From gallery owner to renegade auteur, Johnny Vitale has directed a feature short called Ignition and it will be showing tomorrow with celebratory receptions at Muvico Baywalk in downtown St. Pete tomorrow night.
The film stars Frank Strunk III (who designed the costumes), Heinz Hinrichs, Chris Geyer, The Burghound Car Club and a slew of "artists, party people, hooligans and other locals." Local punkabilly band Dead Popes provided the score.
According to Vitale, "it's a post-apocalyptic tale of St. Petersburg if the Cuban Missile Crisis took a turn for the worst."
So, picture, if you will, the world ending at the dawn of the '60s, and the survivors time-traveled forward to the '80s for a punk rock tutorial, then you can get a roundabout idea of the characters and setting of this greaser-dystopia adventure are like. It even has a drag race finale a la Grease and Rebel Without a Cause.
The Burg camaraderie was in full effect for the film, Vitale said. "I feel excited and very fortunate to live in a town where everyone can get excited about helping you with a project," he said. "The movie is snapshot of the creative culture of St. Petersburg working together to pull something off without the pursuit of money. It's amazing and I don't mind saying that. I'm very proud of the finished product. (Artist) Frank Strunk III and I had a mission early in the game with this, It was that this movie would 'ignite' something here; hence the name, and I think it already has on many levels. I love my hometown."
First reception: 7:30-8:15 p.m.; movie: 8:30 -9 p.m.; second reception: 9-9:30 p.m.; movie: 9:30-10 p.m.
Vitale recommends that attendees show up at least by 8:30 to guarantee viewing. ignitionthemovie.com.