He could tell you in two minutes why something didn't work and in another three how to fix it. And unlike many with a great gift he was not miserly, he would respond to all his emails and script questions whether he knew someone or not. He felt it was his calling to help others help themselves and took great pride when those he helped found success.
Beverly Hills, CA (PRWEB) August 9, 2009
Blake Snyder, one of Hollywood's most successful spec screenwriters, and author of the Save the Cat!® series of books on screenwriting, died unexpectedly at the age of 51, on August 4, 2009, of cardiac arrest.
Born in Evanston, Illinois on October 3, 1957, Blake was the son of television producer Kenneth C.T. Snyder. Blake began his career in entertainment at an early age, doing voice over work alongside actors such as Sterling Holloway, Gary Owens and June Foray.
After graduating from Georgetown University, Snyder began writing for the Disney TV series Kids Incorporated before making the transition to feature film. He regularly sold high dollar specs including Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot to Universal, Blank Check to Disney, and Nuclear Family to Amblin for Steven Spielberg.
In 2003, as a means to share his experiences and successes with other screenwriters, Snyder penned Save the Cat!® The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need. Known for its playful and breezy style, Save the Cat! quickly became the definitive book on story structure. An international best seller, now in its sixteenth printing, Save the Cat! reached as high as number 400 of all books on sold on Amazon.com. His follow-up book, Save the Cat!® Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told, was published in October, 2007, and also shot to the number one spot in the screenwriting category. At the time of his death, Snyder had just finished his third book, Save the Cat!® Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get Into… And Out Of, which will be published in late 2009.
Snyder's method of breaking down stories became legendary not just with screenwriters, studio executives, producers, agents and managers, but with writers of all disciplines. He had a passion for teaching and developed a series of sold-out seminars that had him traveling the world from Los Angeles to New York, London, Barcelona, Beijing and numerous cities around the globe. He taught at UCLA, Vanderbilt, Chapman and the Beijing Film Academy, as well as other film schools. His books are now the basis of screenwriting classes at many major universities in the U.S., Canada and abroad.
An enthusiastic supporter of education, Blake was a champion of using screenwriting as a tool of literacy, and for social betterment. He became a regular visitor at Camino Nuevo Charter High School in Los Angeles, taking pitches from the students of Peter Cook's AP screenwriting class. As a result of this work, a student was recently able to option his screenplay, allowing him to pay for his college education.
"There is no doubt, with every book, every blog entry, every email and every seminar, that Blake was truly celebrating the joy he had for story, for life, and for teaching. Blake was charmingly funny and made teaching fun for his students and fellow teachers alike," states Producer Sheila Taylor (Final Destination).
Rich Kaplan of Blake Snyder Enterprises says "We are all deeply saddened over the unexpected loss of our colleague, mentor and friend. Blake's impact on writers around the world is immense, and many in the entertainment industry are grieving for this loss."
"There was no one more gifted in the art of story structure than Blake Snyder." Screenwriter Tracey Jackson (Confessions of a Shopaholic) stated. "He could tell you in two minutes why something didn't work and in another three how to fix it. And unlike many with a great gift he was not miserly, he would respond to all his emails and script questions whether he knew someone or not. He felt it was his calling to help others help themselves and took great pride when those he helped found success."
Screenwriter Jeremy Garelick (The Break Up) adds, "Blake's massive contribution to the movie business will be forever unknown…he's the uncredited partner to countless screenwriters."
Snyder is survived by his mother, Florence Snyder, of Santa Barbara, California, as well as a sister, Sally Maher, of Santa Ynez, California and her two children. Services are pending. For more information about Blake's life and career, please visit http://blakesnyder.com