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Photographer, Filmmaker, Director of The Big Break: Eyal Filkovsky

Eyal Filkovsky is a Scranton, PA-based filmmaker, photographer, director, producer, as well as the director of talent competition, The Big Break, amongst many other “fun, creative things.” When I asked Eyal specifically what you can find him doing on set, he gave me a list of over 25 different roles. When it comes to working on set, he hits just about every mark, from director to running audio to motion graphics. He would even take on the role of production assistant saying, “I just love film and video, so if I love the project, I will gladly grab the director a cup of coffee just to be on set.”

His interest in videography came at an early age, as he fell in love with the magic of behind-the-scenes content on rented VHS tapes. “Every aspect, to me, is just fuckin’... there is no one part of video production that is more important than another; they are all equally important. It’s just seeing it come together.” He soon began using a digital camera to capture stock motion photography. Despite his early interest, he stopped pursuing videography, growing up in a generation that seemed to struggle with the concept of not attending college or wanting to work in a creative field. He wouldn’t begin to delve back into it until he was stationed in Iraq while serving in The United States Air Force, where he put together and, for the first time, edited a video of their squadron at the end of their tour.

And the advice he gives for people with a dream they want to follow, but lack support in their lives? “Change the people around you, that’s it. You don’t have to cut them off completely, but start surrounding yourself with people who are actually doing what you want to do and successfully doing what you want to do. Get yourself a group of people that want to see you succeed and you want to see them succeed, and you help each other up, rather than climbing over each other to get to the top.” With all that Eyal has accomplished in his life, one can only wonder what keeps someone so motivated? “A good project that I’m passionate about. I mean, money motivates me, but I also will not sell my soul.”

Not only a filmmaker and photographer, Eyal is an avid lover of music video production, with his most recent project being the music video for the song “Ragnarok” by Phazed. Coming up with the idea for the video after listening to the song “a million times,” he took the members of Phazed on location to a local church, as well as Concrete City, to shoot the video. “The whole thing is about contrast,” says Eyal. “...we’ve got the church contrasting with Concrete City, the desolate, post-apocalyptic wasteland.” The video highlights multiple current big-topic issues: police brutality, natural disasters, climate change and the American prison system all make appearances throughout. Another topic that Eyal wanted to address visually was organized religion, but instead of putting in shots of a church at some point in the video, Eyal “thought it would be a good idea to have Micheal Logothetides (lead vocalist of Phazed) play the priest.”

Eyal and team (bottom) with Phazed (top) after wrapping up the Ragnarok video shoot.

On top of his behind the scenes work on set, Eyal is also director of The Big Break, a talent competition, originally started in Colorado in 2012. The competition challenges original unsigned musicians to compete for the opportunity to win professional-grade prizes. Driving the contest is a team of passionate volunteers hoping to offer insight, content, exposure, and community to a group of growing talents. Season 4 wrapped up September of 2023, but there is some uncertainty when it comes to Season 5, “I think, as far as Season 5, there would have to be some major changes on the financial side in order for us to continue with it, and that’s just the sad, hard truth; it comes down to money,” says Eyal. Talks on scaling back on production or even changing The Big Break to a genre-specific talent competition, mainly focusing on punk, rock and metal bands. “There’s a lot of things we can do to cut back costs, but would it still be The Big Break? Ya know, it’s hard to say.”

*This is when I brought up NEPA Scenes, Rich Howells, a former judge for The Big Break, except I said Howell. This led to a 5 minute story that took place during Season 3 when host John Occhipinti continuously kept referring to him as “Rich Howell,” and how this led to John referring to Rich, on stage or in videos, as “Rich Howells with an S for stupendous.” 

Rich, if you’re reading this, you’re stupendous.*

When asked about upcoming projects for Eyal, he told us, “We are in pre-production for a music video for Before the End, who are the winners of Season 4, so that’s exciting.” He also will be producing award winning local screen/playwright, Bill Jeffery’s script, Dead Line, a short horror project.

Besides his own, Eyal cited Camp Punksylvania, NEPA Horror Fest, and Scranton Punk Collective’s “Punk Rock Flea Market and Zinefest” as some of his favorite local events. He also mentioned the “Miss Spooky Scranton'' as he was “lucky enough to win it.” His list of some of his favorite local bands is about a mile long, including Elephants Dancing, Those Clever Foxes,Young Lion, University Drive, The Mesos, Running in Flip-Flops, Fatal Misconception, Old Daggers, Roots in Blue Stone, Look Back Luna, Tedd Hazard, The Boog, Old Kentucky Shark, One Revived, Thanatos, Static in the Attic, Gus The Savage, All Day Special, Brotality, Bullied by the Elderly, Pucker Up!, Midheaven, Radio Riot, Ultraviolent, Phazed, and he is absolutely certain there’s more, but what could someone expect from a guy that runs a band competition? He loves how much hidden and untapped talent there is here, claiming “I’ve discovered so many different bands, so much music, just in a 1-2 hour radius, it’s just great.”  When asked what his favorite thing about the local scene was, he told us that there are “so many entities out there trying to help musicians,” and that sentiment from the director of The Big Break, to us, feels very full circle.

Eyal's “These Are My Top 10 Songs Today, It Could Change Tomorrow” Playlist:

  • Spirit of ‘87 - Rancid

  • Loosen Up - The Potato Pirates

  • A Moment Forever - Volbeat

  • Boot2Boot - Horrorpops

  • The Monster Within - The Brains

  • I Don’t Give A Fuck - Clockwork Psycho

  • There Is an Evil Inside - Calabrese

  • Charge Into the Sun - The Briggs

  • Seventh - Raised Fist

  • Dig Your Own Grave - Woof Woof

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