Entertainment & Arts

Syd Field, 'screenwriting guru', dies aged 77

Syd Field
Image caption Field was the author of eight books on screenwriting

Syd Field, whose books on screenwriting became set texts for many aspiring film writers, has died at the age of 77.

Famous for outlining the "three act" structure used by many screenplays, the author and lecturer died of haemolytic anaemia at his Beverly Hills home.

Field was the author of eight best-selling books on screenwriting, beginning with Screenplay in 1979.

He had been due to take part in a "screenwriter's summit" in London last weekend but was too ill to attend.

Elliot Grove, whose Raindance Film Festival organised that event, said he and his colleagues were "all in a state of shock".

"He was here in February and seemed strong and full of vigour," Grove told the BBC News website.

Born in December 1935 in Hollywood, California, Field studied English Literature at Berkeley before moving into television.

He went on to become a special script consultant for several Hollywood studios and the first inductee into the American Screenwriting Association's Screenwriting Hall of Fame.

CNN called him the "guru of all screenwriters".

Field, who died on Sunday, had few screenwriting credits himself, opting instead to teach John Singleton (Boyz n The Hood), Kevin Williamson (Scream) and many others through his popular courses and workshops.

His final speaking engagement took place in September at the Story Expo event in Los Angeles.

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