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Werner Herzog to Teach Online Filmmaking Class

Traditional film school is overrated, according to Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Werner Herzog, who has signed on to teach an online filmmaking class. “You spend way too much time in film school. It costs way too much money. You can learn the essentials of filmmaking on your own within two weeks,” said Herzog in the (above) trailer for his class.

The new class, which will focus on the art of both feature and documentary filmmaking, will be offered as part of the online education platform MasterClass. Pre-enrollment is open to everyone and the class will become available this summer.

“Werner Herzog vibrantly and charismatically communicates what he knows about filmmaking, leadership, perseverance, and humanity. The class will save you from personally having to drag a ship over a mountain in the Amazon, or go to Antarctica in the freezing cold, or save two-hundred monkeys from being shipped out of Peru, while still getting the benefit of his learnings from over half a century of making acclaimed films,” said Co-Founder, Creative Director, and CTO Aaron Rasmussen of MasterClass.

Lessons include storytelling, financing, leading a crew, cinematography, working with actors, locations, editing, and documentary interview techniques. The course will include 20 video lessons, a downloadable course workbook and “office hours” where Herzog will critique students’ work.

“Ultimately, my own goal is to be a good soldier of cinema and if I can inspire one or two of you out there, to become a good soldier, then I have done everything I should do here,” said Herzog in a statement.

Of course, this isn’t Herzog’s first time teaching film. He runs his own Rogue Film School, which he says is “not for the faint-hearted.”

Since making his first film with a stolen camera in 1961 at the age of 19, the Herzog has produced, written, and directed more than 70 feature and documentary films, including Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972), Nosferatu (197), Fitzcarraldo (1982), Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997), Grizzly Man (2005), Encounters at the End of the World (2007), Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010), and Queen of the Desert (2015). Herzog’s latest film,  Lo & Behold, Reveries of the Connected World premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

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