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Interview: The Filmmakers Behind Catfish, the Other Facebook Film

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Nev Schulman
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There’s a scene in Grosse Pointe Blank where Joan Cusack is heatedly negotiating for ammunition on the phone with some tough guys and then switches over to a call with a girlfriend with whom she was sharing a recipe for soup. She starts off sweet and then gets agitated and starts in with the same tone she was using for the ammunition phone call. “No, no… It’s not going to be a boring soup! That’s just the base… Carrots and celery are just the base of a soup!” I feel like I’m having that conversation when people ask me about the documentary film Catfish. “No, no… It’s not going to be a scary movie! That’s just the trailer (see it below)… The marketing has very little to do with the basis of this movie!” I find it particularly exasperating because I don’t like scary movies and would never be attracted to a movie that looks like it could give me nightmares. Going by the advertising alone, I would have missed seeing this movie that I really enjoyed. Conversely, if you’re into thrillers, you might feel ripped off if you’re waiting for paranormal activity that never actualizes, but maybe not. Truth, in this case, is stranger than fiction.

Catfish is a film centered around social networking and the relationships we build online in a way we haven’t seen on screen before. Is it a true story? Having recently sat down and talked about the making of the movie with filmmakers Nev Schulman, Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, I believe it is. Besides, I have a facebook friend in common with the filmmakers who goes way back with these guys (see the ironic logic). Here’s what they had to say about Catfish, without giving too much away about Catfish.