Werner Herzog’s Rogue Rules for Life: Part Three

There is an economy of your soul. That’s the greatest takeaway from my time with Werner Herzog at his Rogue Film School, from which I deciphered his Rogue Rules for Life and/or Filmmaking. To get a glimpse inside the filmmaker’s mind and philosophy, read Part One: Your Habits & The Craft, and Part Two: Your Audience & The Industry before diving into the final Part Three: Your Soul, below.


Your Soul

1. Truth and Fact are not the same thing.
2. Be cautious naming Truth.
3. Abandoning your dreams is abandoning yourself.
4. Be prepared, but always be open to surprise.
5. The most important experience is life experience.
6. You have to live with rejection, and you will encounter it at every step. But you can’t let it stop you.
7. The film culture and discourse that used to exist is gone; we are orphaned. You must create your own film culture if you want to stand a chance at creating anything of depth.
8. The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot. If that now seems impossible, find ways to embody this philosophy.
9. You must at some point get acquainted with your own fate.
10. Be on the move; be going somewhere. Initiative is everything.
11. A filmmaker is inherently and utterly lonely. You must actively fill yourself with substance. Not even cinematographers and actors can keep you company. Accept this, but do not seek out loneliness; you are not a monk.
12. Have a companion and raise children. Never lose touch with them.
13. The capacity of your soul must remain intact. There is only so much you can bear before your soul is compromised. This is the “economy of the soul”.