Screenwriting guru Syd Field has died. Field, who authored several books about screenwriting and conducted workshops and seminars on the subject, passed away at his home in Beverly Hills on Sunday as a result of hemolytic anemia, according to a statement posted by the Raindance Film Festival. He was 77. Field’s first book on screenwriting, Screenplay, was published in 1979. It has since been published in 23 languages and is used in over 400 colleges and universities around the world. Field has been celebrated as the first writer to outline the paradigm that most screenplays follow, the three-act structure. His techniques influenced top Hollywood scribes including Judd Apatow, Tina Fey, Frank Darabont and others. Field was born in Hollywood in 1935 and attended the University of California at Berkeley. He began his career in the shipping department of Wolper Productions before going on to research and write for the original Biography television series, among other Wolper productions. During his career, Field chaired the Academic Liaison Committee at the WGA West, was a lecturer on the faculty at USC and AFI and has been a special script consultant to 20th Century Fox, Disney Studios, 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. He was also a special consultant to the Film Preservation Project for the Getty Center. In his final speaking engagement in September 2013, Field delivered the keynote address at Story Expo in Los Angeles. According to the BBC, he had been due to take part in a screenwriter’s summit organized by the Raindance festival last weekend in London, but was too ill to attend. Details of a memorial service will be announced soon.
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