Sydney Alvin Field was born in Hollywood, California on December 19, 1935. He acted while majoring in literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Then, at the suggestion of one of his instructors, the filmmaker Jean Renoir, he entered film school at the University of California, Los Angeles. His uncle, Sol Halprin, the Academy Award-winning head of the camera department at 20th Century Fox, helped him find a job at the television company Wolper Productions. He started in the shipping department but eventually helped produce the company's documentary series Biography, hosted by Mike Wallace. He left to pursue his dream of writing screenplays. He wrote scripts for several television shows including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Batman, but never had a major hit. While writing reviews of screenplays and reading thousands of poorly conceived works submitted to another production company he worked for, he decided aspiring writers needed help and wrote his first book, Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. His wrote several other books including Going to the Movies: A Personal Journey through Four Decades of Modern Film. He also taught at several universities, served as a consultant to Hollywood studios, and advised scientists on how to write screenplays to stir interest in science as a career. He was elected to the Screenwriting Hall of Fame of the American Screenwriting Association. He died from hemolytic anemia on November 17, 2013 at the age of 77.