Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Monday, December 01, 2008

What has Syd Field done lately? Or, eh, ever?

I will be writing at length about so-called scriptwriting gurus sometime soon (when the lecturing is finished), but I just want to be clear on this, so if anyone can answer this simple question, please, please, do: has Syd Field actually written a screenplay that has been produced? Or perhaps he has written scripts, but had his name scratched off for fear it would damage his 'guru' reputation. I know all about his students and who has gone on to do what, and also that his ideas hold sway in Hollywood, and that he may even have doctored scripts, but before I blaspheme against this self-appointed guardian of cinematic narrative, can someone please tell me what the Hell he has ever done??????? (I also know Field was involved in some TV show in the sixties ("Men in Crisis"), and only 3 episodes at that.) I ask because on page 282 of his 'how to' book, 'Screenplay', he writes the following:
'For example, in my last screenplay, a science fiction epic adventure, my partner and I wanted to create an "engaging, edge-of-the-seat page-turner".'
'My last'? That implies several, but I can't find which screenplays they were. And as to that last one, I presume he succeeded in creating that "engaging, edge-of-the-seat page-turner", but exactly which sci-fi epic was it? Eh, "Star Wars"? Eh, I don't think so.
As to Mr Robert McKee, that other heavyweight in Guru-land, well, I was somewhat mollified to see on IMDB that he wrote that masterpiece of visual art that was 'Abraham', a television adaptation of the Bible story. I'm sure it was good, but I just never quite got round to seeing that one. (His half hour diatribe against 'Citizen Kane' was enough for me.) Anyhow just wondering.

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