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Introducing Shadows. Production of Shadows ( 1957-59 ). Actor Cassavetes appears on radio show, Jean Shepherd’s Night People to promote Edge of the City and ends up raising funds for own film Film developed with acting workshop students 16mm film with $40,000 budget

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production of shadows 1957 59
Production of Shadows (1957-59)
  • Actor Cassavetes appears on radio show, Jean Shepherd’s Night People to promote Edge of the City and ends up raising funds for own film
  • Film developed with acting workshop students
  • 16mm film with $40,000 budget
  • Shot, screened, reshot/re-edited over two-year period

Cassavetes and Mia Farrow

in Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski 1968).

Image source: Focus Features

meaning of improvisation
Meaning of “Improvisation”?
  • Narrative (story, script, characterization)
  • Elements of mise-en-scene
    • Settings
    • Acting
  • Elements of cinematography
    • Shot distance
    • Camera movement
settings
Settings

Sets

New York City locations

acting
Acting

“I differ from the working method advocated by Stanislavski and followed by the Actors Studio, which involves group discussion of the characters. For me each role must be an individual's conception as well as an individual creation. If each role is the result of communal study by director and ensemble, everything will dovetail; it will all be nice and neat and smooth; but the conflict of the characters won't be truthful. The actors don't discuss their interpretations sitting around in a group. The general theme of the work, of course, must be studied by the whole group, so that we share the same overall conception; but each actor must come at his own interpretation of his role, without the sort of group study and mutual criticism which one associates with Method work” (Cassavetes, qtd. in Carney, Shadows).

cinematography
Cinematography

“[W]ithShadows, we tried something completely different in that we not only improvised in terms of the words, but we improvised in terms of motions. So the cameraman also improvised, he had to follow the artists and light generally, so that the actor could move when and wherever he pleased” (Cassavetes, Films and Filming, 1961).