Interview: ‘Catfish’ Filmmakers Get Real About Their Documentary

Well the title is kind of a misdirect too, because you’re almost waiting the whole film to figure out what the title means and then it’s kind of thrown in with this last little bit with Vince. Was that always the title or did you guys kinda vacillate a little bit?

Rel: No, not at all. That was always the end of the film, but it never occurred to us as the title until this buddy Ben Younger who made Boiler Room

Oh, great film.

Rel: Yeah, great film.  We showed him the movie, we said “we have no idea what the title of the movie is.”

Nev: Wait is he on our list?

Henry: Yeah.

Nev. OK, good.  For the premiere.

Rel: We have no idea what the title is, check it out and if you have any ideas let us know.  We were just calling it sort of like

Nev: Yaniv’s Internet Girlfriend

[everyone laughs]

Rel: Sort of an untitled Facebook thing…

No no, that’s great, because that sounds more like a Sundance title.

Rel: We had all these indie, Sundance names like…

Henry: It’s All Down Hill From Here

Rel: The Facebook Family or like…

Nev: Iceberg actually.

Rel: Iceberg…or like How Facebook Broke My Heart. Just like sad, indie titles.

So what about your conversation with Ben made you settle on Catfish?

Rel: Well he finished the movie and he was like “guys…”

Henry: He just predicted that we would call it that.

Rel: …he goes, “I got your title.”  And we’re like what is it, what is it? “Catfish.”

And you’re like, “what the fuck are you talking about?”

Rel: [We’re like] very funny man, yeah.

Nev: But it was on the list of like 30 names that we struggled with until two days before Sundance when they called and they’re like “we’re printing the programs, what do you want your movie to be called?”


Rel: And it was like, let’s just call it something that no other movie’s been called.

Nev: Except for a very bad short film. [everyone laughs] Have you seen it?

No, but you gotta look up on IMDb and see what else is…

Rel: And actually it’s not even on IMDb.

Oh wow.

Nev: And unfortunately one of the first articles that came out of Sundance, someone blindly linked a YouTube trailer of a film called Catfish to our article.  And since then we’ll never ever unassociate with that clip. It’s out there and it’s the woooorst film you’ll ever see.

Awesome. So it’s good to be associated with that, it’s good to have your name on that.

Rel: Actually there was that B-horror movie from the 70s…

Henry: People were like this is the most talked about film at Sundance? Really?

What is that feeling like?  To be the most talked about film at Sundance.  Is that just…

Henry: It seemed like a dream.

Rel: Or a prank.

Henry: Or a prank, yeah.

Rel: I mean no one knew our names. We’ve never been in a film festival before. We weren’t in competition. Somehow we had good enough publicity to sell out the first screening and immediately there was a standing ovation and like an hour and a half long question and answer.

Nev: Yeah, I mean I think it’s fair to say that it also had a lot to do with Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling. Because after Capturing the Friedman’s they were sort of like the Sundance kids.  And I don’t know if they’d been back since then…

Henry: No.  I mean Andrew was on the jury…

Nev: Oh right. But then all of sudden, people see like oh Jarecki’s got a new film at Sundance…

Rel: They’re our producers.

Nev: …what is it? You know, it’s gotta be something.

Henry: And Capturing the Friedman’s was huge at Sundance.

Nev: Right.

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