June 11, 2014

This Online Screenwriting Class is Now in Session with Professor James Franco

James Franco screenwritingIf you're looking for some guidance on how to write your next (or current) screenplay, you may want to hit up James Franco. The actor/director/writer/producer/teacher (he's taught in the film and English departments at USC, UCLA, CalArts, and NYU) has joined forces with former classmate and Rabbit Bandini Productions co-founder Vince Jolivette, as well as Skillshare to offer a self-paced, online class on how to tackle short scripts, including 15 video lessons on concept development, budgeting, and pitching. Enrollment is now open and only costs $25 (or $20 with a Skillshare membership).

The cool thing about this class, entitled "Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films", is that it's multi-dimensional -- in other words, it's not just a video that you watch and take notes on. There are 15 video lessons, but you're also given writing assignments, projects, literature, and resources. And the class is set up to let you go at your own pace, so if you've got a day job, a family, and are writing in your "free time", you can always come back to the lessons when it's convenient for you. As a side note, I can't tell you how much more writing I do when I have an assignment (with guidelines) due -- maybe that's my inner immature, undisciplined writer revealing herself, but it's true. Structure is definitely a huge boon to my writing.

Here's a list of topics the class will cover:

  • Concept Development & Adaptation: Articulating your screenplay vision when adapting from written works.
  • Budgeting for short films: The costs you'll need to keep in mind as you set out to write your screenplay.
  • Screenplay formatting: The intricacies of proper screenplay formatting.
  • Generating loglines and treatments: Pitching your screenplay to resonate with potential investors.

Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to receive one-one-one feedback from Franco and Jolivette on one of their screenplay projects, an 8-minute short script adapted from one of the source texts from the class: The Spoon River Anthology, Winesburg, Ohio, or Pastures of Heaven. Students will submit their short screenplay on Skillshare, and Franco and Jolivette will read the 10 that receive the most likes, and whichever one they deem their favorite, they'll give the author feedback. The submission deadline is July 24th.

Some might look at this and say, "Classes = school, which also = no way!" But, you know, though we're called No Film School, that doesn't mean no film classes. Education is vital! If you're a thriving autodidact, wonderful, but some of you might want structure and a hand to guide you as you learn without the exorbitant cost of tuition that many (most?) film schools require. For that reason, Franco and Jolivette, with years of experience writing and producing films, offering online screenwriting classes for a nominal fee sounds like a great opportunity. Especially since Franco plans to use the money to fund projects of student filmmakers. (Also, if you don't like it after 14 days, you can get your money back!)

If you're interested, head on over to the course's page on Skillshare and enroll!

Link: Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films -- Skillshare

Your Comment

23 Comments

Once im subscribed to the class, can i see the videos all the times i want ? Peace.

June 11, 2014 at 8:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mikhail The Rea...

Yep! Once you sign up for the class, you have lifetime access to the class, so you can learn at your own pace.

June 12, 2014 at 12:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Stephen

thanks.

June 14, 2014 at 9:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mikhail

the link is not working can you send me a link to enroll please

June 15, 2014 at 3:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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asa

Links are dead for me. Says they're "not currently active"

June 12, 2014 at 1:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris

June 12, 2014 at 2:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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wojtek

Links are not at all active.

The link is not currently active.

June 12, 2014 at 11:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Vanessa Henry

still dead

June 12, 2014 at 6:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Paul

June 12, 2014 at 7:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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stegokitty

STILL DEAD!! :( :( :( :(

June 12, 2014 at 8:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Julian G.

I found it by eliminating the URL bit by bit until I came to this:

http://www.skillshare.com/classes/film-and-video/Introduction-to-Screenw...

June 13, 2014 at 2:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Harry

Strange, although I made it to the site by using the process I described above, when I clicked on the link I posted here, the link does not work, and goes to the "This link is not active".

I can go to the site by typing this in the web browser address:

http://www.skillshare.com/

Then hovering over the "Classes" link to click on "Film & Video"

Then you will see the James Franco class at the top of the list on the resulting page. Clicking on that link takes you to the class page.

*phew*

June 13, 2014 at 2:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Harry

Think the link is dead, because it's an affiliate link that hasn't been approved by Skillshare's website yet. Like Harry pointed out, you'll have to access directly through Skillshare's website. There's a $5 discount that ends today with promo code - FRANCO20.

http://www.skillshare.com/classes/film-and-video/Introduction-to-Screenw...

June 13, 2014 at 10:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris

Ugh nvm, my link doesn't work either if you *click on it and attempt to access that way. Guess you're not allowed to link directly when posting on a blog?

Anyway, if you copy the link *verbatim* and paste it in your browser, it should take you to the right page. Some strange protection of something or other going on there.

June 13, 2014 at 10:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris

Subitles are available?

June 14, 2014 at 2:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pablo

Spanish subtitles in this case

June 14, 2014 at 2:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pablo

I cant open the link? How do i sign up? I live in Lima,Peru

June 14, 2014 at 2:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Fiorella

Well, the course is okay, but it's only for beginners actually. I was expecting it to be deeper. You do get some good pieces of advice in the beginning, but then the second half of the course is about writing a treatment, pitching the screenplay etc. - which is knowledge you can gain for free anywhere on the Internet or in relevant books.

A strong advantage is that you have a prolific actor/writer/director on screen, talking about the craft. Someone who experiences this world for real, and not just some professor who knows much in theory but almost nothing in practice.

A strong disadvantage, though, is that the course doesn't let this prolific actor/writer/director open up too much about his art.

June 14, 2014 at 7:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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George

I am a commercial writer who dreams of writing something creative such as a screenplay. The course sounds well worth it, especially since I can work at my own pace.

June 14, 2014 at 9:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Piece of writing writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with afterward you can write otherwise it
is complex to write.

June 19, 2014 at 2:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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what does mean mean in math

June 19, 2014 at 2:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

9
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The link is still faulty... Any update?

June 22, 2014 at 3:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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philippe

hi. i am a film student in Kenya and am very interested wanted to know how i can subscribe and after subscribing are the other charges

June 30, 2014 at 3:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ricky M. Mwangi