Nerv with Ryan Williams

Max Joseph is a filmmaker, director, and the co-host of Catfish, which has just completed its fifth season on MTV. Max got his start in online video but has also worked extensively on documentaries and feature films. He is the creator of the powerful and beautiful promotional videos Make It Count (for the Nike FuelBand and starring Casey Neistadt) and Follow the Frog (for the Rainforest Alliance) and he also directed the 2015 feature film We Are Your Friends, starring Zac Efron.

Max grew up in New York City, the only child of hardworking parents who were creative at heart. He grew up hoping to enjoy his day-to-day work more than his parents did, and was inspired by his cousin, who worked for Jim Henson, to follow his creative dreams. He realized at the age of 15 that he wanted to be a filmmaker. To this day he considers himself first and foremost a filmmaker (regardless of whether his work is released online or in theatres) and he calls his time on Catfish "a fun detour in an otherwise obsessive moviemaking career". He considers himself a "dreamer" (in contrast to people like Casey Neistadt, who he calls a "doer") because he sees his job as developing a creative vision which he can then hire and direct other people to develop into a reality.

On this episode of the podcast, Max discusses his philosophy and methodology for great filmmaking. He generally gets started with a general concept or even just a "vibe" and a general end goal, and then follows his creative urges to build a great product. He believes strongly in the idea that great concept + great execution = great art and follows this principle in his work. He talks, for example, about how the Make It Count video was built around a very simple concept -- use Nike's money to travel the world and thereby "make it count" -- and thoughtful execution, carefully blending video clips, music, text, and more to create a powerful flow of ideas from start to finish. In short, Max's goal is always to make "the coolest thing ever", no matter how he has to go about doing that.

Max is also a strong proponent of working together with other creative minds to build stronger, more balanced, and more interesting products. He discusses his own experiences with mentoring, collaboration, and other ways of learning from the people around him. He has worked with clients, professionals, corporations, and nonprofits and has learned the best ways to make any collaboration successful.

If you're interested in taking the art of filmmaking, online video, or any other creative pursuit to a higher, more successful, or more fulfilling level, you need to hear this podcast. You'll learn about following your curiosity, asking the right questions, getting paid to learn your craft, which things are better learned in a classroom, connecting with the right mentors and collaborators, and much more. Join me in this conversation with Max Joseph and let your creative spirit soar!

Quotes from the podcast:

"I like putting puzzles together. I started editing and I love just being in a room and playing around with pieces until they fit together in the right way. And once I get them right, that's when I'm in my flow creatively and that's when I'm probably most happy."

"Guilt is not viral. Making people feel guilty when they watch something is not going to end in them wanting to share it with anyone. You don't want to share something that bums out your friends. You want to share something that makes them smile.... There's a way to marry the two, though, so it works."

"That feeling of 'You are not alone' is maybe the most important part of any video or piece of content because that's where the audience gets on board. And then once they're on board you can take them on a wild ride."

"Follow your curiosity. If you have an idea... do it, and do it with all your heart and soul."

"Do weird jobs. Get paid to learn your craft and treat each exercise as a challenge to make... the most awesome, best thing ever, despite any challenge that anyone's giving you. The more constraints and challenges, the more you'll learn how to get around them."

Thanks to our contributor Edi Gonzalez for writing this description!

Max Joseph Links:

Official website:

We Are Your Friends trailer:

Also, if you want to link the videos in the first paragraph, they are at:

Make It Count --

Follow the Frog --


Direct download: Max_Joseph_Influencer_Ryno_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18pm PDT

Srinivas Rao likes to surf and in the early 2000's he was at a crossroads in his life. As a recent business school grad, he could conform to the rest of society and get on a hamster wheel of a career, doing what he had been programmed to do for his entire life. Or he could surf, play in the ocean and ultimately learn how to become an unmistakable creative person, picking and charting his own path for success. He chose the latter and talks about it today.

Srinivas Rao is an influencer in the podcasting community. He's written numerous books, including Unmistakable: Why Only is Better Than Best, which is a playbook for anyone harnessing their creative ideas and pursuing a career that they define, not the other way around. 

Srinivas spent 8 years interviewing five hundred creative people on his Unmistakable Creative podcast was the ultimate education. He heard how guests including Seth Godin, Elle Luna, Tim Ferriss, Simon Sinek, and Danielle LaPorte blazed their own trails.
In this Influencer Economy podcast, we talk about his advice to not "be just one among many—be the only. Be unmistakable." And how we need to define our own success, not rely on what others deem successful.  
As Srinivas says "Whether you’re a business owner, an artist, or just someone who wants to leave your mark on the world, Unmistakable will inspire you to create your own path and define your own success."

Listen to the Unmistakable Creative podcast:\

"Stop trying to beat everyone else. True success is playing by your own rules, creating work that no one can replicate. Don’t be the best, be the only."

Srinivas Rao


Direct download: Srinivas_Rao_Unmistakable.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09pm PDT