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Actor / EntertainerIamA Catfish, Max Joseph AMA!

Feb 2nd 2017 by mojopinata5 • 8 Questions • 188 Points

I am a filmmaker and the son of renowned drug-policy activist Amanda Feilding. My latest feature documentary, The Sunshine Makers, is out now on select US cinemas and VOD. It's about Nick Sand and Tim Scully, two underground chemists united in a mission to save the planet with the consciousness-raising power of LSD. Together they manufactured industrial quantities of Orange Sunshine, the most famous LSD ever made - with the Fed hot on their tails... I am here with Tim Scully, the science genius behind the Orange Sunshine who changed his mind about the ultimate use for LSD. Ask us anything!

Prroof:

https://i.redd.it/gxju6eurubby.jpg https://i.redd.it/vuhktwvuubby.jpg

Q:

I'm a mental health counselor and find the ways that you conceptualize the stories of the people on Catfish is always very insightful and when you & Nev sit down with them towards the end of the show, the advice and thoughts you share with them are always very therapeutic. I've always wondered: does Catfish have a psych/counseling consultant or did you miss your true calling of being a therapist?

A:

Yes, with hindsight 300ug was more than necessary. The high dose led to many emergency room admissions because people got frightened.


Q:

haha. Nev and I have both had a lot of therapy growing up so I think we've just absorbed a lot of that and are passing it on. We don't have a psych consultant or advisor and sometime we feel in way over our heads.

A:

The science suggests that LSD could have amazing potential for treating serious psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety, but there is still a lot of research to be done.

We don't want people running out and thinking they can cure their mental illness on their own with acid from the street. This has to be taken extremely seriously. The scientists leading this research into LSD have gone to great lengths to insure safety. The studies are done in hospitals and there is always a medical professional there along with many other safety measures.

THere is a lot of room for LSD to be abused, and if too much of that happens it will hinder the scientific research again just as it did in the 60s.

I hope in the next 5-10 years there will be enough science for LSD to be approved as a medicine under very strict regulations


Q:

Hi silver fox,

Has there been many episodes you have started filming on catfish but were never shown as the catfish refused to meet up? If so, what's the most memorable story?

A:

What would be your preferred process for reintroducing LSD into society? Do you feel the main priority is to reduce restrictions on, and enable state funding for, research so that we can treat people with certain illnesses?

Are you in favour of making it accessible to the whole of society? If not, why not? If so, do you feel there needs to be an informational campaign to debunk decades of misinformation about LSD and educate people about its most suitable application – as a ‘tool for introverted spiritual growth’?


Q:

Everyone asks about this. Only one episode of the show has not aired at this point and it is for some legal technicalities which aren't that interesting or sensational. You've seen pretty much everything.

A:

Good questions...

I think first and foremost the focus should be on getting psychedelics approved as medicines for very particular medical conditions which will be heavily regulated by the government.

In the long run I think people should be allowed to experiment with these substances in very controlled and safe environments - just as psychedelics have been used in most ancient cultures for millennia.

But as you say, I think a lot of education is needed to prepare society for this kind of wider societal use.

Psychedelics are certainly not for everyone, but they can clearly be of great benefit to some people and some of those people have been a great benefit to society as a whole: e.g. Steve Jobs, Jimmi Hendrix, the Beatles, and Nobel Prize winning scientist Francis Crick


Q:

In the first seasons of Catfish, there were times you would look at Nev with that "are u kidding me? You're ridiculous" face. I always found it funny.

Be honest, have you ever wanted to punch him in the face before? Because Nev, I love him, but sometimes he has that face that you just wanna punch for no reason.

A:

Hi and thanks for doing this AMA. NYT recently ran a story on micro-dosing, do you feel stories like these hint at a growing awareness or push for further study? Do you ever see LSD being legalized recreationally like marijuana?


Q:

There are definitely times I want to punch Nev in the face. And vice versa.

