personal projects/failing james franco's film class

in the summer of 2014, i enrolled in an online course being offered through Skillshare by James Franco on screenwriting for short films.

students were to watch a series of videos featuring Franco and his producing partner Vince Jolivette offering instruction on the basics of screenwriting for film with a focus on the genre of adaptation.

text-based / web-based

started: 2014 completed: 2014


my instructors James Franco & Vince Jolivette

getting the assignment

the class was assigned a project in which each student was to select from one of five novels James chose so it could be adapted into a short film screenplay. once finished, participating students were to upload the screenplays for the class to review and vote on. Our instructor would then select one student from the most popular scripts and instruct them further with one-on-one feedback on how to improve their work.

swipe through my submitted screenplay

hijacking the course

i enrolled in the class and used the opportunity to create a work designed to engage with, and illuminate, the cult of celebrity, fiction, truth and the essence of storytelling in the age of reality-based entertainment and the internet with the script i wrote.

i chose one of five books selected for class to adapt. the book I decided to adapt was called, The Thinker, a story written in 1919 by Sherwood Anderson that appears in a larger anthology of stories that all take place in the town of Winesburg, Ohio, which is also the title of the book. 


creating "the gardens"

Winesburg, Ohio's central theme of reality clashing against fantasy seemed like an ideal foundation for a story about the possibillities of successfully attracting the attention of a famous actor and director in Hollywood.

i presented my script, The Gardens, to the class by uploading it to the Skillshare website. while The Gardens did gain some positive feedback for its inventiveness at writing the premise of the course, and the opportunity to work with James Franco into the script, it failed to attract the attention of my instructor, resulting in what can only be interpreted as a failing grade in James Franco's film class.

download a pdf of The Gardens


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