James Franco, Director’s Notes

I saw a play James Franco directed. Below is an excerpt from his director’s note:

I wanted to do a multi-media piece that simultaneously used live actors and cameras with closed circuit projections. We live on screens, we think within screens, our lives are videos, movies and images: how better to capture this phenomenon than showing the apparatus alongside the players. … We cast almost entirely from the School of Theatre so that the actors were not age appropriate for the parts, in this way we could foreground the performative aspect of the project while at the same time utilizing and framing the passion and energy that is unique to youth. This approach strips away character so that we are interacting with the actors as people rather than the facades of their characters.

This show is all about artifice and about stripping away artifice at the same time. Young (Tennessee) Williams filled his play with dreamers, artists and lovers propelled and often destroyed by their relationships with reality: they want to love and be loved on earth and they also want to disappear into their dreams. And this is a description of acting: functioning in imaginary worlds in order to connect with audiences in the real world.

This is my favorite kind of project: a clusterfuck of different artists, personalities, and mediums. Everyone played their role (actors and non-actors) perfectly.

- James Franco, December 2012

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11 thoughts on “James Franco, Director’s Notes

  1. I just finished watching Freaks and Geeks on Netflix. Although he was ok in it, there was nothing to hint that he would go on to have such an accomplished career in Hollywood.

  2. Acting. How I love it. After years of performing on stage, in movies, daytime drama and commercials, I began a writing career. But I picture each scene as I write and cry, sometimes laugh. A wondrous fictional world. Thanks Jillian, for the great post.

  3. I remember seeing a modern dress Julius Caser, where all of the cast were in military uniforms and all of the monologues were presented on TV’s as political speeches -it was very effective. Which Williams play was it, Ash?

  4. James Franco is one of those kind of overlooked fellows. I think I realized how funny he was in his cameo on 30 rock when he played himself, and rolled with the joke he was married to a body pillow.

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