Syd Field – “The Guru of All Screenwriters” – CNN

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Syd Field 1935-2013

Syd Field, regarded by many Hollywood professionals to be the leading authority on the art and craft of screenwriting, was called “the most sought-after screenwriting teacher in the world” by The Hollywood Reporter.

His internationally acclaimed, best-selling books Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, The Screenwriter’s Workbook, and The Screenwriter’s Problem Solver have long been established as the writing “bibles” of the film industry. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting and The Screenwriter’s Workbook are in their 40th printing, and are the required textbooks in accredited courses at more than 400 colleges and universities across America.  These ground-breaking books have also been published globally in 29 languages.

Field served as a consultant to the Film Preservation Project for the famed Getty Center. He was the first inductee into the American Screenwriting Association’s prestigious Hall of Fame, and he was a recipient of the distinguished Final Draft Hall of Fame Award.

At the Writers Guild of America, West, Field chaired the Academic Liaison Committee. He was a faculty member of USC‘s Master of Professional Writing Program, and he taught at Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, the American Film Institute (AFI), as well as many other prominent institutions. Also, Field served as a special script consultant for 20th Century Fox, Disney, Universal, and TriStar Pictures.

The governments of Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, and Norway hired him as a creative screenwriting consultant; and Field collaborated with such noted filmmakers as Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Y Tu Mamá También), James L. Brooks (Broadcast News, As Good As It Gets), Luis Mandoki (When A Man Loves A Woman), Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields, The Mission), and Tony Kaye (American History X).

Field taught screenwriting workshops in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sydney, Australia; Brussels, Belgium; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, Canada; London, England; Paris, France; Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich, Germany; Bombay, India; Rome, Italy; Mexico City, Mexico; Oslo, Norway; Warsaw, Poland; Johannesburg, South Africa; Madrid, Spain; and by special invitation of the Ministries of Culture in Vienna, Austria and Zurich, Switzerland. He was the keynote speaker at International Film Festivals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Berlin, Germany; and Oslo, Norway; and he was the President of the International Film Jury at the Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium.

Some of Field’s former students include Oscar-winning Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Y Tu Mamá También), Golden Globe-nominated Writer/Director Judd Apatow (Bridesmaids, Girls), three time Oscar-nominated Writer/Producer Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Walking Dead), Oscar-nominated Writer Anna Hamilton Phelan (Mask, Gorillas in the Mist), two time Oscar-nominated Writer/Director John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood, Poetic Justice), Lynda Obst Producer (Interstellar, Contact, Sleepless in Seattle, Flashdance), Randi Mayem Singer (Mrs. Doubtfire), Laura Esquivel (Like Water For Chocolate), and Kevin Williamson (Vampire Diaries, Scream 1 – 4).