Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!
David Wark Griffith has been called the father of film grammar. Scholars no longer dispute that few of any of Griffith's "innovations" actually began with him, but still he is given credit for cannonizing a set of codes that have become the universal back-bone to the film language. In the broadest terms, Griffith's contributions can be categorized as MiseEnScene and editing (FilmEditing.) Griffith has been a highly controversial figure. While highly popular at the time of its release, his film BirthofaNation (1915) was also considered responsible for the resurgence of the KluKluxKlan in the United States. Griffith remains both a praised and distained character in the history of the cinema. Griffith began his career as a hopeful playwright, but failed. He soon found his way as an actor. Finding his way into the motion picture business he soon began to direct a huge body of work. Between 1908 and 1912 (the years he directed for the Mutual Film Company), Griffith produced an astounding 500 short films. Such output allowed him to experiment with CrossCutting, camera movement, close-ups, and other methods of spatial and temporal manipulation. Convinced that longer films (then called "Features") could be financially viable, he launched his own company and set to work to produce BirthofaNation.