Screenplay : the foundations of screenwriting

by Syd Field

Paperback, 1994





New York : Dell Trade Paperback, c1994.


Hollywood's script guru teaches you how to write a screenplay in "the 'bible' of screenwriting" (The New York Times)--now celebrating forty years of screenwriting success! Syd Field's books on the essential structure of emotionally satisfying screenplays have ignited lucrative careers in film and television since 1979. In this revised edition of his premiere guide, the underpinnings of successful onscreen narratives are revealed in clear and encouraging language that will remain wise and practical as long as audiences watch stories unfold visually--from hand-held devices to IMAX to virtual reality . . . and whatever comes next.    As the first person to articulate common structural elements unique to successful movies, celebrated producer, lecturer, teacher and bestselling author Syd Field has gifted us a classic text. From concept to character, from opening scene to finished script, here are fundamental guidelines to help all screenwriters--novices and Oscar-winners--hone their craft and sell their work.    In Screenplay, Syd Field can help you discover: * Why the first ten pages of every script are crucial to keeping professional readers' interest * How to visually "grab" these influential readers from page one, word one  * Why structure and character are the basic components of all narrative screenplays * How to adapt a novel, a play, or an article into a saleable script * Tips on protecting your work--three ways to establish legal ownership of screenplays * Vital insights on writing authentic dialogue, crafting memorable characters, building strong yet flexible storylines (form, not formula), overcoming writer's block, and much more   Syd Field is revered as the original master of screenplay story structure, and this guide continues to be the industry's gold standard for learning the foundations of screenwriting.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member michelleknudsen
Very helpful book about the three-act structure model. Field’s focus is on screenplays, but his paradigm applies just as well to novels. He includes lots of detailed examples thoughout, using well-known movies, to illustrate the points he is making. I borrowed this from the library but may end up buying myself a copy for future reference—especially since I am looking forward to thinking about how three-act structure might apply my own novel-in-progress and maybe help me get a better handle on the shape of the overall story.… (more)
LibraryThing member caerulius
The all-hailed last word in screenwriting books. Syd Field wrote this book as a model for building screenplays that follow a very specific narrative structure. You could call it a formula, but it is more based on how you pace and build the story structure than a set of cookie-cutter blueprints. Field uses the (awesome) movie Chinatown as the "ideal" example, and then uses a mockup story that is quite different as an in-process example. It also gives movie examples for variations.
Obviously, there have been excellent screenplays that don't follow this model. But this is definitely a good place to start.
… (more)
LibraryThing member cjohn64
The book was a good source of material. It had a lot of good information for those starting out with screenwriting. Though the book was a little hard to read at times mostly because of the blocks of text to read. It took me two weeks to read. The book had a lot of examples from current and past films. I don't think a student would read this on their own, but there is a lot of good tid bits of information that I pulled from it to teach students on the basics of storytelling inside the film universe.… (more)
LibraryThing member Daniel.Estes
Unless you're already a naturally-gifted screenwriter you can't do much better than start with Syd Field's Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. And would go further and say that even if you're already talented, being aware Syd Field's contribution is still key to understanding the art and form of the craft.
LibraryThing member pgSundling
I've attended his class and he's good, but not on the same level as McKee. It's a classic book on screenplays, but there are now better books.
LibraryThing member datrappert
Very well done, but even knowing what you need to do doesn't help if you can't make yourself do it! This is one of the better books on the subject I have read, however.



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