James Franco certainly has one of the most unique resumes in Hollywood. He’s an actor, an artist, a writer, and a teacher. Now he has decided to share his teachings with the world, via an online screenwriting class. In partnership with Skillshare, the class is entitled Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films and will focus on screenwriting topics ranging from the creative to the technical. The class will take place over 15 lessons, each lesson spanning 90 minutes.
Franco isn’t the only teacher for the class, though -- Rabbit Bandini Productions co-founder Vince Jolivette will also share his insights on filmmaking. In every class, students will create their very own project, an 8-minute short screenplay adapted from one of the three selected works: The Spoon River Anthology; Winesburg, Ohio;or Pastures of Heaven.Towards the end of the course, Franco and Jolivette will read the screenplays with the most likes and provide personal feedback on their favorite.
Enrollment for the class began on June 10, and you can enroll here. The cost for the course is only $25, and the last day to submit screenplays is July 24.
Personally, I would be curious to hear Franco’s advice on screenwriting. This isn’t his first time teaching, of course; he’s taught courses at USC, UCLA, CalArts, and NYU. Over the years, I’ve had some kooky teachers (I had one who was rumored to have killed someone, and another who was thought to have lost his eye in a bar fight; both were quite strong teachers, for what it's worth), but I can only imagine some of the wisdom Franco will pass on to his students. Franco does appear to be dedicated -- he seems to really want to help his students learn -- which is needed to be a great teacher.
If any of you do decide to submit a screenplay, my advice is to base it off of Pastures of Heaven -- you really can’t go wrong with Steinbeck.