This lady is someone who’s just now getting more known in film histories. Alice Guy Blaché. She was the Secretary to the Lumiere brothers in France. So we’re moving away from America and moving back to France right? They were filming dudes walking out of a factory. They were filming guys standing on a train platform smoking. Whatever they felt like. Reality basically. They weren’t fictionalizing. They weren’t looking at film as a place to tell stories and she was their secretary and she said you know I’d like to do something else with the cameras and they said “Oh, on your lunch break you can do whatever you want. Just make sure you’re back at your desk on time to type the things we need typed” right? So she started making silent films obviously in 1896. Her first film, which you can find on YouTube, is called “The Cabbage Fairy.” It’s literally just her picking babies out of a field behind cabbages right in the fictionalization of how do we find children — how are children brought into the world. Very short but that’s what we were doing in that era.
Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars. Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.
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