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Werner Herzog MasterClass....some questions.

    Anyone else interested in this, it came up on my FB feed, Werner Herzog claims this:

    “You can learn the essentials of filmmaking on your own within two weeks” - Werner Herzog

    I'm not much interested in debating if thats true but I'm interested in watching the Masterclass. BUT I'll be completely straight with you and crucify me if you want but I'm not too sure about paying $90 for an online video. I wonder if it will be torrent able soon enough?

  • 28 Replies sorted by
  • If you want the class, pay up. Herzog is the real thing, and $90 is a bargain. My question is, why is Herzog teaching instead of making films? I suspect that he can't get funding based on the traditional Big model, where every shot requires 35 people on set. He could, though, get with today's tech and make a salable film based on the Small model - DP, sound guy, and PA, with everyone, including the actors pitching in with the physical work. Imagine the press he could get from that.

  • Looks like Herzog is making at least 5 films this year. Although Herzog makes Range Rovers, Hollywood makes M1 Abram tanks. Most likely "Masterclass" INC made him an offer he can't refuse. $90 x 100,000 -300,000 people is a good haul. Whereas TED talks charges a fortune to attend live events but gives away the content for free.

    I think Orson Welles said something very similar like " You can learn everything to make a movie in 15 minutes." but Welles and Herzog have life experience outside of films. These type of quotes appeal to the lazy gene in us! In LA there's a whole sub-industry of film workshops, classes and masterclasses which feed off the hunger to find the key to making it in the business. You can literally spend a lifetime going from class to class and never find "the key".

  • @jleo - well, when it comes to Hollywood and truth, anything goes. Still, I will quote Martel Cullen, "Cynicism is not a successful way of life".

  • Books by famous guys and about life of famous guys have negative value. As they waste your time. Courses are worse.

  • Sometimes these books are useful to hold down some cables or keep the door open for the cat. ... Recently, at a "Masterclass on Cinematography" the "Master" did not speak English, and there was no interpreter for an almost 100% English speaking audience. Yet no-one walked out of the class or insisted that they take a break so the organizers could find an interpreter. This would't have been too hard, since it was at a university. So ... about a hundred people paid for a very uncomfortable five hour sleep & headache!

  • So ... about a hundred people paid for a very uncomfortable five hour sleep & headache!

    Many people are too shy. Especially in large audiences.

    Always remember "The Emperor's New Clothes".

  • I disagree that a lot can't be taught in 6 hours. I personally loved the Robert Rodriguez no money film school he did and demystified the process. Of course you have a lifetime of learning in film but fundamentals of shots, sound, directing actors is repeated across many so called film schools people pay a fortune for. I did a 3 month intensive video production school, it was 24/7 live in deal and while I took on a load of info and experience I think I could of learnt the main parts in a few days or from reading one book. Some of my favourite directors like Kubrick were self taught.

    Anyway my point was about how i could get it on torrent or not. And before anyone criticises me I hope they never watched a movie without paying for it, including youtube....thats would be hypocritical. And no I don't fear for WH's cash flow i'm sure he's doing fine. If they made these things like $20 I would probably pay.....people want to make a killing these days from the internet. Sure if I actually went to an event for 5 hours with WH fine but $90 which is more expensive than any movie that cost millions and hundreds of people to make! While it looks great its still just a guy talking on a stool under some lights so $90 is taking the piss honestly.

  • DOV Simens has the 2 day film school where he teaches the bare basics. One year he had the 1 day film school for UCLA. I don't think he's made many films but among his notable students are Will Smith, Quentin Tarantino, Chris Nolan, Spike Lee, Kevin Smith, John Cleese, etc. Many testimonials say that it was enough to get them started with their first film. Many of these type of courses are just lectures in a crowded room, very little interaction with the students who are just scribbling notes all the time.

    Independent Features Project always has very useful workshops. Raindance has a lot of valuable free info

    In the meantime, heres some free Herzog!

