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I'm Stuart Ashen, AKA "Ashens", a comedian from Norwich in England. About 7 years ago I thought it would be a good idea to start a YouTube channel showcasing terrible electronic devices. Some other people seemed to agree, as they kept watching my videos. As the years went on I broadened my scope to include all manner of cheap products and retro devices.
I've now produced over 240 YouTube videos, which have attracted more than 64 million views and 280,000 subscribers worldwide. I've also written and performed sketch comedy for the BBC, starred in the award-winning web series The Proxy, and I own a chef puppet that I pretend is a failed corporate mascot. I am 36.
I also have a script for a feature film.
I’ve wanted to make a feature film for a long time and I had an idea bubbling away in my head for several years. It's a comedy adventure with a hint of road movie. It's called The Quest For The Game Child