Here is a gal who created the framework that would make movies last over 100 years. Her innovations include: being the first to tell a story on film, first to use sound, first to feature inter-racial casts, creation the music video, developing a “natural” acting style, and was the first female to run a movie studio which was also the largest pre-hollywood studio in America…and yet there is a strong chance, you’ve never heard of her.
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Alice Guy-Blaché was the first female director and first female to own a movie studio. She made over 1,000 films (twice the amount of Georges Méliès & D.W. Griffith).
She started at Gaumont film company as a secretary when she watched the Lumière Brother’s demonstration of early film of a workers leaving a factory. After seeing the film she wrote in her autobiography, “I thought I could do it better.” and she did.
She made her first film on her lunch break, The Cabbage Fairy. Historians argue if it is the first narrative film ever created because Gaumont and Méliès were documented around that same time, however time seems to be more favorable for the two when there is a strong chance Alice was first.
She was a visionary who combined special effect visuals and sound elements to tell a fuller story. She moved to the United States in 1907 and started The Solax Company in 1910 with husband Herbert and George A. Magie. In Fort Lee, New Jersey, they created a state-of-the art facility and made 1-3 films a week. Their slogan, “Be Natural.”
The company folded in 1922 due to Herbert’s bad investments and Alice didn’t make another film. She lived until 1968 and saw not only the industry that she helped create thrive, but also to see her work forgotten.
Kate & Phoebe talk more about your gal, Alice Guy-Blaché in this week’s episode. They dig into her life, legacy, innovation and why she was lost to film history…until now. Listen here.
Your Gal Friday is a weekly podcast with supplemental video and article profiling and amazing gal of our galaxy that we can all learn from.
Your hosts are Kate Chaplin & Phoebe Frear.
Your Gal Friday also ties into Gal’s Guide school outreach. Gal’s Guide offers a K-University presentations of Women You Didn’t Learn About in School. Showcasing 14-26 amazing gals to classrooms and assemblies, the presentations spotlight these gals where the podcast goes more in depth of your new favorite gals every Friday.
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- #3 Coco Chanel
- #4 Bessie Coleman
- #5 Ella Fitzgerald
- #6 Harriet Tubman
- #7 Jane Addams
- #8 Ada Lovelace
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