Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s Not a Sport, Casey. It’s a Rat Race.

Responding to Casey Neistat’s “FILMMAKING IS A SPORT”

Michael Ruiz
Jan 12, 2018 · 3 min read

Casey Neistat’s new video — FILMMAKING IS A SPORT — is certainly enthralling. It’s wild and rough — the editing is frantic; the voices coming out of the screen meld together into a cacophony of positive affirmations and quotable bombshells.

It’s abrasive. It’s loud. It’s positivity and adrenaline all in one.

“Filmmaking is a Sport” by Casey Neistat

It call comes down to his thesis: The elites used to hold onto filmmaking. the power resided with those who had the resources to make film. Now…everyone has those resources.

Let’s start here: he isn’t wrong.

The recourses and power held by the chosen few are now in the hands of everyone. Anyone can be heard.

Anyone can make a movie. Anyone can write a blog, or take a photo, or do whatever it is you like to do in order to tell your story.

But filmmaking isn’t a sport, Casey. And I think you know that.

It’s not even filmmaking anymore.

And you can lose yourself in the nomenclature all you want but it’s no longer photography or film or diatribes on life and death. It’s all content.

And making content isn’t a sport. It’s a rat race.

The algorithms have changed. The audience is less patient and less willing to hear you. They’re jaded and worn — they don’t believe you when you say you’re honest and they’ll vilify you any chance they get.

They don’t want quality. They don’t want your stories or your passion. They want your content, and they want more of it.

Being a content creator means that you’re scouring social media for the next big thing. It means you’re constantly at a loss of what to create and fighting off the fear of irrelevance whenever you miss a release date.

It means posting schedules and late nights of editing. You have to crank it out. Make a bad video? Write a bad essay?

Don’t think about it.

Move on.

Find the next thing.

Keep moving.

Make more content.

Make good content.

Make bad content.

Make controversial content.

Sell merch.

Plug your patreon.

Beg for likes.

Make content.

Collaborate with others.

Film on the streets.

Make content.

Record a prank.

Record a feud.

Record a song.

Record a corpse.

Make content.

Make content.

Make content.

Make content.

Market your content.

Learn SEO. Study the algorithm. Censor your language.

Post it on your twitter feed and your tumblr page and your facebook wall and your Instagram feed and make content.

Sports require skill. Content requires tenacity. Content requires time.

Content requires all of you.


Your words aren’t wrong, Casey, but the Internet is no longer built for the art of making great things.

The Internet is the art of more.

More videos. More songs. More ebooks. More how-to guides. More listicles. More controversies. More apology videos.

More. More. More.

We’re not storytellers and pioneers. We’re desperate children begging to get in on the Adsense.

We want to be heard.

WE HAVE TO BE HEARD.

We are soldiers in the war for the world’s attention. And we won’t rest until we have it.

Now somebody film the reaction.

Michael Ruiz

Written by

Lifestyle and culture writer from Atlanta. I make music, produce films, and travel when I can. The business side of me lives on www.emichaelruiz.com

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