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Locally produced independent feature to have Buffalo premiere

Brian Bernys stars in Rob Imbs's Game Changers.
Game On
Locally produced independent feature to have Buffalo premiere

Buffalo filmmaker Rob Imbs is proud to debut his new film Game Changers this weekend at the Eastern Hills Cinema. The independently-financed feature was written, directed, and produced by Imbs, and shot in and around Buffalo using a cast and crew of predominantly local talent.

Game Changers tells the story of two best friends and ex-professional gamers, Brian (Brian Bernys) and Scott (Jacob Albarella). As teenagers they were world-renowned Halo players making six figures a year, but in their mid-20s their gaming days are behind them and they’re stuck working at a struggling IT company. Feeling like a has-been, Brian longs to reclaim his lost gaming glory from the past, despite Scott’s wishes to retire from gaming and move forward into adulthood. The charismatic Brian convinces his life-long friend to join him in recruiting an elite group of young gamers as they attempt to make a successful comeback in the competitive world of gaming, no matter the professional or personal costs.

“The film is really about the idea of growing up versus reclaiming your youth,” explains Imbs, 34, whose inspiration for the film grew out of his life-long passion for gaming. “As part of the Super Mario generation I was fortunate enough to grow up with video games as a big part of my life, but as an adult gamer you have to balance your love of video games with grown-up responsibilities; kids, a job, a mortgage, etcetera.”

In college, Imbs and some friends founded a club for competitive gamers which grew to be the biggest special interest club on campus and attracted players who would go on to become some of the best in the world at their respective games. “I’ve always been really obsessed with competitive gaming; these weren’t kids playing in their parent’s basement, but experts who would make money playing professionally, so the film also grew in part out of my desire to showcase the world of professional gaming.” Despite the seemingly niche subject matter, Game Changers is ultimately about the universal themes of friendship and accepting personal responsibility.

The film is Imbs’ second feature as a writer/director, and was independently financed with a budget of roughly $30,000, generated in part through an Indiegogo campaign as well as his own money and that of friends and family.

“Having made an independent feature previously I knew I wanted to do something much more ambitious for the next project. Due to many advances in camera technology, you can now do a lot more than you once could with a little bit of money,” Imbs observes.

The process of writing, raising production funds, casting, shooting, editing, and preparing to debut Game Changers ultimately took Imbs and his collaborators over three years. “It has proved extremely challenging, but also so much fun.”

Looking into the future, Imbs plans to submit the movie to film festivals across the country, seeking to find distribution for his feature in some form. “Right now I just hope to have the great work of the artists and actors who make up our team be seen on a larger scale.”

Buffalo audiences have a wonderful opportunity to see Game Changers in its first public screening at the Eastern Hills Cinema this Saturday (7/25) at 7pm. Tickets for the nearly sold-out show can be purchased from the film’s website, which also features a trailer.

UPDATE: Following the success of last weekend's sold-out premiere, Game Changers writer/director/producer Rob Imbs and his team are proud to present a special encore showing of Game Changers on Saturday, August 1st, at the Eastern Hills Cinema at 7:00pm for those who missed the premiere. Tickets are available at

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