Catfish: Why the ‘Hoax’ is Probably Fake

Catfish

***Warning: In-Depth Spoilers of Catfish to follow***

Since its premiere at Sundance, the documentary Catfish has had more than its share of controversy. Many critics, bloggers and industry types have loudly challenged the filmmakers’ ethical stance towards their subjects and the credibility of their document (on occasion citing the film to be, if not liberally fabricated, then an outright hoax). Having had some time to mull over the fine points of the debate and my own distilled impressions of the experience, I wish to defend the documentary against what I consider to be largely baseless accusations of its lack of authenticity. I do not claim to know the whole story and if any undiscovered evidence one way or the other should grace the comment thread I would welcome any revision to my opinions, but as it stands Catfish, though fortuitous, appears sufficiently plausible.

With the cover my ass clause out of the way, let’s proceed.

First, I dismiss wholesale the claim that everything in Catfish is faked, my mind cannot process how that could even be possible, and in particular, how mentally handicapped children would be used as props in such a deceit (forget ethics, what about commonsense?). This rebuttal is in response to the claims that Nev and the filmmakers (hitherto known as ‘the protagonists’) covered-up their foreknowledge of the peculiarities of the online encounters; whether they knew that Abby, Meghan and Angela were all manifestations of the same person or knew in vaguer terms that something was fishy earlier than the Colorado visit, it becomes an accusation of entrapment and exploitation for what transpires in Michigan. I believe the integral part of the official story in Catfish to be true: until Colorado, the protagonists were unaware of any deception. For me their version of the story hinges on the authenticity of one scene: the discovery that Meghan did not perform the songs she claimed to. If some of the interviews of Nev were staged at the beginning because of lack of footage that, to me, is excusable and no different than what a lot of documentaries engage in. If the song scene is genuine and place-time specific in Colorado before deciding to surprise visit ‘Meghan’ in Michigan then everything that follows has a strong probability of being authentic.

My confidence in the official story is fueled by a variety of considerations: first, the burden of proof trumps biases of perception and, as in a court of law where one is innocent until proven guilty, the accusations need to rise above circumstantial evidence of which the bulk of what I have read online appears to be. Second, the situations, when considered in context, are plausible and it’s only when you think of them anecdotally that it becomes harder to accept. Lastly, the film passes my Turing Test of believability: the detective work of reading the minutiae of facial and body language and the tacit interactions captured on camera provided me no indication that the ‘performances’ in the film were anything but genuine.

Let’s start with the obvious: as constructs all documentaries lie. Compare the span of time that is alleged to be marked in Catfish (eight months) to that of the running time of the documentary, clearly the narrative insinuated in the movie is a mere anecdote to the experience as it was lived. Even if the protagonists were genuinely naïve prior to the Colorado revelations, the way the story is conflated in the documentary (the music underscoring the absurdity, how quickly we jump from introductions to first phone call to affectations of love) all create a quick impression for the viewer that unintentionally makes their gullibility seem all the more implausible than had it transpired over months of habitual development. If you throw a frog in a boiling pot it will jump out, but keep it in the pot while gradually increasing the temperature and it will ignore the danger to its own peril; were the protagonists victims of the same slow boil? In order to discredit the official version of the story the proof required needs to go beyond the surface impression of the documentary and appreciate that it is quite plausible that the eight months of online discussion with Nev was one thread among many in their seemingly busy lives. Life, unfortunately, comes without prescient framing devices.

Many of those disputing the official story mistakenly point to the marketing campaign as proof of the malicious nature of the filmmakers and to the feigned sincerity of their film. Time and again I have read that the decision to frame the movie as a ‘reality thriller’ (building the Angela mystery component as some kind of predator in waiting) trivializes the human drama of the last forty minutes and discredits any notion of the cautiously sympathetic onscreen personas of the protagonists. But, as Nev puts it in the Screenrant interview:

When we saw the marketing strategy, we were definitely shocked. And I, at least for me, I was upset. I didn’t like the idea of this story, this thing that happened to me, being sensationalized. It felt like there was enough of an experience that people would see it and have a reaction. And I didn’t want to mislead them into seeing it for some other reason. But what I started to understand is that it’s hard to get people to spend hard-earned money to see something instead of something else if they don’t have any reason to. And you can’t just tell someone, “See it, it’s good”.

In what alternate reality could these lightweight filmmakers dictate the terms of the marketing campaign when their documentary had been purchased by corporate giants, Universal Pictures and, for Canadian distribution, Alliance Atlantis? However callous the marketing campaign may be, it has little to do with Nev and the filmmakers and more to do with those acquiring it for distribution wishing to maximize profits. On a side note, I probably would not have seen this film were it not for the clever marketing strategy they used, and the end result of my experience was anything but callous disdain for the subjects. Just as the documentary is a conflation of events into a quasi-fictional narrative, the marketing campaign is itself yet another layer of fiction added by a third party.

The belief in a deliberate cover-up by the filmmakers comes chiefly from the misperception that the film was a considered documentary from frame one of what we see onscreen. The gotcha argument seems to be that any filmmaker engaging in this project would have thoroughly researched the blossoming online romance between Nev and Meghan long before it is claimed in the movie. That would be a valid point were it not extraneously built upon unfounded premises. According to the less glamorous official story, the footage that comprises Catfish was not a considered documentary until the Colorado incident, some eight months in. So what was their reason for filming Nev then? Aside from being the brother of one of the filmmakers and photogenic to boot, they have an established history (see Red Bucket Films) of being part of a circle of filmmaking friends that make good use of their HD cameras filming each other incessantly. In the Screenrant interview they talk about it as a collective culture:

Among the 15 of us, or however many there are, we just do this all the time and we mostly just share it with each other. And it’s kind of like filmmaking practice in a way. It’s kind of like doing, you know, like a pick-up basketball game as opposed to the championship. It’s just like fun. We do it for fun.

Fun? Sounds suspicious. Indeed, in the very first scene of the documentary Nev addresses the fact that the footage being shot is extraneous, he being less interesting than the real subject, ‘Abby’. The impression for the viewer is that what we are seeing is something more defined than they are letting on. In the Film School rejects interview they refer to this footage more as diary sketches than documentary footage, Abby being a natural subject to be drawn to considering there was the novelty of a pint-size artist and the event of opening boxes of her latest paintings. And what, in fact, is the footage prior to Colorado, is it really a treasure trove of remarkably implausible moments? Considering that all or most of the online footage is post-production, what you have is approximately two or three phone calls, two or three scenes of Nev opening boxes, him sending the postcard (by that point the Colorado trip was established) and a couple of interviews of Nev explaining the situation and his feelings for Meghan.

Catfish

The residual gotcha arguments continue to pile up. The most telling of these is the accusation that tech-savvy, twenty-something hipsters in this day and age would have easily saw through Angela’s ruse – why hadn’t Nev tried a basic google search long before the Colorado tip-off? The ‘hipster’ moniker creeps up everywhere in reviews. From what I am able to piece together about Nev and the filmmakers from the limited amount time they are onscreen, ‘hipster’ is not exactly what I would call them: in what way do they embody and promote a sense of in-the-know pop-cultural zeitgeist? Hipster is typically used as a derogatory term. Tech-savvy, sure. But as someone trained as an information specialist, I know that your average university student searching online does not use boolean operators, and rarely uses advanced features of any kind, this irrespective of being ‘savvy’ in a particular technology.

According to this Salon article, Nev admits to googling Abby’s family early on, and having found nothing he just assumed that their rural locale had something to do with it, uneventfully shrugging it off. This to me sounds like a credible ‘search’ and it is only because of the story that follows and the context of it within a documentary is he held accountable to a level that most of us would not sustain in our own lives. In the ether of the daily grind there are a thousand non-descript distractions and miscues that are edited out of our ‘narratives’ and aside from the predatory class of over-achievers the bulk of people are not nearly as clever and forward-thinking in unrehearsed life as our fiction-saturated imaginations would lead us to believe. Nev, prior to being a festival circuit celebrity wasn’t anyone particularly special when Angela (as Abby) first contacted him, it wasn’t immediately intimate, it developed over months of casual interaction, and he was 23 years old. Also, in this particular case, Nev had an abundance of evidence on the surface to support his conviction that Meghan was real, undercutting any real urgency to go that extra step in his google pursuits. Is it so naïve to expect that one person had not created ten fictional characters on a facebook page to have them all interact with one another, and put on different voices on the phone? Either that is an exceptional scenario, which few of us would prepare for, or all of us right now should be cross-referencing every online acquaintance we make for fear of the Angela epidemic.

On the one hand, I understand the skepticism towards the official story, the protagonists do come off as murderers with air-tight alibis: events happen conveniently, the music discovery is in Colorado which is place-time specific, the sending of the postcard establishes chronology. If this is deceit, it is a level of sophistication that requires one to sit back in awe. Presupposing the first half is by design, and they had complete authorial control over how they wished to portray their innocence, it seems excessive the lengths that are documented to which they are willing to blur the line and keep up the pretense of verisimilitude. If they are covering their tracks why do you hear one of them joking about Angela probably being a dude within the edited version of the documentary? If they wanted to make their position more credible, why didn’t they explicitly mention in the documentary that Nev had googled Abby’s family? Another unspoken bit of realism is at the farm, when the driver decides to back into the driveway. It’s not explained in the film why he chose to reverse (negating any clear logic of it being staged for the hoax) only in interviews do we find out that the driver choose to back in first because he was afraid that if the shit hits the fan they could make a clean getaway. Also, the postcard has a return to sender stamp that makes sense only in a rural location (the protagonists are born and bred city slickers, and my understanding is that return to sender requests in New York require a residing individual to make the request, not the mail system). The on-camera revelation that Meghan did not perform the songs she claimed to appear on the surface to be unusually fortuitous and likely staged, but going by the logic of the official story, why on earth wouldn’t they be filming at that moment? Irrespective of any foul play, the online romance finally has something cinematic to work with as Meghan’s music becomes an audible conduit of their infatuation for one another. If this was by design, give them credit, it’s the most believable scenario of having cameras rolling one could conceive of.

In his review, A.O. Scott of The New York Times chastises Nev and the filmmakers (“shame on them”) for the perceived exploitation of Angela in the movie. If Catfish is only a cautionary tale or ‘reality thriller’ then I can see the ethical quandary where suffering outweighs the purpose, but what I took from the film was far more than that. I believe Angela expresses herself quite admirably considering the circumstances. The accusations that the filmmakers were bullying this defenseless mentally ill woman, is to me, somewhat presumptuous and a bit insulting in its own right considering that what is onscreen is Angela in her own words acknowledging her mistakes and explaining herself (as you would hope for from any responsible adult). In the 20/20 interview which Angela partook of voluntarily she states quite articulately that she was at fault for the deceit (“I couldn’t apologize enough”). Was 20/20 exploiting Angela too by giving her an opportunity to make her case?

Permit me this radical caveat in closing. As a construct, documentaries lie, however our actual experience of documentaries occur not as whole commodities but in moment-by-moment interactions with what is onscreen. Despite the construct, outside of narrative and the pull of an edited choice, there are truths, incidental and undeclared, that exist like bubbles rising to the surface. Such micro-effects cross-referenced with your own lived-in cache of experiences are not bound by narrative but by recognition of behavior. Narrative, in this case, presumes continuity like a nicely paved road over the images that exist, so that you cannot respond to them without this blockade intruding. The fallacy is in this notion of continuity, as if there is a fixed narrative in a split second of film that can be forever linked to authorial intent. Each moment contains its own possibilities for recognition, if there is pavement, its cracked, and no more cracked than in the last forty minutes of Catfish which blossoms with these small moments, which, depending on your proclivity, becomes a choose your own adventure for how the film resolves itself.

What I found in the interviews of Angela were not brow-beating ridicule from a camera-wielding Other but an unrehearsed, intimate and true expression of one person’s deepest sorrow. Loneliness is a universal emotion, and rather then see Angela as this carnival attraction I saw her as a bona-fide human being; her confessions may have made me wince but it came from a place of familiarity more than some imagined transgression. When Nev was sitting for her drawing, nothing about that scene felt devious or inauthentic to me. Far from the shit-eating grin of a sinister hipster that some have been describing in their reviews, I see Nev as an uncomfortable, young adult caught up in something he was not prepared to experience. In his book, Blink!, Malcolm Gladwell spoke of the persistence of snap judgment in our interpretation of the world around us, contrary to our best presumptions of impartiality. Maybe, instead of elaborately conceived deceptions, it is these micro-burst biases of perception that cause such diverging viewpoints on what took place in Catfish. It could be the slightest trigger: the all-too-bright glint of Nev’s teeth, an unspoken ‘hipster’ swagger or glimpse of shower-room chauvinism in the sexting scene.

I mean, really, would this face lie?

Catfish

Mike Rot
Master of War

514 Comments

  1. ***Spoilers****CATFISH*****Spoilers****

    ***Spoilers****CATFISH*****Spoilers****

    ***Spoilers****CATFISH*****Spoilers****

    ***Spoilers****CATFISH*****Spoilers****

    Having finally watched The Night Listener, I can somewhat see the argument made by some that Catfish is a direct borrowing from that Robin Williams movie. It is actually kind of weird how many beats are similar… also how both acknowledge the possibility of fraud within the story before the reveal… that is an unusual tactic. In Night Listener they talk about an actual condition that Toni Collette's character has, and that would fit Angela exactly. I am still not convinced this is more than coincidence (seems like a bad way to make a fake documentary, working from something already established in fiction). Eerie coincidence though.

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  2. Rewatched Catfish and can say even more confidently that it is real, for all the reasons above and even more strongly that tacitly the reactions in the film feel 100% authentic. Also noticed this time that the establishing footage, prior to the turn, comprise a total of 17 minutes, much of that post-production screen inserts… like I said in the post, hardly a treasure trove of impossible footage.

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  3. I have to say, this is perhaps my favourite movie of the year (tied with The Disappearance of Alice Creed), but I have my doubts about how conveniently things take place as you've mentioned.

    My other major gripe is: this movie is shot last year, don't tell me they've never heard of webcams.

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  4. According to what is said in the film, it takes place 2007 and part of 2008. I have tried to set up a webcam conversation with my parents who live in rural area for two years to no success. Also they weren't romantically involved until later in the relationship, its not implausible that that request could be stalled with claims of improper connection in Michigan.

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  5. Point noted. I'm still mildly frustrated though, as far as I know if there's an internet connection, there shouldn't be a problem using a webcam; feed would just be very laggy. But you've tried it before so perhaps I'm missing some technical info.

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  6. My problem has been connecting a Mac to a PC over Skype, and then over Messenger, and it doesn't work. My parents have some obscure internet company in their rural area and I think it may have something to with it.

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  7. The backing into the driveway seems obscured. Sure, he was backing in because he wanted to make a fast getaway because? Quite possibly… they didn't know the owners of that house and they were snooping on their property to get a shot they needed. Not to mention that they drive up to what them city boys thought was a barn where a pregnant horse was? Really? They don't think that's a car garage?

    I think the return to sender stamp is inconsequential… The mail would be delivered to "Meghan's" address no matter if she lived there or not… it was probably looked at by the residents then stamped by them to be returned and left in their mailbox to be picked up the next day. Or… it is feasible for them to make up another postcard, attach the coin so from afar you know it's his card, and then film the drive up.

    I don't get why the acknowledging the possibility of fraud would derail the notion of truth… in any case, it strengthens it because that's what the audience is thinking; is this for real? There's a similar VO technique used in the Shawshank Redemption when Red dismisses Andy's intentions of the mineral pick, so the audience does as well. With Catfish, it only eases the audience in that we think it's more 'real' since we're asking the same questions and discount that as an option

    Another weird occurrence is why did they fly into Chicago if they're going to Ishpeming? Why not fly into Green Bay or Marquette? Weirder though is the fact that let's say everything is true… This means that after finding out about the music in Colorado that he doesn't confront her on the phone (he does a wussy version and backs off immediately in the film) and that he is going to spend all this time and money to confront her in person? We're talking a couple grand here to get to her… I think that's the part that it feel like they had previous knowledge.

    Here's what I think happened and would still be considered a "100% true".

    – Everything up to Colorado happened like it did, but was filled in after the fact.

    – In Colorado, they got a whiff that Meghan might not be who she says she is. They confront her, get the legit answer about what is happening and they ask her if they can go talk with her and film her about what has happened to what she did. I don't think it's implausible for them to ask subjects to act out certain scenes like them arriving in order to get to the meat of what they wanted to film…

    The above would produce the emotions and realism because their internet relationship would have still existed, but would make sense for their 3 person crew to actually fly out there to film it. It's like doing a recreation doc like Thin Blue Line but purporting it to be, "in the moment" with the last 40 minutes being 'interviews' of how they feel about what she did aka 'the story'. It's a weird hybrid doc that I thoroughly enjoy.

    Probably the most damaging to people actually believing it was a documentary was the marketing, which I agree has nothing to do with the actual filmmakers. It just makes the pill harder to swallow since most studios like to play up that it's 'true story', where they did the total opposite here.

    Also, check out "Lake Mungo"; which goes through extraordinary lengths to make a "documentary" film. So, I think it's possible that something like Catfish could have happened that way… however, I don't think Catfish did. Being from Michigan myself, Angela and her family come off as authentic Michiganders from Ishpeming.

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  8. Well, after having watched the movie once I really feel as though the entire film is a fake. Having said that, I think it is a decently well constructed fake and a decently constructed concept. I’m pretty sure the whole concept came from the realization of just how easy it is to forge online social interactions.

    Anyways, the scene where they first walk into Angela’s house and there is an unfinished painting on an easel downstairs right by the door seems scripted. It seems even more scripted later when you see her in what appears to be a room more suitable for painting. (when she is sketching Nev) You have to ask why the painting would be downstairs by the door in a house where the inhabitants are likely to knock things over etc. Why isn’t it in the studio-like room if it is a work in progress?

    The phone conversation also seems scripted. The first thing he say to Angela/Meghan is a comment about how her voice sounds unlike what he expected. Then after the conversation I think one of the first things he says is how she sounded mature. So this is momentous point in their relationship and that is the most interesting topic of discussion? This is something that they rehash later in the movie as well. Seems fairly scripted..

    The post card is pretty much the tell though. I think it had a kitten on it? Why is he writing her on a post card with all the other means of communication available and already in use? And the postcard happens to be in the mailbox of the farm house on the one night they arrive? A discussion about reversing the car gives the scene credibility? Really?

    I’m sure there are more elements that seem highly coincidental. These are just things I noticed after having watched it for the first time.

    Also, in the format of a documentary, regardless of whether or not it has been done before, fabricating scenes is not documentation. That is story telling. If scenes have been fabricated in a movie claiming to be a documentary I guess you can argue whether certain parts of the movie remain a documentary but as a whole the movie is no longer a documentary.

    Also, I could not follow what your point was about them being tech savvy was. As for boolean operators, they do make use of quotations in one of the few scenes showing them searching. I do agree that any searching on the internet would have probably yielded very little to indicate Angela’s true identity so that argument to disprove the movie’s validity is pretty weak.

    Regardless, this movie is a fake documentary. I give it about two months after home video release before revealing the truth becomes financially viable.

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  9. I just saw the film with a Q+A with Nev and the directors directly afterwards. They were pretty convincing when answering questions about the experience of making the film.

    Incidentally, I LOVED this movie. New favourite of 2010 (despite the fact that it’s only just being released in Australia now)

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  10. I had a similar experience with the Catfish guys (minus Nev) in Sitges. Henry Joost seemed flabberghasted (and was convincing) that this fell into their lap.

    BTW, has anyone seen NY EXPORT: OPUS JAZZ, Joost’s ballet doc (which by the way features that initial photo of the two dancers in the field that ‘Abbey’ paints for Nev)?

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  11. Someone in our audience asked why JJ Abrams was thanked in the end credits – one of the guys joked that it was because he wrote the script, followed by a loud exclamation to the crowd: “please don’t blog that!”

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  12. Excellent.

    When I think of the credits for that movie, it always amuses me that the two executive producers are Andrew Jarecki and Brett Ratner. Now if that ain’t a strange and appropriate indicator of the film, well, nothing is.

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  13. Kurt, our good friend James saw NY Export and it was his favourite film of 2010. The trailer he includes in his review is terrific and I really want to catch it at some point.

    I just saw Catfish today and I’m certainly leaning towards rot’s point of view. There’s a few eyebrow raising moments I admit, but overall, I think it’s reasonably accurate. If you want another “Internet couples and false identities” documentary, seek out the film “talhotblond” – it’s not as slick as this, but is put together to maximize its impact.

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  14. This comes up a few times on THE MOVIE CLUB podcast when we talk Catfish, F For Fake and Exit Thru the Giftshop. That episode should be up early next week. Alas, nobody on the pane had seen NY Export: Opus Jazz

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  15. Hello Mike,

    I appreciated your detailed rebuttal blog of the many claims that Catfish is a fake or a hoax. It is my opinion that Nev and the filmmakers knew there were serious problems, if not blatant lies coming from Michigan before they went to Vail Colorado. Most likely, Nev knew from very early onwards.

    There is no single piece of evidence that shows this (a smoking gun) but there is an array of circumstances that strongly suggest it. The three men were always in control of what they filmed and did not film and ultimately what was handed over to the editors and producers. They would be able to manipulate various scenarios either in real-time or by editing to the extent that the audience would experience only what they wanted to convey.

    You wrote: “This rebuttal is in response to the claims that Nev and the filmmakers (hitherto known as ‘the protagonists’) covered-up their foreknowledge of the peculiarities of the online encounters; whether they knew that Abby, Meghan and Angela were all manifestations of the same person or knew in vaguer terms that something was fishy earlier than the Colorado visit, it becomes an accusation of entrapment and exploitation for what transpires in Michigan. I believe the integral part of the official story in Catfish to be true: until Colorado, the protagonists were unaware of any deception.”

    You may recall a scene where Nev displays and then drops two postcards into a mailbox for Megan. We are only shown one of them but we can see that it is a Wyoming card with a cute picture of a wolf pup. A close-up shot shows what Nev has written, an attached elongated penny from Yellowstone National Park, and the full address to Megan’s farm in Gladstone Michigan. A close frame-by-frame examination of the mailbox lid shows that Nev is mailing the cards from Gardiner Montana which is the north entrance to Yellowstone NP in Wyoming. Nev is wearing a motorcycle jacket.

    For whatever reasons they decided to not specifically inform the audience that there was a trip to Wyoming over a month before they went to Colorado. There was only a vague hint of this in a scene where Nev and Rel are sitting in an airport with Nev using his iPhone for texting. Rel asks how long have they been calling each other “babe”? A shot of the phone shows Nev has written to Megan “Howdy from Denver Colorado. Next flight in an hour to Rapid City South Dakota… Rel is with us now and so are my Aunt and Uncle.” The timestamp is June 26, 2008 at 12:58pm. This Supermarche blog shows the record of their motorcycle trip to Yellowstone: http://gosupermarche.com/deardiary/2008/06/ .

    Many viewers have mistakenly thought that this airport scene showed them on their way to Vail and that the postcards were either mailed in NYC (just before Vail) or from Vail. But no, these postcards were mailed from Montana on or about June 26th. Nev would end up pulling them from the vacant farm mailbox on about August 11th. This was about 7 weeks after mailing them. They may have sat in that mailbox for almost the entire time.

    Only a few days after mailing them in Montana, Nev would have expected Megan to cheerfully announce by phone or text that she had received postcards from him. Obviously, that would never happen. So why isn’t Megan getting the mail at her farm? Because the farm is still vacant and she never goes there. She had previously sent Nev a hyperlink to the real estate listing for the farm and he could easily check it again to see that it is still for sale.

    In spite of the postcards figuring prominently in the film, they are only vaguely represented in their complete reality. We aren’t told anything about how Nev dealt with the cards being unaccounted-for for 7 weeks or that this was even the case. Additionally, Nev took those cards with him to Ishpeming after removing them from the farm mailbox. We are never shown him presenting them to Angela, nor any mention of them or the visit to the farm. Why?

    My suspicion is that filling in all of these blanks would have revealed that they knew it was a complex scam before they left for Vail.

    There are certainly other evidences but we can start with this one.

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  16. That’s some impressive detective work!

    I finally got a chance to watch this last week and loved it. I’m still unsure where I stand on the whole hoax thing though. My suspicion is that it’s not all fictionalised, but a good chunk of the lead up footage will have been filmed retrospectively (not necessarily after their ‘visit’, but at least after learning they were being lied to) to build up a stronger narrative. This might sound a bit shifty but a lot of documentaries do this to some extent. You can’t expect a documentary crew to have their cameras on 24 hours a day and hit every angle they want.

    I really want to listen to the Movie Club Podcast on this, but I’m waiting until I’ve seen Exit Through The Gift Shop – my brother’s got it on Blu-Ray, I just haven’t got round to watching it yet.

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  17. Well done Aquaman, I like the way you think. I haven’t looked at the mailbox scene in as much detail as you, but I will take your word for it that the postcard was sent from Montana. It puts some dents in my argument, but again, it is still not quite enough to convict. I don’t know how the US postal service works, but I have had items of mail going cross country take six or more weeks to arrive… it is not outside the realm of possibility. If it was a staged event though why do it from Montana, wouldn’t you do it from New York afterwards? If sent from Montana it sort of corroborates the notion that it was sent BEFORE the encounter. A postcard isn’t that big of a deal either, it may have been said in passing between them, or it may have been meant to be a surprise. If Angela did know about it, it does seem weird she wouldn’t pick it up (but she does say in the film that she was secretly hoping to be found out – and this follows with how little guile was used to pass off music as her own, using the same song titles and everything).

    What is uncertain is the time spent between the night in Vail when they figure out the music fraud and them actually encountering Angela. They wouldn’t be able to leave their job there until it was finished… there may have been a week or two with them stewing over this plan to travel to Michigan. During that time they may not want to mention the postcard, or just forgot to mention it (shaving a couple weeks off the suspicious time lapse between sending and acknowledgement).

    Also I don’t remember in the film any mention of a hyperlink that the farm was for sale… what was for sale was the studio space.

    I don’t know, I admit it is kind of fishy that Angela wouldn’t have picked it up, but the whole Montana confirmation makes me think even stronger that it was real, because without overtly addressing it, they have a time specific record of the postcard delivery. It is still possible that the farm scene was added after the fact, but the evidence to convince me completely is not there yet.

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  18. Hello again Mike,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I want to make it clear that I do not think the film is entirely fake or that everything that occurred was orchestrated or planned. I think that Angela really did create a Facebook world of fictitious characters and it was her own doing. I need to say that because some detractors go as far as saying that she was a hired actor and everything was created for the purpose of the film. I specifically think the “hoax” is that Nev knew he was being played from very early on and that honesty was not the common denominator coming out of Michigan… and yet he plays to the camera that he never knew until that filmed moment in Vail. Catfish would be entirely different (or never even exist for us to see) if Nev had not pretended and lied that he had no clue.

    It seems to me that the basic main dispute between you and I would be that you think Nev & Company didn’t know they were being duped until that filmed moment in Colorado while I think they knew (or at least Nev did) before the trip to Colorado. There would also probably be a variety of other “sub-disputes” as well.

    You wrote: “…I will take your word for it that the postcard was sent from Montana. It puts some dents in my argument, but again, it is still not quite enough to convict.”

    As I said, there is no single smoking gun to support my position. There are a number of things which in totality strongly suggest to me that Nev must have known much earlier than Colorado. One of which is that I feel that the filmed “moment of discovery” in Colorado is not truly spontaneous and that the surprise/shock/anger is staged and insincere because they already knew beforehand. They just needed to decide how and when to let the audience know what they already knew. It’s a fake moment/scene.

    You wrote: “If it was a staged event though why do it from Montana, wouldn’t you do it from New York afterwards? If sent from Montana it sort of corroborates the notion that it was sent BEFORE the encounter.”

    I don’t really understand the point you are trying to make here. Maybe you misunderstand my position. I think that Nev really did mail postcards to Megan’s farm from Gardiner Montana on about June 27 or 28th. However, I do not think he had any real confidence that she was living there, let alone that Megan wasn’t actually Angela using a slightly modified voice. IOW, he already knew Megan was a complete scam in every way and the postcards would make for an interesting hook in the film no matter what happened to the cards afterwards. The gesture of mailing the cards also makes it look as if he really does “believe in Megan” so to speak. In my opinion, this implied sincerity and naivety is a lie. Nev is lying to the camera in the same way he lies to Angela (Megan). He lies to Angela by not busting her even though he absolutely could… any time he wants to.

    You wrote: “What is uncertain is the time spent between the night in Vail when they figure out the music fraud and them actually encountering Angela. They wouldn’t be able to leave their job there until it was finished… there may have been a week or two with them stewing over this plan to travel to Michigan. During that time they may not want to mention the postcard, or just forgot to mention it (shaving a couple weeks off the suspicious time lapse between sending and acknowledgement).”

    I have been putting together an apparent timeline of sorts that starts even before the trip to Colorado. I’m using various time and date stamps (there are many in the film) and even the clothing worn by various people to indicate normal expected continuity. What is rather shocking (and difficult for me to believe) is that these guys really did have a major and spontaneous change of plans in Colorado. They would not return to NYC after their job in Vail but instead would last-minute book 3 new flight itineraries that involved a stop in Chicago, a rental car to drive to Michigan and the motels for their stay there. In theory, they would have already had NYC to Vail roundtrip airfares for their scheduled work there. Remember, they had no plans to go to Michigan until they were already in Vail (or so we are told). Those would get cancelled at the last moment and a new set of one-way tickets would need to be bought to get from Vail to Chicago and then later from Chicago to NYC. That is some seriously expensive impulse purchases. And they (supposedly) don’t even have Angela’s permission or a signed film release from her. If she refuses to sign a release… they are totally screwed and possibly worse. It’s illegal to tape phone conversations without the consent of the other party. Angela could call the FBI and/or sue the guys.

    In my opinion, they knew they would make the detour to Michigan before they even left for Colorado. Knowing this, they wouldn’t buy roundtrips from NYC to Vail. All they needed to do was film the phony moment of discovery in Colorado. Megan/Angela had already uploaded plagiarized songs way back in June (this can be seen upon close inspection of screens) claiming that she had been the singer.

    You wrote: “Also I don’t remember in the film any mention of a hyperlink that the farm was for sale… what was for sale was the studio space.”

    Mike, you are at a disadvantage for analyzing this film if you do not have access to it. Much of this stuff comes quickly and sometimes the Facebook and emails scroll quickly across the screen… or the camera pans across the computer screen. I have the DVD and am able to take the time to examine. Some things can only be seen when you pause and go ahead frame-by-frame. These things cannot be seen by the naked eye when watching the film at normal speed.

    Indeed, Megan did send the actual real estate listing hyperlink to Nev. Nev even clicks the link and we get to see the farm in Gladstone, the clawfoot tub in the bathroom, the stable building (which he would end up peeking into) and the asking price. Nev tells us that she did buy the place and was given live chickens as house-warming presents… blah blah blah. Oh, and Megan is 19 years old and she is also already a veterinarian and bought this $210,000 horse farm. Hot diggety!

    Abby had also sent him a hyperlink to the commercial building that she bought in Ishpeming. Hers was only $29,000 which is obviously affordable for an 8 year-old child. This was not just a studio space, since she bought the entire building. It was her new retail art gallery.

    Of course Angela chose these two properties for her fantasy characters, but interestingly they are listed by the same realtor… a guy named Irving Krellwitz with Town & Country Real Estate in Ishpeming. Neither place had been sold to anyone before the guys showed up in Michigan.

    What I think is fascinating is that Angela did absolutely nothing to prevent Nev from finding out that neither location had ever been sold to her daughters. She gave him the actual links to the property listings! I think that this “not caring if he finds out” is actually part of their relationship from the very start. Nev knows that she is lying, and Angela knows that Nev knows. They played that game with each other for 9 months.

    I’m going to listen to the podcast that was mentioned a few days ago.

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  19. I have not contacted anybody from the film and don’t intend to either. I’m just not interested. I’ve read quite a few critiques of Catfish and many do say that something is wrong (or fishy). I’ve not seen anybody do this kind of exhaustive analysis. It can’t be done with a casual viewing or two – even if you are paying attention. You really need the film in a player with a remote control and hours to kill.

    Here’s another interesting factoid. Early in the film we see Nev open a package from Michigan which contains t-shirts. He holds one up for the camera (Rel is filming) and announces that it’s Megan’s brother’s band. The shirt shows what looks like an artistic logo of a skull with wings. It says in big letters “Casualties” (as if that were the name of the band) and below that in smaller letters “Skate Snow Surf”.

    Hmmm…a band t-shirt that says skate, snow and surf? WTF is that about? Well guess what? Casualties is a small retail sport shop in Marquette Michigan which specializes in things for skaters, skiers and surfers. Marquette is a city only about 15 miles from Ishpeming on the shore of Lake Superior and it is home the of Northern Michigan University. Have a look: http://ridewithcasualties.com/about-2/ . Here too: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Casualties-Skate-Snow-Surf/128060147032 .

    Again, Angela did absolutely nothing to prevent Nev from easily discovering that it’s all just a fantasy world. All he had to do was Google the local band name and boom he would see he had been sent a shirt from the sport shop instead. At one early point in the film he even says to Rel that their music is great and that they should use their music for “the movie”. What movie is he talking about? Uh, the one about little Abby the painter. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

    But it gets better than that. Little Abby included a gift note for Rel to go along with the band t-shirt she sent him. She liked his online skateboarding video but was worried about him. She wanted him to wear a helmet (“brain bucket” she says). Hot diggety… Casualties sells skater helmets!

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  20. my point about Montana and the postcard is it is time specific, it came BEFORE Michigan, so it is less likely that scene was staged afterwards (some people have been saying that). But you are saying it was staged before, I get that.

    In the post I split up my argument as so: “My confidence in the official story is fueled by a variety of considerations: first, the burden of proof trumps biases of perception and, as in a court of law where one is innocent until proven guilty, the accusations need to rise above circumstantial evidence of which the bulk of what I have read online appears to be. Second, the situations, when considered in context, are plausible and it’s only when you think of them anecdotally that it becomes harder to accept. Lastly, the film passes my Turing Test of believability: the detective work of reading the minutiae of facial and body language and the tacit interactions captured on camera provided me no indication that the ‘performances’ in the film were anything but genuine.”

    So let’s ignore one another’s subjective take on the believability in the ‘performances’, they cancel each other out. You see insincerity, I see sincerity.

    as for your other points:

    1) the likelihood that they would pay the expense of switching flights on the unknown factor of what awaited them in Michigan.

    Nev appears to live in New York City, not a cheap place to live, I don’t know what exactly their incomes are but it didn’t seem like at least Nev was hurting for money. Let’s follow the official line. Supposing Nev really did care for Megan, and the music scene is a real representation of him coming to the realization that he has been had. Supposing the ‘documentary’ was (as the filmmakers have repeatedly said in interviews) not a considered feature until the moment in Vail. Is it so improbable that the feelings of anger and perhaps curiosity on Nev’s part combined with the newly discovered narrative/financial interest in a potential documentary subject on the part of the filmmakers inspired them to risk whatever modest amount of money it costs to reroute a flight? Chicago is between Colorado and New York, so it is like breaking up a direct flight (which usually costs more) and doing two smaller ones. If you are using the same flight provider, you can adjust your flight for a nominal fee, like $70, on top of what the difference in price between flights are. To me, in context to the official story, it makes perfect sense they would impulsively go to Michigan then and there.

    2) Megan/Angela had already uploaded plagiarized songs way back in June

    I go back to my post: “in this particular case, Nev had an abundance of evidence on the surface to support his conviction that Meghan was real, undercutting any real urgency to go that extra step in his google pursuits. Is it so naïve to expect that one person had not created ten fictional characters on a facebook page to have them all interact with one another, and put on different voices on the phone?” Hindsight is 20/20. Appreciate what it must be like in the moment (and not being a detective). Had Nev been looking for flaws in her cover story, sure he could of found them, and I think (along the line of some of your other points) Angela gave opportunities for this to occur. To me it is not enough that he should have known better… in the real world, and I speak from experience, I do not cross-reference every online acquaintance, and foregoing the conflation of time that is presented in a documentary, this relationship developed over an extended time. In the ether of the daily grind there are a thousand non-descript distractions and miscues that are edited out of our ‘narratives’ and aside from the predatory class of over-achievers the bulk of people are not nearly as clever and forward-thinking in unrehearsed life as our fiction-saturated imaginations would lead us to believe.
    Also remember, in Vail, what triggers his suspicion about the music is that she plays an impromptu song, what amazes him in that scene is that she it did it so fast. What song is it that you see listed in June? She also had instrumentals, and this may have been the first time he heard her singing.

    3) Megan buying a farm at 19

    I will rewatch the dvd, I truly don’t remember this, I remember Nev saying the farm was owned by Angela (because of all the money coming in from Abby’s paintings), and that Megan went to her family’s farm to eat pancakes. The house they go to in town is where Megan is supposed to live, because Angela is saying “oh Megan isn’t home now, she went away”. But even if it is said in the film that Megan owns a farm that is $200k, it is called having a mortgage (paying a down payment of that), and if Abby is brining in the money then it is plausible to assume that she would share the wealth. In context to what Nev knows about the money Abby is bringing in, it is not that shocking.

    4) Abby’s brother band t-shirt

    I have watched the film twice KNOWING something was going to be fishy about the story and I didn’t even notice this, so not exactly incriminating evidence if he overlooks that. I agree that Angela was deliberately trying to be found out, but that doesn’t mean Nev had to discover it and was pretending to not notice for the sake of having a story to sell. Only someone combing over every frame after the fact would notice that… I can say that because I have read a lot of comment threads on this movie, and talked to a lot of people and NO ONE has mentioned this until here. It is interesting but not incriminating.

    5) At one early point in the film he even says to Rel that their music is great and that they should use their music for “the movie”.

    first point: they are established filmmakers, so it is any number of projects large or small that may be referring to. second point: If this was incriminating evidence that goes against everything they have been saying in the official story on press tours, would they REALLY keep that in the film? To me it is a flippant remark, they are filming in the moment ands Nev is commenting on what they are doing, perhaps. I call my home videos movies sometimes.

    Like Kurt, I find these observations of yours awesome, and you have inspired me to revisit the film to catch these extra bits, but they do not convince me of a cover-up because in each case it is plausible that Nev was that naive. I don’t even think he was exceptionally naive, I think if we are honest with ourselves the bulk of us, if confronted with the complexity of the lie that Angela devises, added with the relative youth of Nev and the flattery born of a beautiful woman being interested in you, would go with the flow to a believable point – where the act of playing a song on request so perfectly inspires Nev to look up the song on Youtube and indisputable evidence changes everything.

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  21. You wrote: “Let’s follow the official line. Supposing Nev really did care for Megan, and the music scene is a real representation of him coming to the realization that he has been had. Supposing the ‘documentary’ was (as the filmmakers have repeatedly said in interviews) not a considered feature until the moment in Vail. Is it so improbable that the feelings of anger and perhaps curiosity on Nev’s part combined with the newly discovered narrative/financial interest in a potential documentary subject on the part of the filmmakers inspired them to risk whatever modest amount of money it costs to reroute a flight?”

    Yes, I regard that scenario as improbable. I think they would even weigh the probabilities that they would be able to get usable footage in Michigan along with signed releases. They would mutually agree that there was <10% chance that they would be able to complete a film about Megan & Nev – let alone one about Abby. Showing up unannounced would almost guarantee failure of the film project. In my opinion, their decisions were swayed by knowing and sensing things that we are not privy to.

    It is also my opinion that Angela knew they were coming… because Nev either explicitly told her, or he hinted in a way that was obvious to her. I think that was hidden from the audience. She knew approximately when they would get there and took steps to ensure that Megan would not be around for them to meet. IOW, she developed a plan that would allow the Megan daughter character to still exist but yet at the same time be out of reach. One main reason she would do this (instead of doing a sudden 100% confession of everything) is because she was unsure that Nev really did want to end their mutual fantasy game. It would be up to Nev to force her confession moves. She was going to hold the status quo because she couldn’t know that Nev wouldn’t still want to make kissy talk with his fantasy girlfriend after he returned to NYC. I’m not committed to the idea that she knew he was coming but I think it’s something to be entertained. She knew but didn’t tell Vince or Abby that they were coming.

    You wrote: “Is it so naïve to expect that one person had not created ten fictional characters on a facebook page to have them all interact with one another, and put on different voices on the phone?”

    I even read an interview stating that Angela had once faked a male voice when talking to Nev. She was playing the role of Alex (Megan’s brother). There are myriad problems with this particular “Facebook Family” and friends (about 15-23 people) which would have been right in Nev’s face. For one thing, this group is only friends with each other. No person could have any more friends than the grand total number of fake characters. None of these people had Facebook accounts prior to Nev creating a friendship with Abby/Angela. They all popped into existence right in front of his eyes. Photos showed that Megan was extremely popular in the bar/club scene (in spite of being only 19) but yet had no Facebook account at all… then when she created her account it was a tiny circle. Obviously, there could be no photos of Megan with Abby, nor could there be any photos of Angela (mom) with Abby. No photos of Vince (dad) with Abby either. A happy family that does not have a single photo of themselves together… in any combination. It was all good-to-go for Nev? Want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge from me?

    You wrote: “Also remember, in Vail, what triggers his suspicion about the music is that she plays an impromptu song, what amazes him in that scene is that she it did it so fast.”

    That is not what prompts him to go to Google. We are given a somewhat vague and possibly nonsensical context of why he suddenly does a Google search for a song. It goes like this: On the screen we see a song posted/uploaded by Angela at 8:00am on July 26th. The song is called “Where Are You” and is credited to Megan. Nev tries to play it by clicking “play” but it won’t play. We hear him say “That’s not good.” It looks like it says “unavailable” but it’s fuzzy (out of focus). Then the camera switches to a shot of the Google search window. My expectation was that he would search for the song that won’t play. Instead, he types in “It’s All Downhill From Here” and runs a search for that song (in spite of Megan clearly calling the song simply “Downhill”). Then we are shown a screenshot stating… Megan Faccio posted at 9:16pm July 25th “Downhill” Artist: Mom and Megan. Then zip zip we begin to hear and see various identical tunes available on the web.

    You wrote: “What song is it that you see listed in June?”

    Well, “Truman Sleeps” is marked as being posted/uploaded on June 18th. He responded to that on the same day with “I didn’t know you could play the piano too…” But we are shown a page with a list of many uploaded songs attributed to Megan, Angela, Alex etc. It’s all of the songs they are talking about including Tennessee Stud. It looks like she had previously uploaded 6+ songs before she started doing the impromptu requests… and the spontaneous requests and 20-minute takes are never more than songs she had already posted before. This seems unclear and maybe fishy.

    At about the same time we see another strange thing happening on the screen (or at least it seems strange to me). The context is that we are watching as the guys discuss the awesome music being created in 20 minutes and we see Nev is in live Facebook chat with Megan. But then we can see that he has two different chat windows opened and active simultaneaously. He is chatting with “meganfaccio” at the same time he is chatting with “Megan Faccio”. It’s as if Megan had two different FB accounts and Nev was talking to both of them at the same time. Again it was two different chat windows, not two different names in the same chat window. I don’t know enough about the mechanics of Facebook chatting to know if this is truly unusual, but it seems weird to me.

    You wrote: “3) Megan buying a farm at 19: I will rewatch the dvd, I truly don’t remember this, I remember Nev saying the farm was owned by Angela (because of all the money coming in from Abby’s paintings),..”

    No. Nev doesn’t say that Angela owns the farm nor does it have anything to do with Abby’s money. He explicitly states that Megan has bought this farm. There is no implication that she got any financial help. Remember he was told she is a veterinarian and they make big money.

    You wrote: “and that Megan went to her family’s farm to eat pancakes.”

    No. Nev tells us that the entire family gathers at the parent’s house (Angela & Vince) in Ishpeming on Sunday mornings at 8am for breakfast.

    You wrote: “The house they go to in town is where Megan is supposed to live, because Angela is saying “oh Megan isn’t home now, she went away”. “

    No. The house in town (Ishpeming) is where Angela, Vince & Abby live. Angela never represented it in any other way (although she never mentioned the handicapped twins) to Nev. Megan is never represented as living there. At the moment of first meeting on the porch, Angela announces twice in rapid succession that “Abby’s not here”. The guys have brought presents for everyone including the dog. A few minutes later Rel produces a wrapped package saying “I have something here for Megan too” then it goes like this…

    Angela: “OK. Well, she’s not here, so.” (takes and looks at package)
    Rel: “Is she in town?”
    Angela: “No. She lives way out in Gladstone, so. Goodness. Oh my goodness you guys are so sweet.” (Gladstone is obviously a reference to Megan’s farm).

    Concerning Alex’s band: Any attempt to look for the band’s website or any more info by Nev or Rel would not simply turn up blank… it would show that it was a scam. It would show that Casualties is a retail store – not a band.

    Any attempt to look up Megan Faccio as a veterinarian (let alone anything else) would come up blank. When people are veterinarians you don’t get blanks when putting their name into Google. That is a serious red flag. Nev has said that he did look up Megan and found nothing.

    Nev also said that he looked up Abby/Abigail Pierce. He found nothing. That is a serious red flag for a locally famous child artist whose works sell for up to $7000.

    Interestingly, Nev says he never looked up the mother Angela Pierce or Angela Wesselman-Pierce. If he had, he would have found her own art website immediately. It had been in existence since 2007. He would have known that the paintings were done by her. She never tried to hide.

    The very first painting sent to Nev from Abby is shown at the beginning of the film (and then again near the end). The editors used a digital smear to block the signature. It says “A. Pierce”. That is the signature of Angela Pierce. Other paintings sent to Nev were also signed A. Pierce. It was only later that a painting or two was actually signed “Abby”. Apparently Nev didn’t find it odd that an artist would suddenly change their signature.

    I think he knew what was going on.

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  22. You are a fascinating individual, Aquaman.

    “I have not contacted anybody from the film and don’t intend to either. I’m just not interested.”

    So you have spent (I imagine) several hours watching the movie in freeze frame and put together a pretty detailed case study, but have no interest in engaging the filmmakers, informally? Why not. You clearly are interested by the time you’ve spent analyzing the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly enjoying these detailed posts and the gumshoe work, just struck me as an interesting position by yourself to leave it at that.

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  23. if that Facebook Family only has 15 people in it on any given profile and theyr’e not really in each others pictures, then Nev would have to be the naivest man on the face of the planet.

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  24. I don’t trust those guys to tell the truth. I’ve watched the Q&A extra on the DVD, the ABC 20/20 program and read numerous printed interviews. I think they are engaging in deflection, hyperbole and strawman arguments.

    The thing is… they can simply say “you are wrong” and that is the end of that.

    You knew, Nev.
    No, I didn’t.

    You weren’t that stupid, Nev.
    Yes, I was.

    End of conversation.

    If you guys want to invite them here, I will engage them. But I have no interest in seeking them out.

    BTW, I like the film a whole lot and it is now one of my all-time favorites. I would not call it a documentary but rather a “reality genre”. For myself, Angela is far more interesting and appealing than the guys. I would disagree with the hoards who have declared her insane, pathetic, etc.

    Her “type” is actually a fairly common… artistically-talented but depressed and with a boredom thing going on. She told ABC 20/20 that she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. That is almost certainly bullshit. There is no indication that she is truly schizophrenic which is a very serious disorder having symptoms entirely unlike what she exhibited. Spending each evening developing and playing with your own complex bunch of Internet characters is not schizophrenia. There is too much coordination, coherence, intelligence and reactive empathy for her to be schizo.

    Thing is… there is a layman’s (street) definition of schizophrenia that simply means “multi-personality”. But the clinical diagnosis and definition(s) and symptoms are quite different from that. I think she either flat-out lied to ABC or she was diagnosed by a non-professional. That’s my opinion.

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  25. I’m beginning to think you’re on to something Aquaman.

    Totally with you on Angela too. I found her story incredibly moving, not once did I think she was insane. Clearly she’s a depressed individual who is crying out to be released from her trapped existence.

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  26. I don’t have the time today to respond to everything in detail Aquamanx but here is the best I can do. I will say quickly there is a lot of ways Megan’s facebook friends page could have been convincing: Angela may have had 15 active characters in her story, but she could have added any number of friends just to pad the numbers. It is also possible that this is not the first offense for Angela, and that she may have multiple fantasies going on with additional real friends put into the mix. Also, you can always say “I went to high school with you, friend me” and if you have a picture of a hot girl, there are enough people out there that would probably accept. Have you seen a screenshot showing the actual number of friends Megan had?

    As for pictures on facebook… I don’t think I have any pictures with my parents or siblings… so I don’t find that particularly strange. She can always say she was just newly added to facebook… I know people who are just now getting onto the site (and she lives in a rural area where these sorts of things take awhile to catch on).

    As for it being unrealistic they would go out there without first getting signed releases… um, they did the exact same thing in the 20/20 segment with the real Megan. They paid for her to come to New York. It would seem that they are willing to take the risk, also Nev had a relationship with whomever in Michigan and he could probably gage by Vail that there was a real connection on her part, so they probably thought they could manipulate her when the time comes. Completely believable to me.

    Your theory about Angela knowing ahead of time Nev was coming and not confessing right away seems like a real stretch. She is a habitual liar, and lying on the fly, of course she could immediately make up a lie about where Megan was and not admit the truth right away. Again, completely believable.

    as for the google search of the song… I think it also makes sense you would not just type “downhill” to find song but use the chorus line. No conspiracy there.

    Is it possible he never noticed the songs on her facebook, hadn’t bothered to listen to them, or hadn’t bothered to make the connection that she was playing the piano on Truman Sleeps? Of course it is possible. Most of them if not all were not solo efforts, they were with other people.

    The multiple Megans on facebook chat doesn’t make sense either way… if it was a scam why would they film that and what purpose would it serve?

