For some people, just watching movies isn’t enough. Jakob Bilinski, an Evansville-grown and Central High School graduate (1999), had to be there, behind the camera, and directing the action.

Bilinski created Cinephreak Pictures in high school, a production tagline that back then labeled his short films and class projects. He was more interested in drawing his stories, and aspired to be a comic book artist — until he decided he’d rather show than draw. “I caught the filmmaking bug pretty early,” Bilinski says. “I started analyzing films and cinematography, and since then the effort I put in hasn’t really felt like work.”

Bilinski graduated from Indiana University in 2003. His pet projects are creating independent short films, music videos, commercials, and anything that involves cinematic storytelling. He has completed promotional videos for Jim Beam and Four Roses, and covered the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and Kentucky Derby.

The 31-year-old also taught home-school students through the nonprofit organization Excelsior! from 2004 to 2008. “I designed a course on video production and theory, where grade school through high school students were taken through the process of filming their own shorts,” he says.

Much of Indiana’s active film industry intersects. Bilinski is one of three directors/producers for “The Book of Dallas” (see page 42), an Evansville-filmed series. His latest feature, “Three Tears on Bloodstained Flesh,” is currently in post-production, and utilizes Indiana talent for both his crew and cast.

Here are two of Bilinski’s first dabbles in success:

“My first successful short was “Foxxy Madonna vs. The Black Death,” a 70s grindhouse throwback about a renegade secret preacher agent out to save the world from a deadly virus. It was part of the 2006 National Film Challenge (a 48-hour film competition), and was a top 15 finalist. It went on to win an award at the 2007 Filmapalooza in Albuquerque, N.M. I put out a director’s cut of the film, and began a festival run that played at multiple film-fests around the world, receiving several glowing reviews from critics.”

“Shade of Grey” (not the book), my first feature, tells the story of several individuals who share a connection due to their repeated presence in an anonymous motel room over the years. It won the Best Feature Suspense award at the 2009 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival in LA. It was picked up for international distribution by Celebrity Home Entertainment and released in early 2010.”

Cinephreak Pictures films can be purchased from

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