What Was Studio 4, James Franco’s Acting School?

James Franco attends the Vulture Festival Los Angeles
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

New allegations regarding sexual misconduct by actor James Franco have just emerged, and these allegations are prompting questions and discussions regarding Franco’s theater school named Studio 4. At one time, Studio 4 had locations in both New York City and Los Angeles, but both were closed some time ago.

As The Inquisitr detailed earlier, Franco’s Studio 4 has been named as a location where multiple women allege that they were subjected to inappropriate sexual behavior from Franco, as well as others at the school.

According to Refinery 29, Franco created Studio 4 back in 2014. After teaching at a number of other schools, he decided to create something of his own and he collaborated with the acting school Playhouse West to launch this project.

The classes slated to be held at Studio 4 were set to focus on the Meisner technique that was created by late acting coach Sanford Meisner. Students would spend a great deal of time on improvisation and spontaneity, and Franco was reportedly planning to be heavily involved in the day-to-day operations.

As Studio 4 was launched, Franco also promised that he would cast many of the acting school’s students for roles in professional projects he was doing. The actor’s production company, Rabbit Bandini Productions, was linked to the acting school and students were promised that others from the industry would participate in Question and Answer sessions as well as regular scene nights.

Franco’s vision for Studio 4 was that students would be able to focus on acting without having to worry about other academic requirements. The school reportedly charged tuition of $300 a month and those enrolling were promised they’d learn the same techniques that Franco believed led to his own success in the industry.

Apparently, the concept of Studio 4 was also that there was not necessarily a program end date and graduation from the school. Rather, the vision was that students would always be experiencing ongoing learning.

On October 1, 2017, the Twitter page for the New York Studio 4 location announced that the acting school would be closing, seemingly with little-to-no notice or explanation.

Just a few months after Studio 4 announced that it was ceasing operations, the Los Angeles Times published details of allegations a number of students made about issues at the school. As Us Weekly detailed at the time, the production company issued a statement about the situation.

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Vincent Jolivette, the owner of Rabbit Bandini Productions, said that the school was always run professionally. Jolivette insisted that student feedback had been positive and that the instructors had been excellent. He said that they were investigating allegations from a former student, indicating that the allegations were inconsistent with the school’s mission.

At the time that he launched Studio 4, Franco was also teaching at CalArts, UCLA, and USC, along with filming projects. Once Studio 4 closed in October of 2017, a number of students told the Los Angeles Times that they had been shocked by the sudden closure and had no idea why it had been shut down.

More than a dozen students talked to the media outlet about their positive experiences at Studio 4. Franco himself reportedly did not necessarily teach many of the classes, but some students detailed that he put in a great deal of effort to ensure students were heard, sometimes meeting with them outside of class.

While some students were pleased with the Studio 4 experience, others were not impressed. The promise of parts in Franco’s projects for students seemed sparse and some students felt that he wasn’t all that invested in teaching or making the project a success.

With James Franco’s alleged sexual misconduct making headlines again, people are looking back at what happened with Studio 4 during its brief existence. Although there were students who were happy with the experience, some people wonder if new stories and allegations regarding what happened there will now start to emerge.