    The veterinarian and owning the farm aspect I am interested in. I will rewatch, I still think perhaps not all the information is provided onscreen… it is easy to say short form in conversation… Megan is a vet rather than say she is studying it, and considering how wealthy her sister is, it seems pretty obvious to me that some of the financial help would have came from her, whether or not that is said onscreen.

    you wrote: “Any attempt to look up Megan Faccio as a veterinarian (let alone anything else) would come up blank”

    Show me where Nev said he googled her, he did say he googled Abby, but it was a cursory google, and he just assumed that because this was a small town there wasn’t that much online about it. I would have made the same assumption, if I wasn’t tipped off otherwise. I come from a small town, I know how little visibility there is for local affairs.

    I also have suspicions of Angela being schizophrenic, I wonder if 20/20 did their homework on that.

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  27. @Matt, “Their is absolutely no way that Angela is schizophrenic.”
    I love how Gamble thinks in Absolutes!

    @Goon “I babysat for a schizophrenic neighbor for years, and I’d agree, she doesn’t seem schizophrenic to me.”

    Schizophrenia is a catch-all psychiatric term with hundreds of variations. It doesn’t lend itself well to this type of one-off dismissal.

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  28. “I don’t think I have any pictures with my parents or siblings… so I don’t find that particularly strange.”

    if all of them are only FB friends with each other, and they’re not in pictures with each other, I’m sorry, but thats not something you can justifiably write off as nothing.

    Kurt, true, but I think Angela is far too organized and methodical to blame any of this on schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a matter of delusion/hallucination, and becuase of this I’m pretty sure that universally schizophrenics are clumsy and disorganized. Angela doesn’t seem to be deluded at all about what she’s doing, and she’s obviously quite co-ordinated.

    I don’t know enough about MPD to make a guess there, I know people with MPD aren’t born with it, its something that comes out of trauma or something, and there’s usually one alt personality in control of everything. But from the film it seems that Regular Angela is pulling the strings and aware of what she’s doing.

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  29. You wrote: “Angela may have had 15 active characters in her story, but she could have added any number of friends just to pad the numbers. It is also possible that this is not the first offense for Angela, and that she may have multiple fantasies going on with additional real friends put into the mix.”

    Think about this, Mike. She can’t genuinely add any of her real life friends to the Facebook circle. They would already know that she doesn’t have a veterinarian daughter, a rock star son and an art prodigy little girl. She has to exclude real people that know her, and that is exactly what she does. The entire circle is for nobody but her and Nev. A fantasy game for the both of them to play within.

    You wrote: “Have you seen a screenshot showing the actual number of friends Megan had?”

    Yes, it is actually featured in the film and graphically shown when Angela is sketching Nev. She explains the origin and context of most of them. Some actually were her friends in Ishpeming but she had given them false names. There were like 15 main active characters and a few more (seven?) that had insignificant roles. There are also Facebook screenshots showing her list of friends but they are scrolling by and the camera never captures the full list.

    You wrote: “I don’t think I have any pictures with my parents or siblings… so I don’t find that particularly strange.”

    The lack of family members together is exceedingly strange. Especially considering the context of this particular Facebook Family. They were joyful of each other and together often.

    You wrote: “She can always say she was just newly added to facebook… I know people who are just now getting onto the site (and she lives in a rural area where these sorts of things take awhile to catch on).”

    You are out-of-touch, Mike. Young people in smallish communities (Ishpeming is not rural anyway) are all over Facebook. That social network caught on like wildfire everywhere. This family contains exactly the kinds of personalities that live and breathe Facebook… their friends would be the same way.

    You wrote: “as for the google search of the song… I think it also makes sense you would not just type “downhill” to find song but use the chorus line. No conspiracy there.”

    Mike, the context of why and how he goes looking for the song on Google doesn’t make sense. The song was written by Megan and recorded with her brother. It shouldn’t even exist on the Internet. It’s like Megan’s private song that she shares with Nev. There is a credibility problem with this scene and it is a key scene for sure. The guys never establish a believable reason for poking around Google for this music. They do not say anything like “wow she sounds too good – let’s go see if she is stealing songs” or “wow she is creating this stuff too quickly – let’s go see if she is stealing songs” or “wow she sounds exactly like that singer I heard before – let’s go see if she is stealing songs”. Two different cameras were rolling at the time they “discovered” the stolen songs and yet we remain confused about exactly why it even happened. I think the scene is faked and they knew she had already posted stolen songs before they left for Colorado.

    You wrote: “Is it possible he never noticed the songs on her facebook, hadn’t bothered to listen to them, or hadn’t bothered to make the connection that she was playing the piano on Truman Sleeps? Of course it is possible. Most of them if not all were not solo efforts, they were with other people.”

    We know for certain that he noticed and listened to Truman Sleeps because he messaged her about it right after she uploaded it back on June 18th. We know that he was listening to the various uploaded songs because we see him playing air drums to the beat in his computer chair and telling Rel that the music is great and they should use it for the movie. It was ALL STOLEN MUSIC because there is no Alex, no band, and no studio session music being made by Megan or Angela.

    You wrote: “The multiple Megans on facebook chat doesn’t make sense either way… if it was a scam why would they film that and what purpose would it serve?”

    If it was nefarious…the editors may have not noticed or thought it wouldn’t be seen or that it mattered. It appears to me that there was a variety of things that should have been edited or blocked out but weren’t. These things are mostly only seen in frame-by-frame inspection and cannot be seen in real-time viewing. It’s as if the editors never planned on or imagined the film going to DVD where viewers could meticulously examine everything.

    Throughout the film, the editors were systematically blocking (blurring) any references to the last name Pierce (while leaving Wesselman and various fictitious last names untouched). Pierce shows up in a variety of places and contexts and while watching the film you never see that name. But, with a remote and frame-by-frame you can find a number of places where the editors missed the blocking and the name Pierce is right in front of your eyes. In real-time it goes by too fast to see.

    You wrote: “The veterinarian and owning the farm aspect I am interested in. I will rewatch, I still think perhaps not all the information is provided onscreen… it is easy to say short form in conversation… Megan is a vet rather than say she is studying it, and considering how wealthy her sister is, it seems pretty obvious to me that some of the financial help would have came from her, whether or not that is said onscreen.”

    Nev certainly had the opportunity to say that Megan is studying to be a vet, but he doesn’t. She already is a vet. Here is a transcript…

    Nev: “She works as a vet… She has six chickens now. Her neighbor gave them to her as like a housewarming present.”
    Rel: “Tell us the gifts she got.”
    Nev: “So she bought a house. One of the presents was that Abby got her a baby goat. So she’s got a goat now. She has horses that live there. (sort of stutter speaking) Part of the buying the house… came with these horses that are held there… you know, like stables.”

    During this verbal exchange we are shown a Facebook message. But the full message cannot be seen – the far right side is cut off so long sentences can only be partially read…

    “Real estate listing from Megan Faccio
    to me

    Your friend, Megan Faccio, has sent along the following…
    http://uparidx.com/idx/ncentral/irvingkrellwitz/residential… (full hyperlink was cut off but it is non-functional now anyway)

    This is the house I looked at yesterday. I went to the…
    not sure if I actually want to go that high. I could board…
    consider it. If you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them…”

    Then we see Nev clicking on the link which goes to a picture of the farmhouse “Gladstone MLS #1037379 $210,000 View Details” He clicks on “view details” and pictures open up showing the bathtub and the stables building.

    You wrote: “Show me where Nev said he googled her (Megan), he did say he googled Abby, but it was a cursory google, and he just assumed that because this was a small town there wasn’t that much online about it. I would have made the same assumption, if I wasn’t tipped off otherwise. I come from a small town, I know how little visibility there is for local affairs.”

    Nev and the guys mention him Googling Abby and Megan (but never Angela) in various interviews. Here is one: http://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/catfish-star-truth-fiction-and-facebook-21552?page=0,1 .

    Interviewer: “You started an internet correspondence with a seven-year-old girl who was using your photographs for her paintings, and then a romance with her older sister. It turned out that the entire thing was essentially fabricated by their mom. Why did it take you so long to suspect that something was fishy?”

    Nev: “I had Googled both Megan and Abby and found nothing. They live in Ishpeming. Why would there be something on them? But that got left out of the film because Rel and Henry discovered that as soon as you introduce suspicion in the audience, they’re immediately expecting it not to be real. And even though those things existed in real life, the overwhelming conviction that this was real and I was going to fall in love with this girl also existed. So we focused on that. That’s just a storytelling choice.”

    Why would there be something on Abby or Megan in Ishpeming? Duh! Because Abby is a locally famous child art prodigy and Megan is a veterinarian, dancer and singer. Megan is known to sing back-up for the Casualties band and so her name might pop up on the band’s website. Oops, the band doesn’t have a website. The band is actually a sport shop.

    Ishpeming is not such a small town with no Internet presence. Local media is fully represented online and events and whatnot are posted. In the real world, Ishpeming and Marquette residents would have learned about and followed the activities of artist Abby Pierce by looking online. Local residents were already doing that with Angela Pierce who actually had her own website featuring her artwork. Fans of the band Casualties would have found out where they were playing and all sorts of other information by looking online where they would find a devoted website. People follow artists and bands in Ishpeming in the same way they do in NYC.

    You wrote: “I also have suspicions of Angela being schizophrenic, I wonder if 20/20 did their homework on that.”

    You do know that medical records are confidential, right?

    Reply
  30. I feel like Aquaman is about to full of Nev’s face and reveal it was Old Man Withers, the guy who runs the amusement park.

    Catfish would have gotten away with it too, it weren’t for all these meddling kids

    Reply
  31. Ok Aquaman, let’s start with what I think you are just wrong about:

    There is no specified number of friends that is on Megan’s Facebook list. If you are talking about the scene where she is listing off the characters she played, fine, there were like 15 characters, but you say yourself there is no screenshot of the full list, or an exact number of friends. So where are you getting this conviction that it was a small number? You have not in anyway disproved my notion that she could have over time made more fake friends on Megan’s list the same way she did with the 15, but without making them key characters, she could have also ensnared other strangers with the whole “I know you from high school and I am a hot chick” method. Now, I again fall back on my own experience (as someone that was on Facebook before everyone I knew except one) I do not spend my time searching through my friend’s friends facebook pages. And even if I did, and this is what is supposed to be believed of Nev as a detective, in 2008 you could have your facebook page private, so all he would see is the picture.

    Which brings me to my second point, this was 2008. Social networking has changed rapidly and it is easy to overlook that this took place nearly 3 years ago. According to Wikipedia there were 100 million users in 2008, and 600 million now. The instant messengering feature on Facebook premiered April 2008, so put in perspective that there is some room for novelty. The assumption that everyone was on facebook and for a very long time is (to return to my main argument) not enough to convict. Megan was 19, possibly 18 by the time they corresponded, there are very plausible reasons that she would be someone new to the whole networking experience. But then again, I still don’t see any evidence that there were not an adequate number of friends on her page to send alarms going off.

    If it is exceedingly strange for a 19 year old to not have her facebook page full of pictures of her with her family, then so be it… I know a lot of people with like 2 pictures up, and that is it (and it is 2011!). Again, not enough to convict.

    you wrote “The guys never establish a believable reason for poking around Google for this music”

    what?! You have been saying since the beginning Nev should have been more suspicious and the one time he actually is, you don’t find it believable? Isn’t it more believable when not all the narrative points are caught on camera? That scene could have been an hour long, and with one edit you have them listening to the song and then in the next (with 5 tangents in between that would have lengthened the run time) they get to googling. I think part of the problem you have Aquaman, is you take everything onscreen as evidence and don’t take into consideration it is a conflation of a longer denser period of time. The narrative is by nature of this conflation, false. You will always be able to find holes in it because they couldn’t possibly cover for every contingency (i.e. like him saying off hand using music for “the movie” he doesn’t elaborate, but the people in the scene know what he is talking about and edited out we miss essential context). It is quite possible that in the music googling scene, undepicted in the film, the guys do voice their opinion that the song sounds too good and they should google it and that for the sake of withholding that information for dramatic impact, they edit it out, but that the discovery of the YouTube clip onscreen is genuine. Doesn’t that make sense? As filmmakers wouldn’t you want to hit the note of revelation on the moment of hearing the youtube song? It doesn’t change the sincerity of the movie, it just doesn’t show you every moment leading up to the revelation.

    You wrote “If [the two Megan chats on facebook] was nefarious…the editors may have not noticed or thought it wouldn’t be seen or that it mattered”

    But again, explain to me how it is nefarious, what is your understanding of that event. What is uncovered? Are you thinking that at the scene everyone is in on it and Angela needed to have two different chats going on using the same name? That makes no sense whatsoever.

    You wrote “Throughout the film, the editors were systematically blocking (blurring) any references to the last name Pierce”

    This argument, too, makes no sense to me. I think from your previous comment your argument was they removed the name A. Pierce on Abby’s canvas because it was a clue that it wasn’t really Abby and that the guys would have figured it out from that. Her name is Abby Pierce. If I saw A. Pierce on it, I would think “there is her signature”. I don’t have an answer for why the name is blurred, but your reason for it makes no sense to me. Maybe they thought for the sake of the story, having two characters with the possible name A. Pierce and wanting to hide the surprise they chose to blur it, so that subconsciously that thought didn’t rise up in the audience. Maybe Angela requested that it be blurred. I have no idea, but to cover their tracks seems ridiculous to me. Maybe if it said Angela Pierce, sure, then you got yourself a conspiracy, but A Pierce is a logical signature.

    Regarding the transcript on Megan being a vet, I still say he was not in a court of law, he was shooting the shit with his friends, and him saying Megan is a vet could have been a slip, a boasting and short form of saying she was studying to be one. That whole part of the transcript seems boastful, she is a vet, she bought a house, she has goats, it is a litany and people are prone to exaggeration. And as per my previous statement, we don’t have enough context of the purchasing of the home, did she say she had an inheritance, did Abby help her, we get the information informally secondhand from what could have been a more elaborate explanation online. I also take it that Angela as Megan was exaggerating their wealth, and that this was being corroborated by any number of her characters. Is Nev supposed to be instantly suspicious of someone he meets who says their family is well off? It does happen. By the way I bought a 1 bedroom condo for the amount of that farm, to put the price tag in perspective, downpayment was 20K, but in the States, in 2008 BEFORE the financial crisis, you could probably buy that farm with no money down.

    As for the interview you quote from regarding Nev googling Megan and Abby, that is an example right there of Nev mistakenly lying… he says they cut that out of the film, but he says in the film that he had googled Abby (in a scene after the music reveal). Is he hiding something??!! No, he misspoke. In the real world, we do it all the time. Also listen to his reasoning why they cut that from the film: “But that got left out of the film because Rel and Henry discovered that as soon as you introduce suspicion in the audience, they’re immediately expecting it not to be real.”

    That there might be your explanation for the blurry A. Pierce.

    you wrote: “Fans of the band Casualties would have found out where they were playing and all sorts of other information by looking online where they would find a devoted website.”

    Sure, IF they were looking for them, but he wasn’t. He did a cursory search, the kind of search 99% of people do (I am a librarian, and I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to that don’t understand anything about nuanced searching). It is nowhere said nor should it be assumed he was searching out of a desperate desire to know if she was real. He could have been doing it out of curiosity, spent a minute or two, found nothing, considered it a question of rural news not being online (Nev is a New Yorker after all) and that was that. Again, it is so believable it hurts. I have searched people before on Google and found absolutely nothing. If Megan was studying to be a vet and not actually a vet, that wouldn’t be online.

    As for 20/20 and confidential records, sure, but Angela could have volunteered evidence, they could have chose not to run that part.

    and Andrew… this is the normal length.

    Reply
  32. Schizophrenia is a matter of delusion/hallucination, and becuase of this I’m pretty sure that universally schizophrenics are clumsy and disorganized.

    Actually no, schizophraneics can be incredibly meticulous. One of the greatest and most prolific contributers to the original OED was an institutionalized paranoid schizophrenic and his submissions were legendary for how well organized they were.

    Spoiler Alert – my grandfather was a paranoid schizophrenic. He thought he owned Detroit, that he was high level in the Cosa Nostra , and that everyone in his family (outside of his son [my father] and daughter) was trying to assassinate him in order to take over the family. Because of this he slept with a shotgun under his pillow every night and no one was allowed to see him do to the threat of violence (and schizophrenics tend to be incredibly violent).

    Schizophrenics are living in a delusional fantasy world, but they have no idea that they are. That is what the disconnect is. They can be quite good at all sorts of everyday things, but they simply see the world completely differently than you or I. If you ever encounter one, it will quite likely be highly disturbing to you because you are completely unable to connect with them in any “real” manner. The best way I can describe is like talking to someone in a waking dream. A horrible waking dream. They have no idea they are suffering from these delusions, so any feelings of guilt or admissions of wrong doing for her deceptions immediately would eliminate schizophrenia as something Angela is suffering from.

    Reply
  33. “Megan was 19, possibly 18 by the time they corresponded, there are very plausible reasons that she would be someone new to the whole networking experience.”

    I had around 50 friends within my first days on facebook. your first days of activity on FB make up for quite a large percentage of anyones friends lists, you identifying other people, and other people finding you.

    to Gamble: I can’t argue with experience, but I’m going on the (limited) reading I’ve done on the subject. A quick glance at wikipedia also seems to place disorganization among the top schizophrenic traits.

    Reply
  34. Megan had 370 photos posted in her Facebook account. None showed her with her sister Abby or her brother Alex. We can’t see the number of friends she had.

    Angela had 24 friends and 88 photos posted. No photo showed her with husband Vince, daughter Abby or son Alex.

    Most of the songs she posted were under 4 minutes.

    One possible nefarious explanation for seeing two different “Megan” chat windows going simultaneously is that one of them could have been created by Rel or Henry. They could type anything they wanted and it would appear that Megan was doing the talking.

    I never meant to imply that Pierce gets blocked out because of a scam on the part of the guys or the editors. My suspicion is that it is blocked so that some privacy protection can be afforded to Abby, Vince and the twins. Maybe there is some legal reason. That name is blocked everywhere it can be seen including the fictitious Alex Pierce. They blur Pierce and leave his first name visible. When Angela’s name appears as Wesselman-Pierce they only blur out the Pierce part. When the guys walk up to the side porch to meet for the first time there is a wooden plaque on the wall next to the door saying “The Pierces”. That plaque is blurred out. There are a couple places where they obviously missed a Pierce blur out.

    FWIW, further inspection shows that Angela was using two different Facebook names. She had Angela Wesselman and Angela Wesselman-Pierce. I can’t yet tell if she had two different accounts or just changed her profile name at some point.

    Reply
  35. Here are some more factoids that I found. A few of these I submitted to MovieMistakes…

    Just after arriving at Chicago O’Hare Airport and on their way to Ishpeming, the filmmakers are shown riding in a car through a mountainous area. There are no mountains anywhere in this vicinity.

    On the way to Ishpeming from Chicago the filmmakers point a camera out the window of their car at the reflective wheel hub cover of a truck riding alongside them. The reflection shows that they are in a small white sedan. Yet the car that they are eventually shown driving in Michigan is a black Subaru station wagon.

    The Google Earth Streetview route shown through downtown Chicago (I-94/90) is not part of the computer-plotted route from O’Hare Airport to Ishpeming which they used. It would have been a long detour from the suggested path laid out for them.

    On the drive from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Gladstone, MI (the farm) we are shown the car in Manitowoc, WI., then crossing the border into Michigan at Marinette/Menominee, then in Green Bay, WI., and then in Gladstone, MI. That sequence is out of order. These locations can be verified by looking at the GPS navigator shown inside the car and by roadsigns.

    The proper order would be:

    Manitowoc, WI
    Green Bay, WI
    Menominee, MI
    Gladstone, MI

    Reply
  36. Maybe Pierce is Vince’s family name and it was a condition of release that it be blurred out, I don’t know.

    Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t Megan’s brother Alex actually one of the guys in the fake photos? So there would be some family in her photos. Clearly Megan is portrayed as a popular gal in the photos, out with her friends, I can totally understand a 19 year old being myopic with her facebook page… It is also possible Megan’s page had photos of Angela and Abby, just not with Megan in the same shot. Also Megan could have introduced herself as a newbie to facebook, in which case we are talking about a year’s worth of photos.

    I don’t see why Angela wouldn’t have pictures of Abby on her facebook as they do live together.

    Your explanation of the dual chat windows makes sense now, that actually is probably your best point, why would thee be two chats with the same name happening simultaneously?

    @goon Sure but its not like Nev would be surfing Megan’s friends list to see if they had any friends in common, they are worlds apart. Also I am pretty sure in 2008 Facebook told you on the sidebar what friends you had in common, which is an indicator. Like I said, even if Nev browsed Angela would just need to set the fake friends pages to private.

    Reply
  37. You wrote: “Maybe Pierce is Vince’s family name and it was a condition of release that it be blurred out, I don’t know.”

    It is his family name.

    You wrote: “Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t Megan’s brother Alex actually one of the guys in the fake photos? So there would be some family in her photos.”

    That is wrong. Megan couldn’t be in any photo that also showed Alex.

    You wrote: “It is also possible Megan’s page had photos of Angela and Abby, just not with Megan in the same shot.”

    Of course Megan could not be in the same photo as Abby. But she was in the same photo with Angela and the explanation is outrageous. We know that Megan was actually a woman named Aimee Gonzales from Vancouver. Angela chose to use Aimee’s actual little sister to be her photo of herself. Follow me? The mother of Megan was actually her own little sister. Nev and his buddies were looking at little sister and allowed her to be the mom. Imagine somebody actually thinking that you are the father of your father. Unfreakingbelievable! Are you ready to buy that bridge from me yet?

    You wrote: “I don’t see why Angela wouldn’t have pictures of Abby on her facebook as they do live together.”

    She no doubt did. But no shot showed them together and that is the super strange part.

    Reply
  38. You wrote: “I am guessing the hubcap flub is due to them adding footage afterwards they may not have gotten the first time.”

    The hubcap flub is the same thing as the out-of-place mountains shot. They put footage from Colorado into Illinois. The small white sedan was almost certainly their rental car in Vail.

    The film is a mish-mash of editing discontinuities. Take a little bit from over here and put it over there. Then from over there and put it back behind over yonder.

    Reply
  39. There is no way in hell that Nev could have thought he was getting emails directly from an 8 year old. No thinking human could have thought it was anyone other than her mother doing the writing for her, or that there was no girl at all. Look at this sampling of what was written “from Abby” to Nev…

    …and a little studio space of my own…

    …and since the price is really low…

    …would cover the utilities, insurance…

    …property taxes and that kind of stuff…

    …going over my budget…

    …I use acid free cold press paper and high quality paint so the paper ones are fine framed or stored properly…

    …I’ve only been drawing people for a short time so I was nervous about painting so many people in one picture that’s why I was only going to do a sketch…

    …That party looked like more fun than our party. It’s kinda hard for me to believe that you’re the same age as my brothers. You seem really a lot more grown up…

    …Well I’m really not supposed to be bugging you with a lot of email so I probably should stop writing now…

    …my address is…

    …You should probably make it care of either my Mom, Angela Wesselman or my Dad Vincent Pierce…

    …Peace and Love ~ Abby…

    This is not the grammar, spelling, vocabulary or sentence structure of a little girl. Angela never even tried to write like an 8 year-old. The significance is that it plainly sets the stage for a fantasy relationship between Angela and Nev in a way that is not really deceptive. She puts everything right in front of him without any cunning tricks. Angela wants Nev to know that it is all make-believe.

    Pretending to be Abby writing sophisticated email letters and then signing them as Abby is no different than creating sophisticated paintings and pretending they were done by Abby and signing her name on them.

    The only way that Angela could have made the make-believe world more obvious to Nev would have been to tell him outright. “Dear Nev… I’m going to create a fake Facebook account for a daughter that I don’t have. I want you to communicate with and befriend that fake person. Her name will be Megan.”

    Reply
  40. “That is wrong. Megan couldn’t be in any photo that also showed Alex.”

    But Alex is no more real than Megan I thought, Angela didn’t have a son named Alex.

    Also how are you so confident about what images were or were not in their facebook pages in 2008? And please provide a source for the claim that Angela passed herself off as Megan’s younger sister in a photo.

    as for Abby’s writing… I am no expert on 8 year old’s writing ability but even if that is above what is being portrayed as an exceptionally talented 8 year old’s ability, there could have been mentioned anywhere offscreen that Angela helped her with the wording of the emails. That is not unheard of. Don’t they read a written letter of hers and it sounds very kid like? I remember them laughing about it, how sweet it was.

    Reply
  41. I write emails all the time for my children, and correct grammar and whatnot as we go along. My son thinks about money, and cost, and stuff (well maybe not property taxes) and I offer suggests which he considers and then we add it to the final email or whatnot.

    Now I’m not sure that Nev would or would not consider this when reading ‘stuff from an 8 year old’ but either way it is irrelevant.

    I’m not saying you do not have valid points, I find this thread exceedingly fascinating and the research is excellent; but some of your arguments veer into your own obsession-coloured-glasses sometimes. Do you have children, Aquaman?

    Reply
  42. on Abby’s age and writing from Vulture interview:

    “Nev’s relationship with Abby didn’t begin on Facebook: The beginnings of Nev’s friendship with Abby aren’t included in the film — but they go a long way toward explaining how Nev could have perceived the interaction as harmless. Abby’s first message to Nev appeared in his rarely checked MySpace account — and “she” said she was 12, not 8. He replied, complimenting her paintings. Then he received a near-immediate response, this time from Angela, who apologized, saying Abby’s Internet habits were usually monitored and that she’d somehow made it onto the computer unnoticed, and disclosed Abby’s real age. “Which was like, perfect opener,” Rel says. “’Cause you’re like, what an aware and considerate mom!””

    http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/09/what_got_cut_from_catfish.html

    it also confirms what you said that Nev was thinking Megan was a Veterinarian and owned a house and his mother questioned him on it. Seems a strange thing to admit if you were covering it up, it might be a case of Nev really being naive though, not understanding the education required to be a vet. That and the multiple chats under the same name are the two red flags I agree with you on, at least as possibilities.

    Reply
  43. this part of the Vulture article is particularly interesting:

    “Their monetary relationship was more complex than we’d imagined … : Joost, who admits he was always the most skeptical of the trio, says he and Rel questioned the constant stream of paintings Abby/Angela sent Nev without asking for any money, wondering if they’d want payment down the line. As it turns out, they wanted to pay him for his advice to Abby. Abby (or Angela — the boys still don’t know) won a painting contest with a thousand dollar prize and wanted to split the earnings with Nev, who refused repeatedly. She insisted and sent him $500. “I was amazed that we could tell the story and leave out that scene,” Rel says now.”

    Someone giving you $500 dollars, no questions asked… that can buy you a lot of trust I think. Again, reinforces the idea that the family is not hurting for money.

    Reply
  44. Actually, $500 no questions asked would invite suspicion in me, not build trust. That’s just me though, I’m a bit more paranoid/suspicious by nature.

    Reply
  45. Aquaman wrote: “Megan couldn’t be in any photo that also showed Alex.”

    Mike responded: “But Alex is no more real than Megan I thought, Angela didn’t have a son named Alex.”

    Mike, there is something here you are not grasping. Angela stole photos of people that were already on the web. She created false names and personas for each of them. In some cases, she would declare these various people to be directly related to each other… but in real-life they didn’t even know each other. The important point is that Megan cannot be seen in any photo with Alex… because a photo of them together cannot exist. This should have presented a bizarre situation for Nev. He knows that Megan is a back-up singer for Alex’s band and that they even record together. Besides that, they are siblings. But he will never see a photo of them together in spite of Megan having 370 photos in her profile.

    Mike wrote: “Also how are you so confident about what images were or were not in their facebook pages in 2008?”

    See above. Certain kinds of photos cannot exist in the first place.

    Mike wrote: “And please provide a source for the claim that Angela passed herself off as Megan’s younger sister in a photo.”
    Angela used a photo of Megan’s younger sister for herself. This is confirmed by Aimee Gonzales in the ABC 20/20 program. See here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/184528/abc-2020-fri-oct-8-2010 .

    Mike wrote: “Don’t they read a written letter of hers (Abby) and it sounds very kid like? I remember them laughing about it, how sweet it was.”

    You are probably recalling the note from Abby where she says her snake died and so now she has a pet mouse which was supposed to be snake food. Nev reads the letter aloud and a portion of it is shown on the screen. It is written in the same adult style as everything else. There never was anything shown that was signed by Abby that was distinctly “kid-like”. Here is another flub of sorts: They show a picture of Abby hugging the “mouse” which the snake didn’t eat. It’s obviously a pet rat – not a mouse. Later when they get to her house, they film her playing with another (different) rat. Abby had pet rats and probably didn’t even have a snake named Zoey.

    Kurt wrote: “Do you have children, Aquaman?”

    No, I don’t.

    Of course the big difference with you writing for your children is that Angela wasn’t writing for Abby. Angela was pretending to be Abby. Abby couldn’t care less about Nev and even had to have it explained to her who he was when he showed up in Michigan.

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  46. “Of course the big difference with you writing for your children is that Angela wasn’t writing for Abby. Angela was pretending to be Abby. Abby couldn’t care less about Nev and even had to have it explained to her who he was when he showed up in Michigan.”

    My point, however, was that people write for their kids online all the time, and it is quite reasonable for the other side to expect this, in text form. My point was that your suspicion on that point was not really argued well.

    Reply
  47. Another factoid: Only one of the two postcards was USPS stamped with “Returned to this address for proper disposition”. This is in spite of both being mailed at the same time and addressed the same way.

    Reply
  48. Kurt wrote: “My point, however, was that people write for their kids online all the time, and it is quite reasonable for the other side to expect this, in text form. My point was that your suspicion on that point was not really argued well.”

    I understand your point. But my point still stands in the context of what was going on. Angela was pretending to be Abby.

    If Nev were to ask Angela “Did Abby really paint these pictures?” her answer would be – yes.

    If Nev were to ask Angela “Did Abby really write these emails?” her answer would be – yes.

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  49. I found a screen capture showing the two different chat windows open at the same time. But it doesn’t capture everything you can see in this scene when you watch the film. Look here: http://hotimagehost.com/images/94901124424556289889.jpg . The image timestamped at 00:24:57 is what I am talking about.

    The chatbox on the left is being used by “meganfaccio”. The chatbox on the right is being used by “Megan Faccio”. In the film, you can see text being generated in both of them at the same time.

    This is not a recreated Facebook scene done later back in NYC either. They are really sitting there at the hotel dining table in Vail and the camera pans back and forth between the guys and this compter screen.

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  50. More photo stuff…

    Here is the scene of them riding in the mountains just after they arrive in Chicago. ROFL. http://static.lovefilm.com/images/mainimage/ccaadfe4-ef50-4e68-b7c8-8bcf4c22d87f/45701/asset.jpg .

    This is the opening scene from the film showing Nev explaining how he shouldn’t be the subject of the documentary… it should be Abby. He’s wearing a yellow v-neck and is eating pizza with the pizza box in front of him. This same setting (shirt and pizza matching) will then be used two more times later in the film but for different contexts. Then he is on the phone with Megan and being romantic. http://img571.imageshack.us/i/vlcsnap00001ue.jpg/

    Abby’s first paining for Nev. It is signed “A. Pierce”. The name Pierce is blurred out by the editors while leaving the “A.” intact. http://img844.imageshack.us/i/vlcsnap00003zj.jpg/

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  51. and Aquaman, do you have confirmation that the picture of the person that is supposed to be Alex IS NOT just one of the individuals in a lot of Aimee Gonzlez’s pictures? If you were doing this, and making up two characters that are supposed to know each other, doesn’t it make sense you would use people that are already known to one another?

    I agree with Kurt on the Abby writing thing… they are on record as saying Angela was said to be monitoring Abby, in some point not shown in the film that could have been even more clearly spelled out. Again, the problem I find with a lot of your theories is they presuppose that the documentary footage is enough to understand entirely the conditions of the online relationship. If ALL that existed was what was onscreen you would have a case… but as the Vulture interview shows in small anecdotes, there was a lot that wasn’t in the film, information that changes the context.

    will watch the chatbox clip when I am at home.

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  52. I might do another post after some of these insights, something like 5 hard questions for the Catfish filmmakers to answer.

    Once I check out your links and they are as you say, I would include the dual chatrooms, Nev’s understanding of Megan as a veterinarian, and this claim of Angela as the younger sister of Megan in one of the pictures.

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  53. Kurt, pay close attention to this quote/info from the article Mike linked to above…

    “Nev’s relationship with Abby didn’t begin on Facebook: The beginnings of Nev’s friendship with Abby aren’t included in the film — but they go a long way toward explaining how Nev could have perceived the interaction as harmless. Abby’s first message to Nev appeared in his rarely checked MySpace account — and “she” said she was 12, not 8. He replied, complimenting her paintings. Then he received a near-immediate response, this time from Angela, who apologized, saying Abby’s Internet habits were usually monitored and that she’d somehow made it onto the computer unnoticed, and disclosed Abby’s real age. “Which was like, perfect opener,” Rel says. “’Cause you’re like, what an aware and considerate mom!””

    Now, we know it was Angela that wrote that very first letter to Nev on MySpace. She gave Abby’s age as 12 instead of 8 yeard-old. But she was pretending to be Abby. Then Nev responds. Immediately Angela responds to that with an apology letter from herself saying that her daughter had written an email to Nev containing a bit of false information. She let it be known that Abby does sit at the computer and write emails and send them off. So when subsequent emails come to Nev signed as Abby – they probably are to be taken as actually written by Abby.

    The article and quotes from Nev do not say that from that first email onwards all emails from Abby would be written by her mother instead.

    Regardless of what the situation actually was, I would want to ask Nev… “Did you think, or were you under the impression that, the emails signed by Abby were actually typed on the keyboard by Abby?” If the answer is no… then… “Did you think that Abby spoke those words to her mother and Angela simply did the typing?”

    Next question… “Did you think that those paintings were actually painted by Abby?”

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  54. Mike wrote: “and Aquaman, do you have confirmation that the picture of the person that is supposed to be Alex IS NOT just one of the individuals in a lot of Aimee Gonzlez’s pictures?”

    I thought I had that but can’t find it. There are no pictures shown in the film that appear to be Megan with Alex. I suspect that Alex was a local Ishpeming kid but cannot be certain. Angela did use a number of local Ishpeming people that she knows for various characters.

    You wrote: “If you were doing this, and making up two characters that are supposed to know each other, doesn’t it make sense you would use people that are already known to one another?”

    It makes sense if you want to pull a quality scam. But that isn’t what Angela did. We know for a fact that Megan could never be in a picture with Abby… Angela still went with that. We know for a fact that Angela herself could not be in any photo with Abby. We know for a fact that Vince could not be in any photo with Abby. We know for a fact that Alex could not be in any photo with Angela or Abby if he can be seen in any photo with Megan. So you see, these are the things that don’t make sense according to your statement above.

    You wrote: “I might do another post after some of these insights, something like 5 hard questions for the Catfish filmmakers to answer. Once I check out your links and they are as you say, I would include the dual chatrooms, Nev’s understanding of Megan as a veterinarian, and this claim of Angela as the younger sister of Megan in one of the pictures.”

    I’d like to help you before you commit such things to a new blog on this. It might be more than 5 questions. Do you have the DVD at home? I can give you the timeclock position on the disc for any scene or factoid that I have written about.

    Don’t forget what I said in my very first post here. As far as I can tell, there is no single smoking gun in the film that proves my theory. My base theory is that Nev knew, or strongly suspected, that lies were coming out of Michigan before they went to Vail Colorado. I can only say that I have presented a good number of observations that could support my theory. The totality of the observations is stronger than any single one of them on its own.

    My theory has not yet been disproven.

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  55. “Now, we know it was Angela that wrote that very first letter to Nev on MySpace. She gave Abby’s age as 12 instead of 8 yeard-old. But she was pretending to be Abby. Then Nev responds. Immediately Angela responds to that with an apology letter from herself saying that her daughter had written an email to Nev containing a bit of false information. She let it be known that Abby does sit at the computer and write emails and send them off. So when subsequent emails come to Nev signed as Abby – they probably are to be taken as actually written by Abby.”

    I cannot even begin to parse that logic, aquaman. As I see it (and a lot of your other arguments could be bucketed with what follows) there is neither a case for or against, or rather there are equal cases for or against that we cannot understand. In this instance, either A) ‘Abby’ (and I’m using quotes to say Abby from Nev’s point of view, not that she was all along Angela…I’m keeping my eye entirely on Nev’s point of view here) got away with a single email to a New Yorker significantly older than her, and was then stopped (and continually checked/edited by mom) or B) Abby got away with one, was caught by her Mom, and then was sneaking behind Mom’s back to continue to correspond.

    What I ask is why do you take your position, when either (and perhaps other options still) are equally plausible.

    I commend your research into this, as I’ve said above, it is AWESOME. But you can ride the horse of skepticism constantly looking at the ground, right into a brick wall. Be Careful! 😉

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  56. Oh wait, you are talking about the painting of Angela being taken from Aimee’s sister. I don’t find a problem with that, one embellishes in paintings, and it is a pretty crude representation, so of course in a painting you make your subject look better than they are. Also Abby could have taken the image from a picture of her mom in the prime of her life. That is not an issue at all to me.

    as for Alex being from Michigan, that is pretty clumsy of Angela, intentional or not, she can give herself away in other ways, but all she had to do was use a person already in Megan’s photos. I still don’t think, however, the absence of a photograph of Megan with her family together does not sound off alarm bells. I say again, she may have said she was a newbie to Facebook and pictures are from the last year or so.

    I agree with Kurt on the if either side is plausible it cancels out the proof. A lot of your points can be cancelled out by ‘lack of information’.

    Imagine this undocumented scenario:

    Nev: Angela, your daughter is a very good writer for her age
    Angela: oh yeah, I monitor her and help her with wording.

    That this does not exist in the film is not proof it never happened. Innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent.

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  57. “Oh wait, you are talking about the painting of Angela being taken from Aimee’s sister. ”

    No, it’s a photograph. Angela uses a photograph of Aimee’s little sister as her own Facebook profile picture. Abby also did a painting of that photo and we see it too.

    There is no getting around this, Mike: Nev had been presented with photos of mother and daughter standing right next to each other. We are shown these photos in the movie. The mother is younger than her daughter.

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  58. There is a way to get around it, I would say over half of the facebook profile photos that people use are of them younger than they are. People tend to use their profile pictures deceptively (particularly people in their 40s) to show them in their prime, not sagging, old and weathered. This happens ALL THE TIME.

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  59. I think you had said before there was a picture with Aimee and her sister together in the same photo available to Nev to see on either of the profile pages. If that is the case, then that there is your smoking gun.

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  60. There is no smoking gun that could not be defused by Nev if he wanted. All he has to say is that although he did see the photos of mom and daughter together… he is a horrible judge of age.

    A smoking gun would be irrefutable proof that Nev knew he was being told lies before going to Colorado. That proof might exist (or once existed and has been destroyed/deleted), but not in the film itself.

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  61. My source is the film itself, Mike.

    With all due respects, you really owe it to yourself, me and the readers of this blog to thoroughly review this film again. Throughout our debate here I feel as if we watched two different movies. I know that isn’t true. The problem is that you cannot remember the movie in detail. Sometimes you think the movie shows things that it doesn’t actually show. Sometimes you think the movie doesn’t show things that it does actually show.

    We are shown the front Facebook profile page for Megan Faccio. It states that she has 370 photos. The camera lens does not dip down far enough (or it’s cropped) to show the line that states how many friends she has.

    We are also shown about 60 of the photos found within her profile (60 of the 370 total). Among those 60 are several that show mother (Angela) with daughter (Megan) together. These photos actually show Aimee Gonzales with her younger sister. The 60 photos zoom past in real-time, but with the DVD and a remote you can pause and go frame-by-frame and spend time examining them.

    At another point in the film they stop and focus on one particular picture from Megan’s profile. It shows her and mom (actually Aimee and lil sis). The cursor drags across their bodies and reveals that they have been “tagged”. The tagged names are Megan Faccio and Angela Wesselman.

    This is not a joke, Mike. Angela presented Nev with photos of two sisters and told him that they were mother and daughter. Even more astounding is that she used the younger sister as the mother.

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  62. I plan to definitely rewatch (am going away on vacation shortly though). I have watched the film twice, but I have not freeze-framed it.

    I haven’t ‘seen’ this photo firsthand, but assuming what you are saying is true, that is a big, big deal. A lot of your points don’t connect, but this does. Also that it was tagged would say to me it would show up on both facebook pages… someone infatuated as Nev would have gone over Megan’s photos, I don’t see how he could claim he didn’t notice it.

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  63. Wow Aquaman, your attention to detail is brilliant! I have been haunted by this film since I first saw it and embarded on a reserach project of my own. I have been driving around in the google car looking at Ishpeming, the house at 421 N Main street and even tried to work out where they all went swimming (got lost after Angela mentions the Ski museum). Found the obituary for Ronald (Vince’s son), tracked down that the owners of the house at 421 N Main are Vince Pierce and his mother, found numerous blogs written by Angela (though they seem to stop Dec 2010, listened to a pod cast where Angela mentions being able to see a street called Ridge street from her studio (however it looks to me as if Ridge st is too far off for her to see from there). Tried to work out the restaurant they all dined in, though it might be Mama Mia’s (but the car park scene didn’t match) with outside of this place and I couldn’t find any inside shots to make a comparision from film to actual. Contacted the Mining Journal to see what further light they could shed on things, (not much), contacted Ishpeming Carnegie Library (Cindy Mak) got a reply but she didn’t do much more than confirm Angela does live in that house (just up the road from the library and that the gallery (studio) Angela claimed Abby had bought in the film), still sits empty and is scheduled to be torn down later this year. Found out the family moved to Ishpeming in 2004.

    What I find most amazing is how this film is laced with symbolism and clues: in the paintings, in the dialogue, in the song choices, even in the name of the Alex’s band.

    Examples:
    Name of the band ‘Casualties’ (they all end up being casualties one way or another)
    ‘Catfish’ (lends itself to something being ‘fishy’, or ‘not quite right’
    ‘Subject of the paintings’ so many of them depict ‘lonliness’, ‘desire for escape’ – bird in a cage, woman sleeping, woman in field with a suitcase in her hand, a woman surrounded by ‘red’ apple cores (apple – eaten = perhaps given into temptation)
    ‘Gladstone’ as a place name broken down = ‘glad’ ‘stone’ = ‘happiness’ (‘cold/heart of stone’)
    ‘dollhouse in the main window’ symbolic of fantasy/childlike

    Things I found odd:
    On one hand, Vince doesn’t appear to be the brightest chap, then he comes out with an insightful story about carfish and cod (an allegory if you like) for Angela’s behaviour. Felt like he might have been spoon fed these lines (especially due to the blog by the runner about catfish and cod where the story that VInce tells appears almost word for word early 2007)

    Abby’s writing is rather mature for an 8 year old, even a gifted one. Moreover, even if a mother was correcting the child’s email it seems unlikely that a child would mention taxes, or that a mother would see fit to include such information. Only an adult, wishing to look business savy might include such information.

    The romance between Nev and Megan reached quite an intense level. It seemed odd to me that it took him so long to get his act together to go and visit. Why not jump a plane a few months earlier?

    Anyway, I so enjoyed reading an informative blog filled with information that no one else seems to have picked up on as yet. I love how you even picked up the difference in the car used (hud cap) shot.

    Look forward to sharing more information that I find.

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  64. Hi Ms Curious,

    Thank you for your very insightful post. It’s nice to see another person who is dissecting this movie like I am. I was getting lonely in this thread as the only one who is actually examing the film itself. I’ll have more to say about your post later, but wanted to give you the restaurant now. Do you have the DVD?

    You wrote: “Tried to work out the restaurant they all dined in, though it might be Mama Mia’s (but the car park scene didn’t match) with outside of this place and I couldn’t find any inside shots to make a comparision from film to actual.”

    The restaurant is Applebee’s Bar & Grill in Marquette. There is a stained glass sign with the name above the bar. It’s in a kind of strip mall called Westwood Mall Shopping Center. They are about 15 miles away from Angela’s house.

    They must have been in there for a pretty long time. When we see them eating the windows show bright daylight outside. When they leave giving hugs it’s night in the parking lot. All the clothing matches with the scene inside the restaurant so it seems legitimately to be a continuous scene.

    The reason I mention that is because the editor(s) cannot be fully trusted to give us proper continuity. Don’t forget that we are shown Colorado mountains in Illinois.

    I read an interview stating that the guys got Angela to sign a release (the first of two releases) at a dinner restaurant on the night of the first day they met her. This restaurant scene may not be that first night. I reckon they were in Ishpeming for about three days or so. I’m trying to nail down a timeline for that.

    I also read that after Sundance accepted the film they returned to Ishpeming to have Angela sign a much more detailed and comprehensive release.

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  65. Ms Curious wrote: “and even tried to work out where they all went swimming (got lost after Angela mentions the Ski museum).”

    The beach house where Abby was visiting is on Lake Superior. About 20 miles out of Ishpeming. I haven’t been able to pinpoint it but it is either within the city of Marquette or nearby. You can see some shoreline landmarks and they are within a small bay.

    Just after the guys leave the beach they start talking about what they have just experienced and how Angela is probably playing the role of all of the characters. At that point, I’m looking out the windows at the surroundings. They are in Marquette driving on Lake Shore Boulevard just outside Presque Isle Park, then past La Bonte Park, and then into downtown Marquette. Ironically, it is quite possible that they drove right past the Casualties sport shop in downtown Marquette.

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  66. Hello Matt
    You wrote: Am I the only one who finds these two more than slightly disturbing?

    I take it that you are referring to Aquaman and myself. What is it that you find so disturbing Matt? Is it the fact that both Aquaman and I have taken the time to look closely at the film, to dissect it, to question its authenticity? Or is that we don’t ramble on about Schizophrenia? I’ve had a look back at your post/s and they don’t really address the film itself, but mainly appear to obsessed with Schizophrenia and making sure we all get the right definition (well at least your definition of that illness). You go so far as to provide a ‘personal’ insight into your grandfather’s illness. No doubt you had a difficult time dealing with a relative who suffered from this condition. That being said, this blog is about the movie ‘Catfish’, so I for one am delighted that someone with tremendous attention to detail like Aquaman has taken the time to provide us all with wonderful insights into the film. I mean seriously, the information that Aquaman has found/discovered would involve a very painstaking and meticulous annalysis, potentially ‘frame by frame’ and then an enormous amount of digging/annalysis after this. Film students undergo this type of annalysis all the time, Literature buffs write thousands of words for their thesis and sometimes only address one aspect of a work (example symbolism or femininism). I find it perplexing that you are disturbed by people who ‘go that extra mile’ who are ‘passionate’. Not everyone is prepared to take things on face value Matt, some of us like to look deeper into things and resolve aspects that don’t match, to question, to find the sub-text that lies beneath a superficial veneer.

    Perhaps you would find our type of determination and attention to detail less disturbing if you looked at your own ‘passions’. I suspect you have read, researched and/or experienced a great deal to do with Schizophrenia. Without a doubt, far more than I have or would care to. If that be your passion, or interest then fine.

    Please try not to put people down, or make comments that are insulting just because your own passion does not lie in the same area as another persons. It seems a bit ironic that you’re disturbed about postings/people who are posting directly in relation to the topic of the blog. You might be less ‘disturbed’ if you found a blog about your passion ‘Schizophrenia’.

    There are thousands of people out there who are fascinated with the film “Catfish”, and who are extremely appreciative of those who do take the time to research/dig deeper etc.

    I’m currently trying to find out the source of the sirname ‘Wesselman’ (as in, is it Angela’s maiden name, her 1st husband’s sirname etc?). I was thrilled to have Aquaman reply to my post and reveal the name of the restaurant in which the group dined and the lake that they swam in. Moreover, noting the time duration by way of identifying the daylight/night etc. I think it was terrific that Aquaman took the time to reply to me. My own research looks a bit shallow compared to what Aquaman has found out. However, as a team I’m sure we can find a whole lot more.

    Anyway, Matt I’m sorry you’re disturbed…(by our level of interest in the film). If you have anything interesting to add about the film I’d love to hear about it.

    Aquaman, I will reply separately to you regarding your latest bits of information (so appreciated!). Keep digging!

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  67. What’s disturbing is the fact is that you are the same person posting as two different ones. Though truly what distubs me is how terrible at it you are. Any idiot would know not to use the same repetive styles of typing (the over use of parantheses and the mimiced indroduction format for starters), but I guess you need to stroke your ego that badly.

    I’m sure Kurt will ramble in and go on about how “meta” this whole thread has become.

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  68. Ms. Curious — you have to understand that Gamble’s terse text is part of his ‘schtick.’

    FYI Matt, the Mr. Curious and Aquaman both have different ip addresses. (not that that cannot be spoofed…)

    as to my own. Yep, this thread has gotten quite meta. Still enjoying the banter very much.

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  69. I don’t disagree with you Aquaman, but I’m also thinking the odds of getting an Apology from Mr. Gamble in a web-forum is pretty slim. He’s much more amenable in person.

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  70. I believe Ms C and Aquaman are different people. If we didn’t know rot I think you could look at his contribs to the thread and wonder too, and its only because of the more disturbing thing for me: That people find Catfish interesting enough that they would bother researching to that degree 😛

    This is not a murder mystery, its a dude who had a relationship with a girl over the interwebs which turned out to be faked by a woman with a sad life. Whether or not elements of it are a hoax are thus only so worthy of this level of dedication.

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  71. Matt, just saw your most recent post. Again, nothing to do with the film (just some more insults), which culminate in an unfounded and ridiculous allegation that Aquaman and I are the same person. What is your problem? You claim that ‘Any idiot would know not to use the same repetive styles of typing (the over use of parantheses and the mimiced indroduction format for starters)’. I am not Aquaman and he is not me. If you ‘imagine’ a similarity in our in style, that is only your perception (I don’t see it personally). It appears that what Aquaman and I have in common, is a desire to dissect/annalyse this film. Do you find it so hard to believe that two people could both be extremely interested in the one subject and want to look behind the veneer? As I mentioned in my earlier post, it is quite common for people to devote enormous amounts of time and energy to reseraching all manner of things, from the poetry of WB Yeats, Wilde’s use of the dialectic, Andy Warhol’s pop art, right through to organic gardening. I can’t explain why certain people are drawn to certain things or why some people just scratch the surface and others look deeper. By way of example, I’m not sure why you’re obsessed with Schizophrenia (but that’s your thing).

