Werner Herzog Teaches Online Filmmaking MasterClass

(Photo: Bil Zelman, Creative Commons_

(Photo: Bil Zelman, Creative Commons_

Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog is set to teach an online filmmaking class this summer through the online education platform MasterClass.

An announcement from MasterClass states that the online class will focus on feature and documentary filmmaking, with lessons on a variety of topics including storytelling, cinematography, interview techniques, and how to work with actors, writes Vikram Murthi for IndieWire.

“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,” the acclaimed director of over 70 films said.

Herzog, an Academy Award-nominated director, has directed, produced, and written more than 70 feature films so far.  He made his first film at the age of 19 using a stolen camera.  His most acclaimed films include “Aguirre,” “Wrath of God,” “Stroszek,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Grizzly Man,” “Rescue Dawn,” and “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.”  He has also made guest appearances in a number of films and TV shows, such as “The Simpsons,” “American Dad,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “Rick and Morty.”  In 2009, he was named one of the 100 most influential people on the planet by Time Magazine.

The San Francisco-based online learning platform MasterClass, created by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen in 2015 in an effort to offer people around the world the opportunity to learn from the masters in each subject, has previously offered classes with such high-profile instructors as Christina Aguilera for singing, Usher for performance, James Patterson for writing, and Kevin Spacey for acting, reports Derek Lawrence for Entertainment Weekly.

In a Series B round of funding, the company raised $15 million from investors such as BloombergBeta, Harrison Metal, and Advancit Capital.  Robert Downey Jr., Usher and Casper CEO Philip Krim have also noted their financial participation.

Each class makes use of video instruction, interactive exercises, course materials, and peer interaction, among other things. All courses are available on the MasterClass website at a cost of $90 each.

For example, in Spacey’s acting class, participants are given an inside look into how the actor prepares for his roles through a series of questions.  However, he did say that he does not feel any pressure to actually answer those questions.

Dustin Hoffman’s class offered students a five-hour teaching video which was broken into segments such as “How to Deliver Your Lines” to “Being in the Moment” and “How to Act as Yourself and Be the Character.”

Meanwhile, James Patterson’s writing course offers 22 creative writing lessons, Usher created 16 video lessons on the art of entertainment, and Serena Williams teaches those looking to learn for two hours on advanced tennis techniques.

“Werner is, without a doubt, one of the greatest filmmakers, ever. Not only is his understanding, knowledge and experience in the craft unparalleled, but he is fearless. He inspires, pushes, and teaches you how to see the world differently and then capture it for an audience,” said CEO and Co-Founder David Rogier of MasterClass.

Those interested in taking the course can pre-register now on the MasterClass website.