Alice Guy Blache by Emmanuelle Gaume with Alexandra Lamy

Alice Guy Blache by Emmanuelle Gaume with Alexandra Lamy
Why a movie? Guy-Blaché is the definition of an industry pioneer, rising first through Gaumont Studios, then by becoming the founder and head of Solax Studios. By all accounts a cisgender woman, she nonetheless challenged masculine stereotypes, making big meaningful moves like casting women into then-typically male professions, like magicians or dog-trainers, and taking on the masculine roles herself, dressing as a man and stepping in front of the camera. Today, as we continue to mold our perspectives on how we conceptualize gender and sexuality in mainstream artr, Guy-Blaché’s story is both a feminist rendering of an inherently masculine system, and a subversion of how women were expected to perform both on- and off-screen

mardi 19 juillet 2016

There was a Chilean girl named Alice Guy, whose father was a publisher at Valparaiso. An earthquake ruined him,
and lie died. Then Aliee Guy went to Paris to li
ve, with her mother and sister.
When she was sixteen she studied
stenography, and got work in the oflicc of
Gaumont Paris, producers of mo
tion pictures. She heeame secretary to Gaumont, and one day said to him: "I don't like these pietures of trains and lire departments. Let me product4 some of the French short stories." l ltiinately she produced for him "The Passion Play" and "Ksincralda," and drew a salary of one thousand francs a month. Then she married Herbert Ulachc and came with him to New York, where he represented Gaumont  Why Madame Blache had that spirit of enterprise that gave her courage and impulse to work. She made a careful study of the motion picture field in America, and asked, "Why can't I produce pictures here on my own account?"
She looked around, and at Flushing, Long Island, she found a building that would answer for a studio. She rented it. She and her husband had ten thousand dollars between them, saved from their salaries, and tlii< became the capital of Madame Blache in founding the Solax Company in I !MMl. Blache still held his position. "1 will manage this enterprise," said his wife.
She went to work with vast energy. First she studied her possible material, and read far into tlie night. Then she wrote her own scenarios and produced such pic tures as "Fra Diavolo," "Carmen," Poe's "Pit and the Pendulum," and "Dick Whittington and His Cat."
The capital proved sufficient: for the prolits piled up fast. Three years ago the plant was moved to Fort Lee. New Jersey, and il is now a half-niillion-dollar eiitcr p?-i---. Madame Blaclie's productions often cn-t twenty thousand dollars. Thecompany's net profits are reputed to range
between lift ecu and twenty thousand doll..

Mme. Blache Allows No "Words, So That Actors Must Look, Not. Speak, Their Parts.THE director in the moving picture-world performs the same functionas does the stage manager in the theatrical world,

Mme. Blache Allows No "Words, So That Actors Must Look, Not.
Speak, Their Parts.THE director in the moving picture-world performs the same functionas does the stage manager in the
theatrical world, and there are as many the fact that a U5mS athe
stage manager ie Mg"" land, as can successfully lnvaev,rrlind to his
many a stage manager has t und tcns S5 !u STe has tried his...

