Robby Benson Wraps Up Latest Teaching Stint

His students' short films premiere tonight at a local Indiana AMC movie theater.

The author, director and former child star has announced he will be exiting Indiana University at Bloomington at the end of this school year. It’s the latest in a long line of teaching stints that have previously encompassed UCLA, USC and NYU.

On the April 24 episode of Through the Gates: IU This Week, a weekly podcast hosted by IU The Media School dean James Shanahan, Benson talks about starring on Broadway at age 12, being recognized because of his voice and guiding a relatively small group students (14) through another “Advanced Production” class:

“I shot the first high definition film in North America. It was a horrible movie. And, it looked horrible, because it looked like home movies. Everything was crystal clear. No one had learned that instead of using less light, which is why people love using digital. These C300’s we have here from Canon, you can see more of an image with the C300 than you can with the naked eye in darkness.”

The short films made by Benson’s 2015-16 students will premiere tonight at 7 p.m. at the AMC Showplace Bloomington 11 and screen again April 30 at 3 p.m. at the IU Cinema. Benson is also excited about the fact that Illusion, one of a series of films made by three students who have taken his class, is headed next month to the Cannes Film Festival. For the 60-year-old Hollywood and academia vet, that brings back sweet memories:

“When I was 15 and a half, I made a film, Jeremy, that was also invited to Cannes. And something like that can change your life, because it’s right around the time of people telling me what you can and cannot accomplish in your life. And by something as superficial as a film festival accepting your work… [François] Truffaut turned to me and to Glynnis O’Connor and said, in his beautiful broken English, that we were his American parfait.”

Photo via: @IUBProvost