Studio Budget for Movie Promo Used to Help Philippine Typhoon Victims

Ralphie Aversa
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A new video from filmmaker Casey Neistat shows that Hollywood movie budgets can aid in charitable efforts across the world. Thanks to a $25,000 promotional allotment from the forthcoming film "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," the 32-year-old director helped the recovery efforts from the recent typhoon in the Philippines.

"Give me the budget," Neistat told 20th Century Fox in response to the studio's email asking him to make a video about living one's dreams. "I'll go to the Philippines and spend every penny helping people in need."

Neistat bought food for over 10,000 meals and tools for 32 villages with the money. He also delivered basic medicine to local organizations. While the almost seven-minute YouTube piece displays a great amount of charity, it also provides heartbreaking visuals of people who are literally still attempting to pick up the pieces from Typhoon Haiyan.

At one point, as lines of people seeking the prepackaged food items grow, Neistat turns to the camera and says, "I don't think that we bought enough food." The filmmaker filled up two passenger buses with goods.

20th Century Fox reached out to Neistat with the idea to "run a campaign under the concept, 'Live Your Dreams,'" using the funds. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is directed by and stars Ben Stiller. It is an adaptation of the 1939 James Thurber short story. In the film, Stiller plays the titular character, who turns his daydreaming into an unimaginable real-life adventure to save his and his co-worker's jobs. The film opens on Christmas Day.

Neistat built a name for himself on YouTube and parlayed those videos into an HBO show and a movie that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. He revealed on Twitter that he shot all of the footage using "a $950 camera." The only other person on his "crew" was his friend Oscar Boyson. Neistat also received help packaging and delivering items from residents in the area.