By now everyone knows. Blake Snyder died day before yesterday. I can’t believe it. I keep waiting for him to send me an Email or walk around the corner…
I am at the same teaching conference where I met him, all the film teachers in the country crammed into one building. Only this time, he’s not here.
It was in Chicago a few years ago, on the last morning of the conference. I was on my way to the airport and just had time for a quick breakfast and then off to the train and gone… I carried my cafeteria tray into the lunchroom and looked over, and there was Blake.
I had just spent the night before reading Save The Cat and plopped down beside him, telling him how great his book was. He was gracious as I gushed and we proceeded to have a marvelous conversation before I rushed to the airport.
Blake was always, always gracious.
A year or so later, I told him the idea for my book. He told me it was a great idea and that I would write a great book. The first encouragement I got! When I finished my proposal, he sent it to his publisher and they agreed to publish the book.
So much of what will happen in my life is because of my book. My book is 100% because of Blake.
He always believed in me and what I could do. He was a tireless champion of my writing and never stopped telling me I would win an Academy Award for my script about the fall of Saigon. No one EVER told me I would win an Academy Award.
Blake was the most positive, helpful, affirming person I have ever known.
He made me a better teacher.
He made me a better writer.
And, rare among teachers, he made me a better person.
I can’t believe he is gone.
The void he leaves will never, ever be filled.