Casey Neistat’s unique approach to telling stories about (and for) corporate giants has helped him take a number of his web videos and/or commercial projects viral. (He once took the entire production budget for a commercial for Nike Fuelbands and used it to travel the world with a friend, turning in his video travel diary as the spot.) But his latest video, “The Dark Side of the iPhone 5s Lines,” sees the independent filmmaker/documentarian/etc go back to his roots. Ten years ago, Neistat and brother Van had a viral video smash (years before YouTube) that took on Apple with “iPod’s Dirty Secret,” a clip that exposed the dark side of the then-ubiquituous device (the battery’s life was only 18 months), and parlayed that into his now-successful career.
“The Dark Side of the iPhone 5s Lines” isn’t as provocative as Neistat’s last shot at Apple–this one alleges no wrongdoing–but it does examine the Cult of Apple by talking with the people who wait in line for hours/days/weeks for the device to ask them “Why?” Some of the answers make sense (“Someone is paying me to do this”) and some of them are kind of sad (“I love the i… I dunno… Um…”), but none of them are particularly shocking–the dark side, it seems, is really just that people who line up for iPhones don’t always have good reasons, and they have to sleep outside while they wait. In that regard, Neistat is actually a bit late to the phenomenon, given that Samsung had a similar idea in 2011, but he does capture the feeling that probably accompanies actually being in that line pretty effectively.