Bitzer, Billy

Bitzer, Billy

▪ American cinematographer
byname of  Gottfried Wilhelm Bitzer  
born April 21, 1874, Boston
died April 29, 1944, Hollywood

      U.S. motion-picture cameraman who, in partnership with the pioneer director D.W. Griffith (Griffith, D W), developed camera techniques that set the standard for all future motion pictures and stimulated important experimentation in the field.

      Bitzer achieved success in 1896 when his film of William McKinley being notified of the presidential nomination of his party was exhibited on the Biograph Company's first program. He filmed the Spanish–American War for the William Randolph Hearst organization, becoming the first motion-picture cameraman to cover a war. When Griffith joined Biograph, Bitzer became his cameraman. During the ensuing years, Bitzer successfully translated the director's creative visual concepts to the screen, especially in composition and the use of lighting to create mood. He photographed hundreds of Griffith's motion pictures, including Judith of Bethulia (1913), The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916), Broken Blossoms (1919), and Way Down East (1920).

      Bitzer had been using lighting “effects,” such as firelight, candlelight, or the morning sun, as early as 1909; he was the first cameraman to film completely under artificial lights, an innovation that eventually freed Hollywood technicians from dependence on natural light. Working with Griffith, he developed camera techniques that had a permanent influence on the industry—e.g., soft-focus photography, using a light-diffusion screen in front of the camera lens; the fade-out, used to close a scene; and the iris shot, in which the frame either is gradually blacked out in a shrinking circle, thereby ending a scene, or gradually opened in a widening circle, beginning a scene. He refined methods of taking close-ups and long shots and was one of the first cinematographers to make effective use of perspective.

      Bitzer left Griffith in 1924 but briefly rejoined him in 1928. He later was a cameraman for the Works Progress Administration and repaired old films for the New York Museum of Modern Art's film archive.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Bitzer (Familienname) — Bitzer ist ein vor allem auf der Schwäbischen Alb häufig vorkommender Familienname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft des Namens 2 Varianten 3 Häufigkeit 4 Bekannte Namens …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Billy Bitzer — G. W. Bitzer Billy Bitzer manipulant une pellicule. G. W. Bitzer, également connu sous le nom de Billy Bitzer, est un directeur de la photographie américain né en 1872 et ayant principalement exercé durant la période du muet. Il est mort en 1944 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Billy Bitzer — G. W. Bitzer Johann Gottlob Wilhelm “Billy” Bitzer (oft als G. W. Bitzer arbeitend; * 21. April 1872 in Roxbury, Massachusetts; † 29. April 1944 in Hollywood, Kalifornien) war ein US amerikanischer Kameramann, der zwischen 1896 un …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Billy Bitzer — Gottfried Wilhelm Billy Bitzer (April 21 1874 ndash;April 29 1944) was a pioneering cinematographer notable for his close association with D. W. Griffith, working with him on some of his most important films and contributing significantly to… …   Wikipedia

  • Bitzer,George William — Bit·zer (bĭtʹzər), George William. Originally Johann Gottlob Wilhelm Bitzer. Known as “Billy.” 1872 1944. American cinematographer best known for his camera work in the films of D.W. Griffith, most notably The Birth of a Nation (1915). * * * …   Universalium

  • G.W. Bitzer — G. W. Bitzer Billy Bitzer manipulant une pellicule. G. W. Bitzer, également connu sous le nom de Billy Bitzer, est un directeur de la photographie américain né en 1872 et ayant principalement exercé durant la période du muet. Il est mort en 1944 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Georg William Bitzer — G. W. Bitzer Billy Bitzer manipulant une pellicule. G. W. Bitzer, également connu sous le nom de Billy Bitzer, est un directeur de la photographie américain né en 1872 et ayant principalement exercé durant la période du muet. Il est mort en 1944 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Johann Gottlob Wilhelm Bitzer — G. W. Bitzer Billy Bitzer manipulant une pellicule. G. W. Bitzer, également connu sous le nom de Billy Bitzer, est un directeur de la photographie américain né en 1872 et ayant principalement exercé durant la période du muet. Il est mort en 1944 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • G. W. Bitzer — Billy Bitzer manipulant une pellicule. G. W. Bitzer, également connu sous le nom de Billy Bitzer, est un directeur de la photographie américain né en 1872 et ayant principalement exercé durant la période du muet. Il est mort en 1944. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • G.W. Bitzer — G. W. Bitzer George William Bitzer (meist nur G. W. Bitzer; * 21. April 1872 in Roxbury, Massachusetts; † 29. April 1944), auch bekannt unter seinem Spitznamen Billy Bitzer, war ein US amerikanischer Kameramann, der zwischen 1896 und 1933 für… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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