Bitzer, (Johann Gottlob Wilhelm) Billy(1872–1944) cinematographer; born in Roxbury, Mass. A former silversmith, he joined and became cameraman of the company that was to become Biograph in 1894. In 1908, he began his association with D. W. Griffith, photographing most of his films until 1920. Some of the best movies photographed by this master innovator were The New York Hat (1912), The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916), and Broken Blossoms (1919).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.