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Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay
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Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  253 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In a field being transformed by technology, Syd  Field shows you what works and why and how to find  new ways to create a truly outstanding film using  four extraordinary examples: Thelma &  Louise, Terminator 2: Judgement  Day, The Silence Of The  Lambs, and Dances With  Wolves.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Delta (first published 1994)
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John Rachel
Syd has some very useful things to say about the craft of screenwriting. His analysis of these four screenplays __ excellent choices by any measure __ is helpful. But as with most guide books to doing anything well, they are after the fact, and merely indicate what was done well and how that was achieved, conforming understandably to the formula which Syd has extracted as a necessary structural component of all effective and successful screenplays.

While the formula is critical and necessary, the
...more
Marie
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Mr. Field had exceptional taste, choosing four films that are now considered classics, even though, at the time of publication, they had only been out for a few years. The interviews with the screenwriters were especially refreshing. As a culture, we tend to interview actors and directors rather than screenwriters, so it was nice to get a different perspective on the creation of a movie in its earliest stages.

Not much on the craft of writing, unless you've never been exposed to the three-act st
...more
Brian
Jan 30, 2011 added it
Recommends it for: film buffs, aspiring writers
This is a valuable book for anyone interested in screenwriting, or more broadly, in movies — or even in other genres of creative writing. Syd Field lays out a paradigm of screenplay structure and then analyzes the screenplays of four excellent and successful movies in the context of that paradigm. Through in-depth interviews with the screenwriters, he explores the creative choices involved in writing the scripts and in bringing the words to the screen. It's not so much a how-to manual as an insp ...more
drew
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Silence of the Lambs and T2 are two of my favorite movies of all time ... to see them analyzed from the screenplay up was a wholeheartedly enjoyable experience. It gives a completely different perspective on the films, and the way Field picks the films apart to show the different ways they follow the "screenplay format" oddly enhances them. It delves into how the films came into existence, and interviews the screenwriters. If interested in screenplays -- read this book!
Niniane Wang
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. I loved the analyses of the screenplays. I'd seen all 4 of the movies a long time ago. This analysis was thought-provoking and helped me understand each movie in a deeper layer. I wish Syd Field could analyze every movie with me after I watch it.
Linda
Apr 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is the third time I'm reading this book. It always, without fail, jumps starts the screenplay writing process for me.
Christopher Ryan
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
More analysis and insight. It is good information for those interested in craft.
Ira Livingston
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gives great insight to modern films with the theories of his previous books.
scherzo♫
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: film
Thought-provoking analysis of the scripts for Thelma & Louise, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Silence Of The Lambs, and Dances With Wolves.
Aditya
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Dances with Wolves, Silence of the Lambs, Thelma and Louise and Terminator 2. Great choice of screenplays to analyse and a blody good analysis. syd field's BEST BOOK.
Husti
Cuando un libro sobre escritura de guión te da ganas de escribir un guión, y además, te hace creer que es algo más o menos fácil, es que es bueno.
Kathleen
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: from-the-movies
Didn't have to read the whole book for this course; just the section on THELMA AND LOUISE. Interesting, but ultimately not helpful for screenwriting.
Matt Jones
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great study in the art if screenwriting
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Sydney Alvin Field was an American screenwriting guru who wrote several books on the subject of screenwriting. He also conducted workshops and seminars on the subject of producing salable screenplays. Hollywood film producers have increasingly used his ideas on structure as a guideline to a proposed screenplay's potential.
More about Syd Field...

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