Through It Can Wait and other initiatives, AT&T has dedicated a great deal of effort in public awareness campaigns about the dangers of texting and driving. Recently, they released From One Second to the Next, a half-hour documentary by Werner Herzog that will be used as a public service announcement throughout schools in the United States. “What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me,” Herzog has said. “There’s a completely new culture out there. I’m not a participant of texting and driving—or texting at all—but I see there’s something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us.”
Werner Herzog has created some of the most challenging and engrossing movies of the past half-century and his career is one of the strongest examples of a director whose work crosses many boundaries between fiction and documentary and across genres, like other directors featured in Chapters 5 and 6 of Moving Images, such as Agnès Varda, Michael Apted, and Bertrand Tavernier. Among Herzog’s most celebrated non-fiction films are Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Grizzly Man, and Little Dieter Needs to Fly, while his fiction features include Aguirre, The Wrath of God and Nosferatu, The Vampyre. In addition, his production of Fitzcarraldo is the subject of the highly acclaimed documentary Burden of Dreams by filmmaker Les Blank and is available on a deluxe Criterion edition.
From One Second to the Next is a powerful public service announcement and a striking piece of filmmaking, and it can provide good examples of cross-curricular work in the classroom, particularly as students work on issues related to safety and decision making, constant technology use, and communications. It can also serve as a strong reference point as students work on their own documentaries or PSAs; here is a page that gives information on the type of team needed to put together a project like this. And here is an excellent NPR Morning Edition interview with Herzog about this project.
For schools, there is a shorter 12-minute version of the PSA available. (The full length version is 35 minutes.)