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back to article Werner Herzog's latest film warns drivers not to text while driving

Famed German filmmaker Werner Herzog has teamed up with US mobile carrier AT&T to produce a short documentary film, warning of the dangers of texting while driving. The 35-minute film (embedded below) features frank and occasionally heart-wrenching interviews with drivers who were responsible for traffic accidents after texting …

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My first thought was 35 minutes? Way to long.

But I just sat and watched the whole thing, and I think it was quite well done. Better then any of the government made don't text and drive spots I've seen.

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All the government PSA's miss the point so badly they become jokes. Look at drugs and downloading/pirating. Those commercials are hilarious!

This was done in an effective and rather gripping way.

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So long as no one watches the video while driving?

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A very moving video that all drivers should see

What struck me was the generous forgiveness by both Amish victims families as well as the woman whose father was T-boned. What great examples of humanity they are.

Most of us would be looking for revenge, understandably, but these people have moved on.

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Re: A very moving video that all drivers should see

"Most of us would be looking for revenge,"

In the USA, most certainly. That's why the american justice system is fixated on retribution rather than reconciliation.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not advertising

but all of the clips that cause death will be Verizon customers lol

"AT&T: Less lethal telephony!"

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Re: It's not advertising

Watch it through to the credits.

Presented by: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint & T-Mobile

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Insurance?

A strange thing I noticed: The girl driver got off relatively light with no further strings attached. In NL you will pay for the rest of your life if you are not adequately insured. We are obliged by law to have a general liability insurance for starters. But when you drive without a valid license or the obligatory MV insurance package for instance, any insurance is void and you will still have to pay yourself all the extra costs the victim has to make to live, without a time limit.

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Re: Insurance?

I didn't watch the video, but insurance laws in the US are determined state by state. Some states do not require insurance, but most do. Driving without proof of insurance is illegal in my state, though if you don't want insurance you can post a $50,000 bond with the state (the amount is clearly inadequate, but the law is probably decades old from when $50,000 would probably cover almost any conceivable medical expenses for injuries you caused)

What happens to you money-wise after an accident, insurance or not, is largely determined by civil courts, not criminal. If I run someone over and injure or kill them, it is up to them (or their family) to sue me. If they choose not to, or my insurance is enough to pay the cost of the suit, that is the end of it. If the judgment is more than my insurance covers, I'm responsible for the rest, and the judge may assign some sort of payment plan if I don't have enough to cover the rest at the time.

The criminal courts are only concerned about whether you were breaking the law at the time of the accident, and they could for instance find both parties at fault legally (I was texting while driving, the guy I ran over was jaywalking)

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"It's not a significant bullet"

Also the dangers of being interviews in LA:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylXqc8TQ15w

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It Can Wait

It Can Wait was also the name of a massive fundamentalist Christian sexual abstinence program in the Southern States. It was in schools, on billboards and TV and radio. It was also horrible and did everything short of calling women who had premarital sex whores.

I guarantee people in the South are going to think AT&T is telling them to get married before they have sex.

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Interesting

I agree with the poster above, 35 minutes seemed to be almost too long, but it wasn't.

In my day this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb00H6mCTM8 was the sort of thing we had. Scared the living daylights out of me.

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Re: Interesting

I always wondered where Arnie got his catchphrase from.

Still, that was a genuinely spooky video.

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Facepalm

Re: Interesting - BT with machine guns

I remembered this one on UTV growing up, Which always confused me at the time because I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was about and by the time I was old enough to understand they had stopped showing it.

As far as I could recall it was an advert for BT with machine guns, it wasn’t until I was able to find it on youtube and see it as an adult that it made sense

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i_p1mupPio

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Master Craftsman

Short, snappy and hard-hitting is one way to make a film of this kind. Extended, deeper and more personal is another way, and I think Herzog's done a brilliant job here. Respect to AT&T, Verizon, Sprint & T-Mobile for funding it (see the credits).

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Re: Master Craftsman

The carriers didn't have a choice. They are required to engage in (x) amount of Public Service outreach annually. They don't get to choose the subject matter either. Don't read any altruism on their part into this. It is nice that it had good production values though.

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Re: Master Craftsman

"They don't get to choose the subject matter either. "

Although they did in this case.

Carriers have a vested interest in their customers remaining customers. A dead or jailed one stops payments.

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Re: Master Craftsman

No, being dead or jailed won't have any impact on direct-debit payments.

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Best 'pay attention when driving advert' should be....

Shot from a GoPro or similar 50/60hz recording to give it that home-video feel.

Same basic scenario each time - driver in town/on motorway/wheverer.

Texts, fiddles with radio, does make up, having a playfight with a passenger (I've followed someone doing this, and immediately backed the fuck off as they weaved into the other lane - thankfully nothing there)...

As soon as they start doing it, something subtly changes up ahead - brake lights go on, kid runs out, whatever.

Use a careful mix of live action stunts and good CGI to show the aftermath in real time. Spare no details. Have a kids arm ripped off, something like that.

No warning of the advert containing potentially disturbing images, just a message at the end that says:

"This is why you should pay attention while in charge of over a ton of metal and glass capable of moving at high speed under your control. If this happens because you weren't paying attention, it's your responsibility"

The potential for catastrophe is quite real, why not show it as it is?

