Dorothy Arzner and the boom mic


Director Dorothy Arzner had a problem on the set of The Wild Party (1929). Her lead actress, silent-era ‘It’ girl Clara Bow, was having trouble transitioning to talkies. Bow was famous for her energetic, flapper-style performances, which she couldn’t do while being still for the microphone to record her dialogue. To let Clara move freely, Arzner rigged a microphone to a fishing rod and created the first ever boom mic. It wasn’t Arzner’s only achievement: The Wild Party was the first talkie directed by a woman, and she was the first female member of the Directors Guild of America – not to mention she made over 40 films during her illustrious career.

How are these works connected?

Explore this constellation

Related articles

Related works

On display until:

ACMI: Gallery 1

16 February 2031

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

Curatorial section

The Story of the Moving Image → Moving Pictures → 05. Sound and Colour → MI-05-C02


1961 times

Please note: this archive is an ongoing body of work. Sometimes the credit information (director, year etc) isn’t available so these fields may be left blank; we are progressively filling these in with further research.

Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url= |title=Dorothy Arzner and the boom mic |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=26 October 2021 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}