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Syd Field
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    (December 19, 1935-November 17, 2013)
    Born in Hollywood, California
    Taught screenwriting at UCLA
    Held screenwriting workshops and seminars
    Wrote 'Screenplay' (1979), 'The Screenwriter's Workbook' (1984), 'Selling a Screenplay' (1989), 'The Screenwriter's Problem Solver' (1998) and 'The Definitive Guide to Screenwriting' (2003)
    Popularized 'three-act structure' with two 'plot points'
    Script consultant for 20th Century Fox, Disney, Universal and TriStar
    Living up to the 'those who can, do; those who can't, teach' maxim, he never wrote a screenplay that became a feature film.
    Roger Ebert wrote, 'Field is the man who is largely responsible for that strange feeling you may have had lately that every movie seems to be about the same.... [His] workshops don't seem able to teach you to how to write like yourself, but they sure are able to teach you how to write like everyone else.'
    He called 'Pulp Fiction' 'the epitome of everything I don't like in the movies.'
    During two years of reviewing screenplays for a studio, he read 2,000 and rejected 1,960, and in the process discovered that however obvious it may sound that a screenplay needs a beginning, middle and end, there were lots of aspiring writers who had yet to figure that out.
    His book 'Screenplay' has been called the bible of scriptwriters.
    He delivered his advice to writers without any intellectual pretense.
    His students included Judd Apatow, John Singleton and Alfonso Cuaron.

Credit: C. Fishel

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