myETVmedia: A Converstation with Syd Field:
Guru of Screen writing, Author & International Lecturer
Syd Field is a name that is highly respected in the Film Industry. If you have had anything to do with the film world it is most likely that you have heard of Syd Field. Filmmaking is in his genetics and his books on screenwriting are legendary. Screenplay (1982) has been translated into at least 19 languages and The Screenwriter’s Workbook and The Screenwriter’s Problem Solver are the “bibles” for all screenwriting courses. He is a best selling author, international creative consultant to several governments, a script consultant, a teacher, international lecturer and a really gracious, interesting man to spend time with. Syd is without question the international expert on screenwriting and certainly one of the most inspiring.
Alfredo Romano in Conversation with Syd Field
Special thanks to:
Raindance Canada and Derek Christopher for arranging this conversation.
About Syd Field:
You can visit Syd Field’s website at http://www.sydfield.com/. Syd is also developing an iPhone App called the Syd Field Script Launcher App designed to guide the user through the screenwriting process by applying Syd’s Paradigm of the “Three Act Structure”. This articulation of the ideal Paradigm lies at the core of Syd’s teachings. It is such a powerful explanation of the method necessary to apply to screenwriting that it has become the only format that Hollywood film producers expect when accepting a script.
Syd Field’s “Three Act Structure”
The “three act structure” in screenwriting terms is a delineation of the process necessary to follow in order to successfully write a screenplay. It is laid out so that within the first 20 to 30 minutes of the script the protagonist is introduced to the story, there is the plot point which is the key to the story and moves it forward, the ‘Confrontation period’ during which the protagonist strives to achieve the goal, a midpoint at about half way through the script (page 60) when the confrontation takes a turn that has devastating effects on the protagonist. The final quarter of the film script deals with the struggle back by the protagonist, the attainment or not of the goal and the final outcome for the protagonist. This screenplay must embody this “three act structure” to be successful. The idea must be tied to the subject and the subject to the character arc and development. Any screenwriter will acknowledge that this process sounds rigid but in actual fact when applied it is tremendously freeing allowing the writer to focus on the telling of the story.