Herbert Blaché

Abstract from Wikipedia : Herbert Blaché (5 October 1882 – 23 October 1953) was a British-born American film director, producer and screenwriter, born of a French mother. He directed 56 films between 1912 and 1929. He was born in London, England. In 1907 he married filmmaking pioneer Alice Guy, head of production with the French Gaumont Film Company. Their marriage meant that Alice had to resign from her position working with Gaumont. Looking for new beginnings, the couple immigrated to New York where Herbert was soon appointed the production manager for Gaumont's operations in the United States. The two struck out on their own in 1910, partnering with George A. Magie in the formation of The Solax Company, the largest pre-Hollywood studio in America. With production facilities for their new company in Flushing, New York, Herbert served as production manager as well as cinematographer and Alice worked as the artistic director, directing many of its releases. Within two years they had become so successful that they were able to invest more than $100,000 into new and technologically advanced production facilities in Fort Lee, New Jersey, when many early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based there at the beginning of the 20th century. To focus on writing and directing, in 1914 Alice made her husband the president of Solax. Shortly after taking the position Herbert started his own film company. For the next few years the couple maintained a personal and business partnership, working together on many projects, but with the decline of the East Coast film industry in favor of the more hospitable and cost effective climate in Hollywood, their relationship also ended. In 1918 Herbert Blaché left his wife and children to pursue a career in Hollywood with one of his actresses. By 1922 they were officially divorced, prompting Alice to auction off her film studio while claiming bankruptcy. She returned to France the same year. Herbert directed his last film in 1929. In 1951 he and his wife Nora Hallgran were among Hollywood figures listed by movie writer Richard J. Collins as having at one time been members of the Communist Party. He died in Santa Monica, California.

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