Women in Film & Television History: Meet Dorothy Arzner, Director, Editor, Screenwriter, Boom Inventor

By Kathryn O’Kane

Dorothy Arzner (1897 – 1979) is one of the most prolific directors of early American cinema, having worked with some of the biggest stars of the era including Katharine Hepburn and Joan Crawford in the 1920s and ‘30s.

She is also the first woman to direct a film with sound. It was during such a project The Wild Party (1929) that Arzner is credited with inventing the boom microphone. To allow Clara Bow more freedom to move around the set, Arzner suspended a fishing rod above the actress and attached a microphone to the end of it. This prototype boom mic has become an essential piece of sound equipment for modern media production.

Dorothy-Arzner

(via Senses of Cinema)

Learn more about Dorothy Arzner on the Senses of Cinema website.

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