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Syd Field

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Back in the 1980s, before I moved to California, I had a brief flirtation with screenwriting. It started in college, after my best friend transferred to New York University's film school and began to make short movies; I would write the scripts (or drafts, anyway) and then we would relentlessly hone my scenes and exposition down to the bare bones language of screenplay form. By the end of the decade, my friend was in Los Angeles, where he'd sold a script. Eventually, we had the idea to collaborate on a kidnap caper called “The Grab,” inspired by our affinity for noir . But while the hard-boiled fiction we loved was often what one might charitably call plot-challenged -- a favorite anecdote involved William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett (who were adapting “The Big Sleep” for Howard Hawks)
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Back in the 1980s, before I moved to California, I had a brief flirtation with screenwriting. It started in college, after my best friend transferred to New York University's film school and began to make short movies; I would write the scripts (or drafts, anyway) and then we would relentlessly hone my scenes and exposition down to the bare bones language of screenplay form. By the end of the decade, my friend was in Los Angeles, where he'd sold a script. Eventually, we had the idea to collaborate on a kidnap caper called “The Grab,” inspired by our affinity for noir . But while the hard-boiled fiction we loved was often what one might charitably call plot-challenged -- a favorite anecdote involved William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett (who were adapting “The Big Sleep” for Howard Hawks)
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2013 | By Susan King
Syd Field, described by many in the film community as the "guru of all screenwriters," has died at age 77. According to his website , Field died Sunday of hemolytic anemia at his Beverly Hills home, surrounded by his wife, family and friends. Field was the author of eight books, mostly notably "Screenplay: The Basics of Film Writing," considered the the industry's most authoritative guide to screenwriting. It is credited with helping establish the now traditional three-act structure for feature film scripts.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Syd Field, author of one of the most essential guides to screenwriting, has died at age 77. According to his website , Field passed away at home in Beverly Hills on Sunday. Originally published in 1979, "Screenplay" quickly became a bestselling staple of the trade. It was updated many times, most recently in 2005, and has been translated into 23 languages. He was a popular speaker and held workshops and seminars for writers hoping to grasp Hollywood's magic formula. Writers who learned from Field -- including Tina Fey, John Singleton, and Frank Darabont -- worked in all genres of film and television.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Syd Field, author of one of the most essential guides to screenwriting, has died at age 77. According to his website , Field passed away at home in Beverly Hills on Sunday. Originally published in 1979, "Screenplay" quickly became a bestselling staple of the trade. It was updated many times, most recently in 2005, and has been translated into 23 languages. He was a popular speaker and held workshops and seminars for writers hoping to grasp Hollywood's magic formula. Writers who learned from Field -- including Tina Fey, John Singleton, and Frank Darabont -- worked in all genres of film and television.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2013 | Elaine Woo
In the 1970s, Syd Field's job in Hollywood was reading scripts all day and picking out the gems that might make it to the screen. In one two-year period he figured he read 2,000 screenplays - and turned down 1,960 of them. The rejects were an "amorphous goo" of confusing plot lines and poorly developed characters that often caused him to close his office door at 2 or 3 in the afternoon and go to sleep. But eventually he figured out what distinguished the winners from the losers. The answer was crystallized in "Screenplay, The Foundations of Screenwriting," Field's 1979 bestseller that today remains the bible of scriptwriters.
MAGAZINE
May 23, 1999 | DEANNE STILLMAN
Oon this very page, I once advanced a controversial theory. I argued that America is more like ancient Egypt than the Roman Empire, should anyone mistake it for the latter. Instead of the dead, we worship the famous, close-yet-distant souls who live forever in the media netherworld of the here and now. The capital of our state is Hollywood, mirage-maker to the world, vast repository of immortals. That's why I call the place Cairo-by-the Mojave--'twas ever thus and 'twill always be so.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2013 | By Valerie J. Nelson
Hollywood had a hard time saying "no" to Gary Shusett. In the early 1970s, he co-founded Sherwood Oaks Experimental College, a professional school devoted to the craft of filmmaking, and kept it going for the rest of his life by brandishing a trait never in short supply in this town: tenacity. After a guest lecture by reclusive record producer Phil Spector proved popular, Shusett realized he could make a go of it by persuading the industry's big names to share their experiences and expertise with students.
MAGAZINE
April 9, 2006
I truly enjoyed John Morgan Wilson's essay "Never Trust a Know-It-All Who Also Is a Never Was" (The Rules of Hollywood, March 12). But I beg to differ in regard to Syd Field. Whatever his scripts look like, his sensible guide to the screenwriting craft was enormously helpful. Genie Davis Via the Internet
BOOKS
August 18, 1985 | ANDREW AVALOS
THE PLAYWRIGHT'S HANDBOOK by Frank Pike and Thomas G. Dunn (New American Library: $8.95). Like Syd Field's two popular books on screen writing, "Screenplay" and "The Foundations of Screenwriting," this text should be paid attention to by aspiring playwrights and teachers in the field of theater alike. The authors base their work on the belief that contemporary playwrights should collaborate in workshops with other theater people--the actors, directors, even the set designers!
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2013 | Elaine Woo
In the 1970s, Syd Field's job in Hollywood was reading scripts all day and picking out the gems that might make it to the screen. In one two-year period he figured he read 2,000 screenplays - and turned down 1,960 of them. The rejects were an "amorphous goo" of confusing plot lines and poorly developed characters that often caused him to close his office door at 2 or 3 in the afternoon and go to sleep. But eventually he figured out what distinguished the winners from the losers. The answer was crystallized in "Screenplay, The Foundations of Screenwriting," Field's 1979 bestseller that today remains the bible of scriptwriters.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2013 | By Susan King
Syd Field, described by many in the film community as the "guru of all screenwriters," has died at age 77. According to his website , Field died Sunday of hemolytic anemia at his Beverly Hills home, surrounded by his wife, family and friends. Field was the author of eight books, mostly notably "Screenplay: The Basics of Film Writing," considered the the industry's most authoritative guide to screenwriting. It is credited with helping establish the now traditional three-act structure for feature film scripts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2013 | By Valerie J. Nelson
Hollywood had a hard time saying "no" to Gary Shusett. In the early 1970s, he co-founded Sherwood Oaks Experimental College, a professional school devoted to the craft of filmmaking, and kept it going for the rest of his life by brandishing a trait never in short supply in this town: tenacity. After a guest lecture by reclusive record producer Phil Spector proved popular, Shusett realized he could make a go of it by persuading the industry's big names to share their experiences and expertise with students.
MAGAZINE
May 23, 1999 | DEANNE STILLMAN
Oon this very page, I once advanced a controversial theory. I argued that America is more like ancient Egypt than the Roman Empire, should anyone mistake it for the latter. Instead of the dead, we worship the famous, close-yet-distant souls who live forever in the media netherworld of the here and now. The capital of our state is Hollywood, mirage-maker to the world, vast repository of immortals. That's why I call the place Cairo-by-the Mojave--'twas ever thus and 'twill always be so.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 20, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Award-winning television show creator Shonda Rhimes will publish her first book in 2015 with Simon & Schuster, the publisher announced Wednesday. Rhimes, one of the leading women in television, will write about both her professional and family life. The as-yet-untitled book will be part memoir, part inspiration and part advice. “Simon and Schuster is crazy for giving me a book deal as I am clearly in no position to be handing out wisdom,” Rhimes said in the release about the book.
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