    I’m in Australia. I stumbled across this blog in the process of looking for more information on ‘Catfish’. I found Aquaman’s research amazing and thought, awesome..someone else out there is as into this film as I am. It is disapointing that you find it necessary to degrade someone else’s efforts. Irrespective of whether you you think the film deserves this level of annalysis or not, it seems downright mean to to criticise someone for their hard work in research.

    Your hostility is ‘disturbing’ Matt, not sure what is compelling you to behave like this, though I have my suspicions.

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  72. Hello Goon

    On the face of it, you’re right when you state: ‘This is not a murder mystery, its a dude who had a relationship with a girl over the interwebs which turned out to be faked by a woman with a sad life’. However, I think it’s a bit presumptious to conclude with ‘Whether or not elements of it are a hoax are thus only so worthy of this level of dedication’.

    Isn’t it up to the individual to determine how much dedication a subject deserves, or do you think the masses should determine what is and isn’t interesting? Doesn’t worthiness of devotion depend on an individual’s level of interest in the subject? I have a friend who has spent 10 years restoring a car and although I’m not interested in cars to this degree, nor would I devote my time to restoring one, I still respect his passion and dedication. I think all of us to one degree or another have our own passions, that potentially might appear unusual to another person who doesn’t share that passion. I respect the fact that you only want to go so far in looking at the film, that’s your choice. I just don’t think it’s very fair to put someone down because they are very interested in something or to suggest that their behaviour is ‘disturbing’. You are right when you conclude that ‘Ms C and Aquaman are different people’. We are.

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  73. I guess I’d just prefer someone took this level of investigation to Exit Through the Gift Shop, which to me relies so much more on whether ot not it is a hoax to maintain any interest in it whatsoever. Waiting for someone to conclusively prove something and perhaps in the process out Banksy’s identity so people will stop talking about such a bland, poorly made film.

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  74. Hi Kurt

    Thanks for trying to explain Matt’s hostile behaviour by advising that I need to ‘understand that Gamble’s terse text is part of his ‘schtick.’ Sorry though, I just don’t get why anyone would want to come off looking like such a cock sure arse? You say you know Matt and he’s more ameniable in person, (this may well be the case). I do think he owes Aquaman and I an apology, though I doubt such will be forthcoming. I really think it’s a bit rich Matt spouting off claims that Aquaman and I are the same person without the slightest bit of proof. Just don’t get why there is such an issue because someone wants to look deeply into a film and why this has caused Matt to become so hostile. Thanks for your more balanced approach to this.

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  75. Goon
    To conclude whether or not the film is or isn’t a hoax requires investigation and annalysis. A gradual piecing together of informaiton and aspects that increase or decrease the level of probability. Are the inconsistencies in the film evidence of ‘poor film making’, do they support the notion that the film is a ‘hoax’? The detect the inconsistencies one has to look at the film in depth and ask ‘why did that happen, is there a purpose or was this unintentional’? I’m not sure what you mean by ‘exit through the gift shop’. Do you just want the goodies (as in the answers) quickly? Is that what you mean?

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  76. Hi Aquaman
    It seems that Matt believes us to be the same person. Both you and I know this is utter nonsense. Quite annoyed at his idiotic and unfounded allegation. He appears to be basing this on some style similarity he imagines we both share. He’s very scathing about this style too, ahhh…thanks for your literary criticism Matt, so very informing.

    I applaud the level of research you have undertaken thus far on the film. Thanks so much for letting me know the name of the restaurant and the lake they went to (how you worked this out is incredible). I’m curious as to whether you’ve found out anything on the other little girl in the film (I couldn’t see any credits for her appearance), Laura. I thought it was interesting that Angela chose ‘Dawn Farms’ as the place she claimed Megan had gone to for re-hab, (Angela’s middle name is Dawn). It seems to match in with her m.o. (as in using the sir name of Gonzales) for Abby’s pet. A bit of truth mixed with a lot of lies.

    Yes, I do have the film and have slowly been going through it a third time looking for more clues (only released in Australia a month or so ago). From my perspective the amount of symbolism in the film tends to suggest hoax (or at least in part). The symbolism is so elaborate that one feels that it would require an enormous amount of planning. Even the songs that were used are ‘perfect’, as in ‘All Downhill from here’ (depicts Angela’s emotions brilliantly. On the other hand, one tends to wonder why there are so many inconsistencies within the film, as you point out the mountains in a scene where there should be no mountains. Have you had any luck with the sirname ‘Wesselman’? I’ve found an alias Angela runs under ‘Macminion’. Have you done much research on her company Panorama? Anyway, look forward to chatting more with you and hopefully contributing some more information as I find things.

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  77. Matt should offer an apology as his post was beyond terse and was insulting.

    Aquaman/Ms Curious,

    I’m sorry that you feel the need to felate yourself on a public message board in order to satisfy your own needs.

    All better?

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  78. if Aquaman and Ms Curious are so eager to prove they are different people, I could be of some assistance.

    Tell me where you are from and what browser you are using, and then visit http://www.corey-pierce.com – I can check my statcounter and see if its two different people and if it lines up with what is claimed.

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    • I think Matt’s comments are an insulting way at getting at what I sort of agree with. Whether or not Exit Through the Gift Shop and/or Catfish (or I’m Still Here for that matter) are “real” or not, is (for me) completely beside the point and the least interesting aspect of the films. So for some of us you have to understand that watching a film frame by frame several times is a little odd.

      I’m much more interested in what the films have to say and the differing angles of entertainment the films provide. Whether or not it’s made up seems to me to be of no importance whatsoever.

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  79. Does this website have a designated Administrator or Manager? I don’t see any Terms of Use, but I would still like to make a complaint about the last few postings of Matt Gamble.

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  80. Most websites do not wish to have posts where people accuse others of fellating themselves.

    How does this site prevent or stop a descent into insulting chaos?

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  81. You’re not making it any better by letting him distract you from why you’re here. If you can continue arguing with rot, do so, and ignore Matt. If you can’t ignore Matt, well Matt ain’t going anywhere, so…

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    • See the FAQ for this site. About halfway down it asks if we ever modify, censor or delete readers comments. In general, the answer is no. We’ve been around for 3+ years and the commenters at this site usually do a pretty good job of policing themselves. If you’re offended by any of the comments on this site, we’re happy to listen to complaints, but unless it’s ridiculously out of control or over the top, you should probably just ignore people you’re not interested in hearing from. But Goon is right… Gamble isn’t going anywhere.

      FAQ:
      http://www.rowthree.com/FAQ/

      Reply
  82. Ms Curious wrote: “found numerous blogs written by Angela (though they seem to stop Dec 2010,”

    She had her own art website/blog starting in 2007 onwards. If Nev had searched for her name (any variation of it) he would have found her site and seen that the Abby paintings were really done by her. He said he searched for Abby and her art and found nothing. If he had any brains he would have then looked for her mother online since she would have been the representative/agent for Abby.

    You wrote: “listened to a pod cast where Angela mentions being able to see a street called Ridge street from her studio (however it looks to me as if Ridge st is too far off for her to see from there).”

    I just looked and I’d say she could see a building on Ridge Street. I listened to the same podcast. She says when she is upstairs she can see her neighbor on Ridge. She probably has a clear view of a house or building over there that is 2 floors or higher. She’s only 2.5 blocks from Ridge and I think she is on a hill as well.

    Interestingly, in that same podcast she said that she cannot discuss the contents of the film. That means she signed a legally binding non-disclosure agreement. Hmmm. What don’t they want her to tell us?

    Were you able to find the farm in Gladstone on Google Maps? I can help you if you want.

    You wrote: “On one hand, Vince doesn’t appear to be the brightest chap, then he comes out with an insightful story about carfish and cod (an allegory if you like) for Angela’s behaviour. Felt like he might have been spoon fed these lines (especially due to the blog by the runner about catfish and cod where the story that VInce tells appears almost word for word early 2007)”

    I don’t know the exact context for what prompted Vince to tell that story. He may not have meant it to describe Angela or anyone in particular. We don’t hear what the guys said or asked of him before he goes into his fish monologue. I’ve read review sites where people said that Vince repeated that story as it is seen online. I compared the online version with his words and there is considerable variation.

    I wonder what they told him they were filming for. They had the camera pointing right at him. We know they didn’t say it was a film about Angela’s lies.

    “The romance between Nev and Megan reached quite an intense level.”

    Or so we are led to believe. There’s no way to know if it was sincere. You basically have to take Nev at his word. He said he was hoping to move to Michigan to live with her on the farm. He went on to say that college hadn’t worked out for him and he wasn’t getting anywhere. But he had his own photography business and steady work including photographing the NYC Ballet. You can find many pictures of him and the two other guys mixing with the young and rich socialites in the Manhattan art scene. It’s odd that he would fall for Megan when he was constantly exposed to all the beautiful people around him.

    “It seemed odd to me that it took him so long to get his act together to go and visit. Why not jump a plane a few months earlier?”

    There are points in the film where you hear him mention attempts to get together. I seem to recall a message from Megan saying she’d see him soon (but long before Vail).

    “I’m curious as to whether you’ve found out anything on the other little girl in the film (I couldn’t see any credits for her appearance), Laura.”

    I’m not really interested in any info on her.

    I will say that Nev did a couple odd things at that beach house. Remember this is supposed to be a stranger’s house where he has never been. Angela leads him into the house through an enclosed porch with her walking in front. Just before going into the main inside door he grabs something to his left (off camera) and moves it. Like he moves something sitting on a table on the porch. It sounds like he is hanging up a tabletop telephone receiver. Like a hard plastic on plastic clunk. As if he sees a phone “off the hook” and hangs it up. What is he messing with?
    Then after he is inside and meets Abby he suddenly reaches over on a table and grabs what looks like papers and DVDs and rearranges them. Why is he messing with stuff inside these people’s house?

    “Have you had any luck with the sirname ‘Wesselman’? I’ve found an alias Angela runs under ‘Macminion’. Have you done much research on her company Panorama?”

    I haven’t researched those things other than finding she had various creative companies and ventures since at least 2007. She was doing art, writing and acting before contacting Nev. Her businesses seem to designate Marquette rather than Ishpeming.

    I’ll give you a new tidbit to research. When Angela is sketching Nev she says a name that we hadn’t heard in the film. Megan LeCrone. Angela says she was going to put all her various Facebook profiles on Private after hearing from Megan LeCrone. Hmmm. Who is that and why didn’t they put the last name into the subtitles and what did this LeCrone say to Angela? I know who she is but you can have fun looking her up.

    Goon wrote: “I guess I’d just prefer someone took this level of investigation to Exit Through the Gift Shop, which to me relies so much more on whether ot not it is a hoax to maintain any interest in it whatsoever. Waiting for someone to conclusively prove something and perhaps in the process out Banksy’s identity so people will stop talking about such a bland, poorly made film.”

    I saw that film on streaming Netflix HD and enjoyed it. ETGS doesn’t seem to lend itself to the analytical critique and fact finding that Catfish does. But I know there are people who think that numerous aspects of that film are hoaxed or grossly misrepresented.

    Andrew James wrote: “So for some of us you have to understand that watching a film frame by frame several times is a little odd.”

    Maybe this is just sarcasm. I didn’t watch the entire film frame-by-frame. There are a few points in the film where you need to do that to see what is there. You even get to see the name of Nev’s actual NYC girlfriend for like only 2 frames when his Facebook quickly status flashes by on the screen… “In A Relationship With: her name”. It can’t be seen with the naked eye in real time.

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  83. From my perspective it’s okay have a different point of view, a different level of interest in a subject and/or even a different focus on the same subject. It is not okay to insult other people just because they don’t approach a subject matter in the same way as another person does or because they display a level of tenacity that does not appeal to you. Matt, your attacks are completely unjustified and to date I have not seen one single posting from you that offers any great insight into the film (hoax wise or other). Feel free to chime in anytime with something relevant to the film that you may have to offer. You seem hell bent on only two themes (Insults and Schizophrenia). Your ‘pseudo’ apology is really ugly and I doubt there’s anyone on here who finds what you wrote even mildly amusing. Matt you need to stop listening to the voices in your head telling you to behave like this.

    Andrew, no matter whether you’re into the hoax aspect or not, that’s fine. Perhaps you’d like to share some thoughts on the filmic elements, camera angles, use of lighting or if it’s the demographic target audience you’d like to discuss I’m up for that too. In respect to your comment about being ‘more interested in what the film has to say’, I did post some aspects in relation to the symbolism I found in the film and symbolism is a great way to look at what the film has to say. I’m very open to hearing any information from any perspective.

    Andrew you wrote ‘for some of us you have to understand that watching a film frame by frame several times is a little odd’. Frame by frame watching is not as unusual as you might imagine: Directors, Producers, Editors, Academics all engage in frame by frame watching. This type of close annalysis enables one to locate flaws, study particular aspects of a film in isolation or as a whole, consider elements such as continuity, thematic unity, sub-text and the list goes on.

    I’m really disapointed that hard work and research have been misconstrued and twisted to appear as some kind of ‘disturbing’ behaviour. What is ‘disturbing’ is Matt’s complete disregard for other people’s feelings.

    Goon I’m in Australia, using internet explorer so by all means check into whether Aquaman and I are different people. I can assure you that we are different people and I’d love you reveal Matt’s claims as nonsense.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading more on the film and less on Matt.

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  84. I actually have to agree I’m noticing the writing style is similar enough to see why someone would think you’re the same person.

    Anyways yes I got a hit on my site logged from Australia. If Aquaman wants to visit http://www.corey-pierce.com and let me know where he’s surfing in from I can confirm such a claim and you can maybe settle this thing and move on, and hopefully ignore further diversions from why you’re here?

    Even if you were the same person, I’d say unlike some of the Filmjunk trolls I’ve seen over the years, you’re writing something with substance that other readers surfing in may find interesting, even if some of us don’t, or even get sick of seeing in the front page sidebar.

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  85. I’m in the United States and will visit your site now. I appreciate privacy, Goon.

    Kurt already did say that we have different IP addresses.

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  86. Hello Aquaman
    Thank you for the new bit of information (I didn’t even hear Angela say that). Just had a look at Megan LeCrone and found a ballet dancer from NYC. Is this what you were alluding to? Also I noticed that Megan LeCrone danced in a ballet called ‘The Four Seasons’ (she was Spring). Then I remembered that many of Angela’s paintings have titles like ‘Winter’ ‘Spring’ ‘Autumn’ and ‘Summer’. Was Angela taking images from Megan LeCrone’s portfolio and painting them? There is a similarity in style about some of the shots of Megan Le Crone and some of Angela’s paintings.

    I too found the beach house scene a bit odd. Especially when Nev disapears into a bathroom (obviously with film crew in tow) to reveal to us the audience what he claims to have just found out (Abby doesn’t paint, ..but Angela does etc). It did seem very peculiar that he moved around the house with such freedom, no parent in sight and spoke directly to the other child etc.

    No I haven’t managed to find the farm in Gladstone. I drove the google car around along 21st Road (that is the address I thought Nev mentioned in the film), but I couldn’t find it. Any help there would be greatly appreciated.

    I too wonder what kind of contract Angela signed with the filmmakers. Ironic isn’t it, someone so isolated and desparate for escape goes to extraordinary lengths to reach out to someone and she’s basically even more isolated now. Nev trolling around the world promoting the film, (he was recently in Australia), while Angela sits silent. I question why they required her silence, don’t they claim literally to have revealed all to us the viewer. What are they hiding? Also, if the contract prevents her discussing the film then how is she granted two interviews 20/20 and the podcast? Yes I agree, in the scene where Vince relays the Catfish/Cod story he has obviously not been made aware that the film is about Angela’s deception. He is still operating on the idea that Nev is Angela’s main customer/patron. High pathos in that scene.

    Quite a few houses for sale around Ishpeming. The house across the street from Angela on W Euclid is on at $120 000 US. The prices seem so reasonable over there compared to what we pay for housing here. Then again, it appears that the UP is somewhat remote, though very beautiful.

    Look forward to your next post.

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  87. I can confirm that right after Aquaman posted that, I got a hit via the link posted above from an American city near enough to water to merit the name Aquaman 😛

    I’m satisfied that these are two different people who should get married.

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  88. Ms Curious wrote: “Just had a look at Megan LeCrone and found a ballet dancer from NYC. Is this what you were alluding to?”

    Yes, that’s her. She is a friend of Nev. She must have contacted one of the Angela Facebook characters some time before they went to Ishpeming. We don’t know what she said or why.

    You wrote: “I too found the beach house scene a bit odd. Especially when Nev disapears into a bathroom (obviously with film crew in tow) to reveal to us the audience what he claims to have just found out”

    The other guys aren’t with him in the bathroom scene. He is carrying a camera and pointing it at himself.

    “It did seem very peculiar that he moved around the house with such freedom, no parent in sight and spoke directly to the other child etc.”

    Well, spontaneously going into the bathroom isn’t really strange for a guest in any house. There is another odd moment going into the beach house. We see Angela walking in front of Nev as she leads him inside. They never ring a doorbell or knock. They just go straight into the house. Had she already been inside and told the owners that they would be coming in with cameras? We don’t know. We never see those parents, but Angela points out the father’s car as they are pulling into the driveway.

    “No I haven’t managed to find the farm in Gladstone. I drove the google car around along 21st Road (that is the address I thought Nev mentioned in the film), but I couldn’t find it. Any help there would be greatly appreciated.”

    I originally got the exact address by examining one of the postcards. They show it in close-up twice… once when mailing and then when Nev pulls it from the farm mailbox. Interestingly, Nev did make a minor mistake in the address. He wrote “Country Rd” but it’s actually County Rd. You can find the address in the “Miron” link above and put that into Google Maps or Bing Maps. Or, you can follow these directions…

    Go to Gladstone Michigan. Take 21st Road west. Just before this road makes a northward curve you will see a t-intersection with L 75th Road. The farm is at the southeast corner of the intersection. You can see that it has a driveway entrance on both 21st Rd and 75th Rd.

    “I question why they required her silence, don’t they claim literally to have revealed all to us the viewer. What are they hiding? Also, if the contract prevents her discussing the film then how is she granted two interviews 20/20 and the podcast?”

    Her signed agreement probably specifies certain things that she cannot talk about – leaving other aspects available for her to discuss.

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  89. I found the Lake Superior beach house. It’s close to where I thought it was. The approximate address is 3088 W. Lake Shore Blvd. Marquette. You can drive on LSB with Google Maps and match it up with the filmed scene where they approach the house and actually turn into the driveway.

    When driving with Google Maps your key landmark is a big green trashcan laying on its side right next to the street and parked next to it is a pickup truck. This is the house next door. The very next driveway west is the beach house. You will see it has a very big mobile home (travel camper) parked in the driveway.

    Note this: If you enter the address 3088 W. Lake Shore Blvd into Google Maps it will put you too far east on the boulevard. From there you will need to drive west approx 2000 feet to get to the house.

    The house is sitting on the beach of what’s called Middle Bay just west of Presque Isle Park.

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  90. Ms Curious wrote: “I’m curious as to whether you’ve found out anything on the other little girl in the film (I couldn’t see any credits for her appearance), Laura.”

    Her name is Lauren.

    I found it interesting that Angela had created Megan as an alcoholic. You can see this theme throughout various messages culminating in her going off to rehab. We are shown messages from way back in June where mom Angela is talking to daughter Megan. We see a picture of 19 year-old Megan (underage) in a bar holding a beer. Angela scolds her for drinking and Megan says it was only one. Then later in August we see a message to Nev from Ryan saying that he feels Nev must already have known about Megan’s serious drinking problem. This suggests that Angela had been giving Nev lots of hints that Megan is a drunk. Yet Nev is in love and wants to move to her farm. WTF?

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  91. There doesn’t seem to be any new information on the lawsuit. All the available articles seem to be copies or versions of each other linking backwards to the December 3rd article (press release?).

    At least some articles say the song plays twice. First during the discovery moment in Vail, then again during the credits. It is not played during the credits on the DVD. Maybe it did in the theater but not on disc which was released Jan 4.

    One song which does play during the ending credits is “Learning the Lie” which you guys put as the intro music in your Movie Club #21 podcast reviewing Catfish: http://movieclubpodcast.blogspot.com/2011/02/movie-club-21-f-for-fake-exit-through.html

    Who knows what will become of this lawsuit but I will say again that there are phony undertones when the guys go to Google that song in the film. It doesn’t seem right and I think it’s a staged event. Knowing now that they were Googling a song by their real-life friend makes it even more bizarre. They said Megan had been uploading a number of spontaneous requests and the one they picked to look up was made by their own friend.

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  92. I am pretty sure it was the same song over the end credits when I caught Catfish on the festival circuit (Sitges, Spain, October 2010)

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  93. Hello everyone
    In Australia we don’t have the ‘fair use’ exception. The US ‘fair use’ provisions are much broader than our ‘fair dealing’ provisions – Copyright Act 1968. So, in Australia we can’t use music even for documentry purposes without the express permission of the copyright holder or their representative. Fair dealing exceptions here only apply to 1) purpose of review or critique, 2) for parody or satire, 3) for reporting the news and 4) for professional advice (and all of our fair dealing exception categories require the author to be acknowledged).

    I was of the understanding that US ‘fair use’ exceptions allowed use of music under copyright in documentries, however only for x number of seconds. So, 1st hurdle would be A) is it a documentry/does it conform to the criteria of a documentry? B) If it does, then I would imagine the next element to examine would be the number of seconds used of the music and whether this conforms? My DVD has the ‘All Downhill’ song playing at Vail scene and at the end during the credits (not for very long though) only one verse from memory. Still it seemed a bit too much use of the song to qualify as ‘fair use’.

    Aquaman you wrote: The song which is the subject of that lawsuit is “All Downhill From Here” by Amy Kuney. Amy happens to be a longtime friend of the three guys. Angela sent Nev a song claiming it was her own – but it was actually recorded by his own real-life friend?!

    Mmm..just something for consideration, if it be the case that Amy is a life long friend of the boys (and I do believe that you are correct there Aquaman), then wouldn’t you think they would have recognised the song from the outset? I suppose it could be that they don’t keep in regular contact with Amy to recognize a song straight up. However, surely when they saw her name the penny would have dropped….and they would have thought ‘that’s Amy’s song’. I agree that it’s extremely odd that Megan’s song is listed just as ‘Downhill’, yet Nev then googles ‘All Downhill From Here’ (that’s a bit of a leap). It seems an absurb coincidence that Angela chose a song written and recorded by one of ‘their life long friends’ (something fishy here). In addition, having undertaken the filming and the editing and noting then that the song is Amy’s, wouldn’t they at this point have thought to contact Amy / her representatives to get clarfication on the usage? Or perhaps the whole song aspect is part of a hoax, a publicity stunt for Amy, (so maybe they did speak with her and ask in advance if they could use the song). Perhaps she even said yes, it is afterall her label that is suing not Amy personally.

    Aquaman thank you so much for all the info on Gladstone farm and the beach house. Will have a look at this later today after work. You are so clever at finding these places. Seriously, I’m astounded!

    Aquaman you wrote: I found it interesting that Angela had created Megan as an alcoholic. You can see this theme throughout various messages culminating in her going off to rehab. We are shown messages from way back in June where mom Angela is talking to daughter Megan. We see a picture of 19 year-old Megan (underage) in a bar holding a beer.

    I didn’t pick up the underage aspect at all. We can drink from 18 onwards here, (it’s 21 over there isn’t it). I do recall reading in one of Angela’s blogs where she claimed she had a serious alcohol abuse problem and subsequently gave her daughter up.

    http://www.incrediblyordinary.com/2010/06/as-long-as-its-healthy.html
    Here’s the excerpt from one of her blogs: First became pregnant at the age of 20. Both my hubs and I had no pre-existing medical conditions so as dramatic as I was at the age of 20 I must admit now that my first pregnancy was rather uneventful. It was the usual nine months ending with a few hours of labor and a healthy baby girl. A baby girl that sadly I lost custody of due to my mental instablity and alcoholism.

    Perhaps giving Megan this illness was just another manifestation of Angela, it certainly proved a very convenient out for why Megan was not around at one point in the end of the film. That being said, I agree that having all this information about Megan’s drinking issues should have made Nev a little more cautious than just wanting to move to the farm. Still love is blind (so they say).

    I also noticed something else last night, I was reading through some of your earlier posts Aquaman and saw your reproduction of the email allegedly sent by Abby to Nev (part reproduced below).

    Abby’s email: That party looked like more fun than our party. It’s kinda hard for me to believe that you’re the same age as my brothers.

    What I noticed was the plural ‘brothers’. At the time Abby/Angela is writing this email there was only one brother (Alex). I suppose this was an accidental slip on Angela’s part (reality mixing with fantasy for a moment – two brothers being the two handicapped boys).

    The postcards still linger as an issue for me. Someone raised the point (why send postcards in this day with all the electronic communications available), then the fact that when they turn up they happen to look in the mailbox and low and behold the postcards are there. I’m not sure that I would automatically look in someone’s letter box. Then as Aquaman points out, here’s Nev in possession of the postcards and yet he never raises this with Angela when he meets her and he makes such a point of ‘Angela being too lazy to drive to get them’ when they depart from Gladstone. This suggests that he let her know he’d sent them in the first place. Again, something very fishy here for me.

    Also I found some pictures of Nev and of Megan Lecrone (separate photos) though both photographed in the same chair. The photographer’s style has a marked similarity to some of Angela’s paintings (women with flowers, woman laying in a field). Yes it does appear that Nev and Megan Lecrone are friends (snap shots of them both at the same function). Yet another coincidence, Megan Lecrone and Angela’s daughter also called ‘Megan’.

    Last night I had a look at Nev’s photography site. I stumbled across several photos of interest (Angela, Abby, inside the house, the photo Nev took of Megan Lecrone with the other dancer in the field (subject of first painting) and a shot of one of the guys standing in front of a garage door (open) one side, the garage door looks remarkably similar to the one shown at Megan’s farm Gladsone. Have a look and see if you think they might be the same doors. I might be off track here though, need to look back at the movie again (and I lent it to a friend last night).

    Talk soon, off to look at the information from Aquaman.

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  94. Hi Goon
    Thanks for confirming that you’re satisfied that Aquaman and I are indeed two different people. I’m so glad to hear that I’m not just a manifestation from his imagination. 🙂 So you think Aquaman and I should get married? Apart from the fact that we’ve never met, don’t know anything about each other, live in different countries etc..there’s not too many obstacles to this union. 🙂 Yes, I can see it now, long discussions over dinner about ‘Catfish’, taking drives to Ishpeming, a myriad of books, magazine articles around us all about ‘Catfish’. 🙂

    Did think about our names last night: Aquaman (man/fish) and Ms Curious (curiosity killed the cat ‘fish’)…..:)

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  95. MC wrote: “My DVD has the ‘All Downhill’ song playing at Vail scene and at the end during the credits (not for very long though) only one verse from memory.”

    When you get your DVD back let me know where in the credits you hear the song. I don’t hear it at all.

    “I agree that it’s extremely odd that Megan’s song is listed just as ‘Downhill’, yet Nev then googles ‘All Downhill From Here’ (that’s a bit of a leap).”

    Yes, I think he types in “All Downhill From Here” instead of just “Downhill” because he already knows that that is what will find the Kuney song on Google. Because the scene is a fake. You see, Nev shouldn’t have even expected to find the song on Google at all… because Megan just wrote it and recorded it in the basement with Alex.

    Yes, the drinking age in Michigan is 21 years-old. Megan was an alcoholic veterinarian with her own huge horse farm at the age of 19. LOL!

    You spoke of Angela using many existing names for her fakes. Did you know that Ryan Iverson had a sister named Aimee? Yep, Angela was not too original in picking the names of her characters.

    “What I noticed was the plural ‘brothers’. At the time Abby/Angela is writing this email there was only one brother (Alex). I suppose this was an accidental slip on Angela’s part (reality mixing with fantasy for a moment – two brothers being the two handicapped boys).”

    I was just thinking of those twins. I wonder how many times one of them screamed out in the background while Nev was talking on the phone with Angela or Megan. What the hell was that noise? Oh, we have a pet goose here in the house.

    “…they happen to look in the mailbox and low and behold the postcards are there. I’m not sure that I would automatically look in someone’s letter box.”

    I think they already knew the postcards were in the box. I think they had already referred to the real estate link and knew the farm was still for sale. Then scoped the place out to confirm nobody was there. Then looked into the box and found the cards and proceeded to pretend to be scared. Well, it’s Joost who keeps talking about having the creeps. Later they would tell us in interviews that they were afraid of getting shot. That is ridiculous. They know the place is vacant and they can see that there is no parked car or truck. The only reason that they boldly drove in and got out was because they already knew nobody was home. It’s all acting.

    “Then as Aquaman points out, here’s Nev in possession of the postcards and yet he never raises this with Angela when he meets her”

    Well, we don’t see it in the film but he might have presented them to her.

    “and he makes such a point of ‘Angela being too lazy to drive to get them’ when they depart from Gladstone. This suggests that he let her know he’d sent them in the first place. Again, something very fishy here for me.”

    He doesn’t specifically say Angela was too lazy. He just says “she could have drove 40 miles”. We can’t know if he means Angela or Megan… because at that point he is not supposed to know that there is no Megan. I suspect he does already know that Angela is Megan and knew it before Colorado. That is my theory of the Catfish hoax within a hoax. Angela is lying to Nev, and Nev is lying to Angela and the audience.

    “a shot of one of the guys standing in front of a garage door (open) one side, the garage door looks remarkably similar to the one shown at Megan’s farm Gladsone. Have a look and see if you think they might be the same doors.”

    It’s a picture of Henry Joost standing next to a garage with two flaming grills. It isn’t the farm in Gladstone for sure.

    “So you think Aquaman and I should get married?”

    I like to eat catfish. Do you cook fish?

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  96. Aquaman you wrote: Inside the Pierce house. Rel appears to be holding the postcards – I think you are right! I had a closer look and yes it does seem that he has postcards in his hand. I saw that photo on his website, but missed that detail. On this basis, then your assertion that Nev may well have discussed the postcards with Angela (and we just don’t get to see the results of this conversation seems highly likely).

    What about the photo http://yanivschulman.com/ woman sitting in chair (painting behind her is one of Angela’s). Who is this woman? Any ideas?

    Below is the link to (where I read about someone else telling the catfish/cod story). You’ve probably already found it, but I thought you might be interested.
    http://runrandall1955.blogspot.com/2007/06/story-of-catfish.html

    I set off in the google car following your directions to get to Megan’s farm (found 75th Road, but I couldn’t drive down it). I did try. I also tried the Miron link (but it didn’t take me there). I must be doing something wrong. I did get to the beach house though, found the bin overturned and then the house! Very exciting. I really need to get my DVD back so I can look at the scene and compare properly. I rang my friend just before to see what she thought of the film. Her response was disapointing. Basically, she didn’t like the film and only found it interesting once they meet Angela. Then again, not sure why I’m surprised because she hated ‘Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind’ and ‘I Heart Huckabees’ (both films that I love)! I have watched a film called ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ about 50 times, something haunting about that movie (the cinematography is brilliant). Oh, and I watched ‘Lost in Translation’ the other night and thought that film was fantastic too. Use of silhouettes and sharp focus as symbolic tools got my attention. Mmmm, have just noticed a common thematic vein running through all of the films I’ve just mentioned ‘isolation’.

    Aquaman you wrote: I like to eat catfish. Do you cook fish?

    Mmmm…I have never eaten catfish (not something we eat here). They look rather scary. I do cook (steamed fish) from time to time, (with lashings of garlic butter and corriander). I’m also a Pisces (fish) 🙂 I like seafood (oysters, lobster, prawns and calamari). I live near the beach and seafood is plentiful here.

    I spend a lot of time watching movies, (though none have captivated me as much as ‘Catfish’ (as far as inspiring me to really research). I should so love to buy one of Angela’s paintings (my favourite is ‘Rest’). I love live theatre, literature, art galleries, all poetry but especially the poetry of Emily Dickinson (so very cryptic). But enough about me.

    As soon as I get the film back I’ll let you know where in the credits the song ‘All Downhill From Here’ comes in. 🙂

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  97. PS. Aquaman, I forgot to mention how much you made me laugh when you summarised Megan as ‘the alcoholic veterinarian, with her own huge horse farm at the age of 19!’ Don’t forget to add in her ability to compose songs in minutes, sing, dance, play the piano and all while well into her fourth or fifth cocktail for the afternoon. 🙂

    Excellent point re: google search by Nev. Of course he wouldn’t expect to find the song on google, for as you correctly point out Megan had apparently just composed it.

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  98. MC wrote: “What about the photo http://yanivschulman.com/ woman sitting in chair (painting behind her is one of Angela’s). Who is this woman? Any ideas?”

    Your link doesn’t take me to a specific photo. I presume it’s the portrait showing her sitting in Nev’s studio/office and there is a pine wreath hanging in the front window. I don’t know who that is. Incidentally, I’ve read some reviews that say some scenes were filmed in Nev’s apartment. As far as I can tell, I don’t think that is true. The front area of the office has a sofa, easy chair and coffee table. In some scenes it looks as if Nev is in an apartment but he is really still in the office.

    “I set off in the google car following your directions to get to Megan’s farm (found 75th Road, but I couldn’t drive down it). I did try. I also tried the Miron link (but it didn’t take me there). I must be doing something wrong.”

    I’m sorry. I should have mentioned that you cannot use Google street view for this area. You have to view it in satellite view. I know that the Miron link doesn’t work and I only provided it because it gives you the full street address of the farm.

    “Excellent point re: google search by Nev. Of course he wouldn’t expect to find the song on google, for as you correctly point out Megan had apparently just composed it.”

    I’m not sure that Megan claimed to have spontaneously composed “Downhill” right there as they were sitting at the table in Vail. It’s really hard to figure out just what was going on in that scene. In my opinion, it lacks cohesion and credibility in spite of what should be a simple premise… we suddenly found out she was stealing songs. They show a dodgy chain of events in which not all dots connect. After watching this scene numerous times and examining the screen shots I’ve mostly decided that Angela and “Megan” had uploaded stolen songs in the days and months prior to the filmed scene. The scene isn’t so much a recreated one as it is a fictionalized portrayal of how they found her out. They need a “gotcha moment” to allow for the film to be carried out according to their plan.

    There are reactions and lines in that scene that do not seem genuine and spontaneous. Rel says things that are too prophetic for what they actually are supposed to know. Nev belts out that he could have been talking to a guy this whole time when he knows damn well it was always a woman on the other end. It’s a pile of bullshit served as eyewitness candid reaction and shock. They are lying to the camera. They felt they needed a scene like this and so they fabricated one.

    BTW, the scenes at the table in Vail might look to be contiguous. They are not. Watch closely for clothing changes, room lighting changes (daylight/night) and various changing objects in the field of view. It looks like there are multiple scenes (takes) over a period of days.

    Reply
  99. Aquaman you wrote: I’m sorry. I should have mentioned that you cannot use Google street view for this area. You have to view it in satellite view.

    Thank you have now found the farm!

    Sorry the link I posted to the pic didn’t take you straight there. Though you have found the picture I was referring to.

    You know I just re-read your comment ‘I eat catfish. Do you cook fish?’ and realized I may have interpreted it the wrong way. I thought it was a real question (it’s so hard to get tone with just typing). Now I see it was probably more of a joke (as in Aquaman would eat ‘raw fish’), hence the question as to whether I cook fish. So, apologies if I rambled on about seafood (and even went so far as to tell you I cook steamed fish), imagining you were actually interested. What an idiot I am. Sometimes my attention to detail, prevents me from seeing the obvious.

    I was curious as to whether you liked or disliked any of the other films I mentioned in my last post? You don’t address this at all. Am I to take it then that you only wish to discuss ‘Catfish’ with not even the slightest deviation off topic?

    I have noticed that you have a penchant for dismissing a specific if it doesn’t interest you. I remember when I asked about Laura/Lauren (you said you weren’t interested in her). I found it curious that your interest wasn’t peaked as to how she fitted in. From my perspective, if there be a ‘conspiracy’, I’m interested in identifying exactly who is part or not part of such. However, I do understand that from your perspective she may well appear as just a minor ‘character’.

    What I’m currently working on is trying to construct a ‘back thought process’ as in making colomns of all the things that seem probable, likely, unlikely, coincidence, out of sequence, erroneous, etc. From here I’m hoping to put together some sort of logical explanation for what is real and wasn’t isn’t real (and how these guys put the whole thing together) and at exactly what point it seems likely their went from being ‘a real contact made by Angela as Abby, to ‘the guys knowing about things and constructing from there’.

    I love your observations about Nev’s clothes and the pizza box being used in several different scenes. Again, I’ll have to get the DVD back so I can review in full.

    Here’s my favourite line from: ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’

    ‘I always thought it was better to be a fake someone, than a real nobody’.

    Oh, just remembered, I found on one of Angela’s blogs an announcement that her book had just been launched. Apparently, it’s called “Nine Months After Motherhood Ends’. Here’s the link.
    http://www.incrediblyordinary.com/2009/12/my-book-is-officially-released.html

    Odd thing is I can’t find this book for sale anywhere, not on any site, not even on Angela’s site. I found this somewhat odd.

    Anyway, …I’ll list a few points here awaiting your agreement or disagreement.

    1) Angela is a real person, who resides a 421 N Main Street.
    2) Angela is an artist, photographer and painter.
    3) It seems likely that Angela did give birth to a child who would be around the age of ‘Megan’ at the time the film was made.
    4) It seems unlikely that this child’s name is Megan.
    5) It seems likely that ‘Megan LeCrone’s was the inspiration for Angela naming the ‘Megan’ character Megan.
    6) It seems likely that Angela chose the names for many of her paintings from the role titles used in ‘THe Four Seasons’ Ballet that Megan LeCrone performed in.
    7) It seems probable that the use of Amy Kuney’s song ‘All Downhill from Here’ was not something that came from Angela, (but rather was spoonfed to her after the fact by the filmmakers).
    8) Way too much symbolism for this film not to have been heavily constructed in many parts.
    9) Beach scene appears heavily staged, the shots (far more filmic than doco in style).
    10) Likely that the owners of the beach house had been pre-warned/contacted etc in respect to the crew coming.

    One final thing, the piano piece in the film, ‘Truman Sleeps’ is that it? Dam I wish I had my film here. It’s just that if that is the piano piece then I have found something else, if it’s not well no matter.

    Look forward to you next post. My friends have banned me from talking about ‘Catfish’, they think I’m M.A.D.

    Reply
  100. MC wrote: “You know I just re-read your comment ‘I eat catfish. Do you cook fish?’ and realized I may have interpreted it the wrong way.”

    No you had it right the first time. I meant it literally. Asking if you cook was a joke related to the marriage suggestion. Everybody tells me to never marry a woman who doesn’t cook.

    “I was curious as to whether you liked or disliked any of the other films I mentioned in my last post? You don’t address this at all. Am I to take it then that you only wish to discuss ‘Catfish’ with not even the slightest deviation off topic?”

    Actually I haven’t seen a single one of the films you mentioned. I did jot them down because I will end up watching them. It may not be appropriate to discuss other films in this thread unless they directly relate to the hoax/legit question of Catfish. It’s unfair to the readers if anybody gets off topic much. At least that’s my feelings. Thank you for the recommendations.

    “I have noticed that you have a penchant for dismissing a specific if it doesn’t interest you. I remember when I asked about Laura/Lauren (you said you weren’t interested in her). I found it curious that your interest wasn’t peaked as to how she fitted in. From my perspective, if there be a ‘conspiracy’, I’m interested in identifying exactly who is part or not part of such. However, I do understand that from your perspective she may well appear as just a minor ‘character’.”

    I’m not interested in trying to find out any info on Lauren because I feel that she is incidental to the issue of authenticity. To me she is just Abby’s friend. I imagine that nothing that could be learned about Lauren online would legitimately change what I think about the film. If you insist in researching this you might look at the big list of “special thanks” in the ending credits.

    There are various families listed and her family might be one of those thanked because they allowed use of the beach house scene in the film.

    1. Agree
    2. Agree
    3. Agree
    4. Disagree (Abby essentially confirmed that her sister’s name is Megan)
    5. Disagree (I think she named her online daughter Megan after her own daughter)
    6. I have no opinion as I would want to know when she painted them and other info.
    7. Disagree
    8. You’ll need to be more specific here for me to agree or disagree.
    9. Disagree (I think they were there for hours and the editors made it look filmic)
    10. Agree (Maybe Angela phoned them first or talked to them about it after arriving)

    “One final thing, the piano piece in the film, ‘Truman Sleeps’ is that it?”

    Yes, it is Truman Sleeps.

    Reply
  101. Aquaman you wrote: No you had it right the first time. I meant it literally. Asking if you cook was a joke related to the marriage suggestion. Everybody tells me to never marry a woman who doesn’t cook.

    Got it, so on the basis that I do cook, then I guess I’m still in the running. 🙂 That being said, cooking is not my favourite passtime, so our future looks bleak. 🙁

    Aquaman you wrote: It may not be appropriate to discuss other films in this thread unless they directly relate to the hoax/legit question of Catfish.

    Mmmm…I’m starting to feel a bit limited, though I do get your point. I hadn’t realized the etiquette aspect meant I couldn’t talk about anything else, or even other films in general (just in passing). I suppose I need to find a thread that relates to each of these films then? I did try to link them back to ‘Catfish’ on the basis of what I percieved to be a common thematic preoccupation of ‘isolation’. Indeed, I’ve now decided these films all share ‘deception’ as another thematic concern. In fact, the quote I gave you from ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ is almost a metaphor for the way Angela behaves.

    I’m really into symbolism, so ‘Winter’ (title of one of Angela’s art works) isn’t just a season or a title to me. From my perspective it contains multiple symbolic conotations: ‘cold, lonliness, isolation, purity’ etc. Hence, ‘Truman Sleeps’ as the piano piece chosen, potentially offers on a symbolic level: ‘True man sleeps’ (as in a cryptic clue that the ‘real man’ being Nev ‘is dreaming or living in fantasy). It does tie in with your assertion that Angela leaves many clues for Nev that he’s not communicating with the real ‘Megan’. There are numerous other symbolic elements that could be drawn from this, however it really does depend on who really put that piece of music into the film. The symbolism I’ve detected here, is based upon it being Angela as Megan.

    Aquaman you wrote. 4. Disagree (Abby essentially confirmed that her sister’s name is Megan).

    Did she? My recollection of the beach house scene, is that Nev asked Lauren if Abby sees her sister Megan often or something like that. Lauren turns and calls up the stairs, ‘Abby do you have much to do with your sister Megan’? (Or words to this effect). Need to get my DVD back so I can be more precise! Abby’s response isn’t conclusive to me, it’s vague along the lines of ‘not for a long time, don’t even remember what she looks like’ (or something like that). So although I believe her statements confirm there is a sister, I’m not altogether convinced that her reply confirms the sister’s ‘real’ name is Megan.

    Doesn’t it seem plausible to think that a child (placed in the position of having Nev and crew turn up) might answer something like this without actually noting the name per se. I mean, even in the scene in the restaurant where Angela questions Abby about the tools she likes to draw with, pastels etc. Abby doesn’t come out and say anything like ‘listen mum, we both know I don’t draw much at all..it’s you who does’. Instead, Abby answers after some prompting with ‘lead pencils’ (or something like that).

    From my perspective, it seems that fantasy and reality might well blend for a child like Abby who lives in a rather unusual household. Her mother seems to have no qualms involving her daughter in deceit. I do recall Nev asking Abby a question and her reply was ‘you’re confusing me’. What I’m getting at is, Abby doesn’t seem to disagree with anything outright.

    Aquaman you write: 6. I have no opinion as I would want to know when she painted them and other info.

    I don’t know when Angela painted these paintings, however they’re titled ‘Spring’, ‘Winter’, ‘Summer’ and ‘Autumn’ (all characters in the ballet ‘The Four Seasons’ that Megan Lecrone performed in. But hey, perhaps it’s just one of another of the thousands of coincidences in this film.

    “Art… the end result of perception, wisdom, intelligence, discipline, hard work, passion, luck, accident, and coincidence.”

    Anyway, for the moment the cat’fish’ appears to have got my tongue…can’t think of anything else to write.

    Reply
  102. I paid even more attention to the beach house scene:

    There is a tiny bit of dialogue between Angela and Nev just as they are pulling into the driveway. Angela says they she thinks they aren’t here because Lauren’s mom’s car isn’t there. Nev says “oh no”. The obvious context is that Angela thinks Abby won’t actually be at the beach house after all because her, Lauren and the mom went someplace. They walk in and find that Abby and Lauren are there.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Angela’s other daughter is named Megan. The context and statements show that even Lauren already knows that the older sister is named Megan.

    Also FYI, there is a screen shot of Nev’s online telephone database on the page for “Megan” (he makes a call through his office computer). It shows that he has phone numbers for 7 different Megans. Dude knows a lot of women named Megan.

    Reply
  103. I found almost all the music from the film online. The last two with question marks… I don’t know what they are or where they appear in the film.

    Opening music also used at ending credits (Mark Mothersbaugh): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLXspH5fMEI

    Good Vibrations (Langley Schools Music Project): http://ilike.myspacecdn.com/play#The+Langley+Schools+Music+Project:Good+Vibrations:150225:s65670494.15261897.42775997.0.2.221%2Cstd_7033012ad89043a9b27978185fab82c2

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Langley_Schools_Music_Project

    Chaconne in G (Moondog): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRjiFrVbPm0

    Hitman (PeopleAreThings): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18YY5PlzsfY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-hO6DgefUE

    Tennessee Stud (Suzanna Choffel – version used in film is not available on web anymore): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfywB4K3xOw

    All Downhill From Here (Amy Kuney featuring Tim Myers): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rBuFVJAyyU

    All Downhill From Here as solo acoustic (Amy Kuney): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPlFc0D4dyQ

    Truman Sleeps (Nick Pietromonaco): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxnumSa-UMM

    Maus is Missing (Holy Shit): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqZ3u0rqpmg

    Saint European King Days (Opium Flirt): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pIraVgD_10

    Learning the Lie used at ending credits (The Hidden Cameras): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX4Z2mk95OU

    Nev Awake (Paul Cantelon): ?

    Santorini Taverna (Matt Hirt): ?

    Reply
  104. Hello Aquaman
    It seems that we’ve abandoned. I don’t see any other contributors on this thread apart from you and I now.

    I’m planning on re-watching the beach house scene again later tonight, to re-evaluate my position in respect to whether there is conclusive proof as to whether Angela’s real daughter’s name is Megan.

    You wrote: Also FYI, there is a screen shot of Nev’s online telephone database on the page for “Megan” (he makes a call through his office computer). It shows that he has phone numbers for 7 different Megans. Dude knows a lot of women named Megan.

    Again, your attention to detail astounds me! Couldn’t this new bit of information prove nothing more than Megan is a common name? 🙂 The list of songs you’ve compiled is awesome! I’m very keen to try to work out where ‘Nev Awake’ fits into the film. It seems the counter side of ‘Truman Sleeps’. Your thoughts?

    I guess for me, I’d like to discuss the characters/people a bit more if possible, explore the thematic concerns etc. I know the thread started out as a hoax/not hoax topic, but surely it can evolve from here and bring in other aspects too. Don’t get mre wrong, I love all your fact finding but I’d like to blend this with some more discussion. Example…the music chosen might mean, that type of thing.

    There are of course a lot of people who don’t seem to care whether it is a hoax or a documentary (or a blend of both). I recall Goon and Andrew both making statements of this nature. The real message either way, appears to be ‘isolation’, desperation’, ‘deception’ and ‘compassion’. As a film, it tosses and turns the audience (one minute you’re sympathetic with Nev, the next with Angela) and it’s almost impossible to decide who to care about the most or who is the ‘catfish’ and who is the ‘cod’. Is that it? Is it trying to work out who was the most vulnerable that keeps us pick, pick picking? Or, if it be almost a complete hoax, then I suspect that we are the ‘cod’ and the filmmakers are the ‘catfish’.

    I suppose I’ve decided that if it be a documentry then ‘fact is really as they say, stranger than fiction’. On a documentry level, I find it a bit difficult to forgive the ‘sloppy editing’, (as on a doco level the plot was there from the outset), so you’d expect quite a bit of devotion could have been given to the editing/continuity. On the other hand, if it be let’s say only 50% fact and 50% fiction, then it really stands out as such a brilliantly well crafted piece and one can perhaps overlook some of the incontinuities.

    Desperation comes in all forms; it drives people to different levels. And surely, if each of us be true to ourselves, haven’t there been moments when we’ve thought….it’s all too much and looked for escape. It’s just that Angela’s ‘form of escape’ took us to the edge and then we had to say ‘it’s okay’. That was tough; I was ready to be quite angry at the deceiver. Most of all the crew/Nev, however you wish to refer to them, exhibited (at least on camera) a form of ‘compassion’ to Angela and her family that was something I for one didn’t expect. Perhaps that why we can forgive Nev for any potential exploitation of this ‘vulnerable’ woman. There was a look in Nev’s eyes, in that scene in the studio where Angela was sketching him and an almost pathetic moment when he asked her to speak as Megan. ‘Pathetic’ in the sense that it seemed heartfelt, the lover, seeking one last moment with ‘her’… the Megan he had come to love…but would never meet. It reminded me of when I played back a phone message left by a friend, long after she’d passed. I still felt her near for those few seconds.

    Certainly, from my perspective there are many aspects of the film that have been contrived, made up and staged. Were they done to enhance the documentry elements in existence already, or were they mere contrivances intended to bulk out a story that only has a small amount of truth?

    Aquaman you have provided many fine examples where we must agree that something’s not quite right or at the very least staged. However the central elements remain true. Perhaps no more deep initially, than Angela being an artist, with a frustrating life, seeking solace and relief for the sins of her past and the torture of her present, through new and exciting variations of herself.

    What still amazes me is Angela’s almost meticulous planning. Sure she screws up on some things here and there, but the entire ‘web’ is so elaborate, so extensive. In some ways, she seems not unlike a writer who creates characters and then develops them as the story unfolds.

