In the summer of 2014, I enrolled in an online course being offered through Skillshare by James Franco on screenwriting for short films.. Students were to watch a series of videos featuring James Franco and his producing partner Vince Jolivette offering instruction on the basics of screenwriting for film with a focus on the genre of adaptation.
The class was assigned a project in which each student was to select from one of five novels Franco chose so it could be adapted into a short film screenplay. Once finished we were to upload our screenplays for the class to review and vote on. James would then choose one student from the most popular scripts and instruct them further with one-on-one feedback on how to improve their work.
I used the opportunity to create a work designed to engage with and illuminate the cult of celebrity, fiction, truth and the essence of storytelling in the age of reality-based entertainment and the internet. The title of the screenplay was called The Gardens, an adaptation of a short story called The Thinker written by Sherwood Anderson in 1919.