James Franco To Teach At High School, Advises Fans ‘Take Advantage’ Of Technology To Make Art [Video]

James Franco is going back to school — to teach, that is. Some lucky students in Palo Alto, California, will have the opportunity to learn film from Franco, who’s taking on 24 proteges for a semester, reports the Hollywood Reporter.

On Friday, September 4, James announced via an Instagram selfie that he’s teaching “an eight-part film course for high school students.” In the photo, which shows James dramatically posing as he stares into the camera wearing headphones, Franco encourages students, freshmen, and seniors alike to “[s]ign up NOW!”


Starting September 13, students will learn how to make their own film, which will then be shown at a film festival. And James, who’s latest film Every Thing Will Be Fine will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, wasn’t kidding when he encouraged the kids to sign up immediately.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, students must apply online by September 10 and write a 200-word essay explaining why they want to work with Franco along with a one-minute cell phone video introducing themselves. Although the application itself bills the workshop teacher as “a very well known director and actor supported by a team of professionals,” the Instagram selfie confirms James Franco will be teaching the course.

The workshop isn’t the first time Franco has taught film, although it is the first time James has instructed high school students. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Franco has also taught at New York University in 2011 and at the University of Southern California.

James Franco is known in Hollywood as a diverse artist, so taking on teaching roles isn’t surprising. Encouraging his fans to take the initiative in their own careers, Franco advises his followers to “go and do it,” according to the Independent. In an interview with the news site, James explained that with the technology available, anyone interested in making films or writing books should just do it.

“Don’t wait for the gatekeepers to say, ‘okay.’ Don’t wait around, because we can now take advantage of the technology.”

In fact, for the past year and a half, Franco has participated in a documentary about his life, according to the Independent. Although he’s very direct that the idea wasn’t his, explaining there “were times I regretted saying yes” because “automatically everyone thinks it was my idea, that I’m this vain guy that wants a camera following me around all the time,” James wanted to encourage his former student, Lisa Vangellow. The documentary is now in post-production.

[Image credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images]