By ALINA COHEN
Hometown Raised in Boca Raton, Fla.
Now Lives In a one-bedroom apartment in Kips Bay, Manhattan, filled with Instagram-ready pop art.
Claim to Fame Mr. Markowitz is a full-time Snapchat filmmaker who has carved out a social media niche creating youth-oriented videos for celebrities and brands like Coca-Cola, Jolly Rancher and Shaquille O’Neal. Shooting with an iPhone 6s Plus, Mr. Markowitz formed a video company called A Cereal Production last year and has been called the “next Casey Neistat” by friends. “He’s proved that anyone can do it,” Mr. Markowitz said about Mr. Neistat, a YouTube vlogger and star, and his idol. “You don’t need to be a son of a movie producer. You can be a regular kid and just have a desire to be successful in the content world.”
Big Break Two year ago, Mr. Markowitz was leading a double life: brand planner at Twitter by day; D.I.Y. filmmaker at night, posting goofy scripted videos about one-night stands and teleporters starring him and his friends. His Snapchat handle, markowitzh, grew to several thousand followers. When Coca-Cola hired Twitter to improve their social media presence, co-workers invited Mr. Markowitz to upload stories to the client’s Snapchat account. (In one video, he and a friend compete to give the last Coke to a mutual crush.) In 2016, Mr. Markowitz left Twitter to start his own firm, with Coca-Cola as a client.
Latest Project Last month Mr. Markowitz and his filmmaking partner, Harry Golden, released a stop-motion animation for (RED), a nonprofit group that raises money to help fight AIDS. Mr. Markowitz has also been creating videos and other social media content for Zillow, the real estate listings company.
Next Thing “We want to be filmmakers,” said Mr. Markowitz, who wants to make feature-length documentaries and animated shorts. “There’s an opportunity to combine New Age ways of storytelling with conventional filmmaking.” The pair are currently pitching a meta-sounding docuseries about podcasting. Mr. Markowitz cites the Netflix series “Abstract: The Art of Design” as an inspiration.
What’s in a Name? While Mr. Markowitz takes his craft very seriously (he once called himself “the Stanley Kubrick of Snapchat”), he has a flippant side. During a shoot, he once remarked: “This is like a serious production.” Riffing on a “South Park” episode where an Al Gore-like character runs around saying he’s “super cereal” (or “super serial”) about global warming, the quote/misquote morphed into Mr. Markowitz’s Cereal Production, and the name stuck.