Margaret Booth is this week’s influential woman. She was a film editor in Hollywood, back when the workers had to actually cut the film and splice it to make different scenes with different shots of the camera. Margaret was a lady of three centuries, having been born in 1898 and died in 2002. The 104 year-old lady saw many changes in the film industry in her lifetime. She started as a “patcher” for D.W. Griffith’s films in 1915, and later for Louis B. Mayer. When Mayer merged with other producers to create Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in ’24, Margaret got promoted to director’s assistant. Booth was consistent with her editing, truly talented, having edited many diverse films.
The Hollywood editor received awards for her talent such as the Academy Honorary Award, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Oscars. She also holds the place for being the second-oldest person to win and Oscar. Booth was also given the Women in Film Crystal Award. This is an important recognition because it was given to Margaret because of her endurance and excellence in her work, and her help in expanding the role of women in the entertainment industry. Back in the first half of the 20th century, it was uncommon for women to be involved in the inner-workings of the film industry. Margaret refused to acknowledge the bias against women in her work force, and inspired many young ladies to go do the same.
Margaret Booth inspires me because film editing might be something I want to do later in life, and the fact that I get to learn about how she basically made it common for women to be involved in film editing is truly amazing. Now, it’s pretty even between men and women in film, and I’m glad she lived as long as she did to see the outcome. Girls shouldn’t be afraid to try something new, and see where it takes you. I’m sure Margaret didn’t know what competitive force she was getting into when she took her first editing job, but she took it in stride. Confident women are the backbone of society and are necessary to be the role models for young girls who aspire to do great things.
Title from “Someday” by The Growlers.