MAX JOSEPH writes things, edits things, directs things, and does NOT dye his hair. He just co-wrote and directed his first feature movie WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS which he can't shut up about. He wants you to know that it comes out today and you should stop whatever you are doing and buy tickets to see it. You can check out the trailer to "We Are Your Friends" here.

He is really truly utterly excited to be doing this Reddit AMA and looking forward to answering whatever question you throw at him! So step right up and ask him something!


NOTE: Thanks for all of your great questions, everyone! Have to take a quick work break, but I WILL BE BACK to answer more.

EDIT: I'm Back!! Just had to take care of a few sound mix things for the WAYF DVD and Digital Versions!

NOTE: Alright guys, that's it for my REDDIT AMA at least for now! I will try and answer more late tonight! Til next time!

Comments: 324 • Responses: 48  • Date: 


Hey Max, I'm a little concerned. I've been trying to hit that "Sweet Spot" at 128 bpm while DJing at home and I can't seem to get loads of honeys to go crazy over me OR get invited to DJ any upper class pool parties. Am I doing something wrong?

DirectorMaxJoseph76 karma

Haha. When was the last time you showered?

zimetone51 karma

Hey Max, was there ever a moment during the filming of especially the more recent episodes of catfish that you noticed yourself losing your patience with the person you were trying to help, because of their naivety (and your familiarity with all the catfish red flags)?

DirectorMaxJoseph60 karma

Oftentimes I lose my patience because I'm just grumpy and tired from not having slept all night bc I was working on WAYF in my room. So it makes me a little more intolerant of bs during the day. It's really lies and BS that make me mad.

hoochiscrazy_31 karma

Hi Max! Congratulations on the movie! Can't wait to see it. I love it when you get angry on Catfish and tell them how it is... What's the angriest you've ever been whilst filming the show?

DirectorMaxJoseph62 karma

The angriest I ever got was definitely Adam The Gambler episode. That guy really pissed me off.

thataintforkids24 karma

He was the "king of catfishing", you can't blame him, it's just who he is. /s

DirectorMaxJoseph41 karma

He's not the king. please.

NoForReally19 karma

First, I'm a huge fan of Catfish! You and Nev handle each week's catfish couple with such respect. It seems a lot of times the catfish has some issue with their sexuality, their appearance or even their gender... I love that you always find a way to help them realize that they deserve a relationship in which they don't need to lie to start and maintain it, you are both great at understanding human nature. On the flip side, I love when catfish lack any type of remorse for hurting someone else and you lay into them! You're just, awesome!

Have there been any catfish stories or any incidents that have been too wild to make it onto the show? Do any catfish victims stick out to you, any that you really sympathized with?

I'm excited to see "We are Your Friends", I'll definitely be out to see it! Congratulations on your success and thanks for doing this AMA!

DirectorMaxJoseph33 karma

I always want the catfish to be this 2D James Bond villain that I can just hate BUT then when I meet them, they rarely are and they also end up having some compelling side to their story. So I've learned that you can't really judge someone until you meet them and hear them out. THEN you can judge them ;) But not so harshly. Unless they really suck. Which they sometimes do.

siannybach18 karma

Hello Max! My Mam and me are loyal and addicted watchers of Catfish here in the UK. We love the bromantic friendship that you and Neve have especially.

Catfish has really diversified now in terms of the spins and surprises that are happening.

My questions are :

  1. Have there been any filmed episodes of Catfish that you haven't been able to air and why?

  2. What's your favourite breed of dog? Mine is Miniature Schnauzer, here are my two, Ralphy and George

  3. What's the most unexpected highlight you had while filming WAYF?

DirectorMaxJoseph17 karma

  1. We have now aired ALL episodes but there were a few that were in the vault bc the participants didn't want us to air them and we respected their requests.
  2. My dog truman is a beagle/dachshund/chihuahua mix and he is my favorite.
  3. Most unexpected highlight of the film was actually being able to have fun and dance on set with the actors during both the Vegas scene and the music festival scenes. I thought I'd be too stressed to do something like that.

ash2014uk10 karma

How was Zac Efron to work with?

DirectorMaxJoseph17 karma

Great!! Super amazing and professional. Just a great guy and a great actor. Super hard worker and dedicated to getting it right. Always in a good mood and positive.

schmalzmeister9 karma

Who has the more glorious chest hair, you or Nev?

