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RIP Syd Field

syd-field-profile_small BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–Syd Field, described by many in the film community as the “guru of all screenwriters,” died Nov. 17 at his home here of hemolytic anemia. He was 77. MSTies will recall that Joel and the Bots used his bestselling book “Screenplay” to try to make sense of the movie in episode 310- FUGITIVE ALIEN.

The L.A. Times has an obit.

3 Replies to “RIP Syd Field”

  1. Kali says:

    I remember the Brains always slipped in a reference whenever there was a plot twist that didn’t go with the rest or was a little too obvious (“Syd? Syd Fields?” when Beverly Garland was walking around looking for the Venusian Pickle in It Conquered the World, etc. I think they did it in Time of the Apes, too.) Because, of course, continuity is so important in MSTed movies. :-)

    Rest in peace, Syd.


  2. A copy of SCREENPLAY sits right beneath my right elbow as I type this post. That and a half dozen other books I consider inspirational line the defunct sliding keyboard shelf on my writing desk. I have read chapters and excepts of SCREENPLAY upwards of two-four dozen times, especially while writing a screenplay.

    If any of the writers of movies MST tore to shreds had read SCREENPLAY, they would have either produced better work or given up on screen writing. Thank heavens they didn’t. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where MST didn’t exist.


  3. Doug says:

    “Screenplay” and Robert McKee’s “Story” are the two essential books that every screenwriter needs, no matter the genre or budget. The three-act structure is such a natural story convention that it’s weird to think of one person “inventing” it, but that’s what Field pretty much did.


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