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Alice Guy Blaché à Solax, Länsi-Suomen Lääni, Finland.
23 h ·
The Baffling Task of the Moving Picture Director Absence of Dialogue Makes Work Peculiarly Difficult; Good Stage Managers Not Always Good Directors Versatility of Frederick Thompson;
Mme. Blache Allows No "Words, So That Actors Must Look, Not.
Speak, Their Parts.THE director in the moving picture-world performs the same functionas does the stage manager in the
theatrical world, and there are as many the fact that a U5mS athe
stage manager ie Mg"" land, as can successfully lnvaev,rrlind to his
many a stage manager has t und tcns S5 !u STe has tried his
ha-?heiuempt usually results In rob, JJeter to pay Paul, but for the most SSf yocouXver convince th acr Jwf hia vu the case- And it is a
. , ao thatlhtbetter the actor the worse the director. DJal
The first, and perhaps the biggest, difficultv that the director runs up
against is the fact that he can depend ?fry litUe if at all. on dialogue to get rWts. And right here is whereso any wouldbe dfrectors come to grief. Frederick Thompson, director for the Ttagraph company, is an exponent of one of the successful methods of direct
ing and if you watch his work for a whUe when he is putting a picture on Tou Lgih to see where his success lies He expfains carefully to the actor what he wants him to do. and then shows
htai how to do it. But at the same time in order to bring out the ac :tor s origin ality he warns. "Don't imitate Thomp ton?' Fo7 he realizes that the teacher must be surpassed by the pupil, else his
work Is going to be purely imitative and often a poor imitation.
He works harder than any one in the company, acts out every part, when the actor or actress is not quite sure of himself, and directs from the manu script. No set dialogue is used, the actor "faking" his lines as he goes along, and Jn fact only using a few -words from time to time when ne wishes to emphasize some particular
point, generally at Thompson's sugges tion Thompson has his manuscript with him at all times, and refers to it
constantly. . ... i He leaves the "taking" end of the picture almost entirely to his camera man, Percy Hillburn. better known as "Sun
shine." on account of his flame colored hair. Sunshine is always on the Job and needs little or no coaching, and any director can tell yon what that means in the making of a picture. Thompson and Sunshine have recentbeen working together on a number
of animal pictures, and much patience; nd skill is needed, as well as many assistants armed with various implements of war, to get results. Not long ago Prince and Princess, two big Bengal tigers, were brought into a scene to wreck a room. They did the job, but not in the manner expected. At the start the tigers were to
make their entrance from the rear of the scene. Before the entrance they were let out of their cages and driven into a little room together. Then the action commenced. Princess decided that she didn't like
the cut of Prince's whiskers and told him so. She also sides wiped him across the nose. Prince retaliated by knocking her into a corner, and the family row was in full blast when the assistants
arrived -with effective Implements and effected an amnesty for a few minutes. Then the door to the "stage'' was
opened with the aid of a long "prop"and Princess sailed into the middle ofthings with a rush, upsetting Princeen route.was full of flying fur, claws and badlanguage. And it made a beautiful pic
ture, as Sunshine reeled away the yards of film from the outside. Prince took
the notion that he wanted to get closer
to the camera than the laws of photog raphy allowed; so he calmly laid him self down, out. 01 range 01 tne lens. The problem was to get him back into the picture. To move an S00 pound tiger with a beautiful set of claws and excellent teeth is somewhat of a Job; more so when the tiger objects to being moved. Prince objected strenuously. A 2x2 inch plank, used as a "persuader,"
splintered between his powerful jaws as the big teeth met with a click that
reminded you of steel tumblers shooting home across the edge of a sale, and Prince wouldn't move until the roar of a .44 Colt shattered the air in his very face. Then he backed away sullenly, tail
whipping flanks, ears flat back, and a smouldering green flame in either eye.
His low. humming snarl changed to a full throated A-r-r-r-a-hl as he caught
sight of Sunshine, and charged the camera. Sunshine grinned and turned the crank.
But director Thompson has his own ideas on directing animal acts, one of
them being "I'm going to be a fit sub ject for a sanitarium when I get through with this." In direct contrast to Thompson's methods of directing is the system used by Mme. Alice Blache, of the Solax company. Mme. Blache never uses manu script in her work, but familiarizes her
self thoroughly with the scenario. Then she reads the story to the players and
assigns each his part. Personally, she supervises the stage setting, coaches the camera men. artists, scene painters, property men, electricians and all others connected with the picture.
Mme. Blache does not believe in using any dialogue whatsoever. She tells her
players to think the part they are por traying and is c- nvinced that in thisway the thought registers itself on the players' faces, conveying the desired impression to the audience. - Madame never gets excited, whatever may go wrong, and if any of her direc tors loses his head for a moment she
pulls him up sharply.

The so-called "multiple reel feature film" is to the motion picture industry what the novelette is to the "short story" fiction magazine. In fact, the "short story" magazine was in a meas ure responsible for the inspiration which resulted in the production of mo
tion picture plays of more than one rceL For a long time, stories that required more than 1000 feet of film to relate were rejected by producers, under the theory that motion picture enthusiasts
would hardly look with favor on a film that was so long drawn out. Came a dav when a venturesome producer decttted to try the experiment of devoting more than a single film to a story of particular merit. The boycott of the public met his greatest fears.. For a long time exhibitors protested that it was a waste of time and effort to at tempt to educate the public to support the multiple reel photoplay. Yet the producers, who had made a careful study of the exhibiting business and who had in mind the success of ratlines that published a number of short stories every week, or month. In con
junction with one of greater length, believed that feature films would even-i tually come into their own. and be a I part of the pro-" in every modern i motion picture theater.! That the evolution of the business has been as they predicted Is shown in the fact that practically every week brings the announcement of a score or
more of films longer than 1000 feet in length. "When it is remembered that films of this class frequently cost as
high as $50,000 to produce, with a min imum production cost of $1000 per reel, it is plainly seen that producers are