My Dear Professor: thank you.
May 5th. Afternoon. Just sat down to browse the net. Clicked the FB, only to get stunned: my professor has died! Mr. Nikola Majdak was my professor on final year at Film Academy in Belgrade. Major of the course was animation. I won't talk here about his numerous achievements as film artist and professional. Too many to list. I will just try to pay tribute to THE MAN who stood in front of me and my (one) classmate on the final year of my studies. He was serious. He was direct. But, he made it easy. He was demanding but not pushy. His memory was "out of this world" good. Yes, we all joked about how he liked a nice brandy... Sort of speak. But, he was always there in his rather tiny classroom/office. We had lectures regularly (not like with many other "professors" who were there just by appointment and I guess to pick up a paycheck and the "title" I guess...). He build up his carrier before coming to be a educator. And then there were stories... About anything and everything film related. That was the treasure! That, you could not read in any book. For that, you had to be there! My time at ФДУ (Faculty of Dramatic Arts, former Film Academy) in Belgrade was at the time when unfortunately it was less and less chance to handle actual film stock. Times were tough and school budget was no better. "New" (very primitive by today's standards) Video technology was slowly "creeping in" and it was hard to study animation techniques when you had no basic tool: film stock. Mr. Majdak made it easy. Bottom line, he pushed me to finish and graduate the school on time. It was his suggestion to take upon final exam in Animation and he offered to be a mentor, naturally. So, I did it. I wrote the essay and guided by Mr. Majdak I was able to graduate on time (unlike many of my colleagues who waited years to "officially" finish). Professor helped me to successfully close this chapter of my life and I am forever grateful for the help I got from him. So many years have been passed since I left ФДУ, and eventually (left) Belgrade. Mr.Majdak remained one person from school days that I was hoping to see again some day on my visit to my home town. One professor that I wanted to talk to again. To tell him thank you. Since this morning, I am out of luck on that one. On the other hand, I was so glad to read about his son's (Nikola Majdak Jr.) recent success on Berlin Film Festival with his short animated film "Rabbitland". What a great story! I am sure the old man was proud of young Mr. Majdak. And he lived to see it. But also there are many, many more of us around the world (his former students) who were fortunate enough to learn from old pro. Not just about animation. More, much more... Thank you, Professor Majdak. Let your camera be tuned up, your film stock be fresh, all your lights with proper bulbs and filters... Where ever you are now... Thanks to my colleague Goran Basaric for letting me use his masterful portraits of Professor. "... Once upon a time, there were two brothers... One was smart, the other- Cinematographer..."
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