I just heard that screenwriting author/teacher Blake Snyder passed away suddenly today from cardiac arrest. I took Blake's class in NYC back in 2006. It was truly inspiring. I had taken the class soon after reading his helpful book Save the Cat. His class was fun and focused. To this day, I keep those class notes handy and refer to the information he gave to us on that day.
He truly had a love for writers. He was patient, kind and supportive.
Some screenwriting author/teachers are in it just for the money they can make off of hungry writers. I took a seminar once with one L.A. guru (who shall remain nameless) who limited our questions and berated students in a highly condescending manner (like he was doing us a favor by even talking to us, even thought we were paying him.)
Blake Snyder was never like that -- never doing this for a quick buck -- but rather he was trying to help us stay focused, enthused and in the know. He rooted for us to succeed in a very tough business.
Blake was to return to NYC this month. I saw the posting for his seminar and thought about taking it... now he's gone. A young man in his fifties. This reminds us all not to waste a single day, to keep the dream alive, and to connect with others both on and off the page.
We'll miss you, Blake.