The first thing we thought of when learning that actor/artist James Franco had teamed up with the film school Columbia College Hollywood (which isn’t associated with either of the Columbias, in Chicago or New York) to help teach a class called Master Class: Editing James Franco…with James Franco, was the name of the mid-80s band Pop Will Eat Itself, because their name seems to perfectly encapsulate so much of Franco’s work. That got us watching the video for their 1989 hit “Can U Dig It?” which is now painful to watch, but also still a lot of fun. After that distraction, we got back to the task at hand, which is to think about the actor’s new class. Better to just read the explanatory portions of the press release:
Mr. Franco’s frequent collaborator editor and Tyler Danna is teaching the course, which has been entitled Master Class: Editing James Franco…with James Franco. Mr. Franco is providing the footage – much of it from behind the scenes on short films he has directed – and the conception for the course and will speak to the students weekly via live feed (Skype) and attend class the weekly class sessions when his schedule allows. The student editors will seek to create a cinematic image of James Franco through the footage.
…As conceived by Mr. Franco and Mr. Danna, the class sessions themselves will be taped and be part of the final film created by the class or another project.
There is the potential to carry the class forward with 12 different editors in the spring quarter and beyond as the film project continues.
Now we’ve seen the future of film and film school. By 2012, every movie released will resemble what it looks like when you point a video camera at the television your camera is plugged into. Except instead of ever-swirling and moving boxes and scan lines, there will be a million heads of James Franco. Fortunately, we’ll have the Mayan apocalypse to look forward to at the end of next year.