Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild Panel at MCM Manchester Comic Con

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In internet terms Ashens is old school. Really old school. During his panel he recalled sharing WMV files through email because YouTube didn’t exist yet. But when YouTube finally came around to existing (a glorious time) Ashens was one of the first to jump on board. His strange brand of reviews became such a huge hit that he’s still making them today. People just couldn’t get enough of his comedic reviews of Poundland tat and unusual food.

ashensAt the MCM Manchester Comic Con Ashens and his team sat in front of a packed theatre to answer questions about their movie, Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild. Released last year on YouTube and this year on Blu-ray and DVD, the movie has been a big hit. You can read our review of it here. Joining Stuart Ashen was Riyad Barmania, the movie’s director, co-star Dan Tomlinson and guest stars Robert Llewellyn and Warwick Davis.

Riyad and Ashens both expressed their gratitude towards the fans for the success of the crowd-funding project that allowed them to film something they could really be proud of. Riyad especially said how he wanted something that held up as a good movie in general and not just a good movie “for YouTube.”

They were also thankful to Robert Llewellyn and Warwick Davis for their support with Ashens, still in a state of awe at the fact he got to work with his personal heroes.

“Sounds a bit geeky but yeah, working with Robert and Warwick was pretty good. One of the weirdest things actually, I mean Warwick is sort of (a) big hero from childhood. I meet him and two minutes later I’m cradling him in my arms on some astro-turf. It’s not something I thought would be happening this year.” – Stuart Ashen.

Warwick himself seemed especially pleased to have been invited on to the project. He told the audience how he is a big fan of smaller creative projects, especially when he can see that it’s an idea with big potential. And Robert was also fascinated by the project and how media has evolved to a place where people are free to work on their own things.

The filming of the movie sounded like a real challenge with the whole film shot in one week and Ashens being in almost every scene. And then they only had Robert and Warwick for one day. Dan Tomlinson revealed the toll the project took on Ashens towards the end, even making him ill for a short time. But all of them could agree, their hard work was well rewarded.

A lot of the questions for Ashens were people curious about the things he had reviewed. Everyone seemed particularly fascinated by an episode where he reviewed strange flavours of Jelly Beans. Although “strange” is perhaps putting it mildly with flavours like “dog food” and “vomit”. At the mention of “wet wipes” Robert Llewellyn laughed and said, “All yer favourites!”

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As the panel was coming to an end someone asked Ashens about the famous sofa, as seen in his reviews. Originally he was given it by his dad on “the grounds it was more rot than sofa.” And after giving chunks of fabrics to backers of the movie, Ashens explained that it might be on the way out…

It was fascinating to hear stories from the GameChild movie and the Ashens reviews. While he might have started out making videos to share between 15 people, Ashens proved he’s excellent at addressing the bigger crowds. There’s something really inspiring about this sort of project too. It makes you want to pick up a camera and go make your own projects!


Photos by Daniel Morgan

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