James Franco to teach film course at NYU, but no syllabus as of yet


Image Credit: Soul Brother/FilmMagic.com

It appears that the student has become the teacher. Full-time academic and part-time Hollywood star James Franco, who seems to possess more degrees than a thermometer, is taking on a new role: Film professor. Franco will be teaching a fall semester course on adapting poetry into short films — a subject with which he has personal experience — to third-year graduate film students at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Ten to twelve lucky prospective filmmakers will call the 127 Hours star “Mr. Franco” — “James,” if he’s cool, or “Teach,” if he’s even cooler. That’s a small class size and will presumably mean each student will have a lot of hands-on time with their well-known instructor. John Tintori, the chair of Tisch’s graduate film department, told EW that he thinks Franco will fit in well among the other faculty, which already includes the likes of Todd Solondz and Lodge Kerrigan. “We had talked about him teaching loosely for a couple of years,” says Tintori, “but then a couple of months ago he started telling me about a course that he’d like to do at some point down the road. And I said, ‘Why not now?’ So I did this thing that I really like to do with filmmakers who are talking about teaching, which is to just go ahead and put them on the schedule. So that’s how it evolved.” 

The course will primarily focus on production, which means the students will be responsible for creating their own film based on a work of poetry. Franco hasn’t put together a syllabus quite yet, but he has until the summertime when students start the registration process, and the actual classes won’t start until the week after Labor Day. Tintori says, if all goes well, he can see teaching playing a big part in Franco’s life. “James really loves school and he’s a real academic,” he says. “He really thrives in an environment like this. I imagine this will be something he will be doing throughout his life, being a teacher. With all the other things he’s doing, I think this will fit in nicely.”

Comments (17 total) Add your comment
  • Drew

    He’s very talented and I hope he’s taking care of himself. He should focus on 1 or 2 things at at time and not 20 things. You’re only 32, James. Slow down.

  • Laura

    Let’s hope he leaves Bruce Vilanch and Bette Midler out of it (unless, of course, he talks about how awesome they are).

  • stu

    yum yum..where do i sign up?

  • marie.c

    I think its great that he wants to teach a graduate course. My sister does it and she loves it alot. Its nothing out of the ordinary, many graduate students do it. I think since its James Franco “the movie star” who is teaching this graduate class ppl are reacting negatively towards it. When he does things that do not fit in the “celebrity norm” ppl and the media react against it. But I think its awesome.

    More power to ya James!!!

  • Kenneth

    James is no dummy. He has a graduate Degree and is working on his Ph.D

  • pam

    Remind me again, what films has he carried on his own? I can only remember Spiderman being a megahit, but that was hardly due to him.

    • Joamiq

      Uh… 127 Hours? You know, the Best Picture nominated flick in which he was pretty much the only person on screen for the vast majority of the time?

  • Pete

    Glad to see he’s slipped quickly back into over-exposure mode after his Oscar debacle. Hopefully he’ll go away even sooner now. Teach? This guy couldn’t teach a child to tie a show.

    • jt

      Pete, I agree with you. James Franco is an arrogant bastard. He proved how unprofessional he is at the Oscars. After the Oscars, he proved how quick he is to blame others for his unprofessionalism. Yes, I want him to go away.

  • Pete


  • Beanie

    Oh get a grip people … nobody cared about the oscars before but not it’s all you talk about. No he didn’t do a great job, but is he the first, no! Move on now and find something else to amuse yourself with.

  • LL

    James Franco half-assed a MFA at Columbia, half the time NOT showing up to class and sending his assistant, then graduated a year early, meaning he didn’t do his thesis. But that’s cool because he’s James Franco. Then he got to go to Yale, where he might have received his doctorate, but mocked everyone who actually puts in the full amount of work to get a doctorate. Same at Columbia. The guy isn’t a real scholar. He’s a hot famous idiot with a lot of money, collecting degrees, not actually doing the full work, or getting the full experience. NYU hiring him is no better than Rutgers using $32,000 in student fees to pay for Snooki to come speak at the school.

    • john

      Couldnt say it better myself…I doubt hes pulled the all nighters in the library..

    • Amanda

      Envious much?? How do you know all of this? Reading TMZ or the like doesn’t count. I was in one of his classes and he pulled his load and he was there almost as much as any of the other students who worked and went to school at the same time.

  • john

    I went to Tisch…this is an emabarassment…

  • Ismael Rojas

    In my opinion to teach is no bad is really a good deal, if the person enjoy this work but, it’s better to work in film production because you show your point of view than in a course that you will repeat the same each semester with the syllabus in your hand.

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