A:

I think we are a very long way away from legalization of psychedelics. The best we can hope for is that they might be rescheduled so that it becomes easier to do scientific research

At the moment they are classed along with the most dangerous and addictive drugs which is actually crazy because they are extremely non-toxic and non-addictive and very little social damage has come from them

There are so many more cannabis users that it will be hard for there to ever be enough popular support to force psychedelic legalization, but if enough convincing science comes out that shows the potential benefits of these substances then who knows? It's hard to argue with science.

I believe there is a very long way to go in terms of changing the public image around psychedelics, but I believe Silicon Valley are a very powerful influence on the whole world, so maybe they can bring about change faster than one might expect


Q:

Max! My wife and I love watching Catfish and we think you and Nev are such a great tandem, you balance each other so well.

You guys have covered such a gamut of circumstances on the show, we were wondering-- is there anything that you guys are surprised you haven't seen yet? As in, is there anything you guys are still hoping to see on the show that hasn't fleshed itself out yet? And also, thanks for all you do as an advocate on your social media. It's cool to see people use their influence for good and not just being dicks. Thanks!

A:

thanks for the idea, but will the PDF be of a high enough resolution? I'll give it a try!


Q:

Thank you! And yes, there is one scenario we haven't seen and wish to which we call the "Coming to America" scenario where a Catfish is pretending to be an ordinary person when they are really the prince of Zamunda, or just super wealthy, glamorous, socialite or something.

A:

Thanks. I love it too

I just got my print, I'm so proud of it. I'm not sure if you can get prints - maybe get in touch with Film Rise (our distributors) directly or ask them on facebook/twitter


Q:

First off, I just wanna say I love how real you are on Catfish with calling out bullshit and speaking your mind! Do you still keep in touch with a few people who featured on the show?

A:

I actually did ask them--as they responded to a FB message as I was exiting the theater last week--they said there was no way :(


Q:

Yes, a couple of them. It's nice. I follow many of them on social media too and can see what they're up to even if we don't correspond.

A:

really? That's kind of stupid. I'll ask them too


Q:

What's the worst part about being always on the road while filming the show?

A:

Why are people more vocal about drug freedom than they are about Healthcare, gun control and other issues that plague the US?


Q:

Not getting to see my wife for large periods of time.

A:

Are they?

I think it just depends on who you're hanging around with


Q:

Have you ever been scared that someone on Catfish was going to try and harm you or Nev?

A:

Here are a few more - Wilmar H. Shiras - "Children of the Atom"; Frank Herbert - "The Santroga Barrier"; Eric Frank Russell - "Wasp" & "And Then There Were None"; Chester Anderson - "The Butterfly Kid"; John Brunner - "Dreaming Earth"; Aldous Huxley - "Island"

nonfiction Steve Silberman - "Neurotribes"


Q:

Yes once in that Jess and Artis episode where Justin got up in Nev's face. Or in Mhissy and Jasmine when we were caught inbetween them.

A:

Have you seen Arrival?

I didn't see it on LSD, but it's an amazing movie I think


Q:

We all love mad Max, 😂 but which catfish story did you find frustrated you the most?

A:

You hear a lot of propoganda about LSD but you also hear from past users who did a lot of LSD and now struggle to think clearly and rationally and refer to themselves as acid casualties. Do you believe that LSD can have such a negative effect (apart from causing psychotic breaks in the already mentally ill)?


Q:

I'm still trying to understand the Rod and Ebony episode. It's a perplexing mystery.

A:

I think you're right. A lot of the scare stories are just plain fabrications that were part of a huge propaganda campaign against LSD - like the idea that LSD causes deformed babies!

That said, LSD is the most powerful drug to act on the brain ever invented and people have used the substance very recklessly - especially in the 60s when everything was so new and there was so little guidance on offer, but even today.

Set and setting is extremely important for psychedelics - as Mike Randal says: "waves, not raves". A lot of people make the mistake of taking LSD at a rave when they are already wasted and it's a very intense situation that can lead to some pretty unpleasant experiences.

