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"Billy" Bitzer: Cinematographer

The man behind the camera.

Cristi Hahn

on 30 January 2013

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Transcript of "Billy" Bitzer: Cinematographer

Background: Education History in the Making *American Mutoscope
*Biography Company Magical Introduction Company *Bitzer was known for packing up his tripod and camera, loading his film and walking to various street locations.
*Bitzer was the first cinematographer to capture a battle in motion. (Spanish-American War in Cuba.)
*Bitzer filmed the William McKinley's presidential nomination, which the footage was then used to create the first film biography. One Man Show Mutoscope D.W. Griffith Cinematography Techniques Credits Cinematographer Johann Gottlieb Wihleim Bitzer Roxybury, Massachusetts
April 21st, 1876.

Johann Martin: blacksmith
Anne Marie Schnidt: mother and wife
J.C. Bitzer: photographer Worked as a silversmith.

Studied electrical engineering in New York.

1894 joined Magic Introduction Company. 1984 Billy was hired by Magic Introduction Company as an electrician.

He later became W.K-L. Dickson's camera assistant. Series of cards spinning to make a continuous motion picture. *Fade to black
*Studio shoots.
*Artificial lighting.
*Three point lighting.
*Lighting imitations.
*Freeze Frames.
*Determined film stock.

The Birth of Nations
Broken Blossoms
Orphans of the Storm
Hearts of the World
The New York Hat
The Lonely Villa
In Old California
Those Aweful Hats... After W.K-L. Dickson left the company, Bitzer became a full time camera opperator. Actor/Director 16 year partnership.
His films were first to see iris fades, diffusion scenes and freeze frames.
"The New York Hat" and "Lonedale Operator." Most credit for these techniques were given to
the director of the films instead of to Bitzer. BILLY *Billy Bitzer passed away in 1944 in New York after spending years working in perserving old films.
Full transcript