    Put in simple step form, there is certain level of calculation behind Angela’s actions that almost seems to go beyond just a troubled soul.

    Step 1….find an attraction ( a form of escape from your isolation)
    Step 2….make them trust you, (approach under the guise of an 8 year old child)
    Step 3….appeal to their ego (send them a painting of a photo they took)
    Step 4….. heighten the trust (send them $ 500 as their share of prize money)
    Step 5…..Allow your attraction to develop into obsession (continue sending paintings, create a new character who can get closer to the object of your obsession than you can-choose a photo of someone extraordinarily beautiful.)
    Step 7….Give the new character a multitude of friends who can all comment on the growing relationship.
    Step 8…..Give this new character a multitude of talents, (dance, sing, play the piano, vetinerian, property owner, so that she’s almost irresistable.
    Step 9……Indulge in self delusion and hope that somehow the real you will be loved as deeply as the character you’ve created (Leave cryptic clues so that it should become apparent that you’re not quite as you portray).
    Step 10….Reality Bites – you’re discoverd (Immediately invent a scenario such as uterine cancer as a form of defence.
    Step 11…. Feel so bad about what you’ve done, whilst simultaneously relishing those last few moments with the object of your obsession that you sign a contract releasing the film and preventing you from speaking about it.

    And how can we excuse Nev’s somewhat naive stance, failing to look at obvious clues, failing to research even small things….

    Ahhhh……perhaps it’s like being really hungry and finding a beautiful apple, taking a bite and sucking in all the juices. Then looking down to discover the apple has small bruises but deciding it is still edible. Continuing, biting out fleshy mouthfuls, thinking the apple is green and then realizing it’s red. Devouring every piece you can and just ignoring the brown bruised bits as you go, biting around them and no longer caring if the apple be green or red. In the end, you’re left with a core, holding a few black seeds, stark against the white flesh you’d so enjoyed consuming. The question becomes whether to discard the core or whether to plant the seeds. I guess the filmmakers chose to do the latter. Just look what has grown!

    Reply
  105. Short video interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKhaVCUajQQ

    Nev Schulman says, “The clips are all shown in chronological order.”

    We know for a fact that that isn’t true. Does he know that it isn’t true and yet simply has no problem stating it as if it is true (a lie). Or is he unaware that the film used scrambled egg editing? Does he really think he saw mountains in Illinois?

    Is Nev a liar, or is he clueless, or what?

    Reply
    • Not having read the essays written in this thread, just judging from the movie I saw and what you just wrote, I’d say he’s clueless. He’s an urban dweller and seems to have very little knowledge (or experience) about the world around him. At some points in the movie he seems really mature and at other times he acts like he’s 11 years old and seeing a girl’s boobies for the first time.

      Reply
  106. “I’d say he’s clueless.”

    Well Andrew, there are also the two other guys. None of them have come to realize that there are no mountains in Illinois. That a clip of them driving in Colorado got placed into the Illinois scene? That this means the clips are not chronological? Have none of these guys noticed and then told each other?

    Does Aquaman know more about the Catfish film than the filmmakers themselves? LOL

    Reply
  107. Aquaman, a few points for your consideration:

    I think it’s possible for Nev to state that the film ‘clips’ are in chronological order and be referring to the linear progression of the story. The clip in Colarado is ‘meant’ to be Illinois, so even if the clip is not correctly placed, on a surface level his position can be viewed as correct.

    Really, it seems to be the editing that is the issue here. As you point out there are no mountains in Illinois and the clip of them driving in Colarado has been incorrectly placed in the Illinois scene.

    I’m wondering how geographically savy Nev and the crew are? I mean if one is travelling through a place for the first time or even a second time, then it could be possible when reveiwing the rushes at a later stage to choose a clip that works on a filmic level and not notice, or recall mountains or otherwise in a place you’ve not been to regularly. Perhaps no intended deception here, just continuity issues caused through sloppy editing. If it be deception, then it seems somewhat futile.

    Nev states in the interveiw link that ‘nothing was re-shot’. This is quite a broad and ambiguous statement of itself. Are we then to presume that there wasn’t a single scene where they didn’t do at least one or two takes to get it just right? I do recall an interview somewhere that Nev mentions that the scenes on the internet were ‘re-done’. I’m sure you have an extensive list of scenes that have all the tell tale signs that it wasn’t the first take. Then again, perhaps he’s using the words ‘nothing was re-shot’ in the sense of nothing was ‘made up’ or ‘staged’.

    Arguably, Nev is somewhat ‘clueless’. However, it is also possible that he was so swept away by the love interest that he deliberately or subconsciously didn’t probe beyond a superficial level and just accepted many things on face value, such as a claim by a 19 y/o girl that she is a veterinarian. He is afterall in a subjective position, where we have the luxuary of being in an objective position. Perhaps for him a ‘you can’t see the forest for the trees’ kind of thing.

    I’m curious as to why you are so willing to accept that there is a real Megan out there somewhere. In nearly every other instance you’ve demanded or found definitive proof of fact or otherwise. Especially, as we know that Angela does lie, what proof is there about the existence of this person?

    1) A blog written by Angela where she claims to have given birth at 20 to a child who she gave away (but she claims so many things…inclusive of imagined uterine cancer).

    2) If the blog is a true representation, then how would Abby ever have met the illusive Megan in the first place (if, as Angela claims she gave her first child up)?

    3) I do think a strong argument can be forged that Abby’s pseudo agreement in respect to the Megan reference in the Beach House scene doesn’t definitively confirm Megan’s existence. This is a child who is surrounded by lies and deception. She may well be just relating to what her mother has told her, possibly over a span of years. It still doesn’t confirm for me that there is a real ‘Megan’ out there.

    What are your thoughts on the planned book that Nev mentions? Where they will apparently include emails and correspondence from the situation?

    You write: Does Aquaman know more about the Catfish film than the filmmakers themselves? LOL

    I think it may well be the case that you do.

    Reply
  108. Questions I’d love to find the answers to:

    Nev claims to have googled Abby and family early on in the piece. Q. How is it then, that he didn’t discover Angela’s websites (especially since they’ve been in existence since 2007).

    Q. How does the sirname Wesselman figure into this equation. Is it a maiden name, or her first husband’s sirname?

    Q. Why are there no other law suits in respect to all the other music used in the film?

    Q. Exactly how does the Pierce family appear to have a surplus of cash? Ability to send off $ 500 to Nev, purchase several mobile phones, art supplies (paint, canvasses, brushes), postage and packing costs for all of the paintings sent, cameras for her photography, internet connections, pleasant home, nice car and the list goes on. No mention of whether Vince works, or is this all provided via welfare in respect to the disabled children?

    Q. Where is the illusive book Angela claims to have had released in 2009? ‘The Nine Months After Motherhood Ends’.

    Q. Exactly what type of contract did Angela and co sign, that allows for book rights after the film as well. Nev may not be as ‘clueless’ as we imagine.

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  109. When Nev is interviewed he specifically states that he Googled Abby and Megan, but not Angela. I’ve never heard any interviewer follow up by asking why he didn’t Google the mom.

    No interviewer has really pressed the guys nor seem to have been equipped with the details of why is seems questionable. They mostly get soft general questions like “Is it real?” and “Why didn’t you just Google them?”

    While they are in Vail they do the scene where they find the stolen songs. Then they look at Nev’s real estate link to Abby’s gallery building. They see that it is still for sale. By that time they know that most everything is a lie. Then they spontaneously decide to go to Michigan.

    What is very strange is that they didn’t also look at Nev’s real estate listing for Megan’s farm. That should have been done right after they found that the Abby building was a lie. They should immediately expect the farm to be a lie too. Nev knows that the postcards sent to the farm have been unreceived for 7 weeks. That is a prime indicator that Megan does not live there. Why aren’t we shown a scene where they find that the farm is still for sale?

    Is it because that would kill any drama or suspense/fear of going to the farm to find out firsthand? Was it planned to be at the farm at 2:30am instead of during daylight? Was that to add maximum suspense, fear and anticipation for the audience?

    What would they have done if it appeared that somebody was living there (a parked car) and no postcards in the mailbox? Get a nearby motel and come back in the morning to see if they can surprise meet Megan at the farm? I don’t think so. I think they knew the place was vacant.

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  110. Aquaman you wrote: No interviewer has really pressed the guys nor seem to have been equipped with the details of why it seems questionable. They mostly get soft general questions like “Is it real?” and “Why didn’t you just Google them?”

    I fully agree with you here. The interviewers don’t seem to ask any really probing questions at all. This leads me to suspect that the lack of substance in the interviews is due to (a) a pre-arranged set of questions that the film makers have agreed to answer and/or b) the interviewers haven’t done very much research at all.

    A good interviewer who had properly researched the film, could open with ‘is it all real?’ and upon receiving the reply ‘yes’, then start trotting out to the point type of questions such as ‘well how come we see mountains in Illinois?’. However, I doubt very much if any interviewers/journalists have done the type of research and fact finding that you have engaged in. Ideally, having you in one of those Q & A sessions that the boys answer after screenings would have been great! You could catch them off guard and ask questions they’d probably never expect.

    Here’s a link to an article regarding Angela continuing to contact Nev after the filming and pretending to be Megan communicating with him from Dawn Farms.

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/an-interview-with-nev-schulman-of-catfish-part-2-angela-and-i-are-still-in-touch-spoiler-alert/story-e6frfro0-1226003790507

    You wrote: What is very strange is that they didn’t also look at Nev’s real estate listing for Megan’s farm. That should have been done right after they found that the Abby building was a lie.

    I agree that logically they should have and perhaps they did (it’s just that we don’t get to see it). It does seem odd that they roll up at 2 am in the morning. Pretty game if they didn’t ‘know’ the place was empty. The darkness does indeed create a creepy and suspenseful element to that whole scene. It seems far more plausible that they knew it was vacant and this is why they go to the extent of driving down the drive, looking in windows etc. I wondered why there was a light on at the farm when they arrived, though I suppose it could just be that the vendors were keeping the place lit at night to look as though it was occupied.

    I watched the beach house scene again today. I see what you mean by Nev putting something down that makes a ‘clunk’ sound when he first enters. No idea what it is though, or why a person ‘supposedly’ visiting someone elses home for the first time, unannounced would put anything down or touch anything especially seconds after arriving. I guess it could be as simple as he’s picked something of theirs off the floor upon entering and just placed it there.

    Going back to googling things, you’d think Nev would have googled Alex’s band, looked at youtube or something like this. Especially, after Rel has just been sent a tee-shirt. However, I did notice today watching this scene, that Nev says ‘let’s open this tee-shirt first, this is her brother’s band’ (we haven’t been shown anything that tells us how he knows it’s a tee-shirt in the that plastic packet or that it’s Abby’s brother’s band’s tee-shirt’. I suppose there could have been a note that we don’t get shown. Then Nev holds the tee shirt up reading it as ‘The Casualities’ and says ‘guess this is her brother’s band’. It doesn’t say ‘The’ on the tee-shirt at all. Interestingly, ‘The Casualties’ is a real band, formed in NYC in 1987. So if he’d searched Casualties (like you suggested, he might have discovered the store you found). If he’d searched ‘The Casualties’ as he read it, he would have come across the real band. Also, I know you found the ski, snow, skate aspect under the Casualties logo by friezing the frame, but Nev had that shirt in front of him and he never wonders why a band has those words as part of the logo….mmmm? I know he mentions somewhere about using their music in the doco, so how come he doesn’t look the band up to see what type of music they have. Most newbie bands have something on YouTube.

    Have you found out who the person is in the photo that Angela claims is her (the one she painted and sent to Nev), long plait. You may have already covered off on this earlier, but I can’t remember now.

    Look forward to your next post.

    Reply
  111. MC wrote: “Have you found out who the person is in the photo that Angela claims is her (the one she painted and sent to Nev), long plait. You may have already covered off on this earlier, but I can’t remember now.”

    I’m not sure I understand your question. What is “long plait”? I think you may be asking about the photo Angela used to represent herself. If so, yes, I covered that earlier. She used a picture of Aimee Gonzales’ younger sister.

    Below is a photo of that younger sister. Angela also created a painting from this photo claiming that it was done by Abby.

    http://everydayisa.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/catfish-s03.jpeg

    MC wrote: “Nev states in the interveiw link that ‘nothing was re-shot’. This is quite a broad and ambiguous statement of itself. Are we then to presume that there wasn’t a single scene where they didn’t do at least one or two takes to get it just right? I do recall an interview somewhere that Nev mentions that the scenes on the internet were ‘re-done’. I’m sure you have an extensive list of scenes that have all the tell tale signs that it wasn’t the first take. Then again, perhaps he’s using the words ‘nothing was re-shot’ in the sense of nothing was ‘made up’ or ‘staged’.”

    What the guys are saying is that they had to set up screen shots of the various Facebook pages, emails, Google Earth after they had finished filming in Colorado and Michigan. Presumably this would be after they returned to NYC and could have even been a year or so after visiting Angela. I believe I have visual evidence that some screen shots were actually done in 2010. Yes, the film was still being created as late as 2010.

    The reason why they had to create computer screen shots after the primary filming was done is because of their style of filming and equipment used.

    For example, let’s use the scene in the office where Nev is telling about Abby’s snake Zoe dying and now she has a pet mouse. Rel is filming Nev as Nev reads the email from Abby on his computer. Rel keeps the camera fixed on Nev while Nev reads the email aloud. Rel never moves to being in front of the monitor and aims the camera at what Nev is reading. He simply films Nev as he reads the email. Much later they would go back to that exact email and aim the camera at the screen to show what Nev was reading. When that visual clip is combined with the audio from the original take – you get a slick bit of editing that fools you into thinking Rel filmed Nev reading the email and also showed the email in one continuous scene. This kind of editing happens throughout the film because Nev simply did not film computer screens at the same time he filmed people… with some exceptions.

    In an interview, Nev explained that he had to later experiment and choose certain lenses and settings to even get computer screens to look good on film. I say “on film” as a figure-of-speech but of course they were using video cameras, not film cameras.

    Reply
  112. MC wrote: “I’m curious as to why you are so willing to accept that there is a real Megan out there somewhere. In nearly every other instance you’ve demanded or found definitive proof of fact or otherwise. Especially, as we know that Angela does lie, what proof is there about the existence of this person?”

    Again, I am of the opinion that daughter Megan is real primarily because of the behavior and statements made by Abby and Lauren. Those little girls in that little bit of dialogue in the beach house thoroughly convinced me that there is an estranged half-sister, her name is Megan, and Abby has previously been in her presence (met her). You will need to bring strong evidence that Megan does not exist… to convince me otherwise.

    “1) A blog written by Angela where she claims to have given birth at 20 to a child who she gave away (but she claims so many things…inclusive of imagined uterine cancer).
    2) If the blog is a true representation, then how would Abby ever have met the illusive Megan in the first place (if, as Angela claims she gave her first child up)?”

    There could have been a variety of circumstances in which Abby met Megan in spite of Megan being estranged. There could have been legal reasons, social reasons, by accident or circumstance. It is even possible that Lauren has met Megan.

    “She may well be just relating to what her mother has told her, possibly over a span of years. It still doesn’t confirm for me that there is a real ‘Megan’ out there.”

    Maybe we will just have to disagree on this. Does it have a bearing on the question of hoax/real for the film itself? I think it doesn’t. I think the question of Nev & Company telling the truth to the audience is apart from the question of Megan’s actual existence.

    “What are your thoughts on the planned book that Nev mentions? Where they will apparently include emails and correspondence from the situation?”

    I do not trust what Nev says at face value. He has already said things would happen which turned out to not happen. For example, there are multiple interviews with him where he tells us what to expect on the DVD when it is eventually produced. He says there will be lots of extras including many deleted scenes. He says these various extras will bolster the authenticity of the film. Wrong! The only DVD extra is a staged Q&A with the guys where they provide the questions as well as the answers.
    So, I will believe such a book when I see it.

    “How does the sirname Wesselman figure into this equation. Is it a maiden name, or her first husband’s sirname?”

    I don’t know. BTW, it’s spelled “surname”. Angela and/or Vince may have some kind of roots in Ann Arbor Michigan. In the film, both of them use the term “downstate”. This means the southern portion of the state. Angela tells Nev that Megan is downstate at Dawn Farm (Ann Arbor). Vince talks about artists trying to sell their black velvet Elvis paintings downstate in Ann Arbor. Here is Dawn Farm: http://www.dawnfarm.org . I suppose it may be possible that daughter Megan lives somewhere downstate.

    “Why are there no other law suits in respect to all the other music used in the film?”

    There are two kinds of music in the film. Songs specifically chosen by production staff for the soundtrack, and those which were uploaded by Angela and Megan (the stolen songs).
    The credits list three professional titles: Music Supervisor, Assistant Music Supervisor, and Music Clearance Coordinator. It may be the sole job of the Clearance Coordinator to get legal permissions to use the various songs in the film.

    Apparently, the only stolen songs we hear are Hitman, Tennessee Stud, It’s all Downhill from Here and Truman Sleeps.
    Presumably, the staff got legal permissions to use any and all music that they were legally required to acquire. As you know, there are legal exceptions made for documentary films and also for the duration of the song (number of seconds played).

    My guesses as to why there are no lawsuits other than for Kuney are: the artists simply appreciate the exposure and are more than happy to have their song used and credited. There is no perceived cost-benefit for launching a lawsuit. It’s either not worth it to sue or they feel they would not win.

    “Exactly how does the Pierce family appear to have a surplus of cash? Ability to send off $ 500 to Nev, purchase several mobile phones, art supplies (paint, canvasses, brushes), postage and packing costs for all of the paintings sent, cameras for her photography, internet connections, pleasant home, nice car and the list goes on. No mention of whether Vince works, or is this all provided via welfare in respect to the disabled children?”

    My suspicion is that Vince has some sort of financial support that allows the family to live without economic stress. I’m not talking about state-funded welfare. I’m talking trust fund, or inheritance, or money from family, etc. Vince talks about “security” in reference to Angela staying with him. I think he means that the money will always be there if she sticks with him. Additionally, the cost-of-living in this region is relatively low. I could be wrong but these are my opinions.

    “Exactly what type of contract did Angela and co sign, that allows for book rights after the film as well.”

    We don’t know what her contract stated. We know that there were two contracts; an initial one and then a more detailed one after the Sundance acceptance. We also know that the Pierce family was paid. Money buys cooperation. It may be that another contract will need to be forged for the book. More money paid to Angela maybe. It could also be that Nev is talking about something that will never happen anyway.

    “Nev may not be as ‘clueless’ as we imagine.”

    I do not think Nev is clueless. I think that he is not particularly intelligent but nonetheless is very much attuned to social nuances and social protocol. I do not believe for a moment that he was actually fooled by Angela.

    Reply
  113. Aquaman why are you intent on keeping the focus solely on the doco/hoax aspect of the film? I think we can still stay on the topic of ‘Catish’ and widen the horizon a bit and explore other facets too, facets of personal interest per se. We might even find some other people who want to join this thread.

    You wrote: You will need to bring strong evidence that Megan does not exist… to convince me otherwise. Does it have a bearing on the question of hoax/real for the film itself? I think it doesn’t.

    I think it is a side element to whether the film is a hoax/real. An interesting ‘mystery’. The illusive Megan, real or not, is afterall the love interest that drives the film along.

    Aquaman you wrote: I’m not sure I understand your question. What is “long plait”? I think you may be asking about the photo Angela used to represent herself.

    Yes, I was. In the US you probably use ‘braid’. Sorry for any confusion here. Can you supply a link where it states this pic is of Aimee’s sister?

    Aquaman you wrote: BTW, it’s spelled “surname”.

    Thanks for correcting my spelling. It reminded me that I shouldn’t be using ‘surname’ either, as it’s politically incorrect. I’ll use ‘last name’ from now on.

    Aquaman you wrote: Angela and/or Vince may have some kind of roots in Ann Arbor Michigan.

    They definately do. Have a look at this link.

    http://www.miningjournal.net/page/content.detail/id/516869/Ronald-Grant-Pierce.html

    Excerpt from link: Ronald…’Vince’s son’…was born May 13, 1989, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He lived in Ann Arbor until 1999 when his family moved to Munising and they have lived in Ishpeming since 2004.

    The reason I am curious about the last name ‘Wesselman’ is simply this. If this be the last name of Angela’s first husband, then it might be possible that ‘Megan’ (if that is her real name), is running under the last name ‘Wesselman’. That’s where I was going with my research on this aspect.

    By the by, if you type in ‘Megan Wesselman veterinarian’ it brings up a link that shows a ‘Danielle Wesselman’ and directly under her picture is a ‘Megan’. Probably nothing though, just though it was curious.

    You have undertaken quite a bit of research on the music. I’m wondering if you have isolated which song the words ‘will you make the best decision’ comes from? I listened several times to this music in the film but can’t catch the rest of the lyrics (Nev talking over the top). These lines appear in the scene where Nev is listening to Alex’s band’s music. I just found those words rather interesting. Like Angela speaking to Nev through the music perhaps? Or have I gone off topic again???

    Aquaman you wrote: My suspicion is that Vince has some sort of financial support that allows the family to live without economic stress. I’m not talking about state-funded welfare. I’m talking trust fund, or inheritance, or money from family, etc. Vince talks about “security” in reference to Angela staying with him. I think he means that the money will always be there if she sticks with him. Additionally, the cost-of-living in this region is relatively low. I could be wrong but these are my opinions.

    It’s possible, afterall Phillip Pierce (Vince’s father) did die prior to 2008, so perhaps there was an inheriatance, trust fund left via him. I know the house at 421 N Main belongs to Vince and his mother. Still, can’t be much of an (inheritance/trust ) if Vince can’t shell out for a studio worth $29,000 US. I recall he says near the end of the film that he’d looked at buying a place for Angela as a studio but couldn’t afford it’ or something like that. Perhaps that’s how they got the shots of Abby in the ‘studio’ at 100 N Main street (they all went down to look at it), with Vince thinking of it as a potential studio for Angela. Wonder why he didn’t look at leasing something, that building is still empty so can’t imagine the rent would be too high.

    Aquaman you wrote: I do not think Nev is clueless. I think that he is not particularly intelligent but nonetheless is very much attuned to social nuances and social protocol. I do not believe for a moment that he was actually fooled by Angela.

    I disagree, I think he was fooled for a period of time and then cracked onto to the deception. At what point exactly, well I can’t be sure.

    You’re a fascinating person Aquaman, clearly well educated and a tremendous researcher.

    Though I daresay I would never attempt to cook anything for you, (fish or otherwise). I can hear it now: ‘MC don’t you know white wine is served with seafood….what is this bottle of red doing here? Please try to stay focused and remember dinner discussion is to be kept exclusively on ‘Catfish’ hoax or doco. Damm now my fish is cold!’ 🙂

    Reply
  114. MC wrote: “Aquaman why are you intent on keeping the focus solely on the doco/hoax aspect of the film? I think we can still stay on the topic of ‘Catish’ and widen the horizon a bit and explore other facets too, facets of personal interest per se. We might even find some other people who want to join this thread.”

    This blog topic is specific on the Catfish hoax question. Mike Rot also has a movie review blog for Catfish which would be more appropriate for thoughts that aren’t related to the hoax question; Here: http://www.rowthree.com/2010/10/09/review-catfish-spoiler-free

    “Can you supply a link where it states this pic is of Aimee’s sister?”

    This is another thing that I wrote about earlier here. In the ABC 20/20 program, Aimee is shown the picture that Angela used for herself. Aimee states that that is her younger sister. http://www.hulu.com/watch/184528/abc-2020-fri-oct-8-2010

    “I’m wondering if you have isolated which song the words ‘will you make the best decision’ comes from?”

    That song is “Hitman” (PeopleAreThings): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18YY5PlzsfY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-hO6DgefUE

    “Still, can’t be much of an (inheritance/trust ) if Vince can’t shell out for a studio worth $29,000 US. I recall he says near the end of the film that he’d looked at buying a place for Angela as a studio but couldn’t afford it’ or something like that. Perhaps that’s how they got the shots of Abby in the ‘studio’ at 100 N Main street (they all went down to look at it), with Vince thinking of it as a potential studio for Angela. Wonder why he didn’t look at leasing something, that building is still empty so can’t imagine the rent would be too high.”

    You have me confused here. I don’t remember Vince saying anything about buying a studio space and not being able to afford it. I have to watch his parts again now. OK, he doesn’t say anything like that on my DVD.

    I’m wondering if your DVD version is different. Like an International Release which shows different things. Already you have said that “It’s All Downhill from Here” plays during the ending credits and Vince talks about an unaffordable studio space. These things are not on my copy.

    Reply
  115. Aquaman you wrote: You have me confused here. I don’t remember Vince saying anything about buying a studio space and not being able to afford it. I have to watch his parts again now. OK, he doesn’t say anything like that on my DVD.

    On my DVD it comes directly after the scene where Nev, Angela and Abby are at the horse riding school. Last line in that scene before transition to the scene I’m referring to, is Nev speaking he says ‘and does Vince know all about this?’

    Next scene: Vince on verandah of house at 421 N Main Street.
    He says: ‘We weren’t able to buy this builiding that I was looking at for ahhhh, for a place for her..her..business you know. I took everything out of the guest room and I went down to the furniture store and I bought this desk…..’

    Hope that assists.

    If it’s not on your copy maybe it is due to a difference in International Release formats as you suggest.

    Aquaman you wrote: This is another thing that I wrote about earlier here. In the ABC 20/20 program, Aimee is shown the picture that Angela used for herself. Aimee states that that is her younger sister. http://www.hulu.com/watch/184528/abc-2020-fri-oct-8-2010

    Sorry I missed it in one of your earlier posts. However, Hulu is only for US users, so I can’t access that link, but thanks anyway.

    Reply
  116. Aquaman, hanging up my ‘catfishing’ pole for good. Your myopic approach is even beginning to get to me. I’ve tried to ask if we could broaden the scope a little, but to use one of your favourite phrases it’s seems you’re ‘not interested’.

    Thanks for directing me away from this blog. How very presumptious of you to determine what is and isn’t an appropriate thought. You wrote: This blog topic is specific on the Catfish hoax question. Mike Rot also has a movie review blog for Catfish which would be more appropriate for thoughts that aren’t related to the hoax question; Here: http://www.rowthree.com/2010/10/09/review-catfish-spoiler-free

    It seems to me that you and I have been the only ones on this blog for a while now, so a little latitude would have seemed reasonable. I’ve put forward the information I’ve found, replied to your questions/queries/assertions etc and have enjoyed reading the research you’ve undertaken. I re-iterate your reserach skills are excellent. But, you’re a bit of a cold fish!

    And, you’ve become too arrogant for my taste and it’s killed the fun in the whole thing. You’re very hard nosed about your determination to prove the film as a hoax. I think there’s a lot more to the film than just hoax vs legit doco. I recall other contributors earlier on in this blog felt the same way.

    Enjoy swimming around…you have plenty of room now.

    Reply
  117. The Australian release DVD is obviously different than the USA version. I also noticed that the European/UK release DVD (Region 2) is 83 minutes while the USA (Region 1) is 86 minutes.

    Ms Curious seems to be gone but I wonder how long the Australian version DVD (Region 4) is.

    Reply
  118. Aquaman, I know curiousity killed the cat…and I was ready to abandon any further contact with you. However, have received some email replies to some correspondence that I sent off a while ago and now my mind is back on ‘Catfish’ again.

    That being said, I’m still annoyed at you for insisting that there be no deviation off the hoax/legit aspect. As I’ve pointed out previously, you might want to consider a little latitude here as you and I have been the sole contributors to this thread for some time now. I will from now on, post whatever I think is a reasonable insight into the film, as well as side elements that don’t deal specifically with the hoax/doco element if it suits me. So….please try to be pleasant, ditch the condescending tone and it’s possible we can both continue to enjoy our fascination with the film and do so together.

    So I take it that your DVD copy doesn’t have the scene in it with Vince talking about wanting to buy a place for Angela’s business? I wonder what other things are missing from your version, my version etc. The version I have is 87 mins long.

    Here’s a reply I recieved from Casualties regarding purchasing the tee-shirt that appears in the film.

    Hi and thanks for the E-mail! Right now we are sold out of the Catfish T! Please check http://www.ridewithcasualties.com
    in about 3 weeks as we are launching our Spring Basic and Premium T shirt line! We can ship you one as soon as we
    are back in stock! Thanks again for the E-mail!
    Matt
    Casualties Skate/Snow/Surf

    Mmmmm….looks like Casualities has done well out of the film then, in respect to sales of that tee-shirt.

    BTW have a look at the scene in the hotel room where Nev is looking at the screen and we get to see a tatoo on his very lower back. It’s looks like a pair of wings to me, rather like those on the tee-shirt. When I frieze a frame though, it get’s blurry so I might be totally off base here. Your thoughts?

    Here’s a reply I received regarding the building at 100 Main Street, Abby’s alleged art gallery:

    Per your request on information on 100 main Street, be advised that this property was sold October 4, 2010 and it was not our listing. Property had been listed with Select Realty who was also the selling company. Sold for $12,500. Property was full of mold from years of vacancy along with peeling paint and had basement water problems and there was/is talk of tearing the building down because of the condition.
    Irving J. Krellwitz, CRS
    Town & Country Real Estate

    I also wrote to the National Ski Museum, enquiring whether they have a painting hanging in there by Angela Wesselman Pierce (I remember as she’s driving out to the beach house she mentions to Nev something about a painting of ‘fireworks’ that Abby did/won a prize for and claims it’s hanging in there. No reply from National Ski Museum as yet.

    My brother flew to the States yesterday. He’s headed for Wisconsin for a 6 week holiday. Looks like that’s not too far from Ishpeming from my map. He said if he had time he’d take a drive to Ishpeming and see what he could find out for me, but he’s not really that into ‘Catfish’ so I’m not holding my breath.

    PS: I re-watched a film called ‘May’ last night. I think you’d like it. It has something in common with ‘Catfish’ in that it deals with the theme of ‘isolation’ and the desperate lengths someone will go to find love.

    Reply
  119. You can post anything you want in this thread. I’m just not so likely to respond to accounts of perceived symbolism and “side elements”. You had asked me why I wasn’t responding to those things and I just honestly said I wasn’t interested. I have nothing to say about them and that’s all I can say about it.

    No, my DVD does not have Vince talking about any studio space. It goes from Nev saying “and does Vince know all about this?”… to a quick shot of the front of the house… to a close-up shot of acrylic paint tubes… and then Angela is sitting in front of Nev starting the sketch. Also my copy does not have “All Downhill From Here” playing during the credits. When you hear that song during the credits, what text lines are shown on the screen? Do you also hear the song “Learning the Lie” during the credits?

    I’ll look at Nev’s tattoo again and get back to you. You don’t think he actually got a Casualties logo tattoo, do you?

    Wow, you are doing some amazing communication stuff with contacting all the various things shown in the film.

    You should try to find a copy of the ABC 20/20 program on video that you can watch in Australia. It contains much information and also an interview with Angela and Aimee Gonzales.

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  120. Aquaman, I’ve written up the rest of the dialogue for the scene that is missing from your DVD. I thought you might like to see what else Vince said.

    Opens on closeup of house, (like your version), however there is V/O of Vince under and then cuts to Vince on verandah of house at 421 N Main Street.

    He says: ‘We weren’t able to buy this builiding that I was looking at for ahhhh, for a place for her..her..business you know. I took everything out of the guest room and I went down to the furniture store and I bought this desk that was confitted for ahhhh, a laptop and it had all these you know, you could plug in your cell, it was already wired, the go for just this type of thing. I put that in there, I put that easel up there, I said this is your art room. You can walk away from all of us and you can cuddle up here and disassociate yourself. I’ll watch the boys, I’ll take care of Abby.

    Next scene: close up Liquetex couleur acrylique Basics.

    You wrote: Wow, you are doing some amazing communication stuff with contacting all the various things shown in the film.

    I can never tell if you’re being serious or not. If this be a compliment thank you.

    You wrote: I’ll look at Nev’s tattoo again and get back to you. You don’t think he actually got a Casualties logo tattoo, do you?

    Well, I just had another look at it and boy it does look like a pair of wings to me, just like the wings from the Casualties tee-shirt (albeit without the skull). I don’t know what to think yet, but it does seem curious. I’ll wait for your input on this point.

    You wrote: You can post anything you want in this thread. I’m just not so likely to respond to accounts of perceived symbolism and “side elements”. You had asked me why I wasn’t responding to those things and I just honestly said I wasn’t interested. I have nothing to say about them and that’s all I can say about it.

    I understand that you may not be interested in symbolism or side elements. However, to have a conversation it does involve both people or whomever is in the conversation feeling like they might, from time to to time get a bit of feedback on their thoughts. Plus, sometimes I find it hard to work out what you would consider a side element. I had wondered if you’d be interested in reading the email replies I’d posted, because I thought maybe you would see them as irrelevant.

    You seem very, well almost ‘scientifically based’ in your approach, though I do detect that you have a good sense of humour from time to time. I guess I’m trying to be scientific too and looking at elements and questioning their authenticity. I’m more arts based though, so my mind wanders. However the film has so many symbolic dimensions, many of which I feel are contrived and beyond coincidence…so I guess I was looking at how these may or may not relate to authenticity or otherwise.

    You wrote: You should try to find a copy of the ABC 20/20 program on video that you can watch in Australia. It contains much information and also an interview with Angela and Aimee Gonzales.

    Yes, I will try.

    I’ve been thinking about Nev’s yellow tee-shirt & pizza (you mentioned it in a post a while ago) and wondering whether
    a) it supports the filming took place over a shorter duration than we are led to believe
    b) supports that the filming took place over a long period, he literally wears the tee-shirt from time to time, but because of the editing the appearance is that he never changes clothes?
    c) Nev does not own many clothes.

    I’ll have to frieze frame and go back over these sections, to look at whether it’s the same pizza piece he’s holding, or other aspects which might determine this oddity one way or another.

    Have you been to Ishpeming Aquaman? Is a place you could get to from where you are or is just too far away? I bet a lot could be learnt from a casual stroll through this town and Marquette and just chatting to people.

    Another question: What is that has drawn you to this film and made you want to analyse in such depth? Everyone I know has asked me this question and all I can come up with is the ‘mystery’ element of the whole thing.

    Interestingly, I re-read some of your posts and you know what we do tend to write in a similar style (not exactly the same) but there are similarities (even in the words we use).

    Well I’m off to the beach for a swim, it’s 33 degrees celcius (91.4 farenheit) here and I’m hot.

    Reply
  121. Aquaman, here is the answer to the other question you asked re: music.

    Aquaman you wrote: Also my copy does not have “All Downhill From Here” playing during the credits. When you hear that song during the credits, what text lines are shown on the screen?

    Directed by Ariel Schulman/Henry Joost
    Produced by Andrew Jacrecki/Marc Smerling/Henry Joost/Ariel Schulman
    Editor & Co Producer Zaz Stuart-Pontier
    Cinematorgraphy Henry Joost/Ariel Schulman/Yaniv Schulman
    Paintings Angela Wesselman-Pierce

    Then on to Associate Producer/SFX editor/Animation/Additional cinematography/transcription/dancers
    then special thanks to Aimee etc
    ends with gratitude to Angela and Pierce family.

    You wrote: Do you also hear the song “Learning the Lie” during the credits?

    No it’s not there. ‘All Downhill from Here’ plays the entire time the credits run.

    Mmmmm…what about the note of ‘additional cinemaphotography’ what do you think is additional that wasn’t shot by Nev and guys? Sorry if this is a silly question.

    Reply
  122. Ms Curious wrote: “I’ve written up the rest of the dialogue for the scene that is missing from your DVD.”

    Very interesting. I wonder why that is not on the USA/Canada Region 1 DVD. I also wonder if there are any other meaningful differences with our copies.

    “Well, I just had another look at it (tattoo) and boy it does look like a pair of wings to me, just like the wings from the Casualties tee-shirt (albeit without the skull). I don’t know what to think yet, but it does seem curious. I’ll wait for your input on this point.”

    They are really quite different. The Casualties logo shows actual highly-realistic bird wings with detailed feathers. Nev’s “tramp stamp” is a highly-stylized neo-tribal form that may fundamentally be a pair of wings… but maybe not.

    “I’ve been thinking about Nev’s yellow tee-shirt & pizza (you mentioned it in a post a while ago) and wondering whether
    a) it supports the filming took place over a shorter duration than we are led to believe
    b) supports that the filming took place over a long period, he literally wears the tee-shirt from time to time, but because of the editing the appearance is that he never changes clothes?
    c) Nev does not own many clothes.
    I’ll have to frieze frame and go back over these sections, to look at whether it’s the same pizza piece he’s holding, or other aspects which might determine this oddity one way or another.”

    In my copy, you see Nev in this particular setting used in three different places in the film. It’s obvious that it wasn’t different days with Nev wearing the same yellow shirt with the same pizza box in front of him. What happened is the editors took a filmed scene and cut it into pieces and placed the pieces into the film at various intervals. It represents another chronologic discontinuity in spite of what Nev said about it being chronologically linear. He is wrong.

    Most ironic is that the very first scene of the film shows Nev chewing on this pizza and telling Rel that the documentary is supposed to be about Abby, not him. This gives you the sense that that scene was filmed very early when Nev was communicating with only Abby and Angela. But later on you will learn (if you are attentive to detail) that that pizza eating scene is actually from when he was already romantic with Megan and the doc subject should have been on that situation. You see that he gets on the phone with Megan and the pizza box still in front of him. Sitting to his left is Melody C. Roscher who is the woman often seen inside the office. It seems that her, Nev and Rel are all sharing that pizza.

    What happened with the editing of this scene is what also happens elsewhere in the film. The editors were looking at raw footage and probably ended up using <5% of what the guys had. What they did was look for particular bits of dialogue and visuals to tell a particular story. They would sometimes (often) take bits from one timeframe and stick it into a different timeframe as long as the PERCEIVED flow was satisfactory to them. They obviously did not care if it was chronologically truthful as “this-then-this-then-this-then-this” in a realistic order of events. In some cases, are shown scenes from June 2008 before we are shown scenes from March 2008.

    “Have you been to Ishpeming Aquaman? Is a place you could get to from where you are or is just too far away? I bet a lot could be learnt from a casual stroll through this town and Marquette and just chatting to people.”

    I have not been to Ishpeming, but coincidentally I was in Marquette last year in September visiting a friend at Northern Michigan University. I had never even heard of the film until around Christmas. I never saw it in a theater and first saw it after buying the DVD soon after it was released on January 3. I drove in some of the exact places that the guys did. I was at Presque Isle Park and even drove right past the filmed beach house. I drove past the Applebee’s and Casualties as well. But this area is far away from me and I have no plans of going back for many years. Anyone from Marquette would realize that there is scrambled editing by looking out the windows of the car as they are driving away from the beach house. The windows show surroundings which have them “bouncing around the area” back and forth in spite of it being PERCEIVED to be chronologically continuous and flowing dialogue. It isn’t.

    When you watch the film, the very first thing said in the car after leaving the beach is “So, what do you guys think?” and the scenery shows them very near the beach house driving towards downtown Marquette. Then the response to that question is “Angela is in love with you” but the scenery is now much further away in downtown Marquette. Then a few lines of dialogue later Nev says “I’m 90% sure that Angela is the voice of Megan” but when you look out the windows they are back near the beach house again. So what is happening is that the editors are creating a false flow of conversation by scrambling scenes. The guys really didn’t say these things in the order that we are shown.

    “What is that has drawn you to this film and made you want to analyse in such depth? Everyone I know has asked me this question and all I can come up with is the ‘mystery’ element of the whole thing.”

    I was initially drawn to see the film because I was reading that so many people had thought it was a hoax. Hoaxy films and pseudo-documentaries are nothing new but this was different because the filmmakers were insisting it wasn’t faked. How could this happen that there was such strong disagreement? Now I even ask how it could still continue without definitive resolution to the question.

    After I watched the film I realized why so many are convinced that critical elements are not real. That Nev really wasn’t fooled until the very end (Vail). That there is much bad acting to try to convince the audience that something is going on that really wasn’t going on. Also that something wasn’t going on that really was going on. Almost the entire time I got the feeling that I am watching sneaky weasels who are trying to trick me, and I’m not talking about Angela.

    “No it’s not there (Learning the Lie). ‘All Downhill from Here’ plays the entire time the credits run.”

    Hmmmm. That is one of the basic elements of the lawsuit. The suit (partly) claims that playing that Kuney song during the ending credits does not constitute (documentary) fair use and is therefore subject to licensing fees. I read that it played during the credits at Sundance but was then removed from play during the credits for the theatrical release version. Maybe it plays in your version because foreign copies are somehow exempted from the law.

    “Paintings Angela Wesselman-Pierce
    ends with gratitude to Angela and Pierce family.”

    Whoa wait a second! Your copy actually uses the name Pierce in print? On my copy, that name never appears anywhere except where the editors have blocked it out with blur effect. My copy says “With Gratitude to Angela Wesselman & Her Family” and “Paintings Angela Wesselman”. In the credits, the name Pierce isn’t blocked out… it simply isn’t there at all.

    The songs that play during the credits on my DVD are: continuation of the Opening Theme Music by Mark Mothersbaugh (sounds like xylophone), and then “Learning the Lie” by The Hidden Cameras.

    “Mmmmm…what about the note of ‘additional cinemaphotography’ what do you think is additional that wasn’t shot by Nev and guys? Sorry if this is a silly question.”

    I suspect that this is the filming of some screen shot Facebook and Google Earth scenes.

    Reply
  123. Moment of first meeting at Angela’s house…

    I’m pretty sure the time of day is 1:15pm. But what date is it?

    Time is confirmed three ways: Navigation device in car as they drive into Ishpeming. Clock on bank building in downtown Ishpeming as they drive past. Clock on porch at Angela’s house can be seen when they first meet.

    There is also a digital dashboard clock in the car but it is too hard to see as they driving close to the house. That dash clock can be used to establish time in other parts of the movie.

    Reply
  124. Aquaman you wrote: Whoa wait a second! Your copy actually uses the name Pierce in print? On my copy, that name never appears anywhere except where the editors have blocked it out with blur effect. My copy says “With Gratitude to Angela Wesselman & Her Family” and “Paintings Angela Wesselman”. In the credits, the name Pierce isn’t blocked out… it simply isn’t there at all.

    Okay, well the signature on the very first painting appears as ‘A Pierce’ in my copy (in fact there’s a close up shot of it), there’s a shot of Abby standing by an easel and text is on it that says ‘Abby Pierce Age 8 Painter’, There’s a photo shot of Megan and a man next to her with the title ‘Vince Pierce’ printed on screen (follows with text: ‘Abby’s dad’). Then an email signed ‘Vincent Pierce Abby’s father’. I haven’t got time this morning to go through entire DVD, but I do remember that there was a wooden plaque on the house at 421 N Main street that has the name ‘Pierce’ on it. Oh, and I just noticed there is a shot near the very end of the film, ‘painting of woman in blue dress with birdcage’ and to the left up the top appears the words ‘Art by A Pierce’ and on the painting itself ‘Art by A Pierce’. The end credits appear on my DVD exactly as I wrote yesterday:
    Paintings
    Angela Wesselman-Pierce
    With Gratitude to
    Angela Wesselman-Pierce & The Pierce Family

    Aquaman you wrote: Very interesting. I also wonder if there are any other meaningful differences with our copies.

    Yes, I’m wondering about that too. I’m also wondering why the scene I have in my DVD with Vince talking about the studio is cut from yours? I guess the only way to find out what’s in yours/not in mine and visa versa is for us to list each transition in the film and compare lists? Your thoughts?

    Aquaman you wrote: They are really quite different. The Casualties logo shows actual highly-realistic bird wings with detailed feathers. Nev’s “tramp stamp” is a highly-stylized neo-tribal form that may fundamentally be a pair of wings… but maybe not.

    Oh well, had so hoped I’d found something of value here. Damm!

    Reply
  125. Aquaman you wrote: Ms Curious, what kind of TV are you watching on? Is it high-def, or what?

    Varies, have watched film on family room TV (High-def), but mainly have been watching on portable DVD player in my study, because otherwise I have to put up with everyone saying ‘get that film off the TV’ etc. However, if you think I’m missing something I can re-watch on High Def. Your thoughts.

    Aquaman you wrote: I’m pretty sure the time of day is 1:15pm. But what date is it?

    I have to go to work now, but I’ll have a look at the time aspect/date etc for when they first meet Angela tonight. Mmmm, clock on bank building, I don’t even remember that.

    Reply
  126. For the USA version DVD, all references to Pierce are either blocked out or eliminated.

    “I guess the only way to find out what’s in yours/not in mine and visa versa is for us to list each transition in the film and compare lists? Your thoughts?”

    There are hundreds of scene changes. Too many to list. We’ll just have to encounter them as we do. If I mention something you cannot see or hear it may be a version difference.

    “However, if you think I’m missing something I can re-watch on High Def. Your thoughts.”

    There may be certain tiny details or texts that you can’t see clearly without hi-def. Try this: Can you see the digital dashboard clock numbers when they are in Gladstone driving on the approach to the farm, and then at the farm itself?

    “Mmmm, clock on bank building, I don’t even remember that.”

    Do you see them drive into Ishpeming and then right past the vacant “art studio” building? The bank is on the opposite side of the street and it’s big outdoor digital clock/temp is fully visible.

    Reply
  127. Aquaman here is what I’ve picked up with yet another viewing of the film in respect to arrival Ishpeming at Angela’s.

    Checked out the dates on the Vail dance festival it ran from 27 July to August 10 in 2008. Nev mentions in a voice mail to Megan that they’ll be in Vail until the 9th (so that makes sense). In 2008, the 9th of August was a Saturday.

    Yet, the booking they make to go from Vail to Chicago looks to me as if it is: Depart 10 August 2008. The 10th of August in 2008, was a Sunday. So let’s presume they did leave Vail on Sunday the 10th.

    They arrive Chicago airport and then drive from Chicago to Michagan and arrive in MIchigan from what I see at 2.32 a:m -(very hard for me to read this, stuck in my study again using portable DVD player) – (presumably then this would be Monday, the 11th?). Odd thing is, that a conversation goes on in the car, (where Nev remembers that there’s a family breakfast at the house each Sunday). So I suppose we are to presume that it is 2.32 a:m Sunday, which would match with the guys reaction of ‘what 8.00 am!’ On this basis, they’d be up most of the night then turn around and drive back to Ishpmeing for breaky at 8.00 am. But this doesn’t make sense to me, because by my calculations it’s now Monday, so why is there a conversation going on about Sunday breakfast? If I’ve got this wrong I’m sorry, it’s hard for me because I don’t know your geography or distances and you guys even write your dates around a different way (you put month first then date).

    Conversation continues in the car about crashing the family breakfast the next morning (again presumbably by the film’s version Sunday the 10th).

    Next: They decide to continue on to Gladstone (text on screen shows time as 2.30 am), so I probably read the time incorrectly in the previous scene on the navigator. Return to hotel, sleep and get up next day (pick flowers) head for Ishpeming.

    You wrote: Do you see them drive into Ishpeming and then right past the vacant “art studio” building? The bank is on the opposite side of the street and it’s big outdoor digital clock/temp is fully visible.

    Yes, I see the bank on opposite side just before the ‘art studio’. I can’t quite read the sign, it looks like ‘1:04’ (I take it this is the time?) Yes, I see the clock on the porch and it looks like ‘1.15’ to me too.

    So…day wise I’m thinking it is either Sunday the 10th of August, or Monday the 11th, 2008. I guess it will depend on what you make of the notes I’ve posted above, your calculations on driving times etc.

    Couple of other things for your consideration:

    Did you noitce the facebook entry from Tim Hobbins to Megan? It reads ‘That was a pleasant surprise I had no idea you were working with Dr Jandron today’. It’s in the same scene where Megan has posted ‘missing someone I’ve never met’ or something like that.

    Thought you might interested to know that there is a real Dr Jandron in Ishpeming who is (a vet). Possibly the vet Angela takes her dog Spot to (I read in one of her blogs she took dog to vet because it was sick)?

    What are you thoughts on ‘Truman Sleeps’ in respect to the fact that they are in Vail when Nev looks at it (sometime between 2nd and 9th of August), but the date on the screen shows December 27 2.16 pm? Perhaps he is looking back at a song she posted much earlier, having discovered the ‘All Downhill’ and ‘Tennessee Stud’ songs? Your thoughts on this?

    Also: they note April 9 2008 open 3rd or 4th box, but it seems that a facebook page appears after this scene showing March 24, 2008. I’m too tired to go back again and double check this tonight. Your thoughts.

    If I’ve confused anything, I apologise. As I note above, unfamiliar with geography, distances etc in US. Plus I’m soooo tired tonight….

    PS: Can’t believe you saw all those clocks, I totally missed the bank clock and the one on the verandah. It’s after midnight, must get some sleep. 🙂

    Reply
  128. You wrote: “Checked out the dates on the Vail dance festival it ran from 27 July to August 10 in 2008.”

    It ran until August 9th.

    http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20080107/AE/452559458

    I was sort of testing you and giving you a chance to decide on the home arrival date. I already did all that and came to the same dilemmas. The dialogue suggests that they flew out of Vail on Saturday, August 9th. They would have arrived at Chicago O’Hare Airport a few hours later. They presumably rented that black Subaru station wagon (it does have Illinois license plates) and then began to drive north towards Wisconsin/Michigan. Given the time it would take to drive from Chicago to Michigan it is logical that it could be night (as we see in the film). They would logically stop for food, restroom and maybe fuel along the way. Arriving in Gladstone Michigan at approx 2:30am seems reasonable. This would be very early morning Sunday August 10th.

    The computer screen shot showing a (Vail) airline departure date of August 10th seems to be an error. A continuity error made after they returned to NYC. Somebody wanted a camera shot that made it look like they were booking flights from Vail to Chicago but they screwed up the date. If it is not an error and they really did fly out of Vail on the 10th then there is a sequence of very bizarre dialogue and events that follow.

    When you look at the time shown in the lower left of the Garmin navigation device sitting on the dashboard you are seeing estimated time of arrival – not the present time. The device calculates the distance to target and the rate of speed to let you know when you will get to your destination. But the car has a stereo with a digital clock that can be seen as well. This does show the present time (if it is adjusted correctly).