DirectorMaxJoseph12 karma

Come on! Clearly Nev!

heartbeat1238 karma

Hi! Can't wait to see WAYF!

My question is Catfish related. There have been a lot of fakers on the show who clearly just want to be on TV. Do you guys have plans to change/ prevent that?

DirectorMaxJoseph23 karma

There are more and more fakers trying to get on the show. The first season, that wasn't an issue at all but now it's almost always the issue. Every time we've had a faker you've seen it exposed on the show. BUT I have a feeling that Justin and Artis may have faked us out...

Tacofication7 karma

How are you doing today?

DirectorMaxJoseph9 karma

Today is intense. Super fun, emotional, stressful, joyful, intense, nerve-racking.

fearthebeard137 karma

What's been the biggest change in you life since you started catfish?

DirectorMaxJoseph28 karma

Sometimes the flight attendants give me free sandwiches bc they've seen the show. And there are a lot selfies now on my instagram as opposed to actual photography.

Young_Sire6 karma

Is catfish 100% real?

DirectorMaxJoseph20 karma


liamquane5 karma

do you have any advice on set control?

DirectorMaxJoseph5 karma

Go with the flow but also stand firm and go with your instincts. Surround yourself with people who's opinion you trust but don't be afraid to do something that they advise you against. Also keep things light and fun on set with the crew, especially if you aren't paying them. And make sure everyone is fed! A fed crew is a happy crew!

liamquane5 karma

Hi Mr. Joseph Do you have any directorial advice? Thank you :~)

DirectorMaxJoseph9 karma

So much! Will respond longer later.

DirectorMaxJoseph6 karma

You need to be a good manager in addition to being creative with angles and storytelling. Collaborating with people is a major part of the process for better or worse.

liamquane5 karma

Do you have any screenwriting advice?

DirectorMaxJoseph5 karma

So much. Will respond longer later.

DirectorMaxJoseph4 karma

Great book called "Artistotle's Poetics for Screenwriters". That's a good one. I would also just write a few scenes and film them and see how they sound and if you wrote too much or if you needed more dialogue.

guthlord4 karma

Max, do you think you and nev will ever film a few catfish episodes in Australia? I would love for you guys to come down under and hear my story!

DirectorMaxJoseph11 karma

Write into the show and maybe we will! but probably not.

Comixsquad4 karma

Hey Max!! My question is.. What was the worst experience you've had on set? (Catfish or WAYF)

DirectorMaxJoseph6 karma

Every day on WAYF there was a worst experience. That's kind of how it goes. You need to constantly find creative solutions to things that go horribly wrong. When Zac was performing his final scene in front of the big crowd and audience the generator for the whole block party we put on died three times and we just had to deal with it.

digital_mandy4 karma

What do you think of the rottentomatoes feedback on your film thus far?

DirectorMaxJoseph2 karma

What's Rotten Tomatoes?

JK. I love the great reviews and there are many. I'm extremely proud of the movie and I believe in it so there's nothing anyone can say--whether it's positive or negative--that will shake that. And that goes for my opinions on other movies too. I'd rather know what you think of it though!

kitchmonster3 karma

I love your hair: my gf wants my hair to look like yours and I keep failing - What kind of products do you use and how do you use them? Any other advice on trying to get that look?

Thanks. Also, love your work.

DirectorMaxJoseph14 karma

It's mostly from stress and anxiety. Which you can find in many of your nearby cities or social network platforms ;)

liamquane3 karma

How do directors and Editors work together?

DirectorMaxJoseph3 karma

I think all collabs are different based on the chemistry between the people in them. I am very hands on and like to play hot potato with the movie. I like when one person works on it and then shows it to me and then we work together. You have to let people do their own thing and can't be hanging over them all the time. Otherwise they won't do their best work. But from time to time you have to sit through it together and be very direct and hands on.

steph15343 karma

Hiya Max! Do you think you'll be quitting Catfish anytime soon to pursue your directing career more?

