MANILA, Philippines - What will you do if a major Hollywood film studio gives you $25,000 to create a promotional video for an upcoming movie?
Instead of spending all that cash for the task, American film director and producer Casey Neistat used it for helping the victims of Super Typhoon "Yolanda," which affected millions of Filipinos and killed over 6,000.
As a filmmaker, Neistat documented his efforts in a short video that has so far garnered over 100,000 views on Youtube as of writing.
In the video, Neistat said 20th Century Fox asked him to make a promotional video for Ben Stiller's new movie, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."
The film is about living one's dream and Neistat said that what he wanted to do was to help those in need like the victims of Yolanda.
"[T]hey wanted me to make a movie about chasing a dream. I am a big dreamer but at that time only one thing came to mind; if I could do anything in the world right now what would it be? That's to help the victims of the typhoon," Neistat said in the desciption of his Youtube video.
After the 20th Century Fox agreed to his plan, Neistat flew to the Philippines and launched a relief mission.
"[I]t was complicated and at first improbable but with the help of an extremely loving group of locals, all who were total strangers, we were able to stretch the production budget really far," Neistat recalled.
Neistat spent the budget in buying food and relief goods, medicine and medical supplies, and tools that can be used by village leaders in rebuilding their communities.
The filmmaker admired the strength of the typhoon victims in times of misery.
"Never have I met such people with the resilience of these typhoon victims. There was one thing that stuck out, one big huge tiny thing, that was; of everyone we were face to face with, thousands of people, not once, at anytime for any reason did anyone complain. No one. Their focus was on rebuilding and healing, not sympathy," Neistat said.