Friend Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities.
I took the picture for today's feature. My friend Tony Feddeler and I were attending Chicago Pop Culture Con, when we came across our mutual friend James Azrael and his booth for the HSPPA (Horror and ScFi Prop Preservation Association).
James was there promoting the HSPPA and also "It's Just A Game," a movie he co-produced. The movie centered on 4 teenage girls. The movie started with them exchanging scary stories, but it quickly spun off into a paranormal horror thriller.
James invited us to a special premiere, but I was unable to go. Tony did go and gave it a good review.
A couple weeks later, James sent me a private YouTube link for me to watch the movie. I reviewed it at Johngy's Beat Reviews "It's Just A Game" on the Patch.
In short, I really enjoyed the movie. I thought the young actors did a great job with a wide range of emotions. The movie relied on a lot of understated moments or subtlety. Instead of wild slasher moments, it went for a little less visual, but far more effective shots. The overall acting followed the same concept. The young actors stayed within themselves and the script. Instead of trying to steal the scenes, the actors looked even stronger.
"It's Juts A Game" won't win an Oscar, but I think it is destined to become a cult classic. UIt's the type of movie that will grow on you as time passes. I could easily see the actors at future comic cons for years to come.
It was fun hanging with Tony at the convention. I am not even sure where I first met Tony. It had to be either at a wrestling show, comic con or a Bandits game. Any way, I am happy to know Tony.
As the weather starts warming, my thoughts turn to future cons and Bandits games. I am sure I'll see Tony again and we will probably see James promoting again.
Until then, check out the HSPPA on Facebook. You can watch the "It's Just A Game" trailer on YouTube and and follow "It's Jus A Game" on Facebook.
James Azrael and Tony Feddeler in St. Charles, IL-November 2018.