Thanks in regards, Steph :) xx

DirectorMaxJoseph34 karma

No!! I love making Catfish and will continue to do so. However, directing has always been my goal and filmmaking is the thing i love doing most. Plus if I stopped Catfish I would go from a C-level celebrity to a D-level celebrity and I don't think my ego could handle that.

crapsilo3 karma

Can you recommend me a professional camera, I still can't be sure what to buy as my first one?

DirectorMaxJoseph9 karma

Do you have an iPhone? or a camera? Just keep using that. I love the 5D Mark iii otherwise.

dragonsky3 karma

What was it like working with Emily Ratajkowski seeing as this will be her first big role in a movie ?

Do you consider WAYF to be a drama, music movie, comedy or ?

And 100% there something scripted in Catfish ? :)

Good luck with the movie and I hope it does well on the box office as this is your first feature film :))

DirectorMaxJoseph5 karma

Working with Emily was awesome. She is very professional and her acting style is very natural, subtle and authentic which I prefer. I know she's going to be a big star.

It's hard to put WAYF into a category. It's probably a mix between a drama and a musical but definitely has some humor in it. I think it's cool that it doesn't fit squarely into one category.

No, Catfish is not scripted. Never has been and never will be. If it were then the people on it would be THE BEST actors of all time and I would have or should have cast them all in WAYF!!

liamwenham3 karma

Hey Max! What's your favourite memory of working with Casey Neistat? How often do you think about Justin and how batshit insane he is?

DirectorMaxJoseph8 karma

I do not think about Justin. Ever really.

I do think about Casey a lot. He is immensely inspiring. He goes with his gut, shoots from the hip, and doesn't second guess himself. I do a lot of that but then second guess myself and overthink things and try to make them perfect. One of my favorite memories of working with Casey was swimming in alligator-infested waters in Thailand and being so freaked out that i had to end up getting back into the boat and casey just swam around like he was in a pool, exploring the island/cave. His belief that he is invincible might actually make him invincible. I have a lot of great Casey memories.

liamquane2 karma

What is it like producing so many documentaries?

DirectorMaxJoseph2 karma

It's great getting to know people and hearing their stories. It's also a lot of pressure to make sure you properly represent them in film. But documentaries are just like endless learning and I'm into that.

realyomnaahmed1 karma

What is your favourite band, song and who is your favourite super hero?

DirectorMaxJoseph3 karma

Favorite band is Led Zeppelin Favorite song keeps changing every few years: one of my all time faves is "Not Too Late for Goodbyes" by Julian Lennon Favorite Superhero is Spawn

thataintforkids1 karma

Hey, Max, greetings from Norway! I'm a huge fan of yours and I'm really excited to see WAYF. My question to you is, was there ever any specific movie that made you want to become a director/work in the industry?

DirectorMaxJoseph6 karma

Trainspotting and Annie Hall. I saw them both the same year and the combination of music, style, emotion, and humor/self-knowledge really inspired me. I also read a great book by Robert Rodriguez called REBEL WITHOUT A CREW that fired me up to make movies more than anything else. That was a turning point reading that.

asadavid1 karma

Hi Max! I am a big catfish fan. Have you ever considered taking the show to other countries or doing any sort of spin-offs on the show? Also congratulations on WAYF!

DirectorMaxJoseph2 karma

We think about it ALL THE TIME. Like every second of every day. The problem is that it would be very expensive and logistically difficult. However I think we will find a way to do it one day soon.

CreamChi1 karma

Hey Max what is the stupidest/funniest thing that Niev has done?

DirectorMaxJoseph4 karma

He fell off the workout bench in the hotel gym and sprained his foot--hence the cast in season 2 (or was it 3?). But he's always doing stupid/funny things.

Shageen1 karma

Why's with the films title "We Are Your Friends"? It seems very unusual for the films content. That's seems more like a title of a Dora the Explorer episode than a film about a DJ in L.A.

Emily Rata..... Is in it though so that's certainly a selling feature.

DirectorMaxJoseph1 karma

It's from a great electronic music song by Justice vs. Simian called We Are Your Friends that is in the movie and that really sums up the vibe of these guys. I also think the film is about friendship through many different prisms.

maxjoseph_bavaria1 karma

Hi Max! This is Miriam from Germany. Did you like directing 'We Are Your Friends'? Have you thought about directing a feature film again? Or do you focus on catfish and documentary videos/commercials?