I can believe that people have done real damage to themselves by taking excessive amounts of LSD with the wrong set and setting. But that said, you can do damage to yourself with pretty much anything. As Prof David Nutt pointed out, you are statistically much more likely to damage yourself riding a horse than taking MDMA or LSD.

There are risks involved in everything, but LSD is an obvious substance that people should treat with great respect and caution.


Q:

What is your favorite thing about Nev? You have quite the bromance going on!

A:

He's funny and always cracks me up.


Q:

Did you and Nev ever fight during filming? Or did you always get along like bros

A:

Ha. We got into one real fight during season 2 when we were in Fort Madison, Iowa and Nev was messing with me because we were staying in a creaky old Bed and Breakfast and he was making it seem like there was a ghost in it and I had been sleeping and just wanted to go back to sleep but couldn't because he wouldn't stop messing with me. Eventually it escalated into punches and then someone's nose started bleeding and we stopped.


Q:

What's your favorite place you've visited that you only traveled to because of Catfish?

A:

Loved Columbia, Missouri. Really cool college town with great people. I had also never been to Nashville before which I loved. Also Kodiak, Alaska. Loved that place.


Q:

My GF and I have seen every episode, and I think I've seen enough that I can read when you are getting really pissed off at some of the people on the show that you meet. Who frustrated you the most, whether they were the catsfish or the one being catfished?

A:

Adam the Gambler probably frustrated me most.


Q:

I watched the entirety of Catfish recently while recovering from surgery. I accidentally started calling my husband Nev (he's also tan and hairy), but other than that it was a great binge watch show.

That made me wonder, how much time do you have between pursuing catfish? I have to imagine you need a little bit of recovery time between each one because of how intense they can be, but it seems like you fly from city to city pretty quick.

A:

Glad you've recovered! We generally only get one travel day between episodes so after two or three in a row we can be pretty worn down emotionally and be crabby. 4 eps in a row and we're going crazy.


Q:

Are you aware of a podcast starring 2 New Zealanders that is currently dedicated to reviewing your film "We Are Your Friends" once a week for a year? Worst Idea of All Time

(they previously reviewed Grown Ups 2 and Sex and the City 2 a year each)

A:

Ha. I am aware but not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe I don't want to know.


Q:

Not sure if this has been asked, but do you ever get freaked out about just how much information is available online? And does that affect the way that you guys live your lives as a result?

A:

YES. Search yourself and see what exists out there. Probably a lot. We have had to become a lot more careful about disclosing personal information. Restaurants and Best Buy and random places are always asking for phone numbers and addresses and you can totally say no if you want. Be careful.


Q:

Hi Max! My dad and I are huge fans of Catfish and absolutely love it when you offer participants the necessary, rational perspective.

My question to you is rather broad - what are your opinions on the ever increasing influence of the internet on relationships?

Do you believe that those who meet online are less "valid" of a couple than those who meet in real life?

Do you think that ultimately the internet has ruined the concept of "true love" or altered the idea of "love at first sight"?

I'm intrigued to see how your exposure to so many "e-couples" has impacted your perspective.

ty ily <3

A:

I think the internet has provided a revolution in how to meet significant others and partners. I think it's pretty awesome actually. I do, however, think that it's easy to overlook the importance of physical chemistry between people. Internet relationships tend to only be about exchanging of information but NOT experiencing things together side-by-side which is what real relationships end up being about. Also just what a person smells like, the way they move their hands or face, or feel to the touch are important aspects of having chemistry with someone that you can't get from the internet.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

Just tell him. Rip the bandaid off.


Q:

Hi, Max! You're known for your unwavering chivalry on Catfish and for your enlightening political posts elsewhere (my favorite). I feel as if you are one of the more private TV personalities though. Is there a reason why? Is there anything you wish people knew?