    Interestingly, and I don’t yet know how to deal with, is that they would have experienced a time zone change about 30 miles before reaching Gladstone. It’s a change from Central Time to Eastern Time and it would suddenly become 1 hour later. It seems unlikely that they would go and adjust the dashboard clock to the new time zone but maybe they did. I’m presuming the rental car’s clock was initially set for Central Time (Chicago) which is where they rented it. Here’s the thing… if they didn’t change the clock right before Gladstone then the time at the farm is incorrect. It would actually be an hour later than what you see on the dashboard and event the text that was inserted by the editors. Instead of being at the farm at about 2:40am – it’s actually 3:40am.

    “What are you thoughts on ‘Truman Sleeps’ in respect to the fact that they are in Vail when Nev looks at it (sometime between 2nd and 9th of August), but the date on the screen shows December 27 2.16 pm? Perhaps he is looking back at a song she posted much earlier, having discovered the ‘All Downhill’ and ‘Tennessee Stud’ songs? Your thoughts on this?”

    Hmmmm. I don’t see any date of December 27th for Truman Sleeps on my copy. What I see is that Megan uploaded Truman Sleeps to her Facebook page on June 18th at 2:07pm. Can you describe what scene you are seeing so that we can decide if this is a genuine DVD copy difference?

    “Also: they note April 9 2008 open 3rd or 4th box, but it seems that a facebook page appears after this scene showing March 24, 2008. I’m too tired to go back again and double check this tonight. Your thoughts. “

    This is just more scrambled eggs editing and continuity errors. This film is a chronologically mixed mish-mash.

    Reply
  129. Aquaman you mischievous villain! You wrote: I was sort of testing you and giving you a chance to decide on the home arrival date. I sat up so late last night working on this and upon completing it, thought yes…I’ve found something he will be interested in. Still, looks like I passed the test overall. 🙂 I see what you mean re 2nd to 9th for Vail dates. I did find a page that noted ‘be sure to note the dates and plan to join us from July 27 to August 10 for our 2008… ‘. The festival did go late into the evening of the 9th, but you are indeed correct.

    So then, overall we’ve reached the same conclusions/dilemmans in respect to the date issue. Do you think it is another one of the many editing/continuity issues? Or is there a purpose and what purpose could there be? It doesn’t go in their favour to make this type of error, so it leads me to conclude that it’s editing yet again. Mmmmm….very interesting re time zone change. I’m at such a disadvantage not being in US.

    You wrote: Hmmmm. I don’t see any date of December 27th for Truman Sleeps on my copy. What I see is that Megan uploaded Truman Sleeps to her Facebook page on June 18th at 2:07pm. Can you describe what scene you are seeing so that we can decide if this is a genuine DVD copy difference?

    I remember it’s a scene in the Vail hotel room (follows on shortly after Nev discovers the ‘All Downhill from Here’ etc songs, but I’ll post full information for you tonight when I get home so you can compare. Perhaps you can point to where the scene shows uploaded June 18 2.07 pm so I can see if this is on my copy.

    What’s your feeling on how anyone could edit in such a sloppy fashion? Especially when the film has a key agenda to convince the viewer it’s all real.

    PS: Might I ask what you do for a living? Just can’t help my curiousity. My bet is ‘Science Lecturer, Detective or an Editor in Film and TV’. I’m favouring ‘Science Lecturer’, am I close?

    Reply
  130. “Aquaman you mischievous villain!”

    I didn’t want to taint your research by telling you what I found. Now you can try to figure out what day they arrived in Vail.

    “Do you think it is another one of the many editing/continuity issues?”

    Yes, I think somebody erred by typing 8/10 instead of 8/9. But we can’t be certain of that.

    “Perhaps you can point to where the scene shows uploaded June 18 2:07 pm so I can see if this is on my copy.”

    It shows up right after Nev talks to Angela on the phone about the gallery opening sale. She says it really went well and paintings were sold. She says “Things are going well.” Then Nev says “Just a liar. How could she just lie to me like that?” Then we see a Facebook entry for Megan Faccio which is the Truman Sleeps upload with timestamp.

    “What’s your feeling on how anyone could edit in such a sloppy fashion? Especially when the film has a key agenda to convince the viewer it’s all real.”

    I think more than one person was doing editing. Of course the guys did their own editing first by deciding what to hand over to the producers and what not to give them. Obviously, there were cases of simply not caring that scenes were out of sequence.

    “I’m favouring ‘Science Lecturer’, am I close?”

    Yes, you are close. Science is my field, but lecturing is only something I do occasionally.

    Reply
  131. Aquaman You wrote: Hmmmm. I don’t see any date of December 27th for Truman Sleeps on my copy. Here’s the best transcript I could come up with from my DVD.

    On my DVD here is the following sequence that leads up to what I’m talking about. Lot of detail listed for you, but I thought it might help work out where our DVDs differ. Scene opens with the boys looking at the computer screen shot of songs (Time: 3:17 and “Artist Alex and Megan”), then moves to ‘Name’ and we see ‘Tennesse Stud, Downhill, Way I am, I’m Yours etc’). Typing into screen ‘rel and henry both want me to tell you how much they love downhill’, continues Nev types in ‘it’s all downhill from here’ song into google. They discuss/conclude at this point Megan ‘covered’ a song. Rel finds the Amy Kuney song on Facebook and points it out to Nev, ‘see, Amy Kuney’, Rel says. Nev continues to investigate, looks at ‘Tenessee Stud’, views the Suzanne Choffel version of ‘TS’. Few more bits here and then Nev asks for explanation: ‘It’s a cover song’ is the reply. Conversation continues between boys, ‘you never talked to Abby?’ Discuss newspapers articles, talk about gallery, locates gallery, Rel doing searches, finds listing, calls Irving Krellwitz (the guy I wrote to), confirms it’s been empty for four years, next call with Angela ‘hey Angela what’s up…with Rel and Henry here getting ready to go over and film some dance’. Angela goes on to say ‘got a couple of offers on your paintings last night’ she ends with ‘things are going well’ and Nev says to camera ‘she’s just a liar’. How could she just lie to me like that?’

    Your notes/point of reference say: “Things are going well.” Then Nev says “Just a liar. How could she just lie to me like that?” Then we see a Facebook entry for Megan Faccio which is the Truman Sleeps upload with timestamp.

    I don’t have this timestamp part you refer to. Here is the continuation of where I left off from on my DVD version.

    Next shot Megan Faccio facebook, shows Truman Sleeps at top, under this: ‘Between You and Megan Faccio’ then down, to left – her photo, then text of: ‘Megan Faccio December’. Then Nev says ‘she says she recorded this’. Cut to text on facebook his picture and ‘Yaniv Schulman facebook December 27 at 2.16 pm’. Text on screen reads ‘It’s like you know exactly what I am feeling. I didn’t know you could play the piano too! Is there anyting you can’t do? He says ‘I can’t believe I was so guillible….’ Nev looks up ‘Truman Sleeps’ on YouTube. Listens to it, transition to dance scene from Vail then cuts to chair lift scene.

    Mmmmm..as Shakespeare would write: ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’. 🙂

    I’m thinking maybe we exchange PO Box addresses and mail each other a copy of the versions we have? Your thoughts? At least this way we could review each others primary sources. At least from my perspective we should primarily work from the same foundation and then move to consider the variances in the different versions? Do I sound scientific, I’m not, but I’m trying to be based on ‘logic’.

    Aquaman you wrote: Yes, you are close. Science is my field, but lecturing is only something I do occasionally.

    Mmmm..interesting, that I got close. I’m now considering that you are possibly a ‘forensic scientist’, ‘blood splatter expert’, ‘marine biologist’ or (at the very least something that requires incredible attention to detail with extreme emotional detachment). I’m going for ‘forensic scientist’. Am I getting closer?

    BTW: Just wondering, on a scientific level, would DNA last, as in, is it plausible to put one’s spit into paint and one’s hair strands into art works as a form of claiming future copyright/IP ownership? I’m not asking on a legal level, but rather a scientific level. I apologise if the answer is obvious, however I know very little about science, I’m ‘almost’ exclusively arts based.

    That being said: bet you know a lot of Latin terms and phrases. I do too! Now how could that be, if I’m not into science? I’ll let you figure that out.

    Finally….I’m thinking you’re either a Virgo or a Scorpio…got my bet on Virgo. Am I close?

    Anyway, waiting with ‘baited’ breath to find out your thoughts on the next inconsistency within our ‘semi’ mutual points of reference.

    Oh….BTW…what do you think we should focus on next? Any thoughts on this? I have a few, but I’ll wait for your position and recommendations.

    L

    Reply
  132. PS: Aquaman, I enjoyed the test! I respect your position of ‘[not wanting] to taint my research’. Quite ‘valiant’ of you!

    Look forward to waking up tomorrow to read your next post.

    Reply
  133. You wrote: ” Next shot Megan Faccio facebook, shows Truman Sleeps at top, under this: ‘Between You and Megan Faccio’ then down, to left – her photo, then text of: ‘Megan Faccio December’. Then Nev says ‘she says she recorded this’. Cut to text on facebook his picture and ‘Yaniv Schulman facebook December 27 at 2.16 pm’. Text on screen reads ‘It’s like you know exactly what I am feeling. I didn’t know you could play the piano too! Is there anyting you can’t do? He says ‘I can’t believe I was so guillible….’ Nev looks up ‘Truman Sleeps’ on YouTube. Listens to it, transition to dance scene from Vail then cuts to chair lift scene.”

    My version obviously is showing a different Facebook screen shot for Truman Sleeps. Camera shows the Facebook entries:

    *Megan Faccio June 18 at 2:07pm “for you… :)” Song: Truman Sleeps Artist: Megan*

    *Yaniv Schulman June 18 at 3:56pm “It’s like you know exactly what I am feeling. “I didn’t know you could play the piano too! Is there anything you can’t do?”*

    Yes, something is rotten here. Why is the same song uploaded by Megan on both June 18 and December 27th? And why does Nev respond exactly the same in both date versions? Did these guys and/or their producers/editors manipulate data and Facebook entries after-the-fact? Why was this done? Is it to cover-up lies or misrepresentations? What is the explanation for this?

    You wrote: “I’m thinking maybe we exchange PO Box addresses and mail each other a copy of the versions we have? Your thoughts?”

    We can’t do that. We have incompatible DVD versions of Catfish. Our DVD players will not play foreign versions. I can only view Region 1 DVDs and you can only view Region 4 DVDs. Look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code .

    Take a look at your DVD case. Does it say Region 4?

    “Am I getting closer?”

    I’m a freelance science writer and consultant.

    “Just wondering, on a scientific level, would DNA last, as in, is it plausible to put one’s spit into paint and one’s hair strands into art works as a form of claiming future copyright/IP ownership? I’m not asking on a legal level, but rather a scientific level.”

    It’s not a practical way to authenticate paintings. It’s like Angela was writing a cheesy fiction novel when she told of Abby spitting and planting hairs. Saliva contains little to no DNA and even if it did would be nearly impossible to extract from a painting canvas. Hair strands would only be a reliable source of DNA if they included the follicle (root) which has a tiny amount of flesh.

    “Finally….I’m thinking you’re either a Virgo or a Scorpio…got my bet on Virgo. Am I close?”

    I’m a Leo.

    “what do you think we should focus on next?”

    When did they arrive in Vail to work at the dance festival? What is their date of arrival?

    Reply
  134. Abby’s email to Nev: “That party looked like more fun than our party. It’s kinda hard for me to believe that you’re the same age as my brothers.”

    Ms Curious wrote: “What I noticed was the plural ‘brothers’. At the time Abby/Angela is writing this email there was only one brother (Alex). I suppose this was an accidental slip on Angela’s part (reality mixing with fantasy for a moment – two brothers being the two handicapped boys).”

    I think I found the second brother that Abby was referring to. Look what Henry Joost said: “The family in Michigan was exciting. Angela was the matriarch, a 40-year-old mom looking after kids from two marriages, their friends and worrying about her son Anthony over in Iraq.”

    A soldier son Anthony in Iraq and a musician son Alex in Ishpeming. There was no mention of the soldier son in the movie.

    http://www.thewrap.com/movies/blog-post/catfish-director-blogs-20874?page=0,1

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  135. Aquaman, excellent find re: Joost’s statement about the soldier son. There is no solider son in my DVD version either. I think you are probably right that this accounts for the use of ‘brothers’ in Abby/Angela’s email. It seems then that unbeknownst to the audience Nev had received some form of communication from Angela as Abby that outlined the family structure and included not only the imaginary Alex (with the band), but also another imaginary son Anthony (the solider).

    Why do you think that was left out of/or cut from the film?

    You wrote:Yes, something is rotten here. Why is the same song uploaded by Megan on both June 18 and December 27th? And why does Nev respond exactly the same in both date versions? Did these guys and/or their producers/editors manipulate data and Facebook entries after-the-fact? Why was this done? Is it to cover-up lies or misrepresentations? What is the explanation for this?

    I was just as surprised as you to discover the different dates used and then to see the same words follow. More editing screw ups perhaps…? I don’t think there’s any doubt there was manipulation of data after the fact, but I’m not sure what the purpose would be? That being said, the scene supposedly occurs while they are in Vail (sometime between 2 August and 9 August or thereabouts), if your version has June and its in the scene where they uncover the whole music fake situation then June feels a lot better for a time frame of putting the song up. If it was really December as my version shows, well then it’s a long time not to become suspicious or run searches. I think continuity wise/credibility wise it probably suited them to alter December to June. Hope I’ve made sense here.

    You wrote: We can’t do that. We have incompatible DVD versions of Catfish. Our DVD players will not play foreign versions.

    Sorry, I didn’t even think of that.

    You suggest the next point of focus should be: ‘When did they arrive in Vail to work at the dance festival? What is their date of arrival?’

    Why do I suspect you already know the answer to this question? 🙂 I’ll have a look and see what I can find. We know that Nev mentions in voicemail to Megan – Vail from 2nd to 9th, however as to when they actually arrive in Vail, mmmmm this will take some figuring out.

    I’ve got something interesting to tell you directly related to the film hoax/doco element, but I’ll put in the next post.

    L

    Reply
  136. Aquaman, you wrote: We have incompatible DVD versions of Catfish.

    I spoke with a friend tonight and he suggested you take a screen shot of your ‘Truman Sleeps’ and he’ll take one of my version. Then we could exchange them. I don’t know how to put up a screen shot on here, but my friend said he would do it for me.

    You noted your version reads: Megan Faccio June 18 at 2:07pm “for you 🙂 ” Song: Truman Sleeps Artist: Megan*

    In my description of the facebook scene I ommitted by accident,
    that I too have the words ‘for you and a smiley face written as a colon and a bracket). As I noted though, mine just says December, while yours apparently has June 18 2.07 pm. The camera angle on mine doesn’t show the date or the time, just the month.

    Under smiley face, is a blue key with a little hand just about to press it, Song: Truman S (the letters ‘leep’ are cut off due to camera angle). Artist: Megan

    I get the ‘full’ date and time only when the scene shows: Yaniv Schulman facebook December 27 at 2.16 pm’ followed by the words I’ve noted ‘It’s like you know exactly what I am feeling. I didn’t know you could play the piano too! Is there anything you can’t do?’

    I’m still quite blown away about this discrepancy in our versions.

    This was not the interesting thing I was going to tell you though, that will be in next post. Just not sure how you will react.

    So…the fact that I even have the smiley face in mine etc really does point to some kind of serious manipulation going on here. Like someone ripped out December and replaced it with June etc.

    Reply
  137. Aquaman, please read my two previous posts first and then this one.

    You wrote: I have not contacted anybody from the film and don’t intend to either. I’m just not interested.

    And you also wrote: ‘I don’t trust those guys to tell the truth. I’ve watched the Q&A extra on the DVD, the ABC 20/20 program and read numerous printed interviews. I think they are engaging in deflection, hyperbole and strawman arguments’.

    Well I did email Nev, on 28 Feb. I complimented the film, but asked politely if he could explain why the scene in Illinois has mountains in the background, especially when he claims ‘continuity in clips’.

    I received a reply today 4 March. I have pasted it below for you. (I’ve removed my name from the email reply I’m posting here and just put in *****

    Hello *****,
    Thanks for reaching out.
    I’m not really interested in hearing about why you think the movie isn’t real.
    I was there. I lived it.
    The shot of us driving from the Chicago airport is in fact a shot of us driving to the Denver airport.
    So congrats…you discovered a 6 hour inconsistency that is completely meaningless.
    Even documentaries need to be edited.

    Thanks

    Yaniv

    Aquaman, I didn’t say the movie wasn’t real in my email to him, I just posed a polite question in respect to an incontinuity. So there you have it, as you expected the reply dismissed the query. However, he does provide information on where he claims the footage really was taken from. Does this make any sense to you? As you know my geography is poor in respect to the US so I don’t know whether this claim is reasonable, or how this fits or doesn’t fit potentially into the time frame/feasibility of the whole thing etc.

    I only mentioned that one incontinuity and did not mention this blog.

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the Denver aspect he mentions.

    I hope you’re not annoyed that I emailed Nev. I just can’t help myself…curiousity always gets the better of me.

    L

    Reply
  138. You wrote: “Why do you think that (Anthony) was left out of/or cut from the film?”

    I don’t know.

    You wrote: “I was just as surprised as you to discover the different dates used and then to see the same words follow. More editing screw ups perhaps…? I don’t think there’s any doubt there was manipulation of data after the fact, but I’m not sure what the purpose would be? That being said, the scene supposedly occurs while they are in Vail (sometime between 2 August and 9 August or thereabouts), if your version has June and its in the scene where they uncover the whole music fake situation then June feels a lot better for a time frame of putting the song up. If it was really December as my version shows, well then it’s a long time not to become suspicious or run searches. I think continuity wise/credibility wise it probably suited them to alter December to June. Hope I’ve made sense here.”

    We don’t know if your version is showing December 2007, or 2008, or even 2009. Many computer screen shots were done after the principal filming and some could have been done a very long time afterwards. Regardless, it is puzzling why this specific song upload and message exchange would not have the same date stamp in the two DVD versions. Why are the producers (or whomever) using two different computer screen captures for the same bit of information?

    Please find out when the Australian version of the DVD was released for sale. My version was released on January 4, 2011.

    You wrote: “We know that Nev mentions in voicemail to Megan – Vail from 2nd to 9th, however as to when they actually arrive in Vail, mmmmm this will take some figuring out.”

    Oh really? Not on my version! Hmmm. He never once mentions August 2nd in my version, nor is that date shown in any message or text. Please give his full quote and the context as well.

    My DVD version: We see narration text (white letters on black background) on the screen saying “In August, Nev, Rel, and Henry are invited to make a dance film in Vail, Colorado.”

    Then to a shot of Nev sitting at his computer desk holding a phone to his ear and obviously leaving a voicemail for Megan.. He says, “…message… (beep sound)… Hey Megan… Nev… 6 o’clock Sunday. Uh, I guess we just got cut off G-Chat. Uh, you know I’m leaving tomorrow for Vail. I don’t know what your schedule is like for the next two weeks, but Rel and Henry and I are gonna be out there until the 9th for the Vail Dance Festival. So, I don’t know, but maybe you and your mom and Abby and Joelle should come out for a weekend. Or, because you’re kind of halfway there… you can fly to Denver… I don’t know… it’s an idea. So, you can call me, I’m at the office or on my cell phone, love to talk to you before I leave tonight. Bye.”

    Then the screen shows Google Earth “flying” from NYC straight to Vail. There is no graphic indication of a flight to Denver then a rental car driven to Vail. I had actually been assuming that they flew from NYC to Vail (Eagle County Airport).

    If your version definitively has Nev saying they would arrive in Vail on August 2nd then we have a very bizarre situation. Pay close attention to what he is saying to Megan (on voicemail) in my version. He is leaving the message on a Sunday at 6pm. He says he is leaving for Vail the following day which is a Monday. He invites Megan (and family) to come meet them in Vail some time in the next 2 weeks… because (we must assume) he will be in Vail for 2 weeks. He suggests coming out for “a weekend” which suggests a choice of more than one possible weekend. What I am suggesting is that this voicemail indicates that the guys were in Vail for almost the entire duration of the dance festival. Vail Dance Festival 2008 was from Sunday, July 27 through Saturday, August 9.

    The voicemail suggests their arrival in Vail on Monday, July 28 and departure on Saturday, August 9. This is exactly two weeks in Vail, coinciding with him asking Megan about her schedule for the “next two weeks”. That period also includes one full weekend. I think we might rule out the possibility of Nev talking about going to Vail on the following Monday which is August 4th.

    “I spoke with a friend tonight and he suggested you take a screen shot of your ‘Truman Sleeps’ and he’ll take one of my version. Then we could exchange them. I don’t know how to put up a screen shot on here, but my friend said he would do it for me.”

    That isn’t possible for me to do, nor am I interested in doing it. You are welcome to post any of your own screenshots however.

    “So…the fact that I even have the smiley face in mine (Truman Sleeps upload and message) etc really does point to some kind of serious manipulation going on here. Like someone ripped out December and replaced it with June etc.”

    Or someone ripped out June and replaced it with December. Or who knows what the explanation for this is.

    “However, he does provide information on where he claims the (mountain) footage really was taken from. Does this make any sense to you? As you know my geography is poor in respect to the US so I don’t know whether this claim is reasonable, or how this fits or doesn’t fit potentially into the time frame/feasibility of the whole thing etc.”

    I already stated that the footage must have been from Colorado. It makes perfect sense. The mountains look just like they do in that vicinity. They are almost certainly driving on I-70 between Vail and Denver. Their clothing matches what we will see them wearing later in Illinois and Michigan at the farm.

    Nev’s attitude in his email is pretty much like how he is in interviews. He is a bit more polite when he is going on the record however. I’m not surprised at all. But he is correct that the out-of-place mountain scene does nothing to show that the film “isn’t real”.

    Reply
  139. CP: “How much footage did you shoot?”

    ARIEL: “Over 200 hours, most of it taking place in the last week [when we were in Michigan]. The first eight months, like I said, were just background. We had no idea we had such a complex story. So, maybe just an hour, two hours from the first months and then more than 200 from the last week.”

    What? Over 200 hours of footage from Michigan? How many days were you there? How many hours are in a day? How can anyone take you seriously, Rel?

    We are often told that these guys film each other constantly as a habit. It doesn’t even matter if something interesting is going on. They just film perpetually. But for some strange reason we are expected to believe that there was almost no filming during the first 8 months after Nev met Abby online. Rel was supposed to be doing a documentary on art prodigy Abby and yet only had a hour or two of footage. This is even after many months of Nev having the awesome online relationship. Why wasn’t there many dozens or hundreds of hours for that whole period?

    They want you to believe contradictory things…

    We film each other all the time in NYC and where ever we go.

    We didn’t film each other much at all until the last week.

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/film/2010/09/24/qa-catfishs-henry-joost-ariel-schulman-and-nev-schulman/

    Reply
  140. Hi Aquaman, here is the transcript of my scene re: going to Vail.

    On screen in text:
    In, August, Nev, Rel, and Henry
    are invited to make a dance film
    in Vail, Colorado.

    Beep, (comes in while text above is still on screen).
    Transition to a shot of screen with a list (address book) showing list of Megans on left and on right shot of screen shows words Megan Faccio, mobile number (blurred out). ‘Hey Megan, 6’oclock Sunday. I guess you just got kicked off G-chat. Ahhh, umm, you know I’m leaving tomorrow for Vail’.

    Transition shot here (Nev holding phone and sitting at desk).

    I don’t know what your schedule is like for the next two weeks, but Rel and Henry and I will be out there from 2nd until the 9th for the Vail dance festival.

    Change of shot to sign over a bridge, then airport luggage tray.

    ‘So, I don’t know, but maybe your mum and Abby and Joelle can come out for a weekend’.

    Black screen for a second, then shot of Joost’s face, the shot of luggage conveyor belt.

    ‘So you can call me at the office or on my cell. Love to talk to you before I leave tonight’.

    Next shot plane and we see Nev’s office written google map style.

    So there you have it, some differences it would appear. You don’t mention all the transitions I have in mine.

    You wrote: The voicemail suggests their arrival in Vail on Monday, July 28 and departure on Saturday, August 9. This is exactly two weeks in Vail, coinciding with him asking Megan about her schedule for the “next two weeks”. That period also includes one full weekend. I think we might rule out the possibility of Nev talking about going to Vail on the following Monday which is August 4th.

    You’re probably right, based on your version of the DVD.

    You wrote: That isn’t possible for me to do, nor am I interested in doing it. You are welcome to post any of your own screenshots however.

    Just an idea.

    I remember you mentioning the list of Megans (you wrote something like ‘dude knows a lot of Megans’). So obviously you have that screen shot somewhere in your DVD, I’m just wondering if it’s in the same place that my screen shot of this appears.

    You wrote: My version was released on January 4, 2011.

    Someone in this household threw out the DVD cover, (I can only assume they were hoping the actual DVD was inside it), so I don’t have that anymore. DVD was still in portable DVD player so they didn’t quite succeed in their attempt to prevent any more replays by me.

    A ‘Leo’ you say, mmmmm…..yep that makes sense.

    L

    Shot

    Beep, (comes

    Reply
  141. I didn’t write about the transition scenes during the voicemail call but they seem similar to what you mention.

    Well, we have a another significant difference in DVD versions. It seems that two nearly identical scenes were filmed by Rel. The difference being that one says August 2nd for Vail and the other basically rules out August 2nd.

    My suspicion is that one or both of these scenes is staged and Nev is not really leaving a message for Megan. It’s fake. They explicitly stated that there were no staged or re-created scenes. I think this is evidence that deserves a comprehensive explanation.

    There is certainly something rotten with this and also the upload citations of Truman Sleeps for both June and December.

    Reply
  142. When Nev is leaving the Vail schedule voicemail for Megan he is sitting at his computer wearing a grey t-shirt. We can see the office space behind him is flooded with sunlight coming through the front window (area by the sofa).

    Does this visual match your scene too?

    Reply
  143. Aquaman you wrote: When Nev is leaving the Vail schedule voicemail for Megan he is sitting at his computer wearing a grey t-shirt. We can see the office space behind him is flooded with sunlight coming through the front window (area by the sofa).

    Yes, he is wearing a grey t-shirt, office space behind, flooded with sunglight, orange sofa in background. As you describe above.

    Almost identical then, apart from some slight variations in the dialogue. By way of example, mine says ‘Rel, Henry and I will be out there…’ yours appears to say ‘gonna be out there’.

    You wrote: My suspicion is that one or both of these scenes is staged and Nev is not really leaving a message for Megan. It’s fake. They explicitly stated that there were no staged or re-created scenes. I think this is evidence that deserves a comprehensive explanation. There is certainly something rotten with this and also the upload citations of Truman Sleeps for both June and December.

    It would seem so. However, I’m not interested in any more contact with Nev or any of the other filmmakers. It seems likely that they could just put this down to yet another ‘editing issue’ and it doesn’t really prove one way or the other that ‘the story’ is fake. I mean, to date we’ve gathered a lot of ‘evidence’ that the ‘clips aren’t in chronological order’ as Nev claimed, but he can just dismiss this with a glib ‘editing’ incontinuities.

    You wrote: ARIEL: “Over 200 hours, most of it taking place in the last week [when we were in Michigan]. The first eight months, like I said, were just background. We had no idea we had such a complex story. So, maybe just an hour, two hours from the first months and then more than 200 from the last week.” What? Over 200 hours of footage from Michigan? How many days were you there? How many hours are in a day? How can anyone take you seriously, Rel?

    Well all I can say to this revelation is for such a short amount of filming pre Michigan, it takes a very long time to get to the point where any real action takes place.

    Of course this also seems odd on the level that they were originally supposed to making a doco about Abby and her painting, so how come they don’t shoot lots about that in the early months pre-Michigan? How come, these doco makers don’t do the slightest bit of research about their alleged primary subject (Abby)? It seems very odd to be making a doco with any level of seriousness and not to research anything. A flimsy search by Nev for Abby on google, doesn’t start looking at possibility of newspaper articles about gallery opening, or prizes until Vail, Joost asks Nev during Vail hotel scene for the address of the gallery, repeats the word Ishpmeing as if he’s never heard it before. So we are to believe that they run around with a camera all the time, but for some reason don’t do much filming in the time when the whole thing starts, nobody does any research at all, when they do discover the building at 100 N Main is still up for sale, they don’t take the next logical step and search Megan’s farm link? Nope, because then the audience would know that they already knew the farm was vacant.

    You know, one thing that sticks out in my mind, though of course it can’t really be proven either way. Why doesn’t Nev pick up on the similarity in voices (Angela and Megan). I understand genetically (mother/daughter) there could be a similarity, but even the pauses, laughter etc is so almost exact. But once again, this can just be put down to Nev wasn’t looking into this too deeply, just swept away in the moment.

    My mind is starting to get blurry from watching and re-watching the film over and over again. I probably need to step back for a while and re-watch in a couple of weeks with a fresh perspective.

    I wrote to Angela via Panorama a few times but didn’t get any reply until today. In one email I’d complimented her art work, in another her photography and asked where I could find more recent blogs, in the more recent email I’d asked how I might get a hold of the copy of the book she claimed to release in 2009, ‘The Nine Months After Motherhood Ends’ as I couldn’t find it anywhere for sale and the only reference to it appeared in her blog announcing ‘book released today’..and then a whole lot of stuff about having to run around and make appearances.

    Here’s the reply I got back today:

    You need to get a life.

    I found that quite rude and not in keeping with the portrayal of her as ‘gentle, compassionate, harmless’ etc in the film. In fact, for someone who went to such lengths ‘to get a life’ of her own, it’s a bit rich. That being said, perhaps I hit a nerve, perhaps there is no book and it’s just another thing created from her imagination. I don’t know anymore.

    I did however, find it curious that I receive replies from both Nev and Angela so close together.

    But I don’t suppose you’re interested in any of this anyway.

    Reply
  144. Aquaman…….my friend just arrived and has insisted I remove myself from this computer and banned me from speaking about ‘Catfish’ for the rest of the day.

    You’re lucky, you don’t seem to be an emotional type of person, you seem to be able to probe deeply into things without becoming personally involved in anything. I’m very much the opposite. Probably, way too sensitive for my own good.

    Though I know you won’t be interested, here’s a poem I wrote:

    The Net
    I trapped a fish within my gate and caught some whales with dinner plates. My trees now flower all the stars, I’ve tamed some flames within a glass. I’ve caged all birds with plumage rare they cannot fly and would not dare. And running streams I’ve put in vials, their flow controlled with little dials. Winter and summer are at my command and I’ve tied the tide onto the land. The moon suspended from my chain, and all the pretty now are plain. I’ve turned back time, and pushed it forward, and made the vanquished win the war. But though I’ve tried my best it’s true, it seems I cannot capture you.

    I’m going for a long walk on the beach now.

    L

    Reply
  145. You wrote: “It would seem so. However, I’m not interested in any more contact with Nev or any of the other filmmakers. It seems likely that they could just put this down to yet another ‘editing issue’ and it doesn’t really prove one way or the other that ‘the story’ is fake. I mean, to date we’ve gathered a lot of ‘evidence’ that the ‘clips aren’t in chronological order’ as Nev claimed, but he can just dismiss this with a glib ‘editing’ incontinuities.”

    This can’t be done by editing. His lips match the words coming out of his mouth. These are two different “film takes” of him saying the same basic message with certain changes. It’s like the Director said “cut” and then had him do it again with different dates. The USA and Australian DVDs show the two different takes.

    This seems to be slam dunk evidence that they lied to everyone about there being no re-enacted, staged or scripted scenes.

    Maybe the reason why these guys are always so neurotically knee-jerk defensive about the film being “real” is because it isn’t real. They know that we know it. 🙂

    Reply
  146. Aquaman I just received this email from Angela:

    My attorney forwarded this link to me today.

    http://www.rowthree.com/2010/10/22/catfish-why-the-hoax-is-probably-fake/comment-page-2/

    Wow. You’re a worse mental case than me.

    Really, step away from the internet. You’re sick.

    So, there you have it. Now we have Angela reading ‘rowthree’ and obviously her attorney as well. Perhaps she’d care to comment on some of the issues raised.

    Seriously, I’m starting to get quite creeped out by this woman, which is so odd because originally I felt so sad for her situation.

    Interestingly, she still doesn’t provide me with a link on how to purchase the book I’d asked about.

    I guess the only thing we know for sure is that Angela is a talented artist.

    Reply
  147. Aquaman, you wrote: ‘Maybe the reason why these guys are always so neurotically knee-jerk defensive about the film being “real” is because it isn’t real. They know that we know it.

    Could be the case, might even account for Angela’s seriously hostile reaction (refer posting below in respect to the latest email from her I received). One thing I can say for sure is that Nev is certainly a lot more pleasant in the email reply I received from him than Angela is in the emails she continues to send to me.

    However, I’m wondering what it is you plan on doing with all this research? Is your end goal to present Nev and co with all of the information gathered and ask for explanations? Or is it more that you just want to prove on the balance of probabilities that the film isn’t a doco, or that at the very least Nev knew about Angela’s deceptions a lot earlier?

    I suspect that whatever we dig up, no matter how damming, they will all have some semi-plausible counter argument or excuse, ‘editing issues, re-shot because of glitch when filming: but still true representation of events’, ‘Nev didn’t pick up on that because he’s very guillible’, ‘none of us had ever heard of ‘The Truman Show’ so no wonder ‘Truman Sleeps’ didn’t ring a bell for us’…’we were making a documentary about Abby but none of us thought to actually undertake any research, we’re film fans afterall’……and on and on and on.

    As for Angela…well anything that doesn’t ring true that she says in the film well it can just be put down to another one of her long list of deceptions.

    So….tell me…..what is your goal?

    Reply
  148. Hilarious! Angela is in the audience. Her contractual agreement may prevent her from talking about the movie.

    She thinks you are “a worse mental case” than she is. That is some awesome stuff. Psychos dissing on psychos, LOL. You probably scare her because you go beyond researching and actually contact the principals. Mix in the emotional investment and catch-all symbolism seeking. She’s thinking – stalker. You probably sent a chill up her spine when you mentioned wanting to find out about little Lauren. Oh Lordy, that curious chick is going for her email or phone number to ask questions.

    We need Rel with the camera to film the Catfish sequel. Angela meets Ms. Curious and the fur flies. They can call it Bonefish.

    Ms Curious wrote: “A flimsy search by Nev for Abby on google, doesn’t start looking at possibility of newspaper articles about gallery opening, or prizes until Vail, Joost asks Nev during Vail hotel scene for the address of the gallery, repeats the word Ishpmeing as if he’s never heard it before. So we are to believe that they run around with a camera all the time, but for some reason don’t do much filming in the time when the whole thing starts, nobody does any research at all, when they do discover the building at 100 N Main is still up for sale, they don’t take the next logical step and search Megan’s farm link? Nope, because then the audience would know that they already knew the farm was vacant.”

    You have the same theory that I do. They already knew the farm was vacant and that Megan didn’t live there. They wanted the audience to think that they didn’t know because otherwise there would be no suspense, drama and discovery. The stolen songs scene in Vail is staged and the visit to the farm is staged as well. Neither scene would require a written script but rather they just knew what they needed to convey and accomplish for theatrical impact. Just act surprised. Just act disappointed. We can edit out anything that sounds or looks overly fake or contrived. If we slip up and accidentally say something that reveals that “we already know” then we can just cut that out of the movie.

    It simply isn’t rational to think that these guys did not conclude that the farm was bogus and vacant while they were still in Vail. We witnessed them learning that all the songs had been stolen. That Abby’s art gallery building was bogus and vacant. That both Angela and Megan were lying about these things and were apparently complicit in family telling lies together. It wasn’t simply Megan that was claiming to record fake songs – it was Angela too. Both of them had uploaded stolen songs. It wasn’t simply Angela who had faked the Abby art gallery building… Megan went along with it too. Nev even says twice, “They are complete psychopaths!” He was using plural because he already knows each of them is lying. Joost suggests that they look up the realty listing for the gallery and they find the scam. Of course they would then move to researching the farm in the same way. Nev had the link to the real estate listing.

    Why would they think the farm was totally bogus? Because they already know that virtually everything is a scam. They know the songs are bogus. They know the art gallery is bogus. They know that there is no accounting for the postcards that were mailed to the farm seven weeks ago. Megan didn’t get the postcards because she doesn’t live at that address. They already know all of this stuff when they are “brainstorming and researching the lies” at the table in Vail. Yet, they are going to act like the farm is really where Megan lives when they go there. For me, it is all blatantly obvious acting and staging. Watching the scenes repeatedly reveals the really poor performances and oddball non-genuine lines and reactions.

    Reply
  149. I would like to thank this thread for relieving me of any interest I had in dissecting Catfish.

    What started off as an interesting discussion has become so utterly boring (and for the most part irrelevant (although I stopped reading MANY posts ago)) that any useful insight has been overtaken by useless bickering over minute details that anyone who has any idea how films are put together could explain.

    This is just a dressed up version of “who would win in a fight, Gandalf or the wizard from Harry Potter?”. BORING.

    “This may (or may not) become the GOTO thread for Catfish conspiracy!”

    Ugh, I certainly hope not! (Well, if it brings traffic to RowThree, sure. Conversation wise? No.)

    Reply
  150. There is a lot of great stuff in here but it could do with an abbreviated version. The GOTO for ‘exhaustive’ (both meanings).

    Would like to see the Truman screenshots… this seems weird, claims of two versions of that and conversation

    Reply
  151. Hi Mike,

    I found a partial screenshot of the Truman Sleeps for the USA version. It’s showing what Nev wrote in response to Megan posting/uploading the song. You can see the date and time of June 18th 3:56pm.

    Look at 00:29:07 – http://hotimagehost.com/images/94901124424556289889.jpg

    Also again look at 00:24:57 to see the two side-by-side chat windows where Nev is simultaneously live chatting with “meganfaccio” and “Megan Faccio”.

    Reply
  152. Mike you wrote: ‘Would like to see the Truman screenshots… this seems weird, claims of two versions of that and conversation’

    My version definately runs as: Cut to text on facebook his picture and ‘Yaniv Schulman facebook December 27 at 2.16 pm’. Text on screen reads ‘It’s like you know exactly what I am feeling. I didn’t know you could play the piano too! Is there anyting you can’t do?

    I had offered to get a friend to take a screen shot of this, but Aquaman you said you weren’t interested in it. I’m not tech savy so I’ll have to ask my friend again and then I’ll post it up here for your comparision.

    Reply
  153. You misunderstand me, Jay. When I say the go-to thread for “CONSPIRACY” — I mean it in the same way the moon landing folks obsess over extreme minutae. Dont’ get me wrong, I enjoy reading some of the thread, but it has seemed have been derailed at some point, with only two people in the conversation!

    Reply
  154. Aquaman, I had a look back and this is what I wrote:

    “I spoke with a friend tonight and he suggested you take a screen shot of your ‘Truman Sleeps’ and he’ll take one of my version. Then we could exchange them. I don’t know how to put up a screen shot on here, but my friend said he would do it for me.”

    You replied: ‘That isn’t possible for me to do, nor am I interested in doing it. You are welcome to post any of your own screenshots however.

    That implied to me that you weren’t interested. It seemed a bit futile for me to go to the trouble of putting up a screen shot of my version, based on your reply. At that point, it seemed to me that only you and I were actually still in this blog.

    If I somehow misinterpreted what you wrote, then I’m sorry.

    Reply
  155. Ms Curious, read what you wrote again. It translates to…

    Aquaman said that Mike Rot is not interested in a screenshot.

    I never said that.

    Reply
  156. Aquaman, what the hell are you talking about? I didn’t say you said that Mike Rot is not interested in a screen shot’. I’m sorry if that’s how it reads. I keep forgetting we need to be so careful of exactly how we write things in this blog.

    I thought, by posting up the context of what I’d written and how you’d replied that what I had said or tried to say, would be clear.

    Whatever….

    Reply
  157. Hey Aquaman…have sent my screen shots directly to Mike, (didn’t know how to post them on here), so I just forwarded via email (the way I got them from my friend) on to Mike.

    BTW: Something else that’s different here in respect to our versions and this particular scene, is the pic of Nev. In your version he appears to be wearing a tie, in mine (it’s the picture of him that Megan sketched,….you know arms on chest looking half asleep etc).

    Reply
  158. “In your version he appears to be wearing a tie, in mine (it’s the picture of him that Megan sketched,….you know arms on chest looking half asleep etc).”

    Yes, in my version this particular screenshot (Truman Sleeps upload) is the only time we see the Facebook profile pic of Nev with that tie. I’m not even sure that it’s actually a picture of Nev himself.

    I found an Australian site for Catfish. It has some high-res clips and images from the movie. The clips appear to be from the USA version. You can see instances of “Pierce” being blurred out. Hopscotch Films is the Aussie distributor…

    http://www.hopscotchfilms.com.au/catfish

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  159. ‘And then there was one!’ …………………………………………..

    Hello All /Anyone reading this blog/Mike/Kurt/Jay C & Aquaman
    I’ve had enough of focusing on just one aspect of this film (hoax/doco). I’ve attempted to broaden the scope, but this has proved impossible, (no one here for what seems forever has been interested in exploring symbolism or any other artistic aspect of the film, thematic, entertainment, individualistic etc). Besides, only Aquaman and I have been here for some time anyway. And Aquaman has only one focus! Fact, fact and more fact! Don’t care what you say Aquaman, you do only have one focus! And now, you’re screwing with me on semantics! I do however, still applaud your reseraching…it’s beyond reproach! It’s brilliant…but …It’s just that you don’t seem to have any kind of depth! It’s like playing tennis all by myself! I even asked you directly ‘what is your goal’? Interestingly, I never got a reply.

    I’ve really had it with people like Jay C who chime in with nothing to say about the film, (couldn’t find a single post from you mate…!) All this crap from you about ‘anyone who has any idea how films are put together could explain’…. Well why don’t you? BALL UP! So you know soooooo much about films….but haven’t had the time/ability/intelligence to post one single thing at all in relation to the discussion until now (and all you post is a pithy little criticism! How frickin clever you are! All you’ve done is drop in a bit of criticism on the posts that have been going on, but you haven’t actually ‘ever’ contributed one thing of any substance at all.

    Kurt….I actually replied when you chimed in because I thought for one second that you were enjoying the discussion so I said….’great to see you’ (or something like that). Now, in light of your latest post….(and clarfication to Jay C) well yes, I get it! Are you dudes deliberately trying to kill off this thread?

    I’ve sent the screen shots directly to Mike’s email (they clearly show based on Aquaman’s descriptions of his version vs mine) that there is a huge discrepancy here in respect to his June and my December.

    I think Mike is a wonderful writer, has a generous spirit and will no doubt post some sort of a link so that anyone interested in the differing versions will be able to view what I emailed to him.

    Aquaman, I have enjoyed our conversations (if you want to call them that). But you’re just too one dimensional for me, and everything boils down to fact or not for you. I’m not like that. We could have continued to enjoy our mutual fascination with the film, but it seems to me that your real agenda is ‘recognition’, whereas mine is ‘art’.

    This is my first blog experience, and it will certainly be my last! I never realized how harsh this virtual world could be! Between Aquaman correcting my spelling mistakes, idiots coming in and complaining about the minutae of the discussion but not actually trying to contribute or broaden it and the fact that I’m now receiving daily emails from Angela….I’m over it all! Makes reality look a shit load better. So that’s where I’m going.

    Back to reality…

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  160. Ms Curious wrote: ” I even asked you directly ‘what is your goal’? Interestingly, I never got a reply.”

    I’m still thinking about it.

    “This is my first blog experience, and it will certainly be my last!”

    I was wondering about that. You seem “high-strung” or “wound up tightly” and far too sensitive for typical Internet forum or blog exchanges. There is a kind of learning curve whereby one acquires a thicker skin and does not take things personally. The Internet is categorically different than real life and conversations (such as this blog) do not operate with the same social protocol and customs as they do in real life. In particular, shame, embarrassment and humility are often in short supply or entirely missing from web forums, blogs or chats.

    I know that you are not truly going away. This thread is your new drug.

    I may have made an error when I was talking about DVD regions and our players. It seems that most DVD players sold in Australia may be able to play discs from all regions. You might want to look at the owners manual for your player(s) to see if they are “All Region” models. If so, you could buy the USA version of Catfish and view it on your player. You could try Amazon or eBay.

    My player is only able to play Region 1 (USA/Canada) DVDs and so I cannot watch an Australian or any other foreign version. This is true for most DVD players sold in USA… they are not “All Region” players.

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  161. I think my comment is being held up in moderation because of the links I’ve got in the body. I’ll try again…

    “I’ve really had it with people like Jay C who chime in with nothing to say about the film, (couldn’t find a single post from you mate…!) All this crap from you about ‘anyone who has any idea how films are put together could explain’…. Well why don’t you? BALL UP!”

    Well I’ve been working on this for the past two and a half years:

    http://www.beautydaydocumentary.com

    “So you know soooooo much about films….but haven’t had the time/ability/intelligence to post one single thing at all in relation to the discussion until now (and all you post is a pithy little criticism! How frickin clever you are! All you’ve done is drop in a bit of criticism on the posts that have been going on, but you haven’t actually ‘ever’ contributed one thing of any substance at all.”

    There is life beyond this thread Ms Curious. Some of us have been talking about Catfish on multiple sites and podcasts since last October:

    thedocumentaryblog.com/index.php/2010/10/11/catfish-review-spoilers/

    thedocumentaryblog.com/index.php/2010/10/10/guilty-pleasures-five-documentaries-that-made-me-feel-dirty-after-watching-them/

    thedocumentaryblog.com/index.php/2010/10/05/the-documentary-blog-podcast-episode-3-guest-malcolm-ingram/

    filmjunk.com/2010/10/11/film-junk-podcast-episode-289-the-social-network/

    movieclubpodcast.blogspot.com/2011/02/movie-club-21-f-for-fake-exit-through.html

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  162. Ms Curious sent me the screentshots in png files, and I won’t be able to transfer them to jpgs and post them until I have some free time at home, possibly tonight. I can attest to the fact the screenshots say what she says they say, they look genuine. I still haven’t got back to revisiting my dvd copy, but when I do and if I see this discrepancy play out before my own eyes, I would agree that something is fishy. Although it is a question of how important is this revisionist history? How important is Truman Sleeps in this sequence of the Vail revelation? The song that is said to trigger doubt is not Truman Sleeps but Downhill. Perhaps for the sake of the narrative they chose to lump Truman Sleeps into the Vail section, to extend that scene. He was indeed surprised that Megan could play piano, but some 7 months earlier. It does put a dent in the validity of the scene but it is still entirely possible he heard Truman Sleeps seven months prior, and was only in Vail hearing Megan performing Downhill.

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  163. I zoned out of the discussion too… I think the amount of content Aqua/Ms C put up is just plain overwhelming. If they somehow hooked up over Skype and laid out a long (and I mean they could go looooong) podcast covering the same stuff, I’d gladly listen.

    Don’t see the harm in them keeping going if they’re getting something out if it.

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  164. Hello Goon, you wrote: ‘Don’t see the harm in them [Aquaman and Ms Curious] keeping going if they’re getting something out if it’.

    Thanks for that. That’s how I felt, ‘Where was the harm?’ No one was forced to read anything that Aquaman or I wrote.

    Arguably, we might have both examined the film in a lot more detail than some people would, but doesn’t that boil down to personal taste?

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  165. Aquaman, have ‘you’ disappeared? I miss you! Where is ‘your’ ‘thicker skin’…you know, the one you suggest I find? 🙂
    I still think your research is fantastic! And do keep in mind that Jonathan B wrote: ‘This thread is awesome’ (and only a few days ago). I don’t think that he was joking. Jonathan B seems very genuine, at least from the style, content and positioning of the reviews I’ve read that he’s written, (they have depth)!

    No matter whether the ‘knockers’ (critics here), appreciate it or not…what you’ve achieved is a very detailed annalysis of the film. I appreciate that. I don’t think hard work like yours should be put aside or dismissed, especially by trite ‘one liners’ such as Matt Gamble offers. I think it’s easy to write superficially, just look at Jay C’s style as a prime example. His writing doesn’t do it for me, but hey…that’s just my opinion. His offerings probably get ticks (potentially great ticks from others…who knows). That being said, the 2 year project he’s been working on as a project, ‘Beauty Day’ looks very interesting to me. Isn’t it really different strokes for different folks!

    So……? Your goal in respect to ‘Catfish’? Have you made up your mind yet?

    I’m thinking ‘collaborative project’, I’m thinking title ‘Codswallop’, or ‘Hook, Line & Stinker’ amongst other ideas. I think we’ve basically decided our positions, have similar theories etc….

    Thanks for the tip re: DVD players etc. I ordered my US version of ‘Catfish’ today. My player will play quite a few different regions. Damm shame US players only allow US region play. However, might I suggest TV Shack as a port of call for you, I think you’ll find that site has the cinema release version on it. I think you’ll find a lot more to play with if you view that release.

    Hope you haven’t ‘gone fish’in’! 🙂

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  166. Mr Gamble…how credible are you really? I mean you made some lame arse claim about Aquaman and I being the same person a while ago, here’s what you wrote:

    ‘What’s disturbing is the fact is that you are the same person posting as two different ones. Though truly what distubs me is how terrible at it you are. Any idiot would know not to use the same repetive styles of typing’.

    Gamble…’any idiot’ would be able to spell ‘disturbs’, you write ‘distubs’.

    Gamble….Big problem here is that your allegation had no real foundation in the first place, no ‘substance’. You did no research and ultimately you showed you had no actual ‘backbone’, or ‘fishbone’ (shall we say). You’d never make an attorney! Despite Kurt pointing out 2 different IP addresses, it wasn’t until Goon actually provided the solution and then ‘the goods’, to show that Aquaman and I are indeed two separate people that you well…. So what did you do from there exactly…? Nothing really, apart from vanish….to another spot. Oh yes, after a rather banal kind of apology..which mainly got attention due to its guttural use of metaphor!

    Lot of balls mate, but no….’substance’!

