Werner Herzog explores the science and mythology of volcanoes in his latest documentary Into the Inferno, co-directed with volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer. In a wide-ranging interview, No Film School gets Herzog’s take on everything from production safety to his early career.
“In the film, I show footage of pyroclastic flow that killed two French volcanologists,” Herzog explains. “They even didn’t film it because they perished in this very event. In the early ’90s, a volcano in Japan somehow caught them. Of course, it’s coming at 100 miles an hour at you and it’s 800 degrees Fahrenheit inside. You would be dead on the spot. That happened to them. For us, it was important to have a conversation about this, because where is the line? How far do you go? Into the magma itself? My answer was no, and Clive Oppenheimer’s answer is no as well. You do not need to get the perfect shot all the time. There is safety. There is security. There is responsibility for others. I think I’m the most safety-oriented film director that is around anywhere.”
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