A:

Haha. I am about to release a series of personal films starting next week so if you are interested check them out here: get.vero.co/maxjosephxvero. 1st one comes out on weds.


Q:

Hi Max ! Sending love from Michigan.

Any new plans for movies you want to share with us ?

Also what is the hardest part about the whole Catfish experience ? You guys have been at it for a while now and the shock factor I think will never get old. I can't imagine being in your shoes in some of those situations.

A:

I have a new film coming out next weds! It will be exclusively available on Vero, which you can get here: get.vero.co/maxjosephxvero.


Q:

Is there a reason Nev is more nice when confronting a catfish, and you're usually the one being more tough on them, and letting them know the severity of playing with people's emotions?

A:

I think it has to do with the fact that Nev got in trouble a lot as an adolescent and young adult and is genuinely more understanding of people who do questionable things. I'm pretty hard on myself to always be ethical and do the right moral thing and I think that I sometimes put that on other people.


Q:

Why is it that you film shots with a small camera but have two other camera guys behind you filming you filming a computer screen? I feel like of it was just you and nev and not the giant crew behind you the show would have a better feel to it.

A:

Good question. Well first, I'm getting an intimate angle on the action while the two guys behind me are getting wider/more voyeuristic angles. Secondly I use the small camera bc it's less intrusive and easier for everyone to just forget it's there and be normal.


Q:

Hi Max how did you become an co host of Catfish & do you regret this?

A:

hahaha. no regrets...yet. Nev had actually asked another friend of his to do the pilot and at the last second that guy had a scheduling conflict so he asked me to fill in. The rest is history.


Q:

Do you ever feel awkward when filming or Nev is talking to the catfishee or catfisher on the phone filming? Seems like a super weird place to willingly be.

A:

Yah. It gets awkward in there.


Q:

Max,

I love the roles you and Nev take on in the show. I appreciate that you normally are the skeptical one who calls people out on their BS. With that said, when Nev gets pissed, he really gets pissed (like when he tossed the phone). Can you ever tell when someone is going to set him off?

Also, the episode with the slowest clap in the world is hands-down the best. Have you all ever thought of trying to track him down? Seemingly it would be tv ratings gold.

A:

It's random when Nev gets pissed. I can't always tell who is going to push his buttons. He loves problematic people and likes talking to them.


Q:

Such a big Catfish fan, so this is super cool!

If you could go back to when you were younger, what advice would you give yourself?

A:

Learn Spanish! Play the guitar. Don't worry so much.


Q:

What's your opinion on your film 'We Are Your Friends'? Do negative reviews affect your opinion on the outcome of the film or do you think you accomplished what you originally set out to make?

A:

I am really happy with the film but it's definitely a bummer when reviewers or anyone who sees it doesn't get it or connect to it. I wish I could tell you it doesn't bother me at all but it stings a little for sure. But when someone tells me that the film connected with them I know that they are feeling what I was feeling when I made it and that connection is super cool and that's why I do it.


Q:

What has been your favorite place to go while filming catfish?

A:

Good question but answered this already. See above.


Q:

Are you working on a feature film at the moment? Can we expect you to direct another in the future?

A:

I am writing something that I'm excited about but can't say more. But yes there will be more films coming soon. Next week I have a short film dropping on Vero--follow me there and look out for it. get.vero.co/maxjosephxvero


Q:

Hi Max, are you planning on making another feature film?

A:

Yes! Been writing it. In the meantime I have a short coming out next week on Vero--get.vero.co/maxjosephxvero--follow me there and check it out.


Q:

What music are you listening to at the moment?

A:

Listening to the "What Follows" Album but Shit Robot. And the new Underworld album. So so good.


Q:

Hi Max! I am a huge fan of Catfish, and I loved WAYF! It's one of my favorite movies to watch when I need to get inspired. I also have a lot of respect for your activist work with Nev and others.

My question: if you could remake and direct any movie, what would it be?

Keep up the great work!

A:

I'd love to do a sequel to WAYF.