    So….now, whenever I read something you’ve written…I’m thinking to myself,….and exactly how much ‘research has Gamble actually done?’ Most of your stuff is just personal opinion, and that’s fine, ‘sometimes’. Your ‘Rango’ review was quite good, (at least you actually watched the film!). But seriously, you can’t pull the wool over everyone’s eyes with bold face rudeness all the time, irrespective of whether it’s your ‘schtick’ as Kurt put it, or your ‘shit’ as I’d put it.

    Oh…BTW… your sarcasm would probably have a bit more ‘brunt’, if you actually spelt things correctly from time to time.

    You wrote: ‘If their was any justice in this world….

    Didn’t you mean: If ‘there’ was any justice in this world…..

    You’re using the ‘possessive’, when you should be using the ‘general’ Mr Gamble! Oh well, I’ll just put it down to more of your ‘schtick’!

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  167. Jay C, so you’ve been working on ‘Beauty Day’, looks like a great film to me, seriously I mean that (the film looks like it has real potential). I’m looking forward to seeing it! Might I ask your role in respect to the film? Production, editing, sub-editor, props, coffee guy etc?

    Your comment ‘that anyone who has any idea how films are put together could explain….’ annoyed me. Irrespective of whether a first year film student could account for certain discrepanices or not, I think we’d have to agree, based on pure logic…that such discrepancies have to be located in the first place in order to dismiss them. Whereas, based on your logic, we should dismiss prior to locating.

    I did suggest you bring to the discussion your ‘wealth’ of film knowledge and enlighten all as to how such could be accounted for, the ‘such’ being the aspects identified via Aquaman’s careful attention to detail. Don’t you think that assertions by Nev that ‘all clips are chronological’ etc or ‘we didn’t change a thing’ etc are at the very least a bit dubious when you have actual evidence showing different dates, different dialogue amongst other things?

    I’m not suggesting for one minute that there isn’t a considerable amount of fact in the film, however I am dubious as to when the fact stopped and the ‘filmmaker’ stepped in.

    And…if you’re not interested in the thread….why stop in to say you’re bored? Or it’s too long? Why not just stop reading…and t devote yourself to that ‘life outside Catfish’ that you have? Mmmmmm….most curious!

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  168. Kurt, I like your reviews, I like your style, your writing shows research and depth, I think you’re a gentleman. Thank you for posting the links for Jay C, pod cast etc. Read ’em! I get it, so although Jay C hasn’t commented directly on ‘this’ ‘thread’ he’s made ‘many’ other contributions. My issue with Jay C was his criticism ‘here’, on ‘this thread’, when he hadn’t contributed ‘here’, on ‘this thread’. Why not, offer comment then if one is Jay C, on the ‘simplistic’ answers he suggests exist in respect to the issues we’ve found? Mmmmm…I guess that would require Jay C actually looking at the film with more depth. That’s what I meant by ‘Well why don’t you? BALL UP!’ I’d would welcome an informed critcism of what we’ve found, if Jay C bothered to look at the film with ‘real depth’ in the first place. Mike (Rot) offers objective critiscism/thoughts/ etc and bases his position on a foundation of fact. I respect that.

    I just don’t get why this thread is such an issue, ‘where’s the harm’, as Goon so eloquently put it? Or is it annoying to see this blog on a daily basis listed as ‘recent posts?’

    ‘Catfish’ might be done and dusted in the USA, however there are many other countries where the film hasn’t been out for that long. So, at least from my perspective, it’s fair that others like myself from Australia might ‘just’ be discovering a film that you guys have already had for a while (and talked about). We might want to talk about it too. And it’s not like Aquaman and I went over old ground, in fact Aquaman found lots of new things that you guys hadn’t discussed, or even ‘discovered’. And he’s in the USA! Am I to suppose that Australian comments are not welcome? Is this site USA exclusive, I thought not, as one of your ‘staff’ is based in the UK.

    By way of example, ‘Rango’ hasn’t hit our (Aus) cinemas yet. Yet, I found Gamble’s review interesting..it made me want to see the film, (and this is not usually my type of film). I might even want to post a comment at some time after viewing. Is this unacceptable? Isn’t this site for people who are into films? Or do we all have to be ‘in’ film, producers, writers, directors etc?

    Whether you like the ‘ramblings’ of Aquaman and I, Aquaman has posted some pretty awesome information. Not only you, but many others have commented on his ‘detective work’. I believe at some point you referred to him as an ‘intrepid researcher’, I viewed that comment as a compliment.

    Australia may be small…but we’ve produced quite a few fine films ourselves…please keep that in mind…if..and when you feel that a discussion might be going over old ground or potentially becoming another moon landing ‘with folks obsessing in the same way…over extreme minutae’.

    I’m learning that this virtual world is lot less tolerant, kind, or fair (than real life). Despite my friends protests, I’ve resisted involving myself in blogs for a long time now. Please give new people who come here a chance….or don’t you want anyone else apart from the established to join in? Mmmmmm….

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  169. Andrew James, you have a fantastic sense of humour! You made me smile with following words:

    ‘Not trying to derail anything here. As you were. All of you.’

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  170. Jonathan B you wrote: ‘This thread is awesome!’ I thought so too. But do tell, what was it that you liked so much?

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  171. Here are Ms Curious’ screenshots:

    http://www.rowthree.com/2008/03/08/catfish-screenshots/

    If I understand right, insofar as they are genuine, they prove that Nev was aware Megan played piano seven months prior to him stating shock at it in Vail, Colorado and that it would seem at least part of that key scene is staged. Again, I haven’t watched the movie in awhile now, so correct me if I am wrong.

    There was also the issue of two different versions of a phone message between the two versions of the dvd… which would prove Nev was acting out the scene (a key scene too if I remember right). Any chance of capturing the audio on that?

    Like I said in the post, I am fine with some manipulation for the sake of narrative (irrespective of their claim of it being 100% true). If they conflated two musical events into one scene, acting out the Truman stuff after the revelation, so be it, at that point they KNEW they had a movie. The phone message discrepancies might matter more, I just forget what it was about.

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  172. Ms. Curious,

    Regarding Beauty Day, you nailed it. I was the coffee boy.

    I’m glad you think the film has potential. Perhaps once it’s released you and Aquaman can take a pass at it and analyze the reflections in the hubcaps. We’re looking for some pull quotes for the poster…might I suggest:

    “The travel montage seemed to be chronologically sound!” — Aquaman, Row Three Comments Section

    “Irrespective of whether a first year film student could account for certain discrepanices or not, I think we’d have to agree, based on pure logic…that such discrepancies have to be located in the first place in order to dismiss them.”

    This is simply the language of cinema. No offense but 50 comments spent breaking down basic editing techniques is NOT interesting nor is it anyone’s duty to ‘locate’ it for further analyzation. ESPECIALLY when there is no seeming means to that end. DOUBLY ESPECIALLY if the means of that end is simply to prove the film to be fake.

    “Don’t you think that assertions by Nev that ‘all clips are chronological’ etc or ‘we didn’t change a thing’ etc are at the very least a bit dubious when you have actual evidence showing different dates, different dialogue amongst other things?”

    No. Documentary films use whatever techniques they must to tell engaging and entertaining stories. Nev’s statement could be explained a number of ways…uninformed of the editing process, didn’t want to get into the minutia of the editing process, misspoke…it doesn’t immediately equate guilt nor is it an interesting piece of ‘evidence’.

    “I’m not suggesting for one minute that there isn’t a considerable amount of fact in the film, however I am dubious as to when the fact stopped and the ‘filmmaker’ stepped in.”

    That used to be an interesting thought once…until you guys started criticizing the use of shots of mountains where there are no mountains and airports that aren’t chronologically or geographically sound. This is in no way meant to sound elitist or condescending, but it’s very easy for people who haven’t tried to construct a story from documentary footage to criticize a doc filmmaker for stretching the truth. It isn’t until you’re sitting in an editing room with 100 hours of random footage and someone says ‘turn this into an exciting story’ that you start getting creative with your timelines. There’s NOTHING wrong with that. What’s more important, pure fact or an entertaining movie? Does it really matter that the travel montage includes footage that isn’t from that particular trip?? NO. And the fact that it’s such a point of contention is exactly why this whole discussion has become boring and useless in my opinion.

    “And…if you’re not interested in the thread….why stop in to say you’re bored?”

    I’m interested in documentary filmmaking. I am a documentary fan. The conversation started off as a worthy discussion of Catfish. That is long gone. The reason I came back to say it’s boring is more of a response to people saying the thread is awesome. It isn’t. In fact, this thread has turned into everything I hate about a certain segment of documentary audiences. Those who sit in an audience demanding pure truth when they have no fucking clue what that pure truth is (or how to go about achieving it with out utilizing standard filmmaking techniques to create a cinematic experience). You guys are focused on the least interesting aspect of the conversation….the facts and the details. Yes, we’ve all discussed this before: was Nev in on it?? Is Catfish real??? The part of that discussion that seems to be lost here is ‘does it matter’? Or, ‘should I feel guilty for being thoroughly entertained by a film that manipulates its audience and exploits its subjects’? Or ‘what does this mean for non-fiction filmmaking as a whole? What IS a documentary?? ETC., ETC., ETC.

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  173. @Jay

    The question ‘should I feel guilty for being thoroughly entertained’ rests upon whether Nev and the guys knew prior to Colorado that all wasn’t what it seemed and were using Angela to make a documentary.

    from the post: ” For me their version of the story hinges on the authenticity of one scene: the discovery that Meghan did not perform the songs she claimed to. If some of the interviews of Nev were staged at the beginning because of lack of footage that, to me, is excusable and no different than what a lot of documentaries engage in. If the song scene is genuine and place-time specific in Colorado before deciding to surprise visit ‘Meghan’ in Michigan then everything that follows has a strong probability of being authentic.”

    To me it matters whether this scene is authentic, and whether they were really duped until this point because the whole issue of ‘guilt’ you bring up, Jay, relies on them knowing. If they were genuine victims than I don’t feel icky about them making a documentary.

    I agree that a lot of the detail Aquaman/Ms Curious get into is minutiae that seems irrelevant, but occasionally they do hit upon something. It seems from the evidence that The Truman Sleep response in Vail is staged, and that matters to me because it casts doubt about whether the whole scene is staged (and then I am on board with feeling icky about the movie).

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  174. “The question ‘should I feel guilty for being thoroughly entertained’ rests upon whether Nev and the guys knew prior to Colorado that all wasn’t what it seemed and were using Angela to make a documentary.”

    I don’t believe it does. The scene that always comes up…Nev making Angela talk in Megan’s voice… is, in my opinion, a point of contention whether they knew about everything ahead of time or not. Even if one to were assume everything is real, there are still questions that can be raised in regards to Catfish being marketed as a mass appeal ‘reality thriller’ and the onscreen grilling of Angela.

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  175. To add to that, the ‘investigation’ doesn’t have to be completed in order to discuss the fall out of enjoying a film like Catfish from either a deceptive or truthful perspective. Just because someone isn’t sure if it’s real or not doesn’t mean they can’t discuss the moral and ethical issues until the case has been solved.

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  176. “Even if one to were assume everything is real, there are still questions that can be raised in regards to Catfish being marketed as a mass appeal ‘reality thriller’ and the onscreen grilling of Angela.”

    I mention this in the post, why do you think these relative nobodies would have any input into the marketing campaign of corporate giants, Universal Pictures and, for Canadian distribution, Alliance Atlantis? They mention being upset about it in the Screenrant interview here: http://screenrant.com/catfish-movie-interviews-nev-schulman-ariel-schulman-henry-joost-robf-79177/

    I quoted it in the post: “When we saw the marketing strategy, we were definitely shocked. And I, at least for me, I was upset. I didn’t like the idea of this story, this thing that happened to me, being sensationalized. It felt like there was enough of an experience that people would see it and have a reaction. And I didn’t want to mislead them into seeing it for some other reason. But what I started to understand is that it’s hard to get people to spend hard-earned money to see something instead of something else if they don’t have any reason to. And you can’t just tell someone, “See it, it’s good”.”

    As for the scene of making Angela talk in the Megan voice, that is a 180 degree read of my own you got there.

    again from the post:

    “When Nev was sitting for her drawing, nothing about that scene felt devious or inauthentic to me. Far from the shit-eating grin of a sinister hipster that some have been describing in their reviews, I see Nev as an uncomfortable, young adult caught up in something he was not prepared to experience. In his book, Blink!, Malcolm Gladwell spoke of the persistence of snap judgment in our interpretation of the world around us, contrary to our best presumptions of impartiality. Maybe, instead of elaborately conceived deceptions, it is these micro-burst biases of perception that cause such diverging viewpoints on what took place in Catfish”

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  177. We never have all the facts, and going by our perceptions of the film we each come to different moral stances, and you are welcome to stop there and feel comforted with a belief that you know well enough what happened and how to feel about it. But if there was convincing evidence otherwise, unless you are a lunatic, you would probably change your moral opinion.

    It is harder to prove innocence in this case, so my stance has been innocent until proven guilty… and it is the guilt that needs to be proven to weigh against perception. If there is hard evidence that they did more than merely exaggerate for the sake of drama, that they actually were stringing Angela along for the sake of a film, that would change my moral stance to the film.

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  178. Rot, I’m talking about the fallout from your post and not the post itself. As I said, the conversation was interesting until it turned into pure conspiracy theory.

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  179. that’s fine, but what I have heard you talk about Jay, and especially Malcolm on the Documentary blog podcast, is firmly in the realm of conspiracy theory, because from my vantage point, I don’t see evidence of guilt. It is A LOT of speculation that they knew what they were doing and strung Angela along.

    But I know what you mean, the conspiracy can be taken and run with and not everything is a diamond.

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  180. Yes, whether or not Catfish is real has been discussed numerous times on numerous podcasts but I’d say there’s a pretty big difference between those conversations and what Ms. Curious and Aquaman have laid out. They’re actively attempting to ‘solve a mystery’ but seem to have added very little to the conversation in regards to the bigger picture of Catfish and documentary truth, etc.

    I’m not saying that the question of reality behind Catfish isn’t interesting or worth discussing. I’m simply saying that the conversations between these two are a little too meandering for my taste and seem to be obsessing over details that are really irrelevant.

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  181. Ms Curious wrote: “Damm shame US players only allow US region play. However, might I suggest TV Shack as a port of call for you, I think you’ll find that site has the cinema release version on it. I think you’ll find a lot more to play with if you view that release.”

    I tried to find TV Shack and I don’t think it’s available or legal in the USA. Watch a movie like Catfish for free? No, I don’t think that is legal here. Sounds like piracy.

    Mike Rot wrote: “If I understand right, insofar as they are genuine, they prove that Nev was aware Megan played piano seven months prior to him stating shock at it in Vail, Colorado and that it would seem at least part of that key scene is staged. Again, I haven’t watched the movie in awhile now, so correct me if I am wrong.”

    We don’t know if it’s December 27, 2007 or 2008. But what I can’t understand is why the USA and Aussie versions would show such different screenshots. Why not use the same thing for both?

    I also am not sure how those two screenshots you uploaded fit together. Was the Megan part stacked on top of the Nev part? Is there any screenshot from Ms Curious which shows the whole thing together (ie the Megan TS upload and the Nev response)?

    “There was also the issue of two different versions of a phone message between the two versions of the dvd… which would prove Nev was acting out the scene (a key scene too if I remember right). Any chance of capturing the audio on that? “

    I can’t capture audio. Is this all legal anyway? This website can post any film screenshot or film audio that it wants to?

    “It seems from the evidence that The Truman Sleep response in Vail is staged, and that matters to me because it casts doubt about whether the whole scene is staged (and then I am on board with feeling icky about the movie).”

    In interviews, the guys say that the song that tipped them off was Tennessee Stud, not Truman Sleeps or All Downhill from Here. First they found TS to be stolen, then the others. But if you watch the scene it doesn’t unfold that way. As I said previously, the scene doesn’t even make sense to me. Nev can’t get a particular song upload to play for him, then he goes and Google searches for a different song. For me, the scene doesn’t convincingly show why or how the stolen songs were found with any kind of continuity flow.

    “It is harder to prove innocence in this case, so my stance has been innocent until proven guilty… and it is the guilt that needs to be proven to weigh against perception. If there is hard evidence that they did more than merely exaggerate for the sake of drama, that they actually were stringing Angela along for the sake of a film, that would change my moral stance to the film.”

    Innocent until proven guilty is the standard for criminal trials, but not for real life. The “charge” of hoaxing this film would be more along the lines of a civil trial and the burdens of proof are different as well as what constitutes reasonable doubt. Regardless, if a prosecutor were going after these guys on a “hoaxing charge” in criminal court and was bearing the burden of proof (innocent until proven guilty), that prosecutor would have a lot of material in their possession that I do not have. By way of subpoenas and search warrants they would have all hard drives, all cameras and memory cards, all email evidence, all paperwork, all movie copies, all records of editing, etc etc etc. Tons of stuff that I do not have… some of which MIGHT prove that there was a hoax… that Nev did know earlier than Vail, etc.

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  182. @Aquaman

    “I also am not sure how those two screenshots you uploaded fit together”

    They are as Ms Curious gave them to me, separate files.

    “I can’t capture audio. Is this all legal anyway? This website can post any film screenshot or film audio that it wants to?”

    We are Above the Law. Actually I have no idea what the law is, but for capturing a five to ten second clip of sound, I can’t imagine that is a big deal.

    “By way of subpoenas and search warrants they would have all hard drives, all cameras and memory cards, all email evidence, all paperwork, all movie copies, all records of editing, etc etc etc. Tons of stuff that I do not have… some of which MIGHT prove that there was a hoax”

    but where we are, that is hearsay. hypothetical. I admit that some of the stuff you uncovered does point to nearly reasonable doubt, certainly more reasonable doubt than I had before, but not enough to make me completely lose faith in the official story.

    Reply
  183. My “hoax theory” is basically that Nev knew he was being lied to before they went to Vail. Consequently, the filmmakers lied to the audience (us) and possibly Angela too.

    Beyond that simple theory I think that the Vail stolen song scene was staged (they already knew the songs were bogus) and I also think the farm scene was staged (they already knew Megan’s farm was bogus).

    Reply
  184. Aquaman you wrote: “I also am not sure how those two screenshots you uploaded fit together” Is the Megan part originally stacked on top of the Nev part?…

    Here is the transcript of the movie from where the shots were taken. I posted that for you 3 March. Hope this assists in giving you the idea of how they fit together.

    Nev says “Just a liar. How could she just lie to me like that?”
    Next shot Megan Faccio facebook, shows Truman Sleeps at top, under this: ‘Between You and Megan Faccio’ then down, to left – her photo, then text of: ‘Megan Faccio December’. Then Nev says ‘she says she recorded this’. Cut to text on facebook his picture and ‘Yaniv Schulman facebook December 27 at 2.16 pm’. Text on screen reads ‘It’s like you know exactly what I am feeling. I didn’t know you could play the piano too! Is there anyting you can’t do? He says ‘I can’t believe I was so guillible….’ Nev looks up ‘Truman Sleeps’ on YouTube. Listens to it, transition to dance scene from Vail then cuts to chair lift scene.

    Reply
  185. So the Megan post is shown seperately from the Nev post?

    What we see is the Megan post… then an edit or film stop…. then the Nev post. We do not see a smooth continuous scroll from Megan post to Nev post. Is this correct?

    Reply
  186. Aquaman! So we are to take that you are now an expert on Criminal law, Intellectual Property law, Entertainment law, the Law of Evidence & Procedure and the list goes on. FYI, posting a small ‘sampling’ from a film (as in two screen shots), isn’t going to present any kind of issue at all.

    Aquaman you wrote: “I can’t capture audio. Is this all legal anyway? This website can post any film screenshot or film audio that it wants to?”

    I agree with what Mike wrote: ‘capturing a five to ten second clip of sound, I can’t imagine that is a big deal’. That being said, I don’t know how to do this, so I’d have to ask my friend again and I’m sure he’ll be soooo keen to do this based on your recent post.

    Aquaman, where on earth has your new fixation on legal do and don’ts come from? My friend had suggested the site I mentioned earlier thinking it might be of assistance to ‘you’. And you start warbling on about ‘piracy’. Good one!

    Oh, and what is all this ‘speculation’ about what a prosecutor might have in their possession, you wrote: ‘if a prosecutor were going after these guys on a “hoaxing charge” in criminal court……etc etc etc.’. You’re really losing me as to why this hypothetical scenario you talk of has any real relevance.

    My position stands as follows: it seems that there is definitive evidence that some scenes have been staged, re-done etc. As to the relevance of such, I’m not sure. Anyway, this still doesn’t bring us any closer to identifying at exactly what point Nev knew (or if he did) that Angela was deceiving him. If it was possible to point to actual evidence that Nev knew ‘very early’ in the piece then this would potentially raise moral questions in relation to whether the filmmakers should have continued with the project or not.

    Reply
  187. “TV Shack Flouts The Feds By Moving Video Piracy Site To Offshore Domain. Last week, the Feds shut down nine video sites for piracy and copyright violations.”

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/06/tv-shack-piracy/

    “TV Shack ICE Seizure Proves You Can Run But You Can’t Hide. Back in July we wrote about bootleg film site TVShack.net rapidly moving offshore to the Australian-located TVShack.cc address in order to escape ICE’s shutdown of about nine sites. We took bets on when the feds would eventually shut down the new site, and lo and behold five months later the domain is seized in a takedown of about 80 or so other copyright infringing sites. While assigned to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian territory, the .cc top level domain is controlled by the US based Verisign and therefore was always at risk of a takedown. Moving to a new domain may buy the ICE targeted sites some time, but as TVShack.cc seizure proves, it’s not clear what exactly is safe.”

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/30/tvshack/

    Reply
  188. Ms Curious wrote: “Aquaman, where on earth has your new fixation on legal do and don’ts come from?”

    Look at this…

    Ms Curious wrote on March 4: “Aquaman I just received this email from Angela: My attorney forwarded this link to me today.”

    MC wrote: “Now we have Angela reading ‘rowthree’ and obviously her attorney as well.”

    So, we know at least one attorney is reading this site. I just don’t want Row Three to get in legal trouble because of copyrights.

    Reply
  189. You are such an arse Aquaman! Seriously, such an arse! We know that ‘Angela ‘claims’ her attorney is reading this site’. You wrote: ‘So, we know at least one attorney is reading this site. I just don’t want Row Three to get in legal trouble because of copyrights’.

    Well since you don’t run this site your feigned concern is really just that, ‘feigned’.

    I had hoped that the discussion was taking a new direction, away from constant minuate and onto what other people’s ideas are in respect to moral, ethical etc dimensions, Jay C’s position re making of docos and that type of thing. I really enjoy Mike’s input, he seems to be able to keep a very balanced viewpoint going and offers ‘new insights’. I admire that.

    However, I’m really annoyed at myself for actually bothering to email the screen shots my friend got. Should have known ‘you’ would somehow make this into just another barrow for you to push.

    As for your question: ‘So the Megan post is shown seperately from the Nev post? What we see is the Megan post… then an edit or film stop…. then the Nev post. We do not see a smooth continuous scroll from Megan post to Nev post. Is this correct?

    Work it out for yourself!

    Who really cares apart from you anyway!

    Reply
  190. Aquaman, so now you’re a psychiatrist 🙂 Is there anything you can’t do? Thanks for the observation, interesting you resort to this approach after I refer to you as ‘arse’. Though I’m sure you’ve been called far worse than an ‘arse’ before.

    Now off you go….haven’t you more minuate to examine? What’s that in scene 67, frame 11, time code 01.0269. It must be something…..that wine bottle…it looks fake….is Nev wearing a toupee…..is that Angela under that table…..whose hat is Rel wearing…where did those feathers come from….why are they always eating pizza?

    Enjoy 🙂

    Reply
  191. Jay C: you wrote ‘To add to that, the ‘investigation’ doesn’t have to be completed in order to discuss the fall out of enjoying a film like Catfish from either a deceptive or truthful perspective. Just because someone isn’t sure if it’s real or not doesn’t mean they can’t discuss the moral and ethical issues until the case has been solved’.

    I agree, there’s no reason at all why the discussion couldn’t include moral and ethical isues, irrespetive of whether ‘the case’ was solved or not. I don’t recall, in fact I’ve never said the film couldn’t be ‘enjoyed’ without working out the hoax/doco aspect. I think the film is ‘awesome’ without even considering the hoax/doco aspect etc. So it seems we’re in agreement, at least on this point.

    What you seem to be missing are the following key points:

    If one is to determine whether this be hoax or fact, it seems reasonable to investigae those aspects (whatever they be), that may appear to be out of place. Then someone like you Jay C, can come along and say, ‘nope, that’s just editing, or that’s just a lot of rushes to go through’…’there’s bound to be issues’ etc.

    But in order for someone like you to discount a proposition, doesn’t another party ‘someone like me’ have to have a proposition in the first place? Would you be more accepting, if by way of example I simply suggested something was wrong with the film without any kind of evidence discovered to suggest this? I imagine you’d be the first to say…’and on what are you basing this?’

    I don’t wish to continue to argue over silly points with you. At the end of the day, I was just enjoying looking at small details within this film as if I was solving a mystery. It seemed fun at the time. I don’t understand why it became such an issue to you and to others. I probably never will. However, you’re entitled to your position and majority rules.

    The comments I made in respect to ‘Beauty Day’ were genuine. I think this will be a fantastic film. I’m impresed that after 20 years, a man (who obviously has a wonderful spirit of adventure) is getting a ‘rebirth’ so to speak. An accident, and a fall to virtual obscurity would have been very hard. I see ‘Beauty Day’ as renewing an individual’s spirit. You should be proud to be part of a project like this…and I’m sure you are..Yes of course, I realize you’re not the ‘coffee boy’. No hard feelings…I hope.

    However, if the inconsistencies are never considered, then realistically…..it would seem that you feel everyone should take ‘everything’ on face value. Is this your position? I doubt it.

    From here one would then logically determine if

    Reply
  192. Aquaman was really close to the “smoking gun” evidence of the fake of the mockumentary Catfish, but failed to realize it. IT is, of course, the postcard.

    When a piece of mail is undeliverable by the postman/woman, either from a non-existent address or in the case of the addressee’s name not corresponding to the residents/occupants, the *post office* puts the red UNDELIVERABLE … stamp on the mail and it is RETURNED TO THE SENDER – in this case, the hairy hipster hoaxsters in NYC.

    My question is, are thay any better than the Million Little Pieces guy who embellished his story to make it “real” and thereby make a story based on true events into a nonfiction piece to get noticed ????

    SNICKLEFRITZ

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  193. I like Frey’s novel a fair bit, whether or not it is real has little bearing on the book, in my opinion. That argument has always been weak-sauce.

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  194. Also, if you can’t tell that they are recreating the scenes of the movie, you are gullible and obviously never watch reality TV, which is what this movie really is – it’s only slightly better acted than “The Hills” for chrissakes. Rewatch the scene with the planted postcard at the farm for instance, and you should be able to tell they are acting, and not very well really. It reminds me of the “Big Reveal” in many shows, where non-actors feign surprise at things/situations they clearly are already aware of.

    It is easy to act when you are playing yourself, as these guys are, but you can still tell when something is recreated if you pay attention with a skeptical eye.

    SNICKLEFRITZ

    Reply
  195. I am no expert on the postal system in Michigan but I do remember someone claiming authority on some comment thread going into minute detail about protocol there and concluding the postcard stamping genuine. Do you have a source?

    Reply
  196. No source, just experience and logic.

    The postcard was supposedly found in the mailbox with a stamp on it, right? Where did the stamp come from? Clearly the Post Office, as people don’t have stamps to stamp wrongly addressed mail…why would they, it does not happen often enough to require a stamp, esp. in a rural area.

    And since the PO stamped it, would they leave it in the box ? Of course not.

    Reply
  197. No biscuit for you, Snicklefritz!

    1. The postcards do not have return addresses on them.
    2. The postcards were mailed from Gardiner, Montana – not NYC.

    Everything is legit about the postcards. Apparently, they sat in that vacant farmhouse mailbox for about 6 weeks.

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  198. So in this theory that nobody would have a Return to Sender stamp, it is believed that Nev and the Filmmakers went out of their way to find such a stamp, buy it, stamped it, put in the mailbox and at no time in their going through this effort considered that problematic for the realism of what they were trying to do?

    Unless it was actually returned to Nev in time before the trip… but I would need Aquaman to break down the time frame for that to occur. That would make sense, and yes, that would be the smoking gun. But did the postcard have a return address written on it? Did it have enough time to actually get back to Nev?

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  199. Which again makes me think things were sincere at least up to that six week mark, because if they KNEW by that point, they could have put the right return address, received the return to sender postcard and planted on their visit… but I don’t think the farmhouse scene was that premeditated.

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  200. All of this stuff is contained in my previous posts here. We are not covering anything new.

    The stamping on the postcard is not “Return to Sender”. The stamping is “Returned to this address for proper disposition”. What this means is that the post office knows that the name (Megan Faccio) doesn’t coincide with the address (nor any forwarding address) but they cannot do anything about it except just leave the mail in the box. The idea is that maybe, just maybe, somebody checking the mail there will know who that person is and get the mail to them somehow.

    It is interesting that only one of the two postcards was stamped this way. Maybe the post office isn’t required to stamp each of them.

    It is my opinion that Nev knew Megan was not truly living at that farm when he mailed the postcards back in late June from Montana.

    Reply
  201. Hi Snicklefritz, Mike, Kurt, Matt, anyone else out there and ‘Aquafrickin cock sure know all, boring as all hell, myopic, condescending science based, research every aspect, cold, I don’t get out to see any other films…arsehole’.

    Thanks Snicklefritz for your input. Not sure I’m with you on your reasoning here re: the postcards. Though, I have always felt that there is something very ‘wrong’ or ‘staged’ about the whole arriving at the farm scene.

    Here’s my take: On or around December 07 (based on my version of the DVD that shows such date for ‘Truman Sleeps’ as December), Nev gets the ‘Truman Sleeps’ music from Megan. Yes, Aqueduct…I know we don’t know for sure that’s it’s 07 or 08, but since it’s linked to the 08 Vail scene, gotta seem reasonable that it’s likely to be December 07′.

    So, whether it’s Nev or one of the other guys, they do cotton on at this point that there’s something ‘off’. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t be a bit off put by the title of ‘Truman Sleeps’? Wouldn’t anyone with half a brain at the very least email to say to Megan, ‘so do tell …’Truman’…name title etc…where did this all come from?’ ‘Truman’ is quite an obscure name, so either one would cotton on to the ‘Truman Show’ element, or one would at the very least wonder what inspired the title ‘Truman Sleeps’.

    Next question: “Why the hell do they bother filming the posting of the post cards?’ Seems pretty trivial to me. Unless…. they had a plan to link the posting of the postcards to the ‘omg…we’ve just found the postcards in the mail box’ scene in Gladstone. Yep, that’s my bet…at the time they’re posting the postcards, they already know, (at the very least, that the farm is empty or up for sale) and that’s why they film Nev posting the cards. This way there is a ‘link’.

    So ….mini version of my thoughts:

    Dec 07: Nev etc cotton on to some kind of deception and do a bit of research.

    June 08: perhaps it’s ‘earlier’ (I think it probably is), afterall we only have the vision as a point of reference (and there is evidence to show that dates have been manipulated). They Google Abby’s gallery find out it’s still up for lease. Not shown on screen is the fact they also google Megan’s farm address and find that it too is still up for sale. Surely, they’d do this simple search!

    On this basis they know the farm is empty, they conspire and construct the scene ‘show postcards sending’ by filming it.

    I think they’re perfectly comfortable turning up to the farm at 2am and going in. Simply because they know it’s empty. I think they look in the letter box because the postcards were sent at a time that Nev knew the farm was vacant. (simple internet search at time of reveal on Abby’s vacant still to rent gallery, and simple serach on Megan’s farm listing shows …empty…still for sale). That’s why they go in …at 2am ….they’re not afraid, they know it’s empty!

    They think to look in the letterbox, because they sent the mail to an address they ‘knew was a vacant’ property. Nev’s ‘Yess.!’ upon finding the postcards in mail box is in fact genuine, but not on the level we hear, his ‘yes’ is in relation to the whole plan panning out. Because there was no return address, they knew that in sending these postcards off, that without the actual recipent being there and without a return address…that the postcards would just sit in that mail box….’awaiting proper disposition’.

    Whilst, I still believe actual postcards sent, and then stamped by post office, I must admit I am still curious as to why only one postcard stamped,…’return for proper disposition’. Why not both? Perhaps as AquaBeast suggests, law means USP only have to stamp one Post card. But this seems odd too, surely each piece of mail is treated separately…so why not two stamps?

    I recieved an very interesting email today, not from either Yaniv or Angela…but from someone else mentioned in the film…

    Shall advise full details once I get a bit further with this new line of correspondence.

    Reply
  202. Aquaman…I’m extending the ‘olive branch’. Let’s stop our fighting and get back to dissecting the film. We had a good thing going there for a while. We have both found some really curious aspects that don’t measure up. This took hard work, and arguably, you were much more thorough than I have been. Though, I have tried hard. From my perspective, there has never been an issue with the depth and level of your research.

    That being said, haven’t you noticed a marked decline in the blog contributions to this thread since we both stopped contributing? This leads me to suspsect (and I did mention this some time ago) that only you and I were really interested in the first place (at least in the dissecting aspect). I believe other contributors (whoever they might be) could potentially be ‘frayed off’ with the notion of ‘what else can we contribute if these two appear to have all the answers’.

    I think you need to give ‘some breadth’ to ‘new’ positions, (even if they seem old to you and I). By all means knock the proposition out, but do it in a way that doesn’t make the contributor feel ‘outside’ or ‘stupid’.

    I don’t ‘want’ or ‘claim’ to have all the answers. I welcome anyone else who can debunk a position held, or affirm it.

    I’ve grown a ‘tougher skin’ (as you suggested), and I’d like to continue dissecting. If, as you refer to me in one of your posts as ‘highly strung’, you mean ‘gentle’ and ‘kind’. Then, ‘yes’ I am ‘highly strung’.

    I’ve found some new points…that I’d like to discuss. I hope you pick up the olive branch…point it forward….and then we can move on ‘together’.

    Always
    L

    Reply
  203. I mention this in the post, why do you think these relative nobodies would have any input into the marketing campaign of corporate giants, Universal Pictures and, for Canadian distribution, Alliance Atlantis?

    But they have control over their own public statements. Saying stuff like “We did 200 hours of footage in a week” and “I lived it” and blah blah blah isn’t Universal Pictures talking, it’s these guys.

    Also, Amy Kuney is their good friend of many years (per both them and her in public statements) and they refer to her as “that girl” in the whole “big discovery” sequence? Doesn’t make sense. Yeah, I could believe them not recognizing her song–singer/songwriters write tons of songs, so nobody’s friends know their whole repertoire–but I don’t believe that, when they Google it and the name of their close friend of many years turns up as the performer and composer, they wouldn’t say “Oh my god, that’s Amy’s song!” instead of saying “Wow, yeah, I think this is the same chick” and so on.

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  204. sure, and part of their public statement is denouncing the marketing campaign. Their public statements are not one and the same with the marketing campaign, that’s my point.

    Your Amy Kuney sources please?

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  205. Wow. I can’t believe I just read this ENTIRE blog. It took me seriously 4 to 5 hours to get through it all and I’m a fast reader. I had to say something just because I did spend 5 hours reading all of this.

    My boyfriend and I just watched ‘Catfish’ last night and I did some of my own research to see if it’s real. My conclusion — the basic story is real but some scenes could have been re-done for a better looking shot especially since they are filming with a video camera and not a film camera. Is that wrong…not at all. Does it mean it’s fake…no. And, the infamous ‘editing’. It is known that in reality TV a bunch of footage is shot and the editors go back and look for a story to follow. Does that mean it’s fake or a hoax? No. It’s the only way to keep a viewer interested in this day and age. It’s Hollywood. I think they had a basic story, had a lot of footage and had to make a story of it, therefore, things may not be in sync. He says ‘Catfish’ followed the events as they happened — they most likely did, however, if they had to re-do a scene as close as to the original shot, the dates could have been wrong but the general story is what they were trying to convey. I’m 28 and I have grown up in the overstimulated technologically advanced era and I can say for my generation, we need intensity to ‘get off’ per se. A movie that is slow to get to the point, less stimulating and visually not appealing, then you won’t get much of an audience and bad ratings. It’s a fact and it’s Hollywood baby! Look at the movies coming out and the competition. They are very smart filmmakers, young like me and were trying to break into the market and the scene. I congratulate them on how smart they are and took a story who have almost made ‘Catfish’ into a cult classic. Watch, it will happen and it already has since you guys are debating and giving attention to this movie.

    I think the people involved in the film need to be left alone. There is no reason to drill them when they already have many crazies already harassing them. They are human beings as well and I’m sure that if it was you, you wouldn’t want someone you don’t know accusing you of something that you said was real, regardless if you knew it wasn’t. You have to admit, it would be annoying. It boils down to this question — was it good entertainment? Absolutely. Do I wish to know if it’s fabricated or real, of course but I don’t think it’s necessary to analyze this in such depth. The lawsuit going on will let us know the truth so settle your horses and we will soon find out.

    Ms. Curious — Advice for you. I’m a 28 year old female in America who felt completely embarrassed by your posts, really embarrassed. Blogging is really not meant for personal emotion and investment. If you have something personal on your mind, many American’s start their own blogs and let others read it and others comment as they please. Aquaman wasn’t being mean, he was maintaining strictly why he was on here — to discuss if ‘Catfish’ was real or not. He was not here to have an emotional relationship with someone across the world. For all you know, he could have a wife and kids at home and has no interest in getting to know you personally. I sure as heck wouldn’t want my boyfriend on the internet conversing personal details to another female he doesn’t know when he has a life with me, that’s called emotionally cheating. To be honest, I continued to read the blog because it was like a train wreck, you were up and down emotionally blowing up at him for no reason. This, again, is advice from a female. I don’t like watching women act like that, it seems desperate. If Aquaman wished to not discuss certain details that were not of interest to him, then as a blogger, he has that right. You could have found other blogging websites that DID discuss the artistic side of the movie, however, you got emotionally attached to Aquaman and even said you missed him at one point. Totally inappropriate. That is cardinal rule #1, do not get emotionally invested with people on the internet unless you are on a dating website intended for that type of behavior otherwise I’m sure it’s unwanted. Aquaman seemed very early on was not willing to return your emotional banter from the beginning and that should have been a sign to back off. I’m sorry if this hurt your feelings as you have mentioned to be sensitive, however, I could not close out my window on my computer until I put my two cents in. Aquaman is right, there are many people who read this and this will always be on the internet forever. It’s smart to not indulge too much when you are doing things like this including the social network, Facebook. Let’s be smart. I don’t know how old you are and maybe you just don’t know etiquette of forums and blogging but in America we try to keep things pretty impersonal unless it’s invited from both parties. It’s not personal, it’s called being smart. Everything you post leaves a trail and it NEVER goes away.

    -Thanks for listening.

    Reply
  206. I would like to also add — I do believe there are some lies in the film that they are not coming clean with (adding in things that didn’t happen or taking away things they knew about but went with it anyway for suspense and thrill), however, it all falls into making it Hollywood quality. Are they bad people for lying? No. They are just smart business people. Have you ever exaggerated a lie? If not, you’re lying. Everyone has. They exaggerated the truth because maybe the truth was a little boring and not movie quality. It entertained me, took my mind off the world we live in for an hour and a half and life goes on.

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  207. Triceratops Rex
    Totally agree with you. Seems odd that as long term friends these guys when disovering it’s an Amy Kuney song don’t actually say ‘wow that’s Amy’s song’, or something like that. Yes we can forgive them for not recognising the song, but hello…the name should have rung a bell…don’t you think….. Yep, with you….a bit fishy!

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  208. Danielle, seems really peculiar that you spend so much of your post ‘talking’ or rather ‘lecturing’ me on the etiquette of blog posting and the importance of not getting personal. Why then, have you gotten so personal? Of your 950 word mini novella, I note that despite your claim that ‘you did some of [your] own research to see if it’s real’ you don’t actually contribute a single thing that’s new or different. 4-5 hours you say….mmmm…slow reader. In fact, you dont’ contribute a thing at all, except getting personal and offering me some advice. Why not try watching the film more than once before launching into some kind of pyscho babble and flouting your brand of Americanism, it’s embarressing that you are presenting yourself as the representative of American behaviour. Actually, it’s frickin audacious of you! I actually thought Americans were tolerant, universal and interesting people until I read your post. Still, you’re probably in the minority. Oh, BTW if a person or people place themselves deliberately into the public forum, profit from such, then yes indeed they are up for investigation……that’s how you sort the truth from the lies Danielle. You say ‘The lawsuit going on will let us know the truth so settle your horses and we will soon find out’.

    Quite clearly you have no real understanding of the law at all, or you would realize that suits such as these often take many years.

    Seriously Danielle, find something meaningful to contribute to this blog…follow your own advice and don’t get personal….

    You seem to have quite a hang up about ’emotionally cheating’….mmmmmm……wonder why?????

    Here’s my advice for you: Learn how to read more quickly, then you will have more time to spend with that boyfriend you mention…then maybe he won’t be out there ’emotionally cheating’. Cheers!

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  209. I just finished watching Catfish and I stand with that Sundance audience member who cried “fake” because we shared the same reaction watching this film cold.

    I am not sure how many here read of the film and the controversy before watching it but I do wonder if an awareness clouded the viewing experience. Now, I am not saying if you think it’s real you’re wrong or an idiot or anything of the such. I, in thinking Catfish a fraud, could be completely wrong. Here’s my little pre-Catfish story.

    I never watch trailers except for in a theater and have stopped reading full reviews of and articles about movies because I am so sick of having them spoiled constantly. I go by the Tomato Meter, friends and the top-line and ratings of critics I trust. One of those trusted critics, Roger Ebert, added Catfish to his Best Art Films of 2010 list. That’s all I needed to hear. Only after watching films on that list – Fish Tank still the best – did I read anything about them, so I am shocked there is a controversy regarding Catfish.

    I just never thought for a moment this was real. The three lead guys weren’t bad actors in my eyes. On the contrary. I found all them to be likable and affable, but real? No.

    The idea that these 3 smart NYC artists would make a documentary about a promising internet relationship one was involved in seems preposterous. How could these intelligent guys think for a second that their film would be remotely interesting if it panned out as it seemed to be going? There was absolutely no drama involved until the song stealing. None.

    Back to their acting, good but…

    I read an article at Movieline before coming here about the Sundance screening and the gent who stood and questioned the validity of the film. One of the guys (totally absent their names, sorry) defended the lead as being as good as Brando to pull of such a performance. Actually, no and that’s the point. He and all three were good but not that good. In fact the only time I didn’t think I wasn’t seeing acting was when Angela was introduced and oddly enough, if I am to believe this is a real documentary, she was actually the only one acting, at least for the first day of the visit and meeting.

    Many others have posted better than I have about other questionable points, so I won’t retread all that ground but to say I completely thought fiction when the credits rolled. I was really stunned to find this controversy and knowing there is one now, I feel in my gut that this was a well-made manipulation of actual events and sadly, actual people, so it seems. I am saddened that the filmmakers pushed this as a real doc., because before I knew differently, I really enjoyed this film (and really still do). But reality? I am unable to get that far. A repeat viewing will have to happen.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong about the whole shebang.

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  210. @Rot, I don’t believe anyone could possibly read this thread in one go either.
    It’s taken me over a month since I first watched Catfish and found this thread to read and digest it’s contents.
    Like many other people in Ishpeming I had no knowledge that a movie had been filmed here until last September when it was announced on the Ellen Show.
    There were a couple local news stories about the movie but when it showed in the theaters here it wasn’t promoted like you would have thought it could have been. The Schulman’s and Joost where all over the place promoting the movie but couldn’t swing by the city in which it was filmed. In my opinion they should have. I didn’t go to see Catfish in the theater because of that. I waited for a DVD instead.
    Now that I’ve watched it a few times I’m going to just put in my vote that these guys knew something was up long before they came to Ishpeming and in my opinion they created their portion of “reality” for their film. I think that the part they filmed with Angela is the only “reality” in this movie. I also think if they had spent less time featuring Nev in the beginning of the movie and more time on Angela and what was going on with her it would have made it a more informative, more socially relavent documentary. Not necessarily a feature length film but a true documentary that would have had a purpose and place in mainstream media.
    I’m partial to say it should have been more about Angela because I’ve had the chance to observe her now in real life with face to face contact and there is so much more there then people could ever imagine.
    I live a few blocks from the house in the movie. I knew that a family with handicapped kids lived there but they were and still are very reclusive. The house stays lit up 24 hours a day and there are no curtains on most of the windows so when you walk north up Main street you can see right into the area where Angela paints. Sometimes when I walk home from the bar I see her standing there painting at her easel. When I walked home last night I could see that painting of the railroad tracks that’s on her blog still on the easel. She also has a piano in the front room of the house and sometimes when i walk by I can see and hear her playing it and singing. She’s really good! which leaves me wondering why whould she steal other peoples music when she has the ability to perform it herself? There are so many questions that where left unanswered in the movie. I hope at some point Angela opens up to someone who will film a real documentary to give us some insight to her complex and contradictory nature.
    Three weeks ago I was at the Family Dollar store and she came in with her two kids. Abby is about 12? and had the longest, thickest hair I have ever seen. She is a beautiful child and seemed especially able to deal with the handicapped boy. He was obviously challenging behaviorally but Abby seemed to be able to keep him calm while they shopped. At one point I must of been staring at Angela because she looked right in my eyes with a skeptical look and looked like she might be mad. I just came right out with it and asked her “Are you the woman from Catfish?” She seemed nervous but said “yes” I went on to compliment her and she seemed to relax but still made a hasty exit to the register. At the register the guy that worked there seemed to know her. He said something like “I haven’t seen you in awhile” and she said “I’ve been trying to keep a low profile”. When she was done checking out she turned towards me and smiled and said “Thank you!” I got a good look at her face and I noticed how incredibly pale and white she is. She had no makeup on and there wasn’t one wrinkle on her face. In a lot of posts I’ve read that she’s “old and fat” I think those statements are just rude. For being in her 40’s she has a really young looking face and voice. She maybe on the heavy side but I’d say she’s really just full figured with large breasts and hips not obese. After she left the store and I was checking out I asked the guy at the register if he knew Angela he said she’s been coming in there for a few years and usually she buys wreaths and flowers to take out to her son’s grave. When I left the store I drove by the cemetary and I saw her there but I didn’t drive in because I didn’t want to disturb or scare her. I drove around a nearby rec area for awhile and went back. She had left the cemetary by then so I drove back to where she had been and saw that her one son is buried there and then the grave right next to him is the exact same tombstone with the name of her other son on it and it just hit me what kind of situation she was living in. Not only had her one son died but she now has to take care of the other one who has serious health issues that are probably life threatening. What a living nightmare!
    After that I came home and started googling. I found her blog and fansite on facebook. Last week I walked by her house and she was outside taking photos. I stopped to talk to her and I asked her about the book she mentioned in her blog. Much to my surprise Angela gave me a copy of it and signed it for me. She wouldn’t take any money for it. It’s difficult to read because it’s so sad. Reading about the paintings of the girl with the bird and cage is enough to bring any grown man to tears. It’s a very pretty book that she must have paid to have printed herself through a company noted in the book as lulu.com I sent her a friend request on facebook and she accepted but becoming her facebook friend and reading her book just brings up more questions for me and like I mentioned before a whole documentary could be about her and what’s going on in her life and it would be more real than Catfish was.
    On her facebook fansite she mentions writing an article for an online art magazine that’s at http://www.artonicemag.com that’s suppose to be out in April and she states that it’s the first article she’s written about Catfish. I’m definitely interested to hear what she says about that movie.
    As far as the lawsuit to determine whether or not Catfish is a documentary or not I also have questions. In an interview from Aimme Gonzales Aimme stated that she was compensated financially for the use of her photos in the film. If they compensated her what would be the big issue with not wanting to compensate Amy Kuney? Why are they refusing to pay for the use of the song? I’m not a film industry person so if someone could explain this to me I’d appreciate it.

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  211. I can confirm that it is possible to read this entire thread in one sitting as I just did. I just watched the movie for the first time and there is no doubt in my mind this entire movie is fake. I actually didn’t care for the movie at all but have really enjoyed the in depth analysis aqua man and ms curious were exchanging.

    With that said I went back and watched a couple of parts again and just wanted to add a few things I noticed that I do not recall being mentioned in this thread.

    Just after the 19 minute mark, we see too chat windows open in the closeup of the laptop. Nev is chatting with Megan about songs but in the other window it shows that Henry is chatting with someone and it says, “rel is turning up the heat on the doc”. Hmmm? Of course, two secons later that window is gone.

    As for the issues of Nev looking up the full title of the song in question, “Downhill”, at that time all songs she was uploading for him were cover songs. When he is trying to think of a song request, he even mentions one off the songs being covered by Cat Power. BTW…if you don’t know who that is, I recommend you give her a listen.

    Next issue is with the mail. The AT&T bill that he pulled from the mailbox had no post-mark stamp. And the two postcards that were supposedly mailed together, had two completely different post-mark stamps.

    Now I know there was some question about when they got to MI but we are to assume they first showed up on Sunday, August 10th and spent the day with Angela first showing up at her house and them going to the beach. Supposedly, the next day (monday) is when the rehab was brought up with Mega. However, when they show a closeup of her FB, it clearly does that her status was updated as “going to rehab” August 10th @ 1030 a.m. So, even before he arrived at the Pierce residence she already posted on FB she was going to rehab. If this was the case, Angela would not have needed to pretend to call her, and Megan would not have texted him later in the day on Sunday telling him she is coming to see him.

    In my opinion that alone proves this was not just an editing mistake but a flat out error on their script.

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  212. Hey Yoop! Brilliant post, I loved it! As to why the guys didn’t go to Ishpeming to promote the film, not sure ..but speculate that either they couldn’t be bothered or perhaps Angela, in her ‘keeping a low profile’ position, requested they didn’t come. Who knows?

