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Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop [DVD]

by Final Draft, Inc.
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)


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Product Features

  • In this complete video screenwriting course, you'll find out how to isolate the idea, structure it as a storyline, and write up a four-page treatment for it
  • Understand the essence of good characters -- dramatic needs, character bios, and the tools of character
  • Find out why it's important to stress the action in the first ten pages
  • Determine plot points and set up the acts, establish the sub-dramatic context and Pinch I and Pinch II
  • Redefine and re-establish theme, premise, and dramatic action, sharpen and focus your character, and set up the payoff for your storyline

System Requirements

  • Media: DVD
  • Item Quantity: 1


Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00008XP04
  • Item model number: syddvd
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: September 29, 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,824 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)

Product Description

Whether you are working on your first screenplay or are a seasoned professional looking for technical help from the master himself, Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop is an invaluable writing tool that you will rely upon again and again. Available for the first time on video, this legendary course will help you convert your idea into a properly structured screenplay, one you will feel confident submitting to film studios and production companies worldwide. Syd Field is regarded by entertainment professionals as the foremost authority on the craft of screenwriting. For over 25 years he has taught and guided thousands of professional screenwriters, many of whom have gone on to become the biggest names in Hollywood. Syd Field's exclusive course is limited to 12 students and is given only a few times a year. The video version takes you on the same educational journey, in the comfort of home, at your own time and pace.


Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stpe By Step Instructions June 25, 2005
Syd Field provides viewers of this "Screenwriting Workshop" with organized assignments that if followed will lead to the completion of a screenplay.

Popular and easy to find movies like Shawshank Redemption, Titanic, and Thelma And Louise are used as examples to allow the viewer to see the techniques that Mr. Field competently articulates.

One would be well advised to watch the DVD once in it's entirety before attempting any of the assignments to see what will be involved on the grand scale. This way you can see what you will be commiting to.

Writing a screenpaly is not a formula, but formulas do exist to complete one. Consider this DVD covering Syd's techniques one of the formulas, or maybe recipe is a better analogy. Most people tweak a recipe to suit the taste of the people they are cooking for. You may tweak Syd's recipe, but if you stick to his original, step by step, you will end up cooking up a finished screenplay.

Will it taste good? Well, that depends on the quality of your ingredients. Syd can't give you that. No one can. Syd does give you excellent structure. That's all he can do... and he does it well.

Worth every penny.

His final speech at the end of the DVD is also very inspiring and heartfelt.

Thanks Syd.
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43 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Let's summarize my thoughts and opinion, which hopefully may assist you in making your choice:

- this course is only about how to structure a screenplay in 3 acts. This process has been highly doubted by industry professionals, cause it is copied from the theater which has it's own limitations and style. The 3-act structure might be useful to analyse screenplays but not really to encourage a creative writing process. Also is it not suitable for anybody to write the happenings of each act down on 14 cards and organize them. Syd even breaks his own system by splitting the 2nd act into 2 parts (in fact now we have 4 acts), so you have to use 2x14 cards to write down keywords. It feels like doing homework for primary school. I would rather encourage the following: Every person has their own way to make notes and structure their work and shall use their own style!

- Syd Field derives all his knowledge from analyzing screenplays not from writing them. And of course from this perspective you could force different kinds of structure on to a screenplay and will find ways to justify the chosen one.

- this DVD dedicates a lot of time to market Final Draft Software as best one in the industry. It doesn't mention that there are other software products on the market which are really good and helpful. So in fact, this is a cross selling marketing arrangement with Final Draft.

- Syd field is also good in marketing himself and his products by using associations of success. How does it help a writer to see Syd reading a screenplay, getting into his car, walking in a very self confident and proud manner with another (industry) guy on Rodeo drive, being in front of CAA and entering Paramount Pictures?

- The DVD is as disencouraging as the book is.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP!!! November 21, 2005
By G. Eng
This is an excellent workshop that is worth the money. If you take the time to review and do the lessons, you will get better at screenwriting. I disagree with the one reviewer who got nothing out of the DVD. There are exercises that may seem simple at first but in fact offer subtle yet significant learning experiences. And I'm sure if Syd really wanted to write a story that he believed in, he would. He loves teaching obviously.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Syd Field is the Best! February 22, 2005
I have read his books and taken his video course. They are excellent materials to study by. I would highly recommend any of his materials. Obviously the person who rated Syd Field so poorly has no idea what he is talking about - if he were such an expert on the subject he wouldn't be writing bad reviews on Amazon regarding one of the leaders in the screenwriting industry. Buy it, it's worth every penny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A concise two-hour course February 7, 2010
Verified Purchase
"We're talking about form -- not formula." From the basic idea to a fully fleshed out screenplay, this course covers the key points. It's certainly a good overview, yet the exercises offer many nuts-and-bolts reminders for more experienced writers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than being there. January 1, 2014
Verified Purchase
Great bargain.
Helped me get started and just interesting if you are into film.
I can pause or go back if I am taking notes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Novelists rejoice too! November 20, 2013
This DVD and the accompanying books, The Foundations of Screenwriting and The Screenwriter's Workbook are in combination the best guide to writing a novel that I have found. Field is a phenomenal teacher and supporter, and watching the DVD I felt like he was talking directly to me in a kind and caring way. Obviously, he's been doing this for a very long time.On tip I will offer is that though Field recommends using 14 index cards for every 30 pages, I found that for a novel, which is a bit different than a screenplay, I used the 14 cards for 50 pages of manuscript and it worked out just right. I was amazed how once I had the cards and paradigm filled out the story organized itself. Then I could easily see which scenes were too thin, one of my major problems. Using the plot points and pinches helped bring the story to life for me, so I know that will help me with the writing as I go forward. Thank you Syd Field for these wonderful organizational and inspirational writing tools.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Syd Field
Mr. Field writes in general terms about screenplay writing. It feels somewhat hollow.
Screenplays are all about dialogue that sounds like it came from the mouths of real... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Phil W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Substitute When You Can't Be There in Person
Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop (DVD) is the perfect substitute when you can't be there in person. Read more
Published 19 months ago by K. Bush
5.0 out of 5 stars Great instruction, easy to understand, excellent price
I am very satisfied with the video. My only disappointment is that this is not computer software. The description mentions Windows/Mac but it is just a DVD not software. Read more
Published on July 4, 2012 by Mike from San Diego
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good. So, so, so not good.
Syd's book is great.
This DVD is dead wood.
It's him talking to the camera, with no passion, telling us the tenets of his book.
But it's all dead. Read more
Published on February 5, 2010 by Jiff Divingboard
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Beginners!
For those starting out in screenwriting, this is a must-have. My son got a lot of use from it and learned a lot, too. Highly recommended.
Published on January 12, 2010 by Melinda L. Honkomp
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Resource
I think this is a great resource for emerging writers. Very simple and effective tool. Josh Clark The Bare Bones Book of Screenwriting
Published on June 19, 2008 by J. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product
Excellent addition to the book. Adds a step-by-step process to the mechanics discussed in Field's handbook. Read more
Published on May 27, 2007 by F. Vickery
1.0 out of 5 stars NO WAY MAN
Syd Field is probably the fakest person in the industry! As far as I know he's never actually written a produced screenplay. Read more
Published on April 6, 2007 by Tennessee Pen Slinger
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