Screenplay guru/author Syd Field
a ShowBiz Expo Nov. 7 keynoter

Syd Field holds two writing seminars and a workshop at ShowBiz Expo.

Syd Field will give his first Chicago seminar in 20 years. What took so long for him to return? Up until now, no one’s asked him, he says. The screenplay guru will be one of 15 keynote speakers at the Nov. 6-9 Showbiz Expo that, ironically, comes here for the first time in its 20 year history.

Field’s book “Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting,” has sold 600,000 copies since it was written in 1979.

For his return to Chicago, Field will present two keynotes on “Visual Strategies for the New Market” and a one day workshop on “The Visual Art of Storytelling.”

In a telephone interview with the scriptmeister in L.A., Field noted how the art of screenwriting has changed. “Let’s say it’s evolved to a point where it’s more visual.

“The past generation concentrated on dialog and picture. Now we’re catching film behavior, like ,Memento,’ back to front, and ?Kill Bill,’ all style and no substance,” something’s he’s not at all happy about. “There’s more style than substance and very little content,” he says.

Syd Field was in the film business as a writer/producer for David Wolper’s famous documentary company (producers of 800 TV docs over 50 years).

“I had freelanced as a screenwriter for seven years when I was offered a chance to teach at the Sherwood Oaks Community College where I utilized my experience as a writer,” he says. “I taught screenwriting there for several years.”

There weren’t many books on screenwriting prior to 1979 when Field wrote “Screenplay,” based on what he had been successfully teaching.

The book caught on like wildfire as it intersected with a new wave of mainstream moviemaking. “We went through three printings in five months. A new edition came out in 1982.”

Field’s has since written “Four Screenplays,” “The Screenwriters Workbook,” “Selling the Screenplay,” “The Screenwriters Story Solver,” “Going to the Movies,” “Storyline,” and the “Syd Field Workshop DVD” to guide the aspiring writer.

In addition to Field, ShowBiz Expo seminar speakers are documentarian Albert Maysles, DP Robert Primes, ASC, “The Sopranos'” editor Conrad Gonzalez, ACE, TV show producer Gary Sherman, and special guest speaker Carol Marin on “Ethics in Journalism.”

See or call 212/730-6424.

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