    Loved your descriptions of the house lit up 24 hours a day, Angela at work at her easel, playing the piano and singing. You are so lucky to be able to view all this first hand! Can’t believe you actually saw the ‘railroad’ painting through a window…and on her easel. Wow!

    Will post more….shortly.

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  213. Joop, re music issue. Here’s my take. You seem surprised that they paid Aimee Gonzales for use of her image. I’m not, all images attract copyright, so hence to use her image they’d have to get a release. Her image is pivotal to the film, so of course she would bargain heavily in relation to release. Obviously her image released secured via payment. Of course other images used in the film may have been used via either a) pay off or b) signed image release form allowing use image with no renumeration or c) some hybrid version with use for a period of time and then after this finanancial return etc. Naturally, there are multiple variations of the contract style I mention above, but putting it simply, paid for use…or not paid for use…or paid for use if film reaches x in profits etc. If you don’t have an image release form, signed etc…then you’re up for breach of copyright…

    Re: music. If their film is a doco then they get ‘fair use’ rights. This means they can use any music under copyright free of charge. However, their film must a) be a doco and b) music used only for a certain period of time (as in seconds on screen).

    In the cinema release, Kuney’s music played all through the credits, well past the fair use time allowed. In the US DVD it doesn’t play in the credits. So, issue at present time is as follows:

    1) is the film a doco – in terms that fit with the legislation in respect to fair use.

    2) If the film is a doco, then is music time used in accordance with the the time allowed in the ‘fair use’ act?

    3) If the film is not classified as a doco according to courts…then …watch out…’the boys will pay’.

    4) If the film is a doco, but the amount of music time wise used, exceeds the fair use provision…then the boys will pay…

    I think they’ll settle out of court..with a confidentially clause..so we’ll never know what tipped the scales.

    Lord knows..they probably don’t want the other suppliers of music to even think for a second they’ve been ripped off. I’m guessing that all the other music used went under the ‘free use’ doco label.

    Finally, yep…I agree with you a doco on Angela would be awesome! She is the story, her art, her talent, her difficulties etc. But I’m guessing the boys tied her up nice and tight and she can’t do anything like this without their permission.

    Her art is amazing. I’m so damm envious that you’ve her book! She seems to have a generous spirit…I admire that.

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  214. PS: As for Danielle reading the entire blog in five hours…yeah right! Guess it’s possible (that she skim read it), but highly improbable that she actually dissected, deciphered or got the whole gist of half the posts. There’s some serious ‘putting together of pieces’ that takes to time to work out. Moreover, her post is highly subjective and doesn’t offer anyting riveting. If she did manage to read it in that time, well I think the fact that she posts nothing new, offers no new insights etc…speaks volumes… have dubbed her ‘the speed reader, who missed it all!’.

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  215. Yoop…forget to mention..thanks for link to ‘Art on Ice’…awesome online mag. Looking forward to seeing what Angela contributes. Most of the work in the mag appears to be art orientated, so not sure how ‘Catfish’ will figure here. Look forward to seeing how this is postioned. Really cool mag! Some of the photography and paintings are amazing! Go the UP!

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  216. Wise Leo, you have actually found some new things that I don’t think anyone else has mentioned before. Excellent pick up re the rehab date of 10 August. The date 10 August has always been troublesome to me. The flight booking shows they flew to Michigan on 10 August, so I always had an issue with how they arrived on Sunday 10 August in enough time to get to Gladstone, and are busy planning, during the car trip to go and have breaky with Angela on Sunday 10 August. Still, as Aquaman pointed out some time ago, it’s obviously an editing error re the flight booking date.

    Okay, so we will, as you write ‘assume they first showed up on Sunday, August 10th and spent the day with Angela first showing up at her house and then going to the beach’. ‘Supposedly, the next day (monday) is when the rehab was brought up with Megan. However, when they show a closeup of her FB, it clearly does that her status was updated as “going to rehab” August 10th @ 1030 a.m. So, even before he arrived at the Pierce residence she already posted on FB she was going to rehab. If this was the case, Angela would not have needed to pretend to call her, and Megan would not have texted him later in the day on Sunday telling him she is coming to see him.

    I see your point, however as Angela is playing so many roles, isn’t it possible that although such was posted on the FB on 10 August by Angela (as Megan) re: rehab, that Angela was still going through the process as Angela (the mother) when Nev etc turns up on her doorstep and rings Megan etc. Playing two roles here, one could logically suggest that (Angela as the mother), might not have read (Angela as Megan) facebook entry. The text is interesting though and more difficult to explain. Why would Angela (as Megan) text Nev re ‘I’m coming’ if the facebook post shows she’s gone to re-hab? Perhaps she forgot she’d posted this, or wanted to keep Nev there longer so decided to text. However, I think you’ve located another serious flaw. Just not sure if it really confirms complete ‘fake’.

    You wrote: ‘The AT&T bill that he pulled from the mailbox had no post-mark stamp. And the two postcards that were supposedly mailed together, had two completely different post-mark stamps’.

    What are the two different post mark stamps? Dates and places if possible. I find this really interesting. I can’t seem to get close enough to see what you’re seeing. I haven’t heard anyone mention the AT&T bill before. Also I’m sure that Aquaman in one of his posts said that one of the postcards wasn’t stamped (he may have been referring to return for proper disposition though), in fact I think now that he was. Just can’t properly remember (so many posts ago now). Now you’re saying that they’re both stamped but with different dates. Most curious!

    You wrote: ‘I can confirm that it is possible to read this entire thread in one sitting as I just did. I just watched the movie for the first time and there is no doubt in my mind this entire movie is fake’.

    I guess one can read this entire thread in one sitting, however absorbing all the information, well ‘wow’ is all I can say to your being able to do that and after only one viewing of the film.

    I’m not convinced the ‘entire movie is a fake’ as you suggest. I believe a lot of the early stuff (posting of painting etc) and that there was a romance of sorts between Angela (as Megan) and Nev for a short time only. I think the film makers cottoned on much earlier that there was a deception going on, than we the audience are led to believe (probably around December 07) the date that appears in my DVD version for song posting. Then from there they milked it for all they could and lead Angela on to see how far she’d take the deception. I think that when they found the still for rent building (Abby’s gallery), they also searched the address of Megan’s farm (found it was still for sale) etc.

    I don’t think the film really consitutes a documentary because only some of it is true and a lot of it has been changed, deleted, moved, skewed, edited and fabcricated etc to suit the film makers’ ends. Angela was the deciever in the beginning, her motivation it seems was lonliness and a desire to escape a rather hard life. However ironically, from my perspective she is the only truthful aspect of the film at the end. I think the more devious deception occured via the film makers, who took advantage of a situation for profit and who continue to present the film as being a legitimate documentary.

    I’d love to hear Aquaman’s thoughts on your most recent finds.

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  217. We see Nev place two postcards into a mailbox in Gardiner, Montana. These postcards are addressed to Megan Faccio at the farm. The only way that Nev would have known this address is if Angela (as Megan) gave it to him or he got it from the real estate link that Angela (as Megan) sent to him on Facebook. It is safe to presume that these two postcards are the ones that Nev pulls from the mailbox at the vacant farm.

    It is true that the cards do end up having two different types of postmarks (stamp cancellation). I don’t know why this would be since they were mailed from the same place at the same time. I suggest the reason is because one of them had a penny taped to it and this caused a different automatic sorting by the machines used at the Gardiner post office. The penny may have even caused it to be kicked out where it would need to be inspected by a person and then hand postmarked.

    The AT&T letter is not postmarked because it is a First Class Postage Paid envelope and these do not get postmarked. My own AT&T invoices and other correspondence do not have any postmarks.

    I already mentioned that if they actually did fly out of Vail (actually it was Denver) on August 10th there would be a bizarre problem. That problem is the message about Ryan taking Megan to rehab on Monday, August 11th. The solution? The August 10th flight out of Vail is a typo error done during the later production of the movie. The guys flew out of Vail on Saturday, August 9th. They first arrived on Angela’s doorstep at 1:15pm on Sunday, August 10th, 2008.

    Cat Power covers Silver Stallion.

    WiseLeo, you should look again closely at the timestamps of the rehab messages. Megan announces that she is checking into Dawn Farm. That message is timestamped at 10:23am on Monday, August 11th. Then a message comes in from Ryan Iverson saying that he is driving Megan (and others) to rehab. That message is timestamped at 10:36am on Monday, August 11th. So it is the day after they meet Angela that Megan goes to alcohol rehab.

    There is also a message from Sarah Iverson to Megan at 12:45pm August 10th where she is apparently talking about a horse named “Rain”. I think you mistook the Megan rehab announcement for the 10th when it is actually the 11th.

    I was also going to mention the partially visible chat window in Vail where Henry writes about Rel “turning up the heat on the doc.” But I bailed out of this thread before I could bring it up as well as other instances of damningly poor acting and dialogue at the farm. That chat window is on Nev’s laptop. Why would Henry be text chatting with Nev when he is sitting only 5 feet away from him at the same table in Vail? This is suspicious just like the two other chat windows being used simultaneously by “Megan Faccio” and “meganfaccio”.

    Another interesting observation I made was with Nev’s clothing. He is wearing the same things when he is at the horse stables where Abby is riding as he is on the flight from Vail to Chicago and then at the Megan farm visit. It’s apparently the exact same shirt, cut-off jeans and khaki sneakers without socks. WTF? Either Nev had indeed chosen to wear all the same clothes that he had already worn two days prior, or else we have an issue of epic proportion.

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  218. Details on the partial text window that we see…

    From unknown person (we can’t see the name): …Rel is turning up the heat on the doc.
    maybe that’s why.

    From Henry: I heard.
    so far so good.
    now he’s turning up the heat on me.

    Sent at 9:45pm on Friday.

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  219. WiseLeo, can we please have confirmation that what you posted re date of ‘going to rehab’ does in fact appear in your
    version of the DVD copy as August 10th @ 10.30 a:m.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘WiseLeo, you should look again closely at the timestamps of the rehab messages. Megan announces that she is checking into Dawn Farm. That message is timestamped at 10:23am on Monday, August 11th. Then a message comes in from Ryan Iverson saying that he is driving Megan (and others) to rehab. That message is timestamped at 10:36am on Monday, August 11th. So it is the day after they meet Angela that Megan goes to alcohol rehab’.

    I know there have been other instances where DVD copies have varied, I’m wondering if this is one of them, or if it is as Aquaman wrote: that you ‘mistook the Megan rehab announcement for the 10th when it is actually the 11th’.

    My copy is out on loan again, so I won’t be able to look at this aspect on my version until I get it back.

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  220. Aquaman:
    Nice reasoning on the different post mark stamps. Very logical. And as for the bill, after I posted I wondered if that was the case but it has been a while since I have actually received a bil in the mail that I couldn’t remember if they were stamped. However, I disagree on the rehab issue. I just watched it again and it clearly shows August 10th @ 1036 for Megans status as going to rehab. Now granted FB has changed their formatting/style since then so perhaps I am matching the date of the 10th on her page with the post below that. But if I remember correctly, the old style of FB kept your status at the to off the page so even comments posted by friends would still show up below the update.

    Ms Curious:
    Regarding the rehab issue. The reason I believe the screw up of dates proves fake and not just a mistake or example of forgetfulness by Angela as you suggest is this….

    Prior to Nev showing up unannounced after 1 pm, Angela would have had no reason to make Megan have an excuse to be away. If my suspicions are correct, and aquaman may have shown holes in my interpretation, this would be a monumental mistake and proof that the whole thing was staged and scripted and the posts were just premature.

    Now, back to the dates and times and whether or not the chronology is accurate. If the fake Megan and Ryan had just posted the rehab stuff after 1030 and the crew was still lounging around in their under-roos, it would be reasonable to think that they don’t make it back to the house to confront Angela until closer to 12 at best. Of course this is not exact science and is moe just based on experience but the conversation they are having by the horses just had the feel of a morning shot and not when the sun is at its peak. Then of course we can assume that the interaction there was at least a bit longer than what we saw. Afterwards, Angela is drawing Nev in her “studio” and a bit later they show Abby showing off her room and the time on her clock shows it is about 1230. Of course this is well after riding her horse and changing into her dress. In fact they are all now wearing different clothes when it is supposed to be that same day.

    I guess in the end the only people who could ever prove anything are the ones who stand to make $$ off this movie and no matter how many flaws or suspicions anyone points out someone else will always be able to counter it with some kind of explanation.

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  221. I watched this film a few days ago and have spent pieces of the past few days reading through all the posts here. While I do agree on the general consensus that parts of the film were staged / manipulated / already known to the filmmakers, I’m afraid that I don’t have any new insights of offer.

    The reason of my posting is because quite a few posts back Ms Curious stated
    “I recieved an very interesting email today, not from either Yaniv or Angela…but from someone else mentioned in the film…
    Shall advise full details once I get a bit further with this new line of correspondence.”

    But then after, no one asked about it and there was no follow up of info on it. I am super curious as to what that was about!

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  222. Most curious, WiseLeo and Aquaman as to why there is a variance in the date stamp on your respective copies of the film.

    WiseLeo you wrote regarding Aquaman’s post: ‘However, I disagree on the rehab issue. I just watched it again and it clearly shows August 10th @ 1036 for Megans status as going to rehab’

    Aquaman you wrote: ‘That message is timestamped at 10:36am on Monday, August 11th. So it is the day after they meet Angela that Megan goes to alcohol rehab’.

    So it appears there is at least a time stamp of 10:36am in common here. I really want to get to the bottom of this seemed discrepancy. How is that you are both viewing the same thing and both appear to have different dates? If Aquaman has one version and WiseLeo has another then that’s an issue in itself. My speculations regarding why Angela may have played along and pretended to call Megan etc were based upon the notion that WiseLeo’s version shows 10th of August as rehab date.

    Look forward to further clarification on this aspect. Hopefully, I’ll have my own DVD back tomorrow so I can check out what mine has date stamp wise.

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  223. WiseLeo, I have the impression that you are mistaken about the number of days filmed in Ishpeming. You seem to think that they filmed there for 2 days, but it appears that they actually filmed on 3 consecutive days. This can be confirmed by the wardrobe of both Nev and Angela.

    The film shows what appears to be a quick transition from horseback riding to the portrait session in Angela’s home studio. This is an edited time compression. Both Nev and Angela are wearing different clothing in these two scenes and so they are almost certainly from different days.

    In my opinion, the Megan rehab announcement at 10:23am does indeed come on “Day 2 at Ishpeming” which is August 11th. Only 13 minutes later, Ryan announces that he is taking her to Dawn Farm rehab. On this day the guys will go to Abby’s horseback riding for that scene. The horse scene shows shadows which are almost directly beneath objects and the sky is clear with sun shining. The shadows suggest to me that we are either seeing late morning or early afternoon. It can’t be early morning or late afternoon because the shadows are just too short for that. My guess is that the riding session is around 1pm-3pm.

    Here is my general timeline with some scenes filmed in Ishpeming and nearby areas. This can be supported by wardrobes and general context…

    Day 1 (Sunday, August 10th): First meeting at Angela’s house in Ishpeming. Beach house scene with Abby in Marquette. Dinner at Applebee’s in Marquette.

    Day 2 (Monday, August 11th): Megan announces that she is going to alcohol rehab. Ryan says that he is taking her to rehab. Horseback riding with Abby at unknown location. During this scene Angela tells Nev that Megan is indeed at Dawn Farm with no explanation of what that place represents. I am assuming that she knows that Nev already has read the Facebook rehab announcement that came in the morning, and so it needs no explanation at that moment.

    Day 3 (Tuesday, August 12th): Angela sketches Nev at her home. Nev says he is ready to go home. Abby is shown in her bedroom with a clock displaying 12:27pm. Vince speaks on the porch (including Cod/Catfish story). Angela explains to Rel how she managed the computer time and phones and that Vince doesn’t answer the phone. Various scenes show Angela tending to the twin boys and cleaning the house. All these scenes are daytime but I cannot determine their exact chronologic order of filming.

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  224. Blair you wrote: ‘The reason of my posting is because quite a few posts back Ms Curious stated “I recieved an very interesting email today, not from either Yaniv or Angela…but from someone else mentioned in the film…” ‘Shall advise full details once I get a bit further with this new line of correspondence.”

    Sorry, Blair but I’m still corresponding with the person and at the present time not comfortable disclosing who this is. To do so would undoubtably end the correspondence and compromise the trust established so far. I have agreed to keep the person’s identity confidential, so have to honour that. That’s the reason why I never posted any further information on this point after that first post.

    I do understand how curious you must be. Curiousity is what got me travelling down a rather rocky road of contacting some of the individuals in the film in the first place. I know some think that is taking it just one step too far. However, on the basis that the film makers have paraded this as documentary and profited from such, I felt such investigations were warranted purely to attempt to identify which parts could be proven to be false, staged and which parts were in fact true etc.

    You wrote: ‘I’m afraid that I don’t have any new insights of offer’.

    At the moment we seem to be trying to get to the bottom of the time stamp on the Facebook entry and there appears to be a difference in opinion on this point or perhaps different versions of the DVD are causing this issue. Perhaps you could have a look at your version and post what time stamps you have for the Megan rehab aspect. That would be awesome.

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  225. I totally understand!

    So I just checked my copy and the timestamp on the message from Ryan Iverson reads August 11, 2008 at 10:36 am

    10:23am is the time listed next to Megan’s rehab announcement.

    hope this helps!

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  226. WiseLeo, now we have a bit of an issue. Blair’s version of DVD appears to match with Aquaman’s version. They both seem to be confirming a written date on screen of ’11th of August’. If this be the case, then I revert to your post where you stated ‘ I just watched it again and it clearly shows August 10th @ 1036 for Megan’s status as going to rehab’.

    Such an adamant statement could only come from someone who actually did see these words on the screen or alternatively saw such words and matched them incorrectly.

    Can we please have clarification on the following points:

    1) What version are you watching? USA, AUS, other….
    2) Can you type in for us exactly how such appears on your version please.
    3) Would you please comment on any aspect of the postings in relation to this issue, that show a different time stamp that doesn’t match with what you’re seeing.

    Please be assured that I am not doubting what you have posted. I have already encountered several incidences where the versions that Aquaman and I are viewing differ (significantly).

    However, Aquaman is very precise and nearly always right in what he posts. To this end, I believe that what you WiseLeo, are posting is accurate based on what you’re viewing on your version of the DVD. Qualified, I believe that’s how you’re seeing it. I need a little more evidence (hence my questions posed above).

    What I can’t get past is your line, ‘I just watched it again and it clearly shows August 10th @ 1036 for Megans status as going to rehab’.

    You seem so committed to this position, that I must only believe that either that is what your DVD shows, or alternatively your interpretation of what is in front of you leads you incorrectly to such a conclusion.

    Please clear up this current difference in our opinions. To date, my copy of DVD has not STILL not been returned, so I’m still waiting to view it all from my version to cast into the pot my position.

    Look forward to your next post.

    If you’ve got it wrong…don’t worry….

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  227. Aquaman: you wrote ‘Another interesting observation I made was with Nev’s clothing. He is wearing the same things when he is at the horse stables where Abby is riding as he is on the flight from Vail to Chicago and then at the Megan farm visit. It’s apparently the exact same shirt, cut-off jeans and khaki sneakers without socks. WTF? Either Nev had indeed chosen to wear all the same clothes that he had already worn two days prior, or else we have an issue of epic proportion’.

    It seems to me that Nev has some kind of limited wardrobe all round. The ‘yellow teeshirt’ that appears in so many scenes, the blue tee in a lot of other scenes and now your latest revelation. Mmmmmm….when I get my DVD copy back I’ll look at wardrobe and try to work out whether this dude has hardly any clothes or whether, as you imply, there’s some bigger issue.

    Oh…re: clothes. Love to hear your thoughts on how these guys managed to pack swimmers for that ‘impromtu’ visit to the beach with Angela. Mmmmm….can only pack a few main clothes for the whole trip…but yep…we’ll put in our swimmers ‘just in case’.

    As always, admire your attention to detail. Never noticed the ‘no socks’ until you mentioned such. Could be his style….or could be the guy just can’t get organised to pack socks….:)

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  228. will the real Angela please stand up?

    You can, perhaps, understand my suspicion given the subject matter of the documentary, and maybe it is paranoia, but this has been one LONG thread. I have looked around, I haven’t seen anything like this. I, personally cannot keep up, so I am out. There seems to be a disproportionate amount of NEW commenters in this thread then in any thread we have ever had on Row Three. If that is coincidence, fine, great, keep it going. But the speed with which new people have jumped on here is suspicious, particularly because we don’t have a way to contact via email when the thread is alive again that some sites have. So after this thread being dead over a week, then nearly all at once we have 5 new people. I suppose Catfish could have premiered somewhere new and generated a new wave of interest, but I don’t know.

    If Angela is here it would be kind of cool of her to fess up. There are enough people here interested to talk to her directly.

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  229. Mike, I think you are figuring wrong for why and how people are finding this thread. I don’t think Catfish is premiering anywhere in theaters causing this interest.

    If you enter “Catfish hoax” into a Google search you find this thread as the 2nd listing. If you enter “Catfish fake” it comes up as the 4th listing.

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  230. MC wrote: “It seems to me that Nev has some kind of limited wardrobe all round. The ‘yellow teeshirt’ that appears in so many scenes, the blue tee in a lot of other scenes and now your latest revelation.”

    The yellow v-neck t-shirt is worn only once in the office. That scene is split into 4 different clips which were used in two different contexts.

    MC wrote: “Oh…re: clothes. Love to hear your thoughts on how these guys managed to pack swimmers for that ‘impromtu’ visit to the beach with Angela. Mmmmm….can only pack a few main clothes for the whole trip…but yep…we’ll put in our swimmers ‘just in case’.”

    My guess is that they had already packed swimsuits for their stay in Vail. When they arrive at Angela’s house they have all of their luggage in the rental car. They have already checked out of the motel near Gladstone (Megan’s farm) and have not yet checked into a motel near Ishpeming or Marquette. My guess is that they actually ended up staying in Marquette.

    Why would they take swimsuits to Vail? Because I think their rental condo complex gave them access to a hot tub. When they packed luggage in NYC they included swimsuits. It was a coincidence that they would end up having an opportunity to swim in Lake Superior when they actually met Abby.

    I’m almost certain that their rental condo in Colorado was part of the complex of Chapel Square in Avon. http://www.chapelsquare.com/l_lodging.asp . Everything matches up with the film including the lamps, sofa, entertainment center, fireplace, kitchen, etc. Chapel Square condominiums has a communal exercise facility with a hot tub and steam shower.

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  231. Hi Mike, I can assure you that I am not Angela. I can’t speak for anyone else, but the way that I recently found out about Catfish was from a website called ‘Gawker’. About a week ago they posted an article about how MTV is developing a pilot based on this film. I had never heard of the film before, plugged it into google, read the imdb page and decided I wanted to watch it. I ironically posted a facebook status asking pple if they heard of it / owned it, and before the night was over I had a copy of the dvd in front of me.

    After the film, I found this page from (as aquaman suggested) googling ‘catfish fake’

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  232. I had previously mentioned that the guys use strawman counter-arguments when faced with claims of fakery. Here is an example from an interview..

    Moviefone: So, is it real?

    Rel Schulman: It is 100 percent real.

    Moviefone: What has the reaction been?

    Rel Schulman: Morgan Spurlock said to our producers [that] he loved the film. He thought it was the best fake documentary he’d ever seen. Zach Galifianakis, the great comedian, does not believe it’s true and cannot be swayed. If he wants to go as far as to say that, then I will say, “Zach, thank you. That makes Henry and I the two best screenwriters in Hollywood, and Nev is the best actor since Marlon Brando,” if that’s the case. You know we’re not that smart; we just have good instincts. We know when people are being fake.

    Henry Joost: I don’t even understand the logistics of it being fake. How would that even work?

    Rel Schulman: You’d have to hire Angela to act in a movie and write it.

    Henry Joost: But that gives us much more credit than we deserve. You know we’re idiots, now that you’ve met us.

    The strawman is Rel’s contention that in order for the film to be fake Angela would have to be a hired actor and actually write the film script. Almost nobody thinks that that would be the nexus of a faked Catfish film. Nearly everyone who thinks the film is fake is suggesting that the guys (or Nev) knew that Angela was pulling a scam and they just went along with it in order to make the film.

    Then Nev asks the interviewer why they might think it was fake…

    Nev Schulman: Why didn’t you think it was real?

    Moviefone: It was too perfect. structurally, and the way it wraps up.

    Rel Schulman: It felt that way to us also, as we were making it. We’re very lucky. We happened to be in Vail working on another film, and at that moment, we discovered things weren’t what they seemed. We look back at our experience and everything leads to this moment. As filmmakers we were ready; we felt like we spent our lives preparing to be ready, and it just happened to be me who shares the office with my brother and my producing partner.

    Nev Schulman: When you look back, you realize there were so many little details along the way that led to the film.

    Henry Joost: If you changed one thing, it would have gone the other way. And we made another film called ‘Opus Jazz,’ a ballet film. The photo Abby first painted was a shot we took on the set of that film. If we hadn’t made that film, this film wouldn’t have happened at all.

    So the interviewer doesn’t focus on the various clues in the film that suggest that Nev already knew about Angela, nor that most Catfish hoax theorists are unwilling to believe that Nev did not know. For this person, the film seems just too perfect and slick.

    Then we get to the NYC drama queens and their sympathetic supporter at Moviefone…

    Moviefone: So there you are, you’ve tracked them down to upstate Michigan. What about the moment when you’re driving up to the house? You knew it could have turned out very badly.

    Rel Schulman: It was the most terrifying moment of my life.

    Moviefone: What made you follow through?

    Rel Schulman: The truth.

    Moviefone: You could have died. You could have been killed.

    Nev Schulman: There was a real fear, a real possibility that we were going to get killed.

    Henry Joost: The suspense was killing us. Before we went to Michigan, we sent our hard drive back to New York with all the footage up to that point with instructions in case we didn’t come back.

    Most terrified ever? You could have been killed? WTF! These guys knew the farm was vacant. Because the farm sits at a t-intersection, they are able to drive past two sides of the farm and house to get a look before going in – and the film shows that they did do that. The postcards found in the mailbox means that nobody lives there. There is no car or truck parked at the house. For all we know, there could have been a “For Sale” real estate sign. The only reason they boldly opened the mailbox and then went in the driveway past the house to the barn is because they knew nobody was inside the house.

    Terrified or in mortal danger from what?!

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  233. MC wrote: “It seems to me that Nev has some kind of limited wardrobe all round… I’ll look at wardrobe and try to work out whether this dude has hardly any clothes or whether, as you imply, there’s some bigger issue.”

    Nev has with him no less than 8 different shirts for his trip to Vail and then Michigan. I don’t really think there is any bigger issue. It’s just that he decided to wear the exact same clothes two days after he had already worn them.

    “Never noticed the ‘no socks’ until you mentioned such. Could be his style….or could be the guy just can’t get organised to pack socks.”

    During the first two days in Ishpeming he is without socks. On day 3 he is wearing short white ankle socks.

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  234. I found this by googling catfish fake. Catfish/Angela was talked about on the local TV6 news here last night so I’d anticipate more people adding comments to this thread especially with the MTV show coming out.
    An interesting point in the article Aquaman posted “Rel Schulman: You’d have to hire Angela to act in a movie and write it.” I’m under the impression that she was paid for the movie and in essence it appears that she did write it by nature of the fact that all the facebook pages where scripted by her. It seems like everyone got paid except Amy Kuney.

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  235. Yoop, yes Angela was paid afterwards. Aimee Gonzales was paid too.

    I assume you do understand what Rel meant. He’s talking about hiring Angela to create a fake Facebook family before the filming even begins.

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  236. Aquaman, I just had a look at the date stamps re Megan’s rehab on my DVD. My copy has the Ryan Iverson post as 11 August 2008 at 10.36 am. So this matches with your version and Blair’s version.

    However, the next shot that comes up after this does show ‘Aug 10 ‘ on my copy. To the left and just above a blank face.

    Looks like this:

    Aug 10 Megan is going to check into http://ww.dawnfarm.org/ 10.23 a:m

    Under this is the message from Sarah Anne Iverson (I don’t see a date for the message from Sarah Iverson. I just see:

    Sarah Anne Iverson wrote at 12:45 pm (and then the message about Rain the horse)

    WiseLeo wrote that his version shows ‘August 10th @ 1036 for Megan’s status as going to rehab’.

    He hasn’t come back yet to clarify, so not sure what’s going on there. That being said, whilst I see Aug 10 (I don’t see it written the way he has posted it here), nor do I see the time of 10.36 for Megan rehab as he’s stating.

    Questions:
    1. Aquaman, Blair do either of you see the Aug 10 anywhere on the screen that I see to the left of Megan’s rehab post?
    2. It’s rather odd to me that WiseLeo and I both see the Aug 10 though the times appear to differ.
    3. It may well be that the Aug 10 refers to Sarah Iverson’s post, however isn’t it a bit odd that I don’t have date stamps on mine where you appear to have them etc.

    Aquaman as you wrote: ‘WiseLeo, you should look again closely at the timestamps of the rehab messages. Megan announces that she is checking into Dawn Farm. That message is timestamped at 10:23am on Monday, August 11th”.

    From that post, I can only conclude that you actually see that date written and that time stamp for the rehab post.

    Look forward to your thoughts.

    Reply
  237. Mike you wrote: ‘There seems to be a disproportionate amount of NEW commenters in this thread than in any thread we have ever had on Row Three’.

    I must admit that I too found it a little curious that all of sudden several new people joined after what was a bit of a lull. Still, Aquaman’s suggestion of how they may have found the site appears to have been accurate based on what Yoop and Blair have written. We do know that Angela is aware of Row Three (as her knowledge of such was brought to my attention in one of her emails to me where she claimed that she’d been sent the link via her lawyer). However, I’m not convinced that she’s on here posting anything under the guise of another persona just yet.

    This thread does have a far more extensive coverage with lots of details than any other site I’ve had a look at. So I guess for anyone whose interested in that level of detail this is the place to be.

    Will be interesting to see how many more new people join in etc.

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  238. Aquaman you wrote: ‘I’m almost certain that their rental condo in Colorado was part of the complex of Chapel Square in Avon. http://www.chapelsquare.com/l_lodging.asp . Everything matches’

    Wow, I’ve think you’re 100% right! Just had a look at the link you posted and yep I think you have found it. The fireplace behind them matches exactly as does the kitchen etc. How on earth you located this is, well…astounding! Makes sense re swimmers now, packed for the hot tub.

    Any luck working out where they stayed in Ishpeming/Marquette? That looks like it might be even more tricky, as we don’t get to see that much of the room really.

    As to the moviefone interview you put up. I hadn’t read that for a while and upon re-reading it today I actually laughed out loud. It seems so phony now. I think when I first read it I was still caught up in the hype and hadn’t really started looking at the film in real detail.

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  239. MC wrote: “1. Aquaman, Blair do either of you see the Aug 10 anywhere on the screen that I see to the left of Megan’s rehab post?”

    Yes, I see the date Aug 10. I believe that you, me, WiseLeo and Blair are all seeing the same things in the questioned scene. I do not think that there are regional version differences for this scene.

    MC wrote: “2. It’s rather odd to me that WiseLeo and I both see the Aug 10 though the times appear to differ.”

    I believe that WiseLeo has made two typographical errors. First was when he/she said that Megan announced rehab at 10:30am, then another error when he/she changed that to 10:36am. Nobody made any posting at exactly 10:30am. The time of 10:36am is for Ryan’s note, not Megan.

    MC wrote: “3. It may well be that the Aug 10 refers to Sarah Iverson’s post, however isn’t it a bit odd that I don’t have date stamps on mine where you appear to have them etc.”

    August 10 is the date for Sarah Iverson’s post because her post falls below the date that Facebook has inserted to allow a user to know what date that any particular past post was made. August 10 is not the date for Megan’s rehab announcement because as you can see, that post is above the date that Facebook inserted. Facebook stacks posts chronologically with the newest being placed on top. The Megan post is more recent than the Sarah post and that is why it is stacked on top of Sarah’s post. But again, note that the Facebook-inserted date falls between them. This means that midnight passed between the two postings and we have a date change. The only reason why we can’t see the Facebook-inserted date of August 11 (or “Today” or “Yesterday”) somewhere above Megan’s post is because the camera is not revealing the full height of the Facebook page. There is more up there above our view.

    It is true that neither I nor WiseLeo are actually seeing datestamps for the Megan & Sarah posts. This is because Facebook doesn’t mark individual posts in this way. Facebook does timestamp each post but they don’t datestamp them. Facebook designates dates by inserting a date over on the left, and that date applies to all posts falling BELOW it. That is how they deal with batches (stacks) of posts that all come in on the same date. Again, the Megan post is placed ABOVE the date of August 10, not BELOW it.

    Another detail worth mentioning is that Megan & Sarah’s message posts are Facebook Wall postings. While Ryan’s message to Nev is a Facebook (private) Message that would not be visible to their friends in common. It goes into Nev’s Message Box and is meant to be read by only him.

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  240. MC wrote: “Wow, I’ve think you’re 100% right! Just had a look at the link you posted and yep I think you have found it. The fireplace behind them matches exactly as does the kitchen etc. How on earth you located this is, well…astounding! Makes sense re swimmers now, packed for the hot tub.”

    I would have found it within about 5 minutes if I hadn’t been fooled by a brief scene in the film. There is a shot of the exterior of a large condo complex just before they start the stolen song scene. I mistakenly thought this was their place. It isn’t. I did take 15 minutes to find that place but the interior, windows and porch railing were no match for the filmed scenes of their condo. So I had to start over again.

    It was also a big help that I used a photo from the Supermarche blog: http://gosupermarche.com/deardiary/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/sun_block.jpg . This shows details of the window configuration, furnishing details and even the balcony railing design. You will find that it is a perfect match for Chapel Square 2-bedroom condo units.

    MC wrote: “Any luck working out where they stayed in Ishpeming/Marquette? That looks like it might be even more tricky, as we don’t get to see that much of the room really.”

    Yeah, it’s tricky. We can see the furnishings and upholstery. There is a channel card sitting on the TV which probably shows the hotel logo, but it’s too blurry for me to make out details. Based on what I can see of the room I think it’s the Ramada Inn in Marquette. I’m not certain of that, but the chair upholstery pattern and the unique table lamp shape are a match for the Ramada Inn.

    Here is a photo from the room from the Supermarche blog: http://gosupermarche.com/deardiary/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/same_bed.jpg .

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  241. MC, in reponse to “1. Aquaman, Blair do either of you see the Aug 10 anywhere on the screen that I see to the left of Megan’s rehab post?”

    I see Aug 10 posted but I’m not too sure if the date is meant to be for when Meg posted her rehab announcement or for when Sarah Iverson posted to her wall

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  242. Blair you wrote: ‘I see Aug 10 posted but I’m not too sure if the date is meant to be for when Meg posted her rehab announcement or for when Sarah Iverson posted to her wall’

    Thanks for coming back with your info. I think based on what Aquaman has posted above and your contribution that it would now seem we all see the date Aug 10, including of course WiseLeo. Like you, I wasn’t sure which message this applied to, however Aquaman’s proposition is that it applies to Sarah Iverson’s message and that Megan’s rehab announcement belongs to the 11th.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘August 10 is the date for Sarah Iverson’s post because her post falls below the date that Facebook has inserted to allow a user to know what date that any particular past post was made. August 10 is not the date for Megan’s rehab announcement because as you can see, that post is above the date that Facebook inserted. Facebook stacks posts chronologically with the newest being placed on top.’

    His explanation makes sense. Unfortunately, we still haven’t had any reply from WiseLeo to explain the time stamp inconsistencies he/she posted. So it would seem that Aquaman’s deductions are correct and that WiseLeo has:
    1) confused the date 10 Aug (like I did) as being in relation to the Megan’s rehab.
    2) made a few typographical errors in respect to the time stamp he/she mentions.

    It would now seem that despite the post production error regarding the boys’ departure date from Vail (which shows as 10th of August and discussed a while ago), that they did infact depart on the 9th, (overnighted Gladstone on the 9th), first met Angela on the 10th of August at 1.15 pm thereabouts, dinner at Applebees, then on the 11th the whole rehab situation & post by Megan occurs. The 12th it would appear from Aquaman’s timeline is ‘the final day Angela sketches Nev at her home. Nev says he is ready to go home. Abby is shown in her bedroom with a clock displaying 12:27pm’.

    In fact, as Aquaman points out ‘during [the] scene [at the horse riding school on 11th of August], Angela tells Nev that Megan is indeed at Dawn Farm with no explanation of what that place represents’.

    So this all makes sense now, Nev reads the FB post re Megan rehab on the 11th so later that day at the riding school when Angela mentions ‘Dawn Farm’, Nev is already aware of what this place is and doesn’t ask for clarification.

    So….where to next I wonder? I know there’s more to find, just not sure what point to dissect next.

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  243. Aquaman you wrote: ‘…on what I can see of the room I think it’s the Ramada Inn in Marquette’. Yep, you’ve nailed it! The red and white diamond pattern on the chair, the lamp shape, the wooden headboard and picture above headboard etc (all match!).

    Looked at the link you posted from supermarchediaryand the pics on the Ramada/Marquette website. I believe you’re 100% correct. Amazing!

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  244. Yoop you wrote: ‘Catfish/Angela was talked about on the local TV6 news here last night ‘ I’m wondering what the main areas of the story involved. Please post what you saw/heard etc.

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  245. MC wrote: “So….where to next I wonder? I know there’s more to find, just not sure what point to dissect next.”

    Lakeside Motor Inn, Gladstone, Michigan. There is an apparent match with bed cover, drapery and window framing.

    http://www.lakesidemotorinnmi.com .

    http://www.mi-motels-review.com/?n=lakeside+motor+inn&id=2803519&t=hotel .

    Also, I think I can now see a “For Sale” realtor sign in front of the farm next to the road. It shows up in two different scenes. Immediately to the left of the driveway is the mailbox – immediately to the right of the driveway is the realtor sign.

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  246. Aquaman you wrote: ‘Lakeside Motor Inn, Gladstone, Michigan. There is an apparent match with bed cover, drapery and window framing’.

    I had a look at the links you posted and I’m pretty sure you’ve again come up trumps! The curtains are green with a light green leaf pattern, which matches the glimpse we get in the film. The window framing matches as well (four glass panels down/white bars separating). We see a shot of window and the air-conditioner is under the window in the film. This appears to match the picture of front of the hotel (you can see air-conditioner positioned just under the windows on the upper floor). However, re ‘match on bed cover’, I couldn’t actually find a shot of the bed cover in the film (just blankets) so can’t compare that aspect.

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  247. Aquaman you wrote: ‘ think I can now see a “For Sale” realtor sign in front of the farm next to the road. It shows up in two different scenes’

    Really had to struggle to see this and all I can make out is a large white square which could be a realtor sign. I can’t get in close enough to actually see anything that confirms it’s a for sale sign or other. Are you able to actually see the words ‘for sale’ or any colours which might match the realtor logo/signage who had this property listed?

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  248. Aquaman I’ve been making a list of things don’t seem to match or are very suspicious, to try to work out which ones could legitimately be put down to editing issues/other, and which ones on the balance of probablilities point to fake/staged/manipulated or otherwise.

    1. The band’s tee shirt (as you point out it’s odd that Nev didn’t notice the line below the logo) three words which aren’t in keeping with a band. Still this can be put down to Nev just not noticing. There is consistency in the fact that he appears to miss a lot of things (obvious things, like not noticing that Abby is actually holding a ‘rat’ (not a mouse).

    2. The mountains where they shouldn’t be, car reflection in hudcap not matching. Editing issues.

    3. Why they bothered to film the posting of the postcards? This really points to ‘we knew the farm was vacant’. By filming the posting of the postcards it positions the whole thing nicely for the farm arrival and discovery of the postcards in the mail box. Logically, I’ve never thought that anyone would look in someone else’s mail box, unless they were hoping to find something they believed might still be there. I think this one deserves further exploration.

    4. The long standing friendship between the film makers and Amy Kuney on one hand, and their reaction/or rather lack thereof, to discovering the ‘All Downhill’ song is by Amy Kuney on the other. This one really leaps out as ‘most peculiar’ and points in my opinion to staging.

    5. The different dates re Megan’s uploading of ‘Truman Sleeps’. Your version with June 18 2008, my version with December 27 2007. I guess this could be an editing issue, however my version does certainly suggest that the film makers knew about the whole deception a lot earlier than we are led to believe.

    6. That not one of these guys connected the dots regarding the name of the song and the movie ‘The Truman Show’.

    7. The dual chat windows you refer to and the chatting via Nev and Henry this way, when they’re across the table from each other. I don’t know enough about chat windows to work out potential red flags that are raised on this aspect.

    8. Search of realtor listings – Abby’s building but apparently not proceeding to search Megan’s farm when we know Nev had a listing for that property too. Why not go that extra step, that doesn’t make sense and leads me to conclude that they did in fact take that extra step and of course don’t reveal it in the film to keep up the whole ‘drama’ aspect for the farm arrival.

    9. The date of departure from Vail to Michigan shown as 10th of August. Editing flaw it would seem, based on the sequence which follows.

    10. The possibility that there is a ‘for sale’ sign out the front of the farm. If this be the case, then you’d think one of them would mention ‘whoa..the place is for sale, what’s going on here?’ Unless of course they don’t want the viewer to know they already know the place is for sale and vacant (which is of course the most likely scenario). Also it would only have taken a quick phone call to find out if a) the place was still for sale and b) suggest you wanted to view it and find out if it is vacant or occupied. I believe that’s what they did.

    I still think that with the number of editing issues and the number of aspects which don’t add up generally, that somewhere in this film is a key thing that we’re missing. Something really obvious that can’t be put down to editing issues, or being naive.

    mmmmm….from my perspective it’s okay to stage things or manipulate things for entertainment value as long as you’re up front about such and not still banging the ‘documentary drum’ and ‘it’s all 100% true’.

    Interested to see what you think warrants further/deeper investigation at this stage.

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  249. MC wrote: “However, re ‘match on bed cover’, I couldn’t actually find a shot of the bed cover in the film (just blankets) so can’t compare that aspect.”

    The bed cover is off the bed and on the floor to the left. Look for it and you’ll see it when Nev is reading the sexy text messages to Henry.

    MC wrote: “Really had to struggle to see this and all I can make out is a large white square which could be a realtor sign. I can’t get in close enough to actually see anything that confirms it’s a for sale sign or other. Are you able to actually see the words ‘for sale’ or any colours which might match the realtor logo/signage who had this property listed?”

    The sign is of the correct shape and size for a temporary realty sign. It’s also located right where they would put it. It makes sense because the farm is for sale. I can see that there is lettering/logo and color which is not entirely unlike the Town & Country Real Estate logo.

    I think your list is good but you left out a major one. There is a scene that differs on our DVD versions. It’s when Nev is leaving the phone message for Megan about going to Vail. Nev leaves a different message on our two versions but some of it is the same. It seems scripted and there were two different “takes”. But it should have been a single natural spontaneous voicemail for her. This is very suspicious. I have a feeling that he wasn’t actually leaving her a voicemail at all but was instead pretending to for the film.

    Nobody would even know this happened if they didn’t have access to both the USA and the Australian versions.

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  250. Aquaman, you’re right, I did forget about that scene difference, which implies two takes re the voice mail. I’ll add that to the list. Plus, just remembered that my version also has Vince on the porch talking about the building he wanted to rent for Angela etc. I recall your version didn’t have that. However, I suppose that one could simply be put down to ‘we decided to leave it out of the US version’ so not much in that difference really.

    I watched the Gladstone hotel scene several times and didn’t pick up the bed spread (will go back and have another look) and focus on ‘the floor to the left’ when Nev is reading the sexy texts.

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  251. Aquaman you wrote: ‘The bed cover is off the bed and on the floor to the left’. I think I see it now but boy is it quick. For 99% of the Nev reading the texts all I see is Nev’s face (he’s lying down) I can’t see anything but his face, hand and phone. Then nearing the end of this it cuts briefly to Rel in the background and around here is when I think I might see the bed cover you refer to for like a second. Is this matching with what you see?

    Aquaman what date do you have on your list as the guys arriving in Vail? I seem to recall some discussion way back where we had thought perhaps they arrived a bit earlier than August. I’ve got Friday, 1 August 2008 on my list for arrival (does that match with what you’ve got)?

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  252. MC wrote: “Aquaman, you’re right, I did forget about that scene difference, which implies two takes re the voice mail. I’ll add that to the list. Plus, just remembered that my version also has Vince on the porch talking about the building he wanted to rent for Angela etc. I recall your version didn’t have that. However, I suppose that one could simply be put down to ‘we decided to leave it out of the US version’ so not much in that difference really.”

    The significance of the two different voicemails is twofold. First, I think it clearly shows that there are staged and scripted scenes in spite of the filmmakers insisting that there aren’t any (other than some computer screenshots). This impeaches the three guys and indicates that certain things that they tell interviewers are simply not true. Their comments about the film cannot be taken at face value. Secondly, it reinforces my opinion that one or both of these voicemails is a fake – Nev is only pretending to leave a voicemail message for Megan. The assumed intent of calling is to inform Megan that they are going to Vail, let her know when they will be there, and to invite her and her family to join them. But the two messages give entirely different dates for when they will be in Vail. Both messages were created in the same timeframe in Nev’s office because the clothing, seating position and natural lighting are the same. These could have been done within seconds or minutes of each other.

    Now put yourself into the shoes of Megan (well, Angela) who gets these two significantly different messages on her voicemail. She has no real idea of when they will actually be going to Vail because the dates are different. Neither voicemail contains a clarifying statement such as “disregard my previous message” or “we’ve had a change of dates for Vail” or anything like that. This suggests to me that one or both of the messages wasn’t even intended for Megan and was instead a fake scene for the film.

    So why would they do this? I think it may be just another scene meant to try to convince the audience that Nev really believes that the Facebook Family is genuine and honest. I think the postcard mailing scene was done for the same purpose. These are staged acts meant to manipulate the audience into thinking that Nev “doesn’t know” when he indeed does know.

    I still have a largely undeveloped sub-theory that Angela already knew they were coming to visit her even before they left for Vail. That Nev told her that after the dance festival was over they would come to Ishpeming before returning to NYC. Both voicemails are faked for the film. The finding of the stolen songs scene is entirely staged for the purpose of giving the audience a reason for the (already arranged) trip to Michigan. The risks of them truly going to Michigan unannounced are too great. Not so much that they would face harm, but that it would be a complete waste of effort and time leaving them with nothing useful for any kind of interesting film.

    MC wrote: “Then nearing the end of this it cuts briefly to Rel in the background and around here is when I think I might see the bed cover you refer to for like a second. Is this matching with what you see?”

    Yes, you see the bed cover after Nev has pulled the blankets over his head and is still reading texts. You pretty much have to see this with a hi-def TV and going frame-by-frame. Anyway, it looks like the same pattern we see in the motel link.

    MC wrote: “Aquaman what date do you have on your list as the guys arriving in Vail? I seem to recall some discussion way back where we had thought perhaps they arrived a bit earlier than August. I’ve got Friday, 1 August 2008 on my list for arrival (does that match with what you’ve got)?”

    On my DVD, Nev leaves the voicemail for Megan indicating that they are leaving for Vail on Monday, July 28th. According to your email exchange with Nev, they actually flew to Denver (instead of the airport at Vail) and then rented a car to drive to Vail.

    On your DVD, Nev leaves the voicemail for Megan indicating they will arrive in Vail on Saturday, August 2nd.

    The Supermarche blog indicates that they arrived in Vail on Friday, August 1st. There is also a blog entry with photo of a dance stage which indicates that they are still in NYC on Thursday, July 31st.

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  253. Aquaman you wrote: ‘On my DVD, Nev leaves the voicemail for Megan indicating that they are leaving for Vail on Monday, July 28th. According to your email exchange with Nev, they actually flew to Denver (instead of the airport at Vail) and then rented a car to drive to Vail’.

    Not knowing your US geography really disadvantages me, it’s very hard to pick up nuances in time for distances, feasibility in certain modes of transport or even where airports exist etc. However, I take it then that although voice mail on your DVD says leaving Monday 28 July, and supermarche blog shows still in NYC on July 31st and states they arrived Vail 1 Aug, that email correspondence I received from Nev clarifies inadvertedly that they did leave later than 28 July, flew to Denver and rented car to drive to Vail and still arrived on 1 Aug.

    Q. If, as it seems they were running short of time (as in left later than 28 July), why wouldn’t they fly straight into Vail? Why fly to Denver and then rent a car? This might seem like a stupid question, but as I say my geography disadvantages me.

    Aquaman you wrote: ‘The assumed intent of calling is to inform Megan that they are going to Vail, let her know when they will be there, and to invite her and her family to join them. But the two messages give entirely different dates for when they will be in Vail’.

    Yes, ‘we’re leaving on the 28th, (which they don’t do in fact), ‘we’ll be in Vail from the 2nd’ (which is not the case either), and yet there is no message left to clarify for Megan/Angela actual arrival date and change of plans does seem very odd.

    Aquaman you wrote: ‘I still have a largely undeveloped sub-theory that Angela already knew they were coming to visit her even before they left for Vail. That Nev told her that after the dance festival was over they would come to Ishpeming before returning to NYC. The finding of the stolen songs scene is entirely staged for the purpose of giving the audience a reason for the (already arranged) trip to Michigan’.

    How does this figure into the drive to horse farm scene and telephone call with Megan/Angela during that drive. Why isn’t there any discussion on either end as to where the boys are at that point? I would think logically, that Megan/Angela would say something akin to ‘so where are you now? Are you heading back tomorrow then to NYC (on the basis that this is the 9th of August) and they were going to be in Vail from 2nd to 10th in my version. This seems to provide some validity to your sub theory. However, there is something rather odd about the phone call, the whole ‘chain rubbing from dancing and a rash’ still sounds as if Angela (as Megan) isn’t aware they’re on to her. That call doesn’t feel staged to me.

    What your proposing does seem to make sense to a degree. Especially in light of the fact that my version shows ‘Truman Sleeps’ as uploaded December 2007, and yours shows June 2008 which always made me think they knew much earlier about the deception than the film leads the audience to believe.

