Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen (2016)
Alice Guy-Blaché (1873-1968) was the world’s first female film director and is often credited with inventing narrative film. She began her journey in France as a secretary to Léon Gaumont, founder of the first French motion-picture company. Upon viewing the world’s first film projection, invented by filmmaking pioneers the Lumière brothers, Guy-Blaché saw the potential for film as a medium. She asked Gaumont if she could borrow equipment to make her films on her own time. Guy-Blaché’s first film, La Fée aux Choux, based on a French fable about a fairy growing children in a cabbage patch, was the world’s first narrative film. From there, she quickly ascended to head of production at Gaumont Film Company before moving to New Jersey and forming her own pre-Hollywood independent film studio, the Solax Company, with her husband, Herbert Blaché. Over her twenty-five-year record-setting career, she directed, wrote, and produced over a thousand films, including twenty-two feature-length movies. She innovated groundbreaking techniques of acting, sound syncing systems, color tinting, special effects, and experimented with interracial casting—all as the only woman alongside the male pioneers of film.