Sad news. Last Sunday Syd Field, one of my revered teachers, passed away. He was often called the original guru of screenwriting. It is less known that he also inspired a lot of my drama musical dramaturgy. Syd was 77. He wrote eight best-selling books on screenwriting over the course of his career, including Screenplay, published in 1979, which is considered the screenwriter’s bible. He was the first writer to outline the three-act script paradigm followed not only by many TV and film writers today, but also by contemporary librettists like myself.
Born Dec. 19, 1935 in Hollywood, Field received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. He spent much of his career writing for the orignal Biography TV Series and worked as a script consultant for 20th Century Fox, Disney, Universal and Tri-Star Pictures. He was inducted into the Final Draft Hall of Fame in 2006 and was the first inductee into the Screenwriting Hall of Fame of the American Screenwriting Association.