    I recall somewhere that someone mentioned that it was curious that they didn’t fly into Green Bay, or some issue with why they chose to fly to Michigan. Could you clarify this one for me?

    Just can’t figure why, if Angela had been advised by Nev while they were in Vail, that they were coming to Ishpeming and the trip was planned that the phone call ‘about rash’ etc would seem so oddly genuine.

    Interested to hear your thoughts.

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  254. Marco wrote: ‘How could these intelligent guys think for a second that their film would be remotely interesting if it panned out as it seemed to be going? There was absolutely no drama involved until the song stealing. None’.

    Just re-read this post and this hones down the key issue in my opinion and affirms Aquaman’s position (song stealing scene all staged). There wasn’t any drama or any reason to think their film would be interesting, unless….they already knew months and months before Vail that there was a deception, had done research on this basis and then set traps to lead Angela along for the purposes of making the film. Such advance knowledge would in fact make them privy to how interesting the film could potentially be and place them in a unique position of manipulating the situation to ellucidate responses from Angela/Megan etc that they would already know would show deception and of epic proportions. Such advance knowledge of the deception, would have enabled them to check out the farm find it was vacant, mail post cards, create drama by rolling up to the ‘scary’ farm, carry on conversations about how gallery openings went etc etc. And, then of course have planned the trip to Ishpeming in advance (not just decided to go as the film implies upon discovering the stolen songs in Vail).

    However, it is still somewhat debatable as to when Angela actually knew they knew.

    Marco, as to the line ‘these intelligent guys’, that’s what seems so odd in the film all along. One can credit them with a certain level of intelligence, (they did make the film etc). On the other hand, they or more particularly Nev and Joost, appear naive to a point of absurdity.

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  255. MC wrote: “Not knowing your US geography really disadvantages me, it’s very hard to pick up nuances in time for distances, feasibility in certain modes of transport or even where airports exist etc. However, I take it then that although voice mail on your DVD says leaving Monday 28 July, and supermarche blog shows still in NYC on July 31st and states they arrived Vail 1 Aug, that email correspondence I received from Nev clarifies inadvertedly that they did leave later than 28 July, flew to Denver and rented car to drive to Vail and still arrived on 1 Aug.”

    It’s about 130 miles (209 km) from the Denver airport to Vail. It should be under 3 hours to drive. They could easily drive to Vail right after they rent the car. Avon (the rental condo) is only about 8 miles from Vail. You can find all these places in Colorado, Chicago (Illinois) and Michigan and their distances from each other by looking at Google Maps.

    Q. “If, as it seems they were running short of time (as in left later than 28 July), why wouldn’t they fly straight into Vail? Why fly to Denver and then rent a car? This might seem like a stupid question, but as I say my geography disadvantages me.”

    The airport at Vail is a smaller regional airport (Eagle County Airport). The flights to Vail from NYC might be expensive and/or don’t run on a regular basis. They may not have been able to get a flight to Vail when they wanted or needed it. Denver is a large international airport and flights to there from NYC are frequent and relatively cheap. They would still have to rent a car even if they flew straight into Vail.

    MC wrote: “Yes, ‘we’re leaving on the 28th, (which they don’t do in fact), ‘we’ll be in Vail from the 2nd’ (which is not the case either), and yet there is no message left to clarify for Megan/Angela actual arrival date and change of plans does seem very odd.”

    Very odd.

    Aquaman you wrote: “I still have a largely undeveloped sub-theory that Angela already knew they were coming to visit her even before they left for Vail. That Nev told her that after the dance festival was over they would come to Ishpeming before returning to NYC. The finding of the stolen songs scene is entirely staged for the purpose of giving the audience a reason for the (already arranged) trip to Michigan.”

    MC wrote: “How does this figure into the drive to horse farm scene and telephone call with Megan/Angela during that drive. Why isn’t there any discussion on either end as to where the boys are at that point? I would think logically, that Megan/Angela would say something akin to ‘so where are you now? Are you heading back tomorrow then to NYC (on the basis that this is the 9th of August) and they were going to be in Vail from 2nd to 10th in my version. This seems to provide some validity to your sub theory. However, there is something rather odd about the phone call, the whole ‘chain rubbing from dancing and a rash’ still sounds as if Angela (as Megan) isn’t aware they’re on to her. That call doesn’t feel staged to me.”

    Any words about driving or whatever could be cut out of the footage or deleted. The guys know than can edit anything they want or need to.

    When Nev is in the car only a couple hours from the farm he is talking to Megan, not Angela. My sub-theory has Nev telling Angela that they are coming to visit, not telling Megan. Nev tells Angela they are coming to film Abby for the documentary about her painting and also of course to meet them. Nev doesn’t tell Angela that they are going to stop by the farm. Nev may have even told Angela to keep his visit a secret from Megan so that it would be a surprise for her. Angela is sort of stuck and at the mercy of Nev because she can’t rightly tell Megan every word he speaks to her nor can Megan tell Angela everything that Nev tells her. This is a mother and daughter, and much of the sexy long distance romance and details of their conversations are strictly between Nev and Megan.

    But my sub-theory is more than that. I think that Nev knew that Angela was the voice of Megan well before they went to Vail. This would allow him to control certain situations because he could play those two personas (Angela & Megan) off of each other. Just imagine what Nev could do knowing that Angela is Megan. During the “chain rubbing from dancing” conversation in the car he knows that he is talking to Angela and that Megan isn’t at the farm. Megan is Angela. Nobody is at the farm at all.

    Most of the film involves Nev pretending that he doesn’t know he is being scammed. He pretends that to the audience, to Angela and to Megan. The stolen songs scene is essentially scripted/staged because they already knew that Nev was never sent any original song before they went to Vail. All they needed to do was pretend that they were finding these songs right then and there… and act surprised and somewhat angered. Then pretend to suddenly decide to go to Michigan, even though they had already planned to do that back in NYC before they went to Vail.

    The farm scene is essentially scripted/staged too. They already know that the farm is still up for sale. Nobody lives there. They pretended that maybe Angela does live there. Don’t forget that Nev mailed those postcards to the farm almost 2 months earlier. Megan doesn’t ever mention the cards because she isn’t at the farm. They know that. This is why Nev actually anticipates finding the cards just before he opens the mailbox. He says “please please please” as he is reaching for the handle as if he were somebody scratching off a lottery card. The only reason he would repeatedly say “please” is because he already knows there is nobody at the farm to remove any mail from the box and there is a good chance the cards have just been sitting there for many weeks. But it’s still all faked drama for the audience. The realty sign is sitting there right in front of them.

    MC wrote: “What your proposing does seem to make sense to a degree. Especially in light of the fact that my version shows ‘Truman Sleeps’ as uploaded December 2007, and yours shows June 2008 which always made me think they knew much earlier about the deception than the film leads the audience to believe.”

    Nonetheless, my sub-theory that Angela knew they were coming has no real proof or certainty. I entertain it as a possibility. Nearly all of my hoax theory does not depend on her knowing they were coming. It’s an option.

    MC wrote: “I recall somewhere that someone mentioned that it was curious that they didn’t fly into Green Bay, or some issue with why they chose to fly to Michigan. Could you clarify this one for me?”

    Green Bay is a smaller regional airport which may not have frequent or inexpensive flights from Denver. Their only viable or reasonable option may have been to fly to O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois and drive the 350+ miles to Michigan.

    MC wrote: “Just can’t figure why, if Angela had been advised by Nev while they were in Vail, that they were coming to Ishpeming and the trip was planned that the phone call ‘about rash’ etc would seem so oddly genuine.”

    Again, Nev was talking to Megan not Angela. Angela knows they are coming but Megan doesn’t know. That’s still optional as my theory might be wrong.

    I should mention another wildly contradictory bit of dialogue as they pull up to the farm. As they are driving up (but still on the road) they see a floodlight on over the door of the barn. It’s the only light on the whole property that is on. Nev says the light is on because Megan told him that a horse is giving birth. Moments later he is saying please please please at the mailbox. WTF is that all about? The light is on because Megan lives there and there is a horse giving birth but the cards might be in the box because Megan doesn’t live there let alone anyone else. Do you see the bizarre contradiction? Megan lives at the farm but she never removes the mail from her mailbox.

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  256. After getting the cards from the mailbox, they turn around and go into the driveway. About halfway down the driveway is the house… a bit further is the barn. Just as they roll past the house Rel says “This all looks familiar.” Then Nev replies “It’s from the photos.” What photos? The photos in the real estate listing for the farm.

    The looked at the online realty listing for the farm before they went there.

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  257. Ms Curious, I know you said that someone in your household threw out the DVD cover, but I’m wondering if you could remember what it looks like? I’m in Australia and am wanting to buy the same version of the DVD that you have. I have noticed that there are two different covers. Did your cover look like this one http://booko.com.au/books/isbn/5060116726190 or did it look like this one: http://booko.com.au/books/isbn/0025192074233. I am wondering if the Australian distributed DVD (that Ms Curious has) is a “less-edited” i.e. earlier version. I’m wondering that based on the inclusion of “Pierce”, “Downhill” in the credits (possibly removed it later versions due to copyright/royalties dispute). I’m pretty sure that was the version I saw in a Sydney movie theatre in January.

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  258. Aquaman wrote: ‘When Nev is in the car only a couple hours from the farm he is talking to Megan, not Angela. My sub-theory has Nev telling Angela that they are coming to visit, not telling Megan. Nev tells Angela they are coming to film Abby for the documentary about her painting and also of course to meet them’.

    Now this is a really interesting take on things. On this premise then, Angela as Angela is aware they’re coming (but on the basis as you propose to) ‘film Abby for the documentry’.

    Very logical..it provides the guys with a window to make the journey worthwhile. They’re not going in cold as they make out in the film, they are in fact going in under false pretenses (a ruse created to gain access into the house etc).

    This would seem to match in with why Angela upon their arrival, repeats twice ‘Abby isn’t here’ or words to this effect. It seems to emphasize that’s what she believes they’ve come for. It would seem that their ‘planned’ visit to Ishpeming as you suggest is known to Angela, albeit on the pretense of filming Abby. Superbly logical.

    Angela’s surprise then, if you see it as that, when they land on her doorstep is possibly then due to her not being advised of when they’re turning up exactly date wise, or possibly due to fear of what they’re going to find out next. Hence, the alarming auto creation of a sympathy vote regarding ‘cancer’.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘Nev may have even told Angela to keep his visit a secret from Megan so that it would be a surprise for her. Angela is sort of stuck and at the mercy of Nev because she can’t rightly tell Megan every word he speaks to her nor can Megan tell Angela everything that Nev tells her. This is a mother and daughter, and much of the sexy long distance romance and details of their conversations are strictly between Nev and Megan’.

    Yes, I see your point. How in God’s name any of them managed to keep their stories straight is pretty incredible. In my opinion, It’s the motive behind the respective actions that absolves or damms the parties involved. Deception due to sadness, lonliness and escapism can find an excuse, deception due to manipulation for profit is inexcusable.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘Nev doesn’t tell Angela that they are going to stop by the farm’.

    Agree this seems highly possible, especially as Angela, as I recall mentions at this first meeting when Nev asks about Megan ‘on no she lives way out in Gladstone’ (not exact words just from memory here). Arguably, had Angela known in advance that they were going to stop by the farm, she might have taken that drive to get the post cards. Of course, I’m making an assumption that Angela as Megan knew such were being sent.

    Possibly, in hindsight a foolish assumption on my part, because we as the audience never get to find out why Nev doesn’t bring up ‘did you get the postcards with Megan at any time shown to us during a 2 month time span’ or ‘whether he ever revealed he’d sent them at all’ or why ‘they chose to film that particular scene of the posting and didn’t follow up’ or why ‘the postcard issue is never raised with Angela during the film’. All pointing to heavily staged, they knew in advance, planned the postcard sending etc.

    So from Angela’s perspective then, (as Angela the creator of all characters), the Megan ruse is still not up yet at the time she’s talking to Nev as Megan. Angela as Megan can carry on a conversation about ‘rashes, dancing, horses giving birth’ etc because Angela as creator has no cause to think these guys are going anywhere near the farm. Under your sub theory, from Angela’s perspective ‘they’re going to Ishpeming to film Abby’. This even matches with the dinner scene at Applebees, where Angela quizzes Abby on her preferred drawing tools. It also matches with why the reveals occur on the 11th and 12th of August, they’ve been stringing Angela out for days since the first meeting, getting as much as they could.

    Aquaman wrote: I should mention another wildly contradictory bit of dialogue as they pull up to the farm. As they are driving up (but still on the road) they see a floodlight on over the door of the barn. It’s the only light on the whole property that is on. Nev says the light is on because Megan told him that a horse is giving birth. Moments later he is saying please please please at the mailbox. WTF is that all about? The light is on because Megan lives there and there is a horse giving birth but the cards might be in the box because Megan doesn’t live there let alone anyone else. Do you see the bizarre contradiction? Megan lives at the farm but she never removes the mail from her mailbox’.

    Yes I see the bizarre contradiction. The words ‘please, please, please’, are very damming. The only reason he even thinks to look in the mail box and is so ‘hoping’ is because at the time of sending the postcards they well and truly knew the place was vacant. Probably didn’t tell Angela as Megan such had been sent, hence no conversations regarding ‘did you get the postcards’ and hence the ‘please, please, please’ Nev hoping that for dramatic effect the postcards would still be there.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘This is why Nev actually anticipates finding the cards’.

    Yes you’ve nailed it. It’s the anticipation aspect that is so troubling. If he didn’t know the place was empty, why would he anticipate the cards being still there?

    Meanwhile, he’s carrying on a conversation with Angela as Megan only moments before this. Why would he think to look in the mail box unless he knew the place was vacant and had been for some time. Conversely, why would he make a statement about the light being on due to horse giving birth and then proceed to look in the mail box. Dramatic effect!

    You know there’s something else in that farm scene that niggled at me. Someone says, ‘you can drive around the back’ or something like that (I could be wrong, just from memory, so I’ll have to go back and listen/look yet again). It made me feel that they were rather too familiar with the whole layout of the property and especially since it’s night time.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘Just as they roll past the house Rel says “This all looks familiar.” Then Nev replies “It’s from the photos.” What photos? The photos in the real estate listing for the farm’.

    Yep….absolutely agree 100% that anyone with half a brain would have looked on line at the Megan farm link (after discovering the Abby gallery was empty/still for sale)…they did… and as you say ‘before they went there’.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘I think that Nev knew that Angela was the voice of Megan well before they went to Vail. This would allow him to control certain situations because he could play those two personas (Angela & Megan) off of each other. Just imagine what Nev could do knowing that Angela is Megan’.

    The voices are remarkably similar and presumably many more conversations occured between Angela as Angela and Angela as Megan and Nev than we ever get to see. The call in the car during the trip to the farm is the one where Angela as Megan, sound most like Angela as Angela. The voice is deeper, not as sweet, not as many breaths and pauses. Still, this could be put down to ‘being family’, voices can sound very similar.

    Indeed, if your sub theory is provable…then the film makers have acted in a most devious fashion in many ways, leading Angela on for the sake of their film, decieving the viewer with the notion of ‘all true’ ‘doco’ etc..etc…

    Aquaman wrote: ‘Nearly all of my hoax theory does not depend on her knowing they were coming. It’s an option’.

    Agreed, the issues discovered so far still point to hoax in parts and aren’t dependent on ‘[Angela] knowing they were coming’. Nevertheless, I love your sub-theory!

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  259. Re: sir name of ‘Faccio’ for Megan. ‘Faccio’ means in Italian ‘I make/I do’ so it would appear that Megan Faccio translates to ‘I make Megan’.

    Curious on both a metaphorical level and literal level. Angela ‘made’ (created) Megan as a character. Angela ‘made’ (gave birth/created) the child ‘she claims’ is called Megan.

    Whilst I believe that Angela gave birth to a female child well prior to Abby, I stand by my position that this child has never been known by the name Megan.

    I still see the whole beachhouse scene where the name Megan is used and verified via Abby as very …..sketchy. Abby may have become used to hearing that name over the years as relating to a sister who was given up or other, but I do not believe that Abby has ever met the other child as ‘Megan’ or ‘under any other name’.

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  260. Metaphors are fun.

    Megan Faccio = Megan makes. In the movie, Megan says she makes pies. Angela named her Faccio because she is a pie maker.

    Ryan Iverson = Son of Iver. Iver Johnson was a US company that made guns. Angela named him Iverson because Ryan is a son of a gun.

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  261. MC wrote: “Now this is a really interesting take on things. On this premise then, Angela as Angela is aware they’re coming (but on the basis as you propose to) ‘film Abby for the documentry’. Very logical..it provides the guys with a window to make the journey worthwhile. They’re not going in cold as they make out in the film, they are in fact going in under false pretenses (a ruse created to gain access into the house etc).”

    There really is no other logical premise for the guys filming the moment of meeting Angela, then over at the beach house and then at Applebee’s for dinner. They must completely represent themselves as filming an Abby documentary with no real knowledge of the scamming. Of course Angela would realize that they must immediately know that she doesn’t match her own Facebook picture nor does Vince either. The guys must have had a special situation with Vince. If they tell him they are there to film Abby the famous artist he is immediately going to scratch his head and wonder WTF they are talking about. Vince doesn’t know that his wife the artist told those guys that Abby was creating all the paintings.

    At the beach house, Nev apparently confronts Abby (with Lauren) when Angela isn’t around. She essentially confirms that she isn’t a painter and that she never gets to see her sister Megan. But I think that Nev already knew that Abby wasn’t the artist and that Angela was the voice of Megan even before he went to Vail. Nev must not have told Angela that Abby had “confessed” to him in private, because she continues to act like Abby is the painter and that Megan is in Gladstone but not answering her phone.

    MC wrote: “How in God’s name any of them managed to keep their stories straight is pretty incredible.”

    Indeed. But you know what? Maybe they really weren’t able to keep their stories straight… by accident. Maybe early on Nev learned that Angela was the voice of Megan by some accidental slip-of-the-tongue or “Freudian slip” by Angela. You can begin to imagine the possibilities of Angela accidentally saying something that only Megan could know. Nev could therefore immediately understand that Angela is Megan. The reverse could have happened too. Nev could have accidentally said something that revealed to Angela that he knows she is Megan. This possibility reinforces a suspicion that I mentioned earlier in the thread.

    I think that Angela knew that Nev knew he was being played. This could explain why Angela was so lazy about covering her tracks and making efforts to make it very difficult for Nev to confirm that he was being scammed. She had her own art website. Casualties was a retail sports store. She gave him links to the art gallery and farm properties which were perpetually unsold. None of the music was original. Megan can’t be a veterinarian at age nineteen, etc. etc. etc. Why go to the pains of creating an air-tight realm of particulars when Nev already knows it’s all a fantasy world and yet he still doesn’t seem to care?

    MC wrote: “You know there’s something else in that farm scene that niggled at me. Someone says, ‘you can drive around the back’ or something like that (I could be wrong, just from memory, so I’ll have to go back and listen/look yet again). It made me feel that they were rather too familiar with the whole layout of the property and especially since it’s night time.”

    As they are going down the driveway, Nev tells Henry that the driveway goes out the other side. The driveway is not a dead-end and you can exit the property by a different way than you entered. This is because it sits at a t-intersection with driveway entrances on the two roads that form the tee. Nev may have known this because he examined the farm on Google Earth or Google Maps before they went there. I would propose that he did this even before they went to Vail. BTW, you can use the “driving” feature at the farm with Google Earth, but not with Google Maps. Both services do show satellite views of the farm.

    It’s also possible that they directly observed the continuous driveway by rolling past both sides of the farm in their car. I think they did this anyway based on what I see in the quick multi-edits for the farm scene and the directions the car is facing. You can see the digital clock in the car and there are some blocks of time where there is no coinciding footage shown. As they initially approach the farm on the road they are driving West and the farm is on their left, then the car is instantly driving East and the farm is on their right. By slow rolling past both sides of the farm they could see that there was no car or truck parked anywhere in view – confirming that nobody is inside and the place is vacant just as they already knew or suspected it was.

    After grabbing the postcards, Nev suggests that they go in the driveway. You can tell that Henry acts hesitant saying the place gives him “the creeps”. Nev talks him into doing it but Henry wants to back into the driveway instead of entering forwards. When they are sitting at the mailbox, the driveway is right behind them. Backing in would only require putting the gear selector in reverse and turning the steering wheel. But since Henry is now going to drive in forwards, he does a small u-turn in the roadway.

    He essentially has to turn the car 270 degrees to get it to face into the driveway. We see him begin the maneuver but then the film instantly shows them already some distance down the driveway. Why didn’t we get to see the full turnaround of the car which would only take a few seconds? I think the reason is because nearing the completion of the turnaround we would see the realty sign in perfect full view illuminated by the headlamps.

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  262. I made a post earlier and it isn’t appearing yet – is there sometimes a delay?

    Aquaman, I find your argument persuasive, convincing even. The idea that Megan did not mention his postcards for 7 weeks after he sent them, the clues you’ve uncovered about the VAIL “discovery” scene being not-live / re-staged.

    However, people are capable of ignoring very important “in your face” clues of deception because they’re psychologically invested in the outcome. I don’t know if either of you have read Armisted Maupin’s “The Night Listener” but it has fairly similar themes to this story, and it’s supposedly a memoir. The protagonist ignores his friends when they tell him they’re suspicious of his caller because he’s desperate for a relationship with this person. He’s just separated from his long-term partner and has unresolved family issues. It strikes me that Nev is a fairly egotistical person who might not have questioned the obvious deception because it stroked his ego, and he was in a psychologically vulnerable point in his life.

    I’m leaning to the theory that he suspected the truth quite late in the story, but before VAIL. They then did stage the discovery scene in VAIL because they needed a cinematically “tidy” introduction to the suspicion. And from that point they had a story and did their best to craft it as such.

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  263. Roundhouse wrote: ‘Ms Curious, I know you said that someone in your household threw out the DVD cover, but I’m wondering if you could remember what it looks like?’

    Whoa….mine didn’t look like either of the images in the links you posted. It had a black cover with a red fish in the middle. There were some pics on the back of Megan and Nev and a blurb, running time and the usual stuff. That’s about as much as I can remember now. The person in my household who threw it out thought the DVD was in it, luckily it was still in my DVD player. It was sent to me as a gift from a friend in Melbourne, so I’ll give them a call and see if I can find out where they bought it from. I’ll go to the local DVD store too and see what cover/s they have on their for rent. I never bothered to even look at this aspect because I just assumed that all the covers were the same. So there you go.

    Roundhouse wrote: ‘I am wondering if the Australian distributed DVD (that Ms Curious has) is a “less-edited” i.e. earlier version’.

    It would seem that it is, it definately has one additional scene in it that doesn’t appear in the US version that Aquaman has (Vince talking about buying a building for Angela to use as a studio), a very curious difference regarding the voice mail left for Megan, ‘All Dowhill’ in the credits at the end, a difference in the uploading date for the song ‘Truman Sleeps’ mine has December 2007, Aquaman’s has June 18 2008 etc.

    There may well be other differences too, however as the comparisions we’re making are done via a discover as you go, it’s taken some time to find the variances in the versions.

    Wonder what cover Aquaman has on his version?

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  264. Roundhouse wrote: ‘I don’t know if either of you have read Armisted Maupin’s “The Night Listener” but it has fairly similar themes to this story, and it’s supposedly a memoir’.

    I haven’t read it, but saw the film version (Robin Williams and Tony Collette) and loved it. Very similar themes to ‘Catfish’, but as I recall, at least in the film version of ‘Night Listener’, wasn’t the deception based on gaining money to promote the book?

    Roundhouse wrote: ‘It strikes me that Nev is a fairly egotistical person who might not have questioned the obvious deception because it stroked his ego, and he was in a psychologically vulnerable point in his life’.

    I see your point, however there were two other film makers involved in the whole Catfish saga, who presumably would have had some distance from the ego stroking aspect. I would have to think at least Rel would have questioned some of the aspects, in fact I’m sure he did and the deception was discovered much earlier than we the viewer ever get to see.

    I still believe that the date for the upload of ‘Truman Sleeps’ on my version of December 2007 is a really telling aspect. If that’s when that song was really uploaded by Angela as Megan, as opposed to June 2008, then it doesn’t seem plausible that it took anyone 7 months to pick up that this song is from the film the ‘Truman Show’.

    Reply
  265. Aquaman wrote: ‘The guys must have had a special situation with Vince. If they tell him they are there to film Abby the famous artist he is immediately going to scratch his head and wonder WTF they are talking about. Vince doesn’t know that his wife the artist told those guys that Abby was creating all the paintings’.

    A very special situation indeed. Seems like Vince is pretty much kept in the dark to the very end, at least as far as the film version goes. That scene where Nev is talking to him on the verandah and Vince is most appreciative of Nev as the ‘patron’ etc shows that even at this point he’s still blissfully ignorant of what really has been going on. Someone has to stay at home and mind the boys, so Vince doesn’t get to go to the beach house, Applebees, riding school etc. I think Angela must have had quite a bit of latitude in dealing with how Vince might manage the whole ‘Abby is the artist’ scenario if he cottoned on. Vince it appears doesn’t even answer the phone, doesn’t question why his wife has so many mobiles, doesn’t appear to have any knowledge of the finances (a missing $ 500 sent to Nev wasn’t detected, the lack of funds coming in via the painting sales not detected by Vince). I always thought that whole ‘Catfish Cod story’ at the end that Vince relays was a bit too polished, prophetic and on the money. It doesn’t seem to match with his whole persona at all.

    Curious that the same story or very similar with the same reasoning appears in the runner’s story (link below) in June 2007.

    http://runrandall1955.blogspot.com/2007/06/story-of-catfish.html

    The postcards are never raised with Angela during the film version we see, though the photograph you found shows the postcards in the house (so presumably some discussion went on about them at some point). It always struck me as odd that Nev didn’t ask why Angela/Megan didn’t go and collect the postcards (on film for us to see). Perhaps it’s because he knows that he never told Angela as Megan that he was sending them in the first place (and for good reason).

    Reply
  266. MC wrote: ” I always thought that whole ‘Catfish Cod story’ at the end that Vince relays was a bit too polished, prophetic and on the money. It doesn’t seem to match with his whole persona at all.

    Curious that the same story or very similar with the same reasoning appears in the runner’s story (link below) in June 2007.”

    That cod/catfish allegory goes back to at least 1921. It isn’t a true story, just a made up one meant to convey a message about people.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=0GH4lkUH5sMC&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Reply
  267. Aquaman wrote: ‘That cod/catfish allegory goes back to at least 1921. It isn’t a true story, just a made up one meant to convey a message about people’.

    Wow had no idea the allegory was so old or that it ‘isn’t a true story’. Excellent research on your part once again. However, the point I was trying to make was that the tenor of the allegory just didn’t fit with Vince’s persona (he seems to miss a lot..a real lot….but somehow plucks this allegory out of thin air and it perfectly suits the situation). mmmm…it just felt to me like it might have been spoon fed to him. I had thought that since the runner had posted the story in 2007 which contained the allegory that someone may have come across it, thought it was ideal and it was a staged moment in the film.

    Reply
  268. I discovered something interesting today: Catfish is not available on DVD in Australia. It hasn’t be released.

    I found this out by going into a JB Hi-Fi store in downtown Sydney (Aquaman, JB Hi-Fi is a national chain that sells DVDs/CDs etc). The woman I spoke to knew quite a bit about the film (apparently it was Hopscotch’s biggest release in Australia last year). She said it definitely had not been released yet, either on regular DVD or on Blu-ray. I told her that I knew someone that had been given a copy and she told me that it might’ve been purchased as part of a Dendy/Hopscotch tie-in. (Aquaman, Dendy is the biggest chain of “indie” cinemas in Australia). Some Dendy theatres make the DVD available for purchase at the time of the theatrical release. (As an aside, I definitely saw the movie at a Dendy cinema in January, but I don’t remember DVDs for sale).

    Perhaps Ms Curious’s DVD is actually the theatrical version, not the official DVD release?

    Reply
  269. Roundhouse wrote: ‘Catfish is not available on DVD in Australia. It hasn’t be released’. Wow…Very interesting, I’ve never bothered to actually go to the DVD shop to rent a copy, because I’ve had mine since early Feb (from memory). It was sent as a Valentine’s gift (so yes it would have been some time before the 14th that I received it). I haven’t been able to get a hold of the person who sent it to me yet, but I’ll keep trying as now I’m really curious! They work for a TV station in Melbourne, so I guess it’s possible they got a promo gift or something like that.

    I had just assumed that it had been purcahsed at a store. I didn’t realize that ‘some Dendy theatres make the DVD available for purchase at the time of the theatrical release’ as Roundhouse notes.

    Roundhouse wrote: ‘Perhaps Ms Curious’s DVD is actually the theatrical version’.

    It would seem highly likely that it must be, based on what you’ve posted. On this basis, then what we’re comparing here is theatrical version against US version. Maybe the flaws/anomalies we’ve discovered, (such as the date for uploading of ‘Truman Sleeps’ in my version as December 2007), were corrected/revised after the film was shown in cinemas and the subsequent US DVD release was an edited version fixing up some of these aspects.

    I never saw the film at the cinema and even if I had I doubt I would have been able to pick up any real anomalies in one viewing.

    Mmmm…no wonder freinds have borrowed my DVD.
    Totally annoyed that my DVD cover got tossed, even more annoyed now, in light of your revelations!

    Yet another mystery to solve!

    Reply
  270. Some posted songs with datestamps…

    Megan Faccio posted music:
    “Truman Sleeps” – June 18

    “Downhill” – July 25
    Artist – Mom and Megan
    Album – Songs from Abby’s M…

    Angela Wesselman posted music:
    “Where are You” – July 26
    “Sleep” – July 30

    The guys arrived in Vail on August 1st. All these songs and maybe more were posted while they were still in NYC. We can’t see the letters after “M” for the album “Songs from Abby’s M…” My opinion is that it probably is “Songs from Abby’s Movie”, or less likely “Songs from Abby’s Mom”.

    Reply
  271. MC wrote: “On this basis, then what we’re comparing here is theatrical version against US version.”

    Actually, there would more than one theatrical version even here is the US.

    Catfish premiered at Sundance Film Festival and this version was straight from the three filmmakers (Rel, Henry & Nev) and their own hired producers. Big name distributors and producers attend Sundance knowing that they can “purchase” films for widespread distribution from the (mostly) independent filmmakers whose works are being shown there. A bidding war did occur for Catfish. Relativity Media’s Rogue Pictures picked up the North American and UK rights to be released with Universal Pictures with a higher bid than Paramount Pictures and their producers J.J. Abrams and Jason Blum. The amount reported to be paid to the filmmakers was $1.5 million ($1.422 million Australia).

    Rogue Pictures (in partnership with Universal) applied further production to create a theatrical version and a trailer for cinemas in North America and the UK.

    Then a DVD and Blu-ray was produced for North America which apparently differs from the Sundance and general theatrical versions.

    There also appears to be a DVD and Blu-ray for UK, but I don’t know if or how it differs from the one I have from the US.

    As RoundHouse mentioned, Hopscotch Films distributed the film to Dendy Cinemas who sold some Catfish DVDs in Australia. This may or may not be the same as the UK DVD. Also, the DVD sold at Dendy Cinema might not be identical to what was seen on their screens.

    Reply
  272. Aquaman wrote: ‘Actually, there would more than one theatrical version even here is the US’.

    Having just read your list of versions and possible versions I am really keen to get as many versions as I can for comparision purposes. I recall you mentioned that the US version would probably play here in Australia, I wonder if the same is so for the UK version?

    Whilst I understand that different versions may be released for different regions and that cinema may differ to DVD release, shouldn’t this, being a ‘documentary’ at least have consistency in aspects such as upload dates for ‘Truman Sleeps’ and ‘voice mail message left for Megan’? Your thoughts?

    Aquaman you wrote ‘some posted songs with datestamps…’. As the date for ‘Truman Sleeps’ differs on my version, I’ll check to see if the other dates all match.

    Aquaman, did your version come with an extra disc with deleted scenes on it?

    What I’m getting at is, it seems reasonable that they could delete a scene in a version (such as US version not having the Vince on porch/studio conversation), but it doesn’t seem right that dates would change.

    Reply
  273. Aquaman: I just went back to look for the post about the two different pictures in that upload of ‘Truman Sleeps’ but couldn’t find it. I seem to recall that Aquaman’s version had Nev wearing a tie and my version has the picture of him reclining back.

    So not only do the dates get changed, but also the pictures. However what I’m wondering is chronologically how this fits in. I remember early in the film a discussion about Megan liking the photo Nev had posted and painting it (something like that). I’m just wondering how this conversation fits in with respect to my date on ‘Truman Sleeps’?

    As in, does it seem to you that this conversation re Megan liking the picture he had up/painting the picture/and some mention of resting head on his chest (all from memory at moment) fit chronologically with my date stamp of 27 December 2007 or with yours of 18 June 2008?

    Reply
  274. Aquaman just wondering if you ever read the article about the ‘landing page’ used for that chat between Nev and Megan and the songs (Vail scene in August 2008) being out of action since Feb 2008?

    Reply
  275. MC wrote: ” I recall you mentioned that the US version would probably play here in Australia, I wonder if the same is so for the UK version?”

    I think i said the opposite. My US version is probably not compatible with your player. North America is designated as Region 1, and Australia is Region 4. DVD players sold in North America are able play only Region 1 DVDs or ones that are “All Region”. DVD players sold in Australia are able to play only Region 4 DVDs or ones that are “All Region”. The UK is Region 2.

    Some DVD players are “All Region” and will play any DVD from any place.

    You will need to look at the owners manual for your DVD player to see if it happens to be an “All Region” player, or if it is specific for playing only Region 4. If it happens to be Region 4 only, you will be stuck watching only Australian DVDs.

    If you have lost the owners manual you can probably find it to read online, but you have to be sure you are seeing the Australian manual.

    Look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code

    Reply
  276. MC wrote: “Whilst I understand that different versions may be released for different regions and that cinema may differ to DVD release, shouldn’t this, being a ‘documentary’ at least have consistency in aspects such as upload dates for ‘Truman Sleeps’ and ‘voice mail message left for Megan’? Your thoughts?”

    Yes, I don’t really understand why there are two different dates for that song upload.

    MC wrote: “Aquaman, did your version come with an extra disc with deleted scenes on it?”

    No, it’s just one disc. The only special feature is the Q&A with the guys called “Secrets Revealed”.

    Although I posted a link to a Blu-ray cover that says it includes deleted scenes, I haven’t seen any versions sold anywhere in the world that actually do have deleted scenes as a special feature. That image of the cover might be a prototype or yet-to-be-released.

    MC wrote: ” I just went back to look for the post about the two different pictures in that upload of ‘Truman Sleeps’ but couldn’t find it. I seem to recall that Aquaman’s version had Nev wearing a tie and my version has the picture of him reclining back.”

    Correct.

    MC wrote: “As in, does it seem to you that this conversation re Megan liking the picture he had up/painting the picture/and some mention of resting head on his chest (all from memory at moment) fit chronologically with my date stamp of 27 December 2007 or with yours of 18 June 2008?”

    I can see in my version that Nev did change his profile picture. Angela changed hers too. They could change and switch back any time they wanted.

    Your version does not show a year for December 27. It could be 2007 or 2008. My version does not show the year for June 18, but I know that it is 2008. The reason is because I can see that Rel was actually holding the camera up to the monitor in the Vail condo room. I suspect that in your version showing the December dates, it was a studio recreation with a different camera mounted on a tripod.

    There are various ways to tell if you are seeing computer shots filmed during the actual scenes or ones done later in the studio after they returned to NYC. Various studio shots of the computer screen are placed throughout the film for different contexts.

    MC wrote: “Aquaman just wondering if you ever read the article about the ‘landing page’ used for that chat between Nev and Megan and the songs (Vail scene in August 2008) being out of action since Feb 2008?”

    Yes, I read that article and decided that the “landing page” website address had a typo error.

    Reply
  277. Aquaman wrote: ‘It looks like the Catfish DVD will be released for sale in Australia on June 16’.

    I will be the first one to buy this version! Missed a call back from my friend in Melbourne, but should be able to advise by tomorrow the source of the ‘Catfish’ DVD gift they sent me.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘Yes, I read that article and decided that the “landing page” website address had a typo error’.

    I wondered about that myself. It seems the author of the article searched ‘charte’ as opposed to ‘charter’ (is that what you meant by ‘typo error?).

    Reply
  278. Aquaman wrote: ‘Although I posted a link to a Blu-ray cover that says it includes deleted scenes, I haven’t seen any versions sold anywhere in the world that actually do have deleted scenes as a special feature. That image of the cover might be a prototype or yet-to-be-released’.

    Mmmm…so another version for dissection potentially…I would so love to see the deleted scenes DVD. Just by the by, I was wondering what your thoughts are on the following:

    If my DVD has an extra scene (Vince talking about the studio), then does this potentially mean that you’ve got something extra in your DVD that I don’t have to replace that missing bit?

    Reply
  279. Roundhouse: here’s the reply from my friend re the DVD gift he sent me for Valentines Day. Mmmmm…so glad I asked about it, not 🙁

    Babe,
    Have to admit it was a freebie. Execs got invites to previe night, bags given out you know the deal. Poster, dvd, few tickets to events that sort of ***t. Hated the flic but thought yude get into it, so sent it with flowers for V Day. Dvd free, flowers weren’t. Forgive me. Spose I look cheap now. Might be able to get u another cover, will ask round. Come home, I’ve *******. Miss ya so much. Want me to send up the poster? **** *******

    Reply
  280. Aquaman: You know I just can’t seem to let go of my date for upload of ‘Truman Sleeps’, in my mind being a pivotal part of the whole ‘they knew well before Vail’

    Reviewed my version and it is: Cut to text on facebook his picture and ‘Yaniv Schulman facebook December 27 at 2.16 pm’.

    So you’re right, I don’t have a year. However……

    You and I have ‘same’ time of 2.16 pm, ‘same’ message (exactly the same right down to the smiley face), but…. ‘different’ month, ‘different’ date and ‘different’ picture. Could this really be put down to an editing issue? I think that’s highly debatable.

    Don’t you think this of itself points to serious manipulation, to per se real support of our mutual theory that ‘they knew earlier’ than August Nev was being conned? Acted thereon, researched etc controlled, devised and contrived thereafter.

    I know I don’t have a year, but what other year could it be other than 2007? It couldn’t be December 2008 (that would be ridiculous).

    If one starts to imagine they knew or at the very least suspected something amiss in December of 2007, then the level of their manipulation for the film well it takes on a whole new light.

    If I’m riding this one to high and too hard…let me know.

    Reply
  281. MC wrote: “You and I have ‘same’ time of 2.16 pm, ‘same’ message (exactly the same right down to the smiley face), but…. ‘different’ month, ‘different’ date and ‘different’ picture. Could this really be put down to an editing issue? I think that’s highly debatable.”

    No, you and I do not have the same time for Nev’s reply. Go back and look at my post from March 3. On my DVD copy, Nev responds at 3:56pm on June 18.

    My version:
    Megan posts “Truman Sleeps” at 2:07pm on June 18.
    Nev responds to that post at 3:56pm on June 18.
    So, 1 hour and 40 minutes elapses between the time that Megan posts the song and then Nev reponds to it.

    Your version:
    Megan posts “Truman Sleeps” in December, but the camera angle does not allow you to see the date or time.
    Nev responds to that post at 2:16pm on December 27.
    So, an unknown period of time elapses between the music post and Nev’s response to it, but both are in December. They are likely to be on the same day or soon afterwards.

    You can see a screenshot of Nev’s response as it appears on my version here: http://hotimagehost.com/images/94901124424556289889.jpg

    A possible date of December 27, 2008 on your version is not 100% ridiculous. This is because the guys created the Catfish film after they had returned to NYC from Michigan. The process may have taken over a year. Here is a possible scenario: For whatever reasons, Nev may have asked Angela to post “Truman Sleeps” again with an identical comment on December 27, 2008 – months after she had already done it the first time. Then he responds to it again with an identical comment – months after he had already done it. Additionally, it is known that at some point after meeting her, Angela gave Nev the passwords to all of her fake Facebook characters including the one she used for herself. This would allow Nev, Rel and Henry to log into Facebook as any of those people and create postings, upload things or whatever – with the result looking as if they really were posted by the person (or rather of course, as Angela posing as that person). But the time and datestamps would be an issue because those would register as whenever the guys made the posts. But since Facebook wasn’t yearstamping each post, a post that was made in 2008 could be misconstrued as being made in 2007. I don’t know if this is what they did, but it seems to be a possibility. In this scenario, June 18 is the true date of the song upload and the December date is a fabrication.

    Another possibility is that December 2007 is the true date of the song upload and the June 18 date is a fabrication.

    I want you to watch the scene on your DVD that shows Megan’s song upload post and also Nev’s response to it. I want you to try to determine if the camera is handheld or mounted on a tripod. Pay very close attention. Look for small jiggling movements or slight wavering that would indicate that the camera is being held. If the scenes are absolutely rock steady then the camera is probably on a tripod in the studio.

    Also, is the camera aimed directly facing the computer monitor, or at an angle?

    Also, is there any panning in these scenes? This would be if the camera appears to move across the text like your eyes do when reading. Or maybe does the camera appear to be staying in one place while the text moves across your field of view?

    Reply
  282. Correction to my previous post: 1 hour and 49 minutes elapses between the time that Megan posts the song and then Nev reponds to it on my version.

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  283. Ms Curious, you should take extremely good care of your DVD copy. It may be a somewhat unique version of the movie. Obviously, it differs from my copy in significant ways. But because it was a special promotion giveaway copy, it may even differ from ALL versions that have been or will be released for commercial sale anywhere in the world. Don’t let it get damaged, lost, discarded or stolen.

    Reply
  284. Aquaman wrote: ‘Ms Curious you should take extremely good care of your DVD copy’. ‘Don’t let it get damaged, lost, discarded or stolen’.

    I certainly won’t be letting anyone borrow it anymore. It’s nearly been lost a couple of times now already. Near escape from the bin, (thank God it wasn’t in the case) and on the most recent occasion that I lent it out, the person couldn’t find it for a few days and I started thinking it was gone for good. Of course, at that point I had assumed I could just go and buy a replacement copy or rent it from the local DVD store.

    Have now locked up my DVD in my filing cabinet, sounds a bit extreme, but I just don’t want to risk anything happening to it.

    I’m so hoping that my friend in Melbourne tracks down a cover for me.

    Reply
  285. Aquaman wrote: ‘Additionally, it is known that at some point after meeting her, Angela gave Nev the passwords to all of her fake Facebook characters including the one she used for herself. This would allow Nev, Rel and Henry to log into Facebook as any of those people and create postings, upload things or whatever – with the result looking as if they really were posted by the person (or rather of course, as Angela posing as that person)’.

    I didn’t know about that. This of course gives substance to your suggesting it could be December 2008. Though of course, I’m still leaning towards it being December 2007.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘I want you to watch the scene on your DVD that shows Megan’s song upload post and also Nev’s response to it’.

    This morning I phoned a friend who’s a DOP and asked him if he’d come over and view that whole scene with me to help identify and clarify the questions you raise. He’ll be over either tonight or tomorrow night, so hopefully I will be able to give informed answers to the questions you pose such as ‘I want you to determine if if the camera is handheld or mounted on a tripod. Pay very close attention. Look for small jiggling movements or slight wavering’.

    I’ll be watching it on the HD TV rather than in my office to make sure we can really see everything as clearly as possible.

    I’m really keen to post up the results for this and get your feedback/determination etc as to most probable scenario, after you’ve annalysed what we saw.

    Reply
  286. Wow, I can’t believe I overlooked another song upload. I think it was because it was sent to Nev by Alex within a message. It’s another Cat Power song called “Funny Things”. The other one by her was “Silver Stallion”. There is no way in hell Nev would have listened to this and thought it was Megan singing. Listen to the link.

    Alex posted music:
    “Funny Things” – June 15
    Artist: Alex, Josh and Megan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc63ANhqlYE

    June 15 was about 2 weeks before Nev mailed the postcards to the farm from Montana.

    Reply
  287. Aquaman wrote: ‘I can’t believe I overlooked another song upload…no way in hell Nev would have listened to this and thought it was Megan singing’

    Firstly, amazing find! There it is hidden within the message Alex posted June 15, 2008 at 12.44 am. I listened to the link you posted and I agree, no way Nev could have thought that was Megan singing. Mmmmmm…

    Aquaman wrote: ‘June 15 was about 2 weeks before Nev mailed the postcards to the farm from Montana’

    So I take it then, that based on what you’ve written you feel this is definitive evidence that they well and truly knew about the whole song stealing aspect prior to Vail. Which supports the theory that Vail song stealing discovery scene etc was all staged. In addition, this supports the theory that the whole filming of postcards was done with the knowledge that there was a deception going on.

    So June 15, discover the song stealing aspect….look at gallery discover it’s still for sale, next logical step…look at Megan’s farm etc, (especially since same realtor involved) find out empty, film the posting of the postcards. Contact Angela on the pretense of coming to film Abby for doco, but don’t let on know anything about songs, empty gallery, empty farm or that they’ve mailed postcards.

    Is this the sequence as you see it?

    Reply
  288. Aquaman wrote: ‘I want you to watch the scene on your DVD that shows Megan’s song upload post and also Nev’s response to it. I want you to try to determine if the camera is handheld or mounted on a tripod. Pay very close attention. Look for small jiggling movements or slight wavering that would indicate that the camera is being held. If the scenes are absolutely rock steady then the camera is probably on a tripod in the studio’.

    My friend the DOP came over and we watched very carefully. There is definately jiggling and wavering which ‘appears’ as if the camera is hand held. However, my friend said that the jiggling doesn’t necessarily prove it was hand held. He said that they could have taken a screen capture of that page, made the alterations they wanted to make, put an effect (camera shake)over it to make it look ‘like’ it was filmed from a hand held camera. He emphasizes this is merely a theory, although it would explain how they managed to change the date so cleanly. From his opinion to change the dates of raw footage, especially that of a computer screen would be a very hard job and especially as the pixels of the screen would make it look extremely unrealistic.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘Also, is the camera aimed directly facing the computer monitor, or at an angle’?

    The camera is on a slight angle so that it ‘arcs’.

    Aquaman wrote: ‘Also, is there any panning in these scenes? This would be if the camera appears to move across the text like your eyes do when reading. Or maybe does the camera appear to be staying in one place while the text moves across your field of view’?

    Camera appears to be moving across the text (like when my eyes are reading).

    Interested to see what you make of the above.

    Reply
  289. Aquaman can you please have a look at the scene where Nev is talking to Angela on the phone (the scene where it ends with ‘she’s such a liar’). My friend pointed out to me that in his opinion there is something very odd about the phone call.

    In this scene Nev is talking to Angela and you can hear her voice clearly as if the phone is on speaker phone. My friend said 1) it is way too clear for a camera to pick up the sound off the mobile phone of that quality and 2) For the phone which is an I-phone to be on speaker the screen would also have to be on, and it appears in all of the shots in my version as a black screen (as in not on speaker phone). So how is it that they can hear Angela so clearly, yet Nev is clearly not talking on speaker phone and is holding the phone like you would in a normal conversation?

    My friend also said there a some issues with the camera angles, closeups, changes etc in this scene. He believes the conversation was recorded earlier and that this whole scene is staged to make it appear as if we the viewer are watching the actual conversation take place at that actual time.

    Your thoughts on this?

    My friend has not watched the film in its entirity, only the sections you wanted me to focus on.

    Question for you:

    1. What date approximate or otherwise do you have for when Megan and Nev first became facebook friends?

    I’m still playing around this date of December 27 and trying to work out logically how this does or doesn’t fit with sequence of Nev and Megan getting to know each other etc.

    Reply
  290. MC wrote: “So I take it then, that based on what you’ve written you feel this is definitive evidence that they well and truly knew about the whole song stealing aspect prior to Vail. Which supports the theory that Vail song stealing discovery scene etc was all staged. In addition, this supports the theory that the whole filming of postcards was done with the knowledge that there was a deception going on. So June 15, discover the song stealing aspect….look at gallery discover it’s still for sale, next logical step…look at Megan’s farm etc, (especially since same realtor involved) find out empty, film the posting of the postcards. Contact Angela on the pretense of coming to film Abby for doco, but don’t let on know anything about songs, empty gallery, empty farm or that they’ve mailed postcards.

    Is this the sequence as you see it?”

    Yes, but I wouldn’t call it “definitive evidence” – it’s highly persuasive. I’m not convinced that it was specifically the stolen songs (or even any particular song) that tipped Nev off that he was being scammed. This could have happened even before he was introduced to Megan or friended her on Facebook. There was enough extreme oddness to the initial situation with Abby that he could have decided something was very wrong almost right from the beginning. I believe what we have is a man who early on decided that he was being scammed and then virtually everything and everyone he was presented with from that point onwards was clearly a lie.

    MC wrote: “From his opinion to change the dates of raw footage, especially that of a computer screen would be a very hard job and especially as the pixels of the screen would make it look extremely unrealistic.”

    Yes, I don’t think the dates or any text was changed by digital retouching. From the description given by you and your friend (by the way, is DOP Director of Photography?), it seems that your scene does show a handheld camera. I’d like to again see the screenshot that you provided to Mike Rot on March 8, but his link is no longer working. http://www.rowthree.com/2008/03/08/catfish-screenshots/ .

    I don’t really know what to think yet about the different dates.

    MC wrote: “Aquaman can you please have a look at the scene where Nev is talking to Angela on the phone (the scene where it ends with ‘she’s such a liar’). My friend pointed out to me that in his opinion there is something very odd about the phone call. In this scene Nev is talking to Angela and you can hear her voice clearly as if the phone is on speaker phone… My friend also said there a some issues with the camera angles, closeups, changes etc in this scene… Your thoughts on this?”

    I’m not very familiar with iPhones but I think your friend is wrong, though quite observant. You are talking about the scene in Vail when Angela mentions that she got offers on some of Nev’s paintings (by Abby) at the gallery opening.

    I believe that this is a legitimate scene with a real phone call. There are two cameras filming at the same time. Henry is filming bo