In his last interview on November 8, 2013, Syd spoke about his passion: “The whole purpose of my teaching is to inspire people to access their own creativity, that mission has driven me forward all the way from the beginning. Let people know, and give people the tools to access their own inspiration, and then they’ll do the rest.”
Final Draft, Inc. CEO Marc Madnick pays tribute to Syd Field at the 2014 Final Draft Annual Awards.
View this video for a small glimpse into Syd’s teaching life. To read more about him at USC Dornsife’s Master of Professional Writing program visit: http://dornsife.usc.edu/news/stories/1565/in-memoriam-syd-field-77/
Partial re-post of the interview from The Writers Store, click to read the full interview
How much thought do you think writers should invest in terms of tracking the broad strokes of the protagonist’s emotional journey when structuring the story?
In all my screenwriting courses and workshops around the world, I’ve read thousands and thousands of screenplays. Exactly how many, I really don’t know. I lost count many years ago. But no matter what country or city I happen to be in, I am usually asked the same question over and over again: what do I find to be the biggest and most common problem of screenwriters?
1. Make sure your characters and story are set up within the first ten pages. Did you introduce your main character(s), establish the dramatic premise, and indicate the dramatic situation, the circumstances surrounding the main character?
Make no mistake; pitching is an art. Every screenplay begins with an idea and if you want to write a screenplay based on your idea, then the chances are you’re going to have to pitch it to someone; it could be a producer, a director, a production executive, an agent or anyone in the business.