Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blake Snyder Died Today

I've had a lot of people e-mailing me telling me that Blake Snyder died of cardiac arrest this morning. It is indeed very sad news. Snyder was the first person since Syd Field to break screenwriting down in such a way that anyone could understand it in his bestselling book, "Save The Cat!" Every person who wanted to write a screenplay, I recommended they read that book first. Snyder's core approach was to put just as much emphasis on prepping your screenplay as writing it, and he was gung-ho about going out and testing your concept on anyone who would lend you an ear. "Go wait for a movie to end and poll the outgoing audience," he would say. This completely changed the way I approached screenplays as I realized you can spend six months crafting the perfect screenplay, but if you don't find out ahead of time if anyone will see it, it's all for naught. He famously published his e-mail address in the book and challenged anyone wondering if their concept was good to e-mail him and he'd give you his opinion. I picked up the book two full years after it was released and sent a handful of loglines expecting never to hear back. Within two minutes I got a response, endorsing two and telling me to ditch the other three. I thought that was pretty cool. Blake Snyder will be missed.

Blake Snyder 1957-2009