Chapter 26 of 26 from Werner Herzog



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

Topics include: Advice from a medieval mystic

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

Topics include: Advice from a medieval mystic

Werner Herzog

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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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. You’ll learn storytelling, cinematography, locations, self-financing, documentary interview techniques, and how to bring your ideas to life. By the end, you’ll make uncompromising films.

Watch, listen, and learn as Werner covers every aspect of filmmaking, from pre-production to distribution.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Werner will also critique select student work.


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

I am disappointed that I did not learn lock-picking or document forgery, j/k, but his honesty was refreshing. :) Thank you for putting together this class, and for kicking ass in the cinema world. best, -Bolen J Miller

Excellent. This is the future of higher education. Thank you.

I appreciate very much, thanks for the opportunity.

Fantastic course to listen to. This is not as much a hands on practical course but for sure one that sets the right mindset for film making, dealing with actors, humiliation an so forth . It's fantastic to hear how this mindset has been forged by a lifelong experience in making films.


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.

Patrick P.

This has been quite a journey in 26 Chapters following the meanders of a great genius. I loved the human side of the filmmaking process that is more problem solving than expressing yourself in the middle of adversity. I liked Werner's description of the essentials in filmmaking, that is your dreams, the only things you have, by the end of the day. I am not sure about his documentary concept of scripting and conning people to make a documentary. Fake facts are like fake news that are creating a world that does not exists. It is therefore fiction. I hated this permanent tension Werner establishes between the idea of the script and ther craft of filmmaking, particularly the editing of what has been effectively filmed of it. Werner is a great teacher and pedagogue as his words lay upon an extra-ordinary experience of one of the best filmmakers still alive. Many, many thanks for such a great opportunity. Werner, you are forever in my heart, whatever, wherever, whenever I feel sorry for myself to have chosen to make films as part of my pilgrimage on this planet Earth.

A fellow student

Thank you Mr. Hertzog. This course, if nothing else, has impressed on me how a little bit insane you are. I mean that as the highest compliment. I have followed your work since Fitzcaraldo and Aquirre the Wrath of God and have always kept those films as part of my collection. I have been a big follower of the New German Cinema movement - you, Rainer Fassbinder and Wim Wenders. What really impressed me is that you undertook such insanely gigantic projects such as Fitzcaraldo, that even with time passed, seem highly impossible, and yet you did them. And taking on Klaus Kinski - a truly clinically insane man whose talent you moulded into cinema legend. There is definitely a film to be made of his life. One cannot imagine someone whose life begins in war, mass murder and chaos that is channeled into a career of manic expression . I must admit that the documentary part of your class was very perplexing and your admittance to inventing dialogue and situations I found disturbing and am still trying to find the rationale for. It seemed almost twisted and gratuitous - as if you really could not let go of fiction and felt compelled to let it contaminate reality. But if you are honest about your deceptions, then maybe it is okay. I am not a documentary maker so I guess I cannot judge. Finally your uncompromising stance on not being a 'work for hire' Director really shows that you take on projects without compromise - even now. Bravo. You are part of a generation of filmmakers that we will one day look back on and wish we stil had.

Janos V.

A very interesting way of looking at film making, the entire process, and your life's journey. Thank You, Werner.

Angela K.

Remarkable & surreal. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to learn from the very best. Thank you 🙏

Tiago G.

Werner's vision and experience are really amazing. He teaches things that we never could learn in a traditional film school. Thank you for the lessons!

A fellow student

Werner, you are a passionate man who works in humility and lives by example. I learned a lot listening to your experiences and I am grateful for the gift you share with us. Thank you. Happy Holidays. You also play a brilliantly disturbing antagonist and are a terrific actor. I hope there is a chance we can work together someday. Cheers.


Werner's teachings were incredible. Do it. Try it. Search. Try it. Do it. Do ... Thank you.


Thank you Werner for this insightful, philosophical and thoroughly inspiring filmmaking class. The tools are immediately applicable. So grateful for the insight in your artist's journey.


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.