MovieMaker founder Tim Rhys honors legendary screenwriting guru Syd Field, who passed away on Sunday.

Syd Field always seemed younger than his years, which is maybe one reason I was so shocked to learn of his passing early Monday morning. Another reason is that he was something of a deity to the generations of screenwriters who came along after he changed everything with his seminal work, Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, which has sold millions of copies since its 1979 debut and is recognized as the “bible” on the craft.

I met Syd almost two decades ago when I asked him to be a part of a series of screenwriting “summits” we planned for the MovieMaker Institute. I had the pleasure of working with him for several years on on events around the world and despite the sometimes challenging logistics he was always gracious and easy to work with, a true gentleman. A screenwriter himself, his true calling was to inspire and educate other writers on how to create stories that deliver the goods to audiences.

Deities don’t really “pass,” and Syd won’t, either. His words and his influence will be with us as long as movies are made.

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