John Cassavetes (a great Filmmaker)

by Tom Balsamides

John Cassavetes known as one of the greatest filmmakers in history proved his inspiring films with interminable wins and nominations throughout his decade. He’s by far one of my favorite filmmakers. He kept true to his vision. He was an actor’s director.

John Cassavetes born on December 91929 in New York City, New York, USA, started his humble career with great persistence. His journey began sparkling on 1961 where his Film: Shadows (1959) was nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Then, his unceasing perseverance paved the way to his award winning film: Love streams (1984) in the Berlin International Film Festival and Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists.

Raising money for films is very difficult, but Cassavetes didn’t let his dream be down by that fact, What Cassavetes did was indeed truly an inspiring one. He decided to act in his films and take that money to produce his own films, which made him a truly independent filmmaker.

As a director, he enjoyed exploring people and what made them human. He put tons of amazing efforts of knowing his actors by passion. Instead of a pre-rehearsed actor who studied his lines, “The raw essence of the actor” was his main point of searching. Improvisation was one of his main tools in his directing bag, creating a blurred line between performance and real life. He was more concerned about the feeling than the technical aspects of filmmaking.  He said, the 80% execution was the key. The  20%  technical ,doesn’t determine how good the film will be. As an actor you never knew if the camera was on or off. His camera captures raw actions movements and gestures which are not predetermined in the scripts.

Comparing Cassavetes to my directing techniques I feel we are closely related. Both born in December. both from Greek heritage, both view the scripts as a blueprint to follow and allow the actor to improvise and embellish.

Same as what I’m offering to people, he continued to open viewer’s mind and intellect by creating a film related to the continuing issue the world is facing (since ever). The very reason why I consider Cassavetes and myself both actor’s directors.

Most of his films were dealing with drunks and women on the verge of a breaking down. His films deal with empathy that is why they are so touching.

Now, there’s one quote John Cassavetes keep inspiring me:

No matter how old you get, if you can keep the desire to be creative, you’re keeping the man-child alive.


Keeping the boy alive as an adult gets you out of bed every day. Keep smiling!

I am glad to offer and show you my site where you can see more films and documentaries in relation to the current issue people are blindly facing this very moment.

Let’s keep is straight and real. There is a problem that you should know before that problem swallows your remaining whole life.

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