Posted by: viewfromtheriva | December 21, 2012

Split hosts World Premiere of “2012 Countdown” movie!


Last night, friends of Srecko Zitnik, one of Split’s most celebrated painters, gathered at City Center One for the World Premiere of his film, “2012 Countdown”.  It was the culmination of  a year long labor of love.  A wonderful, popcorn included evening for a first-time film maker to share his feature length film–made entirely by himself, with unpaid amateur actors, including me, for less than $1000!

full size theater posters in the Cineplexx lobby

full size theater posters in the Cineplexx lobby

What a celebration of personal achievement when you decide “I can do it” and go to work.   In Srecko’s case, it all started after he woke  up from a particularly vivid dream about the final days of the earth and thinking, “wow, would this make a great movie!”

Then, reality check:  “I don’t have a camera!”

Undaunted, Srecko goes out and buys a second hand video camera and then starts asking some friends if they want to help.  When I got a call, he had already lined up the Slavija Hotel as a site for one of the scenes and friends who agreed to act.  An incredibly creative artist, he not only wrote the film, but did all of the spectacular animation (an opening 10 minutes!) the music, as well as editing and directing!

One of the scenes, inside the Slavija, with the hapless Mr. Zitnik and his alien tormentor–note the cool glowing animated light from her fingers and throat?

Watching him with his hand made dolly shooting a scene in one of the rooms in the Slavija with Sonja Vela, a wonderful local guide with a solid dancing background who I cajoled into taking the lead role, in full body suit, was a real kick.  I played a visiting American checking out of the hotel, just missing a visit by aliens coming to give Earth one last chance before “wiping it clean”, and some voice overs.  I even got Natasha to do the voice of the Washington, DC 911 operator!

aliens at the gate

 “Aliens” in full body suits, waiting to greet us for  “2012 Countdown” 

As the months progressed I would check in with Srecko to see what was happening.  I’d offer some suggestions to his script and help with some gear and stayed in touch as his magnum opus continued through last winter and on into the spring.  By the end of summer, it was done and he gave me a sneak preview in his studio, which is tucked into the alley leading from the Peristil to Jupiter’s Temple.

Before the movie began, Srecko brought the clock used in the movie and talked about the film

Before the movie began, Srecko brought the clock used in the movie and talked about the film

The story is about aliens who come to Earth to give us one more chance to stop destroying ourselves or risk “being wiped clean”.  They find a vacationing tourist here for the Christmas holidays and get him to cooperate by calling the President of the United States to save the day.

All we have to do to survive of course is stop war, stop ruining the planet, respect each other and well, go back to the paradise we supposedly inherited.

Although lacking money to infuse the movie with “action scenes” to support the script, Srecko shows a deft hand at animation (with homage to Kurbrick’s 2001) opening the film with almost 10 minutes of spectacular NASA footage interlaced with his own imaginative work.  I’n still impressed with his sophisticated framing, visual treatment and hand held camera work  of even simple scenes–especially considering the lack of lighting. a camera with limited capability and an editing suite consisting of a basic home computer program!

I love that the only blurred part of this photo is Srecko' in the middle, kinetic as always and almost looking "alien" yes?!!

I love that the only blurred part of this photo is Srecko, in the middle, kinetic as always and almost looking “alien” yes?!!

So sure, the script could use a lot of pruning, the acting could be better, etc. etc. but by any standard it’s an impressive piece of work to be immensely proud of by a local artist with an interplanetary imagination and heart!

Sonja and Robert

The film’s star, Sonja Vela, with yours truly wearing all white, my Borsalino hat and sunglasses, of course!

Kudos to Srecko—and maybe one day you will be lucky enough to see it on the Sci Fi channel?!







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