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Werner Herzog masterclass

After more than half a century producing lauded work as a film director, producer, screenwriter, author, actor and opera director, German filmmaker Werner Herzog has attained near-mythical status. Once described by Francois Truffaut as “the most important film director alive”, his award-winning oeuvre includes feature films, shorts, commercials, and – perhaps most famously – philosophical documentaries like Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Those inclined towards film history will of course know that Herzog is considered one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema, along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner Schröter, and Wim Wenders. His films often feature heroes with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature. American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog “has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons, or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular.” He was named one of the 100 most influential people on the planet by Time magazine in 2009.

Now, thanks to an exciting online education platform called Masterclass, you can register for a series of ‘face-to-face’ lectures with the legend himself. Over the course of 20 video lessons in both documentary and feature filmmaking, you’ll learn about storytelling, cinematography, locations, self-financing, documentary interview techniques, and how to bring your ideas to life. By the end, you’ll make uncompromising films.

At the Jameson INDIE Channel we really encourage young filmmakers to just get out there and create, but of course learning relevant skills and techniques is vitally important. We just love the fact that technology makes such a valuable resource so easily available, and would certainly encourage you to consider this guided journey of self-improvement. A few years ago, an opportunity like this would only have been available to a select few, but now anybody with an internet connection can get involved. There is a cost attached ($90 to be precise), which means you’ll have to make a financial commitment to tap into this font of knowledge. But it’s a pittance compared to the cost of film school, with lecturers who simply cannot compare to the exceptional mind of a man like Werner Herzog. As he mentions in his introductory video, film school is more often than not a waste of time and money. “You can learn the essentials of filmmaking on your own within two weeks.”

So why not put that to the test and pre-enrol today? Embrace the possibilities that the internet offers to develop your passion under the guidance of the world’s greatest mentor.

Watch the course trailer below to pique your interest, and find out all the details you need to enrol here.

Dylan Culhane is the Jameson INDIE Channel director, and a closet revolutionary. He loves sipping whiskey to the accompaniment of new ideas.