  • you have to realize that thousands of film graduates are trying to make a living, and what better way than sucker uneducated neophytes into believing they'll actually gain real skills taking their overpriced classrooms. I can't believe WH is actually lowering himself, but then again, people tend to over extend their lifestyles, and then need to compromise to meet the bills. And finally, what could he teach someone who wanted to make a herzogian style film.....let's to go to the amazon and hoist a 19th century riverboat over a mountain ? If you'd like to see a filmmaker that attempts work today in a similar vein, watch embrace of the serpent. Filmmaking , like all of the arts, can't be learned listening to lectures, but by doing.

  • Why the antagonism for self taught filmmakers. I'll name a few, Kubrick, Woody Allen, Richard Linklater and Ben Wheatley....all self taught and actually among my favourite directors.

    Will most directors come from rich families, connected to the business already absolutely BUT with the price of equipment coming down and internet making distribution more and more possible we should expect more and more unique filmmakers having self taught themselves.

    @Kurth why do you think lectures....and books.....and experience are mutually exclusive? Its not logical. Self taught means you read, you listen, you practice you meet like minded people.....actually thats how anyone learns anything.

  • you can't learn art thru vicarious experience. You learn art by studying the art form, in this case, watching films, and by practicing the art. That's how it's always been. Of course the internet wants to sell us a quick fix on everything. I do think film criticism is important. I think you can learn film technology by reading, or by listening to lectures. I don't think herzog will be telling you how to sync up sound, or light a scene.

  • Some people need moral/psychological/intellectual incentive and may have a satori while listening to the guys, some other people would fall asleep 'cause they're more need to get my hands dirty. It also depends on the phase one's living; something you may welcome and nurture/expand your mind say when you're a teenager can enormously bore you twenty years later 'cause you're more prone to - in @kurth words - doing (praxis); and vice-versa.

    I like Carlile's concept of "enough bullshit" ... to keep the show running ,-)

    About Herzog, well my personal view is that since WH went USA he lost his... spell. Only docu style Grizzly and The Wild Blue Yonder (I don't care if they say it's fiction) are sprinkled with former glory .. and maybe My Best Fiend, but that was almost all archival footage and has the bizarre figure of Kinski. When I watched Cave of Forgotten Dreams I got so disappointed and sad, because one could tell Herzog was repeating an easy pattern (of thought and manipulation {all construction's manipulative}) and that's no good. The flick was pretty boring and suddenly amidst a lot of mediocre stuff was this insane sequence in the cave, wow; so the magic may still be there but probably buried under many layers of... (?)

    Anyhow long are the days of Fata Morgana (72) - the first thing I saw from him and that profoundly impacted me - and his wonderfully personal 70's and 80's documentary work; not to mention the inescapable massive golden decade (1972-1982) with Aguirre, Kaspar, Stroszek (looking back, the irony in this film...) and Fitzcarraldo. If you ask me before Cobra it's all good.

    The following is completelly plausible :P If one could kidnap Herzog and take him to a soul-lost-desert and spend a month of conviviality, of hiking, surviving and some peyoting... probably it would be a lifechanging masterclass, ja ja

    He-hey @jleo =)

  • yeah @maxr...that'd be worth 90 bucks ...real de catorce with a few huichol ! And I agree (almost) that his best films were all before ....where the green ants dream. Even fitz was a little disappointing...woulda loved to see the robards/jagger version. I'm sure he lost some of the spark restarting. And I've always been bored by his docs, except for the dark glow of the mountains. Same history with Wenders. He hasn't done anything of beauty since wings. Even Kubrick after the shining. It's a rare bird/artist who can continue to fly in the higher altitudes in old age. Guess this is what happens. Actually I think werner got lost listening to harmony !

  • @kurth I'll talk to the wixárika's marakame and you put Werner in the van, @jleo can bring the medicine, he has plenty in the garden XD

    Regarding Herzog's docus... for me they're seminal work, not so much 'cause the amount of semen but because at the time they certainly were a clear poetic departure from mainstream standards - honestly the pure cinema verité and nothing else dogma is too tight, too inflexible. Herzog "spiced" and manipulated the content a bit, both while filming and at the cutting room; hey! but who can stick a flag onto something and call it real? If you're not working news and the (nutritious) layers are there, I personally don't care.