DirectorMaxJoseph2 karma

i LOVED directing WAYF. It was one of the best experiences of my life. But it was a FULL experience--meaning that it put me through every emotion to the extreme--joy, stress, despair, anger, more stress, love, hate, more stress, joy get the picture. Even today, the DAY IT OPENS is very intense. I definitley would LOVE to do another feature film soon. It's an amazing medium and I have a lot to learn and more stories I want to tell. I also am looking forward to a new season of Catfish starting in two weeks!!

filmmakerelliott1 karma

Hi Max, thanks for taking the time to do this AMA (:

As an aspiring filmmaker myself, what have you found to be the biggest challenge in your career to becoming a filmmaker, and what tips would you give to someone like myself to achieving the success you have?

DirectorMaxJoseph3 karma

In a thinly veiled way, WAYF is about this very question. Basically you have to just keep on making stuff with an eye toward what you like making best. Instead of just taking whatever job comes your way, try to find jobs that will challenge you and make you grow. Also be experimental and don't be embarrassed to try and fail. It's a huge part of the process and you can learn more from a worthy failure than a massive success although it can be painful. Stick with it, keep your head down and keep making shit. Deadlines are also mad helpful.

itsmylifeasmia1 karma

What are you doing when you hit a low to motivate yourself?

DirectorMaxJoseph2 karma

I run. To music. Outside if possible. And then I will watch a good movie or TV show and maybe read out of one of my favorite books. Some combination of all of those things seems to put me back on track.

neveneffecten1 karma

How different was it to work on a movie for such a long time, versus finishing an episode of Catfish in a rather short amount of time?

DirectorMaxJoseph3 karma

INTENSE. You invest a lot of your life into a movie whereas Catfish is more of a week to week thing. WAYF looms over everything I do and has been for the last 2.5 years.

mochi8131 karma

Hi Max! Thanks for doing this AMA!

I know you must travel a lot between filming and general life, so I'm curious: What is the best meal you've ever eaten, and where was it?

DirectorMaxJoseph2 karma

Oh man! That's a hard one. Peter Luger's steakhouse in NY is always amazing. Slows BBQ in Detroit or Bavette's in Chicago also incredible.

hoochiscrazy_1 karma

Sorry to ask you about Catfish rather than WAYF but I was wondering - do you have plans to film any episodes in other countries, specifically the UK?

DirectorMaxJoseph5 karma

I WISH! Rumor is that they are developing a UK version of the show but not with me and Nev but we would make an appearance.

formerlybrucejenner1 karma

What is your favorite food?

DirectorMaxJoseph3 karma

Chicken Tikka Masala! MMMmmm.

Tricksee411 karma

What watch did you used to wear in the early seasons of Catfish? I must know!!!!

(p.s, I once queried you about what headphones you have on a previous AMA with Nev)

DirectorMaxJoseph1 karma

Casio G-Shock.

icantmakethisup1 karma

  1. Do you ever get tired of being called a "silver fox"?

  2. What was your major in college? How has your life differed from the way you thought it would turn out?

  3. Advice for an aspiring screenwriter?

DirectorMaxJoseph8 karma

  1. Not really bc it's only online. If people called me Silver Fox IRL it might get annoying.
  2. I was an English Literature Major. I always always wanted to be a filmmaker and amazingly my life is following the path i set for myself but at the same time it's been a strange and indirect road to get here. You've got to be willing to take detours in the hopes that they might teach you something you needed to know.
  3. Yes. Read books and study history and literature and neurology and psychology. Anything that's not JUST movies. Only studying movies will make you a boring ass filmmaker or writer. You need to know about other stuff.

toxicomano1 karma

What is your honest impression of Casey's app Beme?

DirectorMaxJoseph1 karma

I love it. Really do. What do you think of it honestly? I wish I could save my bemes but you might be able to do that now.

GatorMS-691 karma

Hi Max!

1) What did you have for breakfast? 2) What's your favorite TV show right now?

DirectorMaxJoseph2 karma

  1. I didn't eat today! I'm sooo hungry right now. I did eat half of an untoasted bagel and a full croissant. but not one right after the other.

  2. Favorite show right now is a tie between Game of Thrones and House of Cards. The Ship name I'd have for those two shows is Game of Cards!