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Film leads to distubring place

Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost like to film everything they do, just incase. These days, you never know when you’ll stumble onto a clipthat’ll make you the toast of the internet for 15 minutes.

Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost like to film everything they do, just in case. These days, you never know when you’ll stumble onto a clip that’ll make you the toast of the internet for 15 minutes.

“We’re compulsive chroniclers” explained Schulman, who admits to having folders full of footage of his brother Nev leaning back in a chair in their office because “one of these days he’s going to fall and I might want to build a video around it.”

That instinct lead to their debut feature Catfish about Nev’s odd online relationship with a family that led to an in person meeting with disastrous and distressing results. Revealing more would be unfair, but the digital documentary caused a stir at Sundance and the obvious joke is that it could do for Facebook what Psycho did for showers.

Schulman and Joost filmed every moment of the online affair hoping that they’d make “a short film about a little friendship that started online between a painter and a photographer.” They ended up with something far more complex and disturbing, but admirably continued chronicling every moment from Nev’s first awkward phone call with his mysterious online admirer on. Joost admitted to only missing, “a great fight that Ariel and Nev had afterwards that I sort of wish I’d filmed, but it’s probably better that I didn’t because someone would have broken my wrist.”

The close friendship between Ariel, Henry, and Nev managed to survive the ordeal of shooting and now they have possibly the first cautionary tale of the Facebook age. The film’s “star” Nev has found that audiences “are immediately familiar with me after seeing the movie and come up and say, “oh my god Nev, I’ve got to tell you something.’” As a result the filmmakers have been inundated with similar tales of online deception. “These stories are happening all over the place, but they’re just not getting caught on film,” said Ariel.

As to what the team have planned next now that they’ve broken into the world of professional filmmaking, Ariel joked, “We’ll probably just film Nev every one in a while and hope for the best.”

 
 
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