Creativity Social Media Tech

Werner Herzog talks filmmaking, Pokemon Go, and how to manage our online life

The Verge interviewed legendary director Werner Herzog about his online class where both aspiring filmmakers and professionals can learn his tips and secrets on moviemaking.

Not surprisingly, Herzog practices an unusual style of teaching too. He encourages his students to break the rules of storytelling and make up their assignments.

“don’t wait for the system to accept you. You create your own system, create your own [budget] and make your own first feature film or your first own documentary.”

For all the affordable technology today though comes our self-inflicted barriers of Internet addictiveness. To avoid the pitfalls of a “parallel surrogate life,” filmmakers need to get offline and touch things. Herzog only owns a cell phone for emergencies.

On the contrary, he reveals a fascination with technology, particularly Bitcoin, as it relates to news ways of storytelling.

“I’m interested how can I commit a bank robbery holding up the bank and getting away with loot of something that you cannot even touch”

The funniest part of the interview is when Herzog needs an explainer on Pokemon Go. He does not think the game is moronic, only that it is not for him, at least not as real as the human connection. Talking about virtual reality, he still prefers it when you get on your two feet and encounter the world and others face to face.

The conversation over Pokemon leads to some of his deeper thoughts on the role of technology in our lives. At the end of the day, humans are morally responsible for their tools.

“Sure, and the question — is this technology good or bad? — is an incompetent question. It’s humans who are good or bad.”

Read the entire interview here.

Creativity Productivity & Work

In Conclusion

Leading up to a conclusion may lose the audience’s interest.

Consider moving the summary to the beginning and offering everything upfront.

Then, unravel the details and show people how you got there.

Storytelling in presentations, movies, books, can be more effective when the answer follows a big reveal.

So reverse it: Spill the beans and connect it all back.


This Is What Happens When Publishers Invest In Long Stories

We hoped the “slow live blog” approach would give us more flexibility and speed when it came to writing and producing news. Instead of starting with a fresh article every time we want to cover something inside a regular beat, which might require a long catch-up introduction, context, background and so forth, we could just put fresh news at the top and let the reader scroll down to read previous updates if they hadn’t been following this story.

Updates on top, context on the bottom.  Kind of like Wikipedia.  


Stories That Go Unpublished

A bunch of the world goes untold because people don’t know how to publish a blog, Tweet, or comment on Quora.  This is true especially for the older crowd that grew up with printed books, letters, and face to face chats.  That’s how they passed on knowledge and ideas spread, literally word of mouth.  

So many of friends’ parents have so much to teach.  Talking to them is like talking to a living encyclopedia.  They’ve developed an expansive yet simplistic philosophy on life simply by experiencing the world’s ebb and flow many times over.   

How great would it be if these people published their life stories online?

The two main barriers to self-publishing seem to be a lack of interest and a lack of technological know-how.  They’d rather talk about it.  You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  

It is our (Digital Millennials) responsibility to capture this information?  We’re always life-streaming.  Video interviews and sound recordings could be a captivating approach.    

Perhaps some of life’s stories should go undocumented.  If we know everything then we taint the sense of wonder and curiosity.  Our imagination is bigger when we’re ignorant.  Or we can take what the stories and opinions we hear and augment them 😉

He just kind of talks them through, and then I get the fun part cause I get to make up the stories. – Jerry B. Jenkins