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24 pieces of awesome filmmaking & life advice from director Werner Herzog

Jack Reacher Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog is one quirky dude, but I love the German filmmaker. How many other Oscar-nominated directors have also starred in a Tom Cruise action flick (JACK REACHER), voiced characters on animated TV series (The Boondocks, Metalocalypse), and guest appeared on a hit sitcom (Parks and Recreation)?

The back of the recent Paul Cronin book Werner Herzog - A Guide for the Perplexed (which you can purchase through Amazon here) has 24 fantastic proverbs from Mr. Werner. It's a good mix of advice that can be applied to filmmaking and life, and definitely worth checking out.

1. Always take the initiative.
2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.
5. Learn to live with your mistakes.
6. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.
7. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.
8. There is never an excuse not to finish a film.
9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
10. Thwart institutional cowardice.
11. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
12. Take your fate into your own hands.

Grizzly Man Werner Herzog

13. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
14. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
15. Walk straight ahead, never detour.
16. Manoeuvre and mislead, but always deliver.
17. Don’t be fearful of rejection.
18. Develop your own voice.
19. Day one is the point of no return.
20. A badge of honor is to fail a film theory class.
21. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema.
22. Guerrilla tactics are best.
23. Take revenge if need be.
24. Get used to the bear behind you.

Werner Herzog's QUEEN OF THE DESERT starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco and Robert Pattinson
will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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