To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch
Ida May Park (December 28, 1879 – June 13, 1954) was an American screenwriter and film director of the silent era, in the early 20th century. She wrote for more than 50 films between 1914 and 1930, and directed 14 films between 1917 and 1920. She was born and died in Los Angeles, California. She was married to film director and producer Joseph De Grasse, with whom she was regularly teamed at Universal.
Park got her start in the entertainment industry as a stage actress when she was fifteen years old. During her time in the theatre she met her future husband, Joseph De Grasse, also an actor. When Pathé hired De Grasse in 1909, Park was also hired as a writer. Together they were hired by Universal.
The first screenplay that she wrote was titled A Gypsy Romance which was developed into a short scenario by director Wallace Reid. Reid also directed the next scenario that she wrote, The Man Within. Park then started to work with De Grasse who directed the next several pieces that she wrote. The two worked on multiple shorts and scenarios together over several years. Their first joint project was the short Her Bounty (1914), and their first feature-length film was Father and The Boys (1915). Most of the titles that the two worked on together were for Universal’s Bluebird label. Park made her solo directorial debut in 1917 when she directed The Flashlight starring Universal’s top dramatic actress Dorothy Phillips; after this picture, she and DeGrasse took turns directing Bluebird projects featuring Phillips. She went on to direct 13 more films, many of which were deemed “women’s features”. — Wikipedia
More about Ida May Park
- Read more about this screenwriter in When Women Wrote Hollywood
- Like When Women Wrote Hollywood on Facebook
- Ida May Park on Wikipedia
- Ida May Park on IMDB
- Ida May Park at the Women Film Pioneers Project
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