Steven R

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Re: Best 'pay attention when driving advert' should be....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PMDZjOW2KM

Borrow that one from Ireland, perhaps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Best 'pay attention when driving advert' should be....

A shame Alan Clarke's not still around. A "safer driving" ad along the lines of his "Elephant" would scare the crap out of anyone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyRL73HIvqg

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Re: Best 'pay attention when driving advert' should be....

" Best 'pay attention when driving advert' should be....

Shot from a GoPro or similar 50/60hz recording to give it that home-video feel.

Same basic scenario each time - driver in town/on motorway/wheverer."

New Zealand ran a bunch of adverts like this in the 1980s-early 90s. They were sickening and quite effective.

By the end of the 1990s they were running hitech adverts featuring matrix style slo-mo swoops - and those had almost no impact whatsoever.

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Thumb Up

Re: Best 'pay attention when driving advert' should be....

That irish one is a bit like what I'm talking about. But shoot it with GoPros or similar 50/60hz cameras from fixed perspectives. No fancy camera angles, no zooming around to get a wide view etc.

Just switching from camera to camera, with some careful CGI to show pedestrian impacts. I'd vote against using CGI for vehicle collisions - cage 'em up and clonestamp the cages out (easier with fixed angles) and really smash the cars together and into physical objects. Feel free to use 'killer' cars with dummies and parts of the crash structure removed, etc.

Make it fast, make it real, make it horrifying. Make it fucking stick.

Steven R

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Trollface

rts games suck

Does this dude know he shares the name with the first RTS game I ever saw? Rare teutonic surname or not (surname also of a famous old school baseball manager but I digress) that game was revolutionary in a genre so lame that you instawin with tank rushes even decades later.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herzog_Zwei

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Re: rts games suck

I believe he talks of nothing else.

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Trollface

to scare the hell out of kids

They should have had Uwe Boll make the spot. The horror being forced to watch the short would pop into in their minds every time they think of texting. Ed Wood with a German accent.

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Coffee/keyboard

I refuse to watch it.

Because there won't be any shots of police cars slamming into innocent victims because the officer was typing on his legally mounted computer.

Can anyone comment on this?

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Re: I refuse to watch it.

I'm sure they are trained to drive and use the computers. Just like they are trained to drive in excess of the limit.

Except there is no training, at least in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and West Virginia. All those states cancelled their law enforcement driving programs in the early 80's. They aren't trained in driving at all anymore. Got a valid drivers license? Take six weeks of class and you too can be a uniformed officer of the law.

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Re: I refuse to watch it.

The "training" thing is bullshit anyway. Someone who says "I've been texting while driving to/from work every day since 2003" could claim to have more training than anything the police could have possibly had for typing on their dash computers but that doesn't mean they are driving safely.

There are many cities in the US (including mine) where police have been banned from pursuits because of all the carnage they've caused or too many near misses that worried people. It is one thing to be able to safely drive through city streets at high speed, it is another to do so when there is other traffic there, and pedestrians, even with lights and siren on your vehicle to warn them. Radio waves travel faster than cars.

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Flame

Re: I refuse to watch it.

Once watch a cop car in Milwaukee rear-end a pickup truck. This was probably 2002 or so. I am Curious if it was laptop related or not.

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Viewing while Driving

How many people will view this movie, while driving?

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If you must warn them

It's way too late.

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Windows

Of Walking in Ice

Herzhog is a bit of a hero of mine (I don't drive either, but that is easy in UK urban environment).

Read his Of Walking in Ice (a very short book) if you need a bit of a refocus.

Watching the film now...

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Holmes

Re: Of Walking in Ice

Recently, Werner Herzog appeared as "executive producer" (I think that means he's gathering the money and opening doors) for The Act of Killing

Watching his "Aguirre" now (a movie project from 1972). 98% fresh on rottentomatoes

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The UK seat-belt PSA

This one deserves an honourable (re)mention:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-8PBx7isoM

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Re: The UK seat-belt PSA

Superbly done. Thanks for posting it.

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Re: The UK seat-belt PSA

Also deserving of an honourable mention is the original Think Bike ad from 1975, presented by the late Edward Judd. I drive a car, I don't ride a bike, and I've never forgotten this ad from nearly 40 years ago. 47 seconds of low-tech brilliance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ojHWOiA4Xk

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The UK seat-belt PSA

And I've never forgotten "Julie knew her killer."

I couldn't forget it even if I didn't have a problem enforcing back-seat-passenger seat-belt wearing in a city/country where it is not much enforced even for the driver. It is the reason I won't even start the car until they put those damn belts on.

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Re: The UK seat-belt PSA

As a result of those adverts I make damned sure rear seat passengers are strapped in - simply on the basis of MY self-preservation.

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Re: The UK seat-belt PSA

oh, the one that ends with something like "... and then, after he had killed her, he sat back down" ? Yes, even thinking of it again now gives me the shivers (in a bad way).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MY self-preservation

Exactly. I hate the thought of a lethal weight in line with my head.

The other day I told a front-seat friend that I was very selfish, and did not appreciated smashed glass and blood on the dashboard.

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