Werner Herzog is an endlessly fascinating filmmaker, having pivoted from helming some of film’s most daring productions to exploring our world with vital documentaries about cave paintings, grizzlies, and the internet. It’s not just Herzog’s boundless curiosity that enraptures audiences, but also the ways in which his ponderous, oft-overwrought soothsaying unfurls in such a delicious Germanic monotone. Werner Herzog’s documentaries resonate because he can make almost anything sound mysterious and full of wonder; it’s no surprise, then, that young documentarians would long for that same power.
Such was the impetus for Wernacular, a “highly sophisticated speech synthesizer” that can instantly transform even the most plodding of speeches into an absorbing Herzogian digression. One need not even adjust their tone or pace, and, should your subject need an emotional boost, a big, red “drama knob” allows you to make Herzog’s drone that much weightier.
It all sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, it is. The above ad was put together by Truthtellers, a new YouTube channel devoted to exploring the world’s best voiceover performers. Still, it’s a funny bit, as they’ve clearly got a solid Herzog impersonator in their midst. “To me, they were like priests preparing for mass—but why?” is pretty damn spot-on.
Alas, it looks like it’s back to the Herzog bot we go.