    Me too, liked better early Wenders, 70s specially. Kubrik Lolita to Shinning yep; being Clockwork my fav.
    But neither of them are saints of my devotion, Herzog kinda is

    who can continue to fly in the higher altitudes in old age

    ... reckon that's not easy at all, maybe desert trips help :P

  • Not Herzog, but FREE ! Lots of film ed content on this website:

    The Martin Scorsese Film School

    All 14 videos here:

    Vilmos Zsigmond: Cinematography Masterclass

  • yeah @maxr if we grab Herzog off the streets. Might as well grab Spielberg, Lucas, Michael Bay, etc. and have a group discount! Use a taco truck and they won't see it coming.

  • @jleo you've got your discount ,-) but accounting for boozze, medicines, play toys, whores, little boys, opium flutes, aligators, saunas, freshest exotic food, books (oh oh oh blasphemy!!!) and acolytes, seems just logic that we check transliner's option, je je. Already checked on Akin, Alonso, Almodovar, Anderson (PT of course), Angelopoulos, Altman, Audiard, Baumbach, Bajo Ulloa, Bielinsky, Bong, Campanella, Camus, Carpenter, Carruth and a couple GH2s, Ceylan, Chandor, Chan-wook Park, the Coesns ($$$), Coppola, Cronenberg, 1 of the Dardennes and champagne, de la Iglesia, De Palma (so he redeems), Erice, Farhadi, Ferrara, Fellini’s ashes, Forman, Frears, Gay, Gondry, Greenaway, Haynes, Hineken I mean Haneke, Hartley, James, Jarmusch and Jean-Luc with one of those little rouge ball mouth-strap, Jia, Jodorowsky, Jonze, Jordan , Kar-wai (if he behaves), Kaufman, Kiarostami and his cousin Kaurismäki, Kieslowski, Konchalovsky (?), K. Kurosawa, Kusturica and his band, Lanthimos, Larraín, Lee (angry), Leigh, Lynch (to tell dirty jokes), Loach, Lumet (we have to hurry though), Marshall, Martel, Medem, Meirelles to grow maconha, Moretti (to cook pizza), McDonagh, McQueen, Ming Liang, Miike, Miyazaki, Moverman, Murnau (just kidding), Oshii, Östlund, Panahi, Payne, Pawlikowski, Piñeyro, Reygadas, Reichardt, Reitman, Romero, Ross Perry, Serreau, despite all also Sodabergh, Sokurov, Strickland, Tarr, Turpin (he can double as DP), Vinterberg, Villaronga, Villeneuve, Von Trier (all circus need a clown), Winterbottom (just to torture him), Zvyagintsev and of course all living Flying Circus' motherlords

    We could also grab Malick, just to throw him away to the natural light sharks at the last minute

  • ...yeah, well forget the taco truck, this may require a train! like the double decker Amtrak California Zephyr, ( seen below in a John Ford type setting ) Amtrak food isn't too bad, but exotic foods can be catered. All aboard!


    Amtrak_California_Zephyr_Green_River_-_Floy,_Utah copy.jpg
    1048 x 647 - 189K
  • hey hey I'm in' I'm in... that's a big cobra you've manage with the food, the landscape and the all-importamt funky crew we might even get infected with grandiloquent ideas and shoot some Leone-Keaton sexy low core action docu-drama on the tracks... but has to have cats and an anarchist, I mean antichrist but just one :P

    Buying the sombreros online and washing my underwear... it may get a bit crammed in there
    Hopefully that thing run on AA batteries, otherwise timber! timber! TIMBER!!!!!!

  • Comedy Show takes $90 Master Acting Class

    More from the Youtube Film School:

    Andrei Tarkovsky - Poetic Harmony

    96-Minute 'Masterclass' Interview with Alfred Hitchcock on Filmmaking (1976)

    1-Hour Film School w/ Sam Mendes and Conrad L. Hall Analyze the 'American Beauty' Storyboard

  • More FREE Herzog

  • While great I think there is a difference between an hour or so interview which is directed largely by the person interviewing and a 6 hour planned and prepared series of lessons from Herzog.