“Syd Field takes us on a fascinating journey through 30 years of movie going – asking the questions we all ask: ‘What makes a movie work?’ and finding answers.” —Fay Kanin, former President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
“Those of us who’ve wondered why Syd would devote himself to raising the bar for screenwriting now learn why – a lifelong and passionate love for movies and filmmaking.” —Marc Norman, Academy Award-winning co-screenwriter for Shakespeare in Love
“The first prophet of writing for the screen.” — The Los Angeles Times Magazine
EXCERPT — Introduction
“My task…is to make you hear, to make you feel – and above all to make you see.
That is all, and it is everything.” —Joseph Conrad
It seems like I’ve spent most of my life sitting in a darkened theater, popcorn in hand, gazing in rapt wonder at the images projected on a river of light reflected on that monster screen.
I was one of those kids who grew up in Hollywood surrounded by the film industry. While playing the trumpet in the Sheriff’s Boys Band, like my brother before me, I was cast as one of the band members of Frank Capra’s The State of the Union starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. I don’t remember much about the experience except Van Johnson taught me how to play checkers.
Yes, I can truly say I was a child of Hollywood.
In the book, The Definitive Guide to Screenwriting, published in the UK, Syd Field, acclaimed writer and director, tells you step-by-step how to identify and fix common screenwriting problems, providing the professional secrets that make films brilliant – secrets that can make your screenplay a success.
He provides easily understood guidelines for writing a screenplay, from concept to finished product. The art of film-writing is made accessible to novices and helps practiced writers improve their scripts, as the author pinpoints stylistic and structural elements such as characterization and plot. Tips and techniques on what to do after your screenplay has been completed and much more are all here.
Practical examples from films, which some Syd Field has collaborated on, are used such as Lord of the Rings, The Pianist, American Beauty, Scream, and The Killing Fields. He provides easily understood guidelines for writing a screenplay, from concept to finished product.
Written for all levels of screenwriters, this is an indispensable reference book for anyone who wants to make money as a great screenwriter.
“Impressive – His easy-to-follow step-by-step approaches are comforting and his emphasis on right attitude and motivation is uplifting.”
–Los Angeles Times Book Review