Werner Herzog Filmmaking Class

By September 11, 2017Courses, Films

The world needed a Werner Herzog Filmmaking Class, & now we’ve finally got it! Learn from an uncompromising master of his craft…

The A to Z Of Filmmaking – From Aaron to HerZog

I started paying attention to Masterclass with the announcement that Aaron Sorkin was teaching an online screenwriting class. When the writer of The West Wing signs up to share everything he’s learned about the fundamentals of screenwriting then it’s hard to argue with it being called a Masterclass.

When you then find out Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman are on board teaching online acting classes then you can pretty much close all your other tabs and start enrolling.

Why This Isn’t A Werner Herzog Filmmaking Class Review

The only reason I didn’t sign up immediately for the Werner Herzog filmmaking class is that I recently sold all my filmmaking gear. I’m taking a break from learning to direct short films and documentaries to concentrate more on drawing and painting for a while. So I won’t be enrolling and reviewing Herzog’s class for the time being but I can’t think of a more uniquely qualified director to teach a filmmaking class.

With over 70 films to his name, including the mesmerising Grizzly Man and gut-wrenching Into The Abyss – Herzog is a film director worth listening to.

“I think the worst that can happen in filmmaking is if you’re working with a storyboard. That kills all intuition, all fantasy, all creativity.”
~ Werner Herzog ~

It’s hard to imagine a Herzog film class leaving anyone short changed in intensity, creativity or passion. When the opening line of the trailer starts with “It’s like death staring at you – when you look in a camera” you know you’re in for a typically untypical ride through Herzog world.

The Curriculum

The Werner Herzog filmmaking class is priced at $90 which gets you lifetime access to over 6 hours of video lessons, a 37 page workbook and the possibility of a critique of your work by Herzog himself.

Considering Herzog’s Rogue Film School annual 3 day seminars have a $1,500 fee you can see the value offered by the online video class.

Head over to the class summary page to see a detailed list and overview of all 26 video lessons from sound and editing to working with actors and using one camera to make the best film possible.

The lesson description named ‘Leading The Platoon’ reminds us this is no ordinary filmmaking class: “When Christian Bale had to eat real maggots in Rescue Dawn, Werner offered to eat them first. Here, he explains the power of leading by example to inspire your cast and crew.”

Required Reading

Herzog’s film class also includes his mandatory reading list from his Rogue Film School. One of those books, The Peregrine by J.A. Baker, reveals the far corners of the creative landscape that Herzog draws inspiration from. Describing what makes a fifty year old book about birds relevant to filmmaking Herzog champions Baker’s “delirious sort of love for what he observes” highlighting that “The intensity and the ecstasy of observation is something that you have to have as a filmmaker.”

I’ve always loved tutors and teachers who went off script from traditional methods of teaching. Their idiosyncratic passions and surprising sources of inspiration made their subjects feel more alive and within reach of our own creativity. When anything in our universe is presented as a potential source of creativity then everything becomes possible. Herzog has the rare gift of communicating such truths in his own inimitable way.

Final Thoughts

Masterclass offer full refunds for up to 30 days after the date of purchase so you’ve got nothing to lose by trying the course out first.

Filmmaker Magazine spoke to Herzog about the class and the director sheds more light on what’s in store if you do sign up and the structure and aims of the lessons.

While I won’t be taking the Werner Herzog filmmaking class until I’ve replaced my camera gear and defined some new creative goals I’m already excited about what’s in store when I do. If you decide to take the class let me know how it went and I hope it kickstarts your filmmaking to Herzog heights!

More Info At Masterclass

“Every man should pull a boat over a mountain once in his life.”
~ Werner Herzog ~

“I like and I love everything that has to do with cinema: writing, directing, editing, creating music, and even acting.”
~ Werner Herzog ~