Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 by Russ Fischer
A lot of people go to film school to do sissy things like ‘network’ and ‘make contacts’. Werner Herzog laughs at you. While you’re making a film about the evolution of your bedroom, Herzog is going to be teaching the real filmmaking skills of a master to small groups of hand-picked students. What will you learn from the guy who directed Aguirre, Grizzly Man and the new Bad Lieutenant? Important stuff, not like how to shoot (film), but what it’s like to be shot at. With bullets.
The official site of Herzog’s Rogue Film School explains who the courses are aimed at:
The Rogue Film School is not for the faint-hearted; it is for those who have traveled on foot, who have worked as bouncers in sex clubs or as wardens in a lunatic asylum, for those who are willing to learn about lock-picking or forging shooting permits in countries not favoring their projects. In short: it is for those who have a sense for poetry. For those who are pilgrims. For those who can tell a story to four-year-old children and hold their attention. For those who have a fire burning within. For those who have a dream.
Ok, but what will it teach?
The Rogue Film School is about a way of life…How do you sensitize an audience? How is space created and understood by an audience? How do you produce and edit a film? How do you create illumination and an ecstasy of truth?…Related, but more practical subjects, will be the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own shooting permits. The neutralization of bureaucracy. Guerrilla tactics. Self reliance.
The school won’t be an actual institution, but a series of weekend-long seminars taught by Herzog in various locations. The first is planned for January 2010, and will take place in a hotel in LA. No technical filmmaking concepts will be taught, and lapops are prohibited. Also forbidden: “talk of shamans, of yoga classes, nutritional values, herbal teas, discovering your Boundaries, and Inner Growth.” Thank god.