Film & TV


Werner Herzog

Lesson time 2:06 min

Werner leaves you with the words of a medieval mystic and wishes you luck on your journey.

Werner Herzog
Teaches Filmmaking
In 6 hours of video lessons, Werner Herzog teaches his uncompromising approach to documentary and feature filmmaking.
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I have a text I'd like to read for you. And the text is from the late medieval mystic, Thomas a Kempis-- a very important figure in deep thinking. A mystic. And it's in a film of mine. "It is only the pilgrims who in the travails of their earthly voyage do not lose their way. Whether our planet be frozen or scorched, they are guided by the same prayers, and suffering, and fervor, and woe." [MUSIC PLAYING] You may have guessed, meanwhile, that it is not Thomas a Kempis. I wrote this text. I did this. In a way, we have to leave things incomplete. Lots of things we haven't covered, but it would be ad nauseam just to have me there and trying to explain my craft. Thank you, and best of luck to all of you.

Capture the spectacular

When the legendary director Werner Herzog was 19, he stole a camera and made his first movie. 70 films and 50 awards later, Werner is teaching documentary and feature filmmaking. In this film class, you’ll learn storytelling, cinematography, location scouting, self-financing, documentary interview techniques, and how to bring your ideas to life. By the end, you’ll make uncompromising movies.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

The unique insights provided are wonderful and invaluable. He inspires, breaks through his own illusions and inspires you to go for your vision despite the unreasonable challenges. This is what I loved about this class and the art of this man's singular vision.

A realist that shows not everyone is cut out to be a director. Huge fan of all of his movies.

Quite interesting to know a bit about his background and childhood. I am quite eager to learn even more

"Werner is a true master of craft - a blacksmith of great human pathos. A soldier for artistic spirit." -Alfred Biolek


A fellow student

No me esperaba menos de uno de los más grandes artistas de hoy. Solo queda agradecer que comparta su excepcional mirada a la vida y en la manera en que lo hace.

A fellow student

I am a professional filmmaker and have worked in Hollywood now for almost 40 years. I have worked on films like Pulp Fiction, Speed and Total Recall and have won over 60 film festival awards. I have also taken many classes over the years and have been a teacher for over 20 years as well. I got ore out of this class of Werner Herzog's that 5 years of classes and years of experience. I had been beaten down in my enthusiasm recently and had lost momentum for my own projects. Werner's outlook and attitude on life and film has reinvigorated me. Thank you all for putting this fantastic series together. I intend to watch every episode. And thank you, Mr. Herzog. You are a great artist and an example to us all. Particularly me.

Arthur L.

Before i started this lesson, i had no idea who Werner was or any of his work so i had no expectation when i started this class. This is by far my favorite Masterclass teacher. The way he teaches, his use of humor, it feels deeply personal as if he's talking in the same room with us. This is the only Masterclass that i felt really emotional when i finally reached the end. It feels like saying goodbye to your wise old teacher. Thank You Werner Herzog for educating and inspiring millions of filmmakers like us with your discipline, humor and your invaluable knowledge in filmmaking

Lynn C.

Regarding deep fake...I was in the middle of lessons when I took a break and went to the lake where my 80 year old mother foisted her cell phone into my hand with a command to read [a chain] email she rec'd from an intelligent neighbor of my childhood. The email included an mp4 clip of supposedly US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib claiming to take over the world...I said "Mom this is fake" and pointed out the fake You Tube logo. This did not exonerate my ignorance in her I simply did search that quickly led to Ted Nugent's facebook page post (a second posting) making fake social media spreading fear and hate. Because of Herzog's questions and craft of truth, I was conscious and disciplined enough to be in a conversation with my mom that dispelled fear and hate. I did not let her off the hook for claiming age as an excuse for unknowingly spreading racist, bigoted, misogynistic propaganda. She learned. I found the dialogue. Thank you Master Teacher Werner Herzog. Your humor, discipline, doggedness and good humaness to make truth makes a difference.

Lynn C.

I want to be his every Kinski. Herzog's sense of humor off the charts. He is way cooooool.

Selin S.

In terms of technical knowledge and the understanding of the profession as a film-maker, the best Masterclass. It is worth its weight in gold.

A fellow student

Excellent. Great advice, thought provoking. I was disturbed by the attitude of Werner toward truth. I don't think good for the world to create false quotes in a documentary. However, given Herzog's brilliance, I will further consider whether my discomfort relates to his error, or my own, regarding my notions of truth and the role of documentary as a medium of factuality.

A fellow student

Really really interesting and some very useful and practical advice. Danke Herr Herzog!

Bob S.

I really enjoyed this class with Werner Herzog. I great insightful teacher who really shared invaluable experience and knowledge about film making. I am planing to go to costa rica to start filming my project on the rain forests. Thank You.

Hugh T.

Werner is a philosopher that just happens to be making films. His fundamental view is that ideas, concepts and one’s humanity matter most, the rest is ancillary baggage. Thanks very much.