta, Maine, on March 22, 1975) and Casey Neistat (born in New London, Connecticut, on March 25, 1981), are filmmakers based in New York Citymarker. The pair have created over two hundred films, according to their [website] ], most notably iPod's Dirty Secret, focusing on Apple's policy on replacing iPod batteries, and Bike Thief, chronicling the ease with which they steal their own bicycle.

iPod's Dirty Secret

They gained international fame in late 2003 for a three minute film titled iPod's Dirty Secret, criticising Apple's lack of a battery replacement programme for the iPod. Their film received national media exposure and brought broad attention on Apple's policy towards iPod battery replacements.

The video clip begins with a phone call to the Apple Support 800 number, and a conversation between Casey Neistat and an operator named Ryan. Casey explains that after 18 months of use his iPod battery is dead. Ryan suggests that for the cost of labor and shipping to replace the battery Casey is better off buying a new iPod. To the music of NWA's rap song "Express Yourself" the brothers begin a 'public service announcement' campaign to inform consumers about the batteries. Using a stenciled sign reading "iPod's Unreplaceable Battery Lasts Only 18 Months", they spraypaint the warning over iPod advertisement posters on the streets of Manhattan. The film was posted to the internet on November 20, 2003 and within six weeks was downloaded over a million times.

Reaction

The film quickly attracted media attention and the controversy was covered worldwide by over 130 sources including The Washington Post, Rolling Stone Magazine, Fox News, CBS News, and BBC News.

The Washington Post stated that Apple altered its battery replacement policy 'days after' the movie became public. Fox News set the date of the policy change at "two weeks" after the posting of the clip and Neil Cavuto called it a 'David and Goliath story' on Fox News Your World.

Although there had been speculation regarding the impact of the Neistat Brother's film on Apple's decision to institute their iPod battery replacement policy soon afterward, Apple denied it. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Sequeira denied any connection between the film and the new policy, stating the policy revision had been in the works for months before the film was released. Apple officially announced a battery replacement policy on 14 November 2003 - after the release of the movie.

The film was praised as 'wonderfully renegade' by the Washington Post.

Bike Thief

The Neistat Brothers created Bike Thief, a film documenting their repeated success in stealing their own bike even when making their intentions obvious, free of intervention from passersby. The video got coverage on a local Fox morning show in which they were supposed to demonstrate how easy it was to steal a bike but instead played a prank on the host by pretending to accidentally amputate a finger. Her reaction gained coverage in press and on the internet.

References

  1. website
  2. "Battery and Assault", The Washington Post, Hank Steuver, 20 December 20 2003.
  3. iPod Battery FAQ website
  4. [1]


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