Private Project

Herzog & Morris

A comedic noir that dramatizes a pivotal moment in the real life relationship between Werner Herzog and Errol Morris during the summer of 1975.

  • Neil Butler
    Lewis & Klarq
  • Neil Butler
    Lewis & Klarq
  • Neil Butler
    Lewis & Klarq
  • Jason Chimonides
    Key Cast
    "Werner Herzog"
    Lewis & Klarq
  • Peter Cellini
    Key Cast
    "Errol Morris"
    I Was A Teenage Pillow Queen
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    7,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Neil Butler

A 1995 graduate of the Film School at Florida State University, Neil has lived and worked in Los Angeles for the past two decades, mostly in the realm of film and television development. 2017 saw the release of feature LEWIS & KLARQ, an indie rock musical of sorts he wrote and directed with Jason Chimonides and which had its world premiere at the Cyprus International Film Festival where it won the Golden Aphrodite Award for Best Score. Neil also produced a soundtrack album featuring songs from the film, releasing it across digital platforms as well as on physical cassette as a promo giveaway at screenings. In 2019, his short LOST TRIBE (also co-directed with Chimonides) premiered at the Tallahassee Film Festival. Neil is currently restoring his first feature, a road film originally produced in the mid-nineties on glorious 16mm b&w.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was researching something quite different when I came across some curious details concerning the early relationship between Werner Herzog and Errol Morris in the mid-1970's. I was fascinated by the twisted adventures these young men undertook together. But I was perhaps more fascinated by why Werner, already an established international filmmaker (if not yet an iconic one), would invest so much time and energy into the exploits of someone who, quite honestly, hadn't accomplished anything of note. The answer perhaps speaks to Werner's intuition as much as his uncertain protege's emerging genius.

In the desperate times before Errol would come to seize his destiny, I picture this self-avowed film noir fanatic as quite trapped in a noir of his own creation. Camped out above the childhood home of serial killer Ed Gein and with yet another project unraveling in his arms, Errol Morris was an anxiety-ridden mess when his trusted friend came calling. 

For this film, I have invented but a single conceit: in real life, Errol had already chickened-out and left Plainfield, Wisconsin by the time Werner arrived to help him dig about in the local graveyard. This is the scene I imagine would have taken place if Errol had mustered the courage to face his disappointed mentor. Everything else depicted herein is totally true... The stealing of locations! The eating of footwear! Cash callously tossed out the window! During the course of this apocryphal meeting, the hard shadows of Errol's tortured psyche part for an instant as he catches a glimpse of the creative future that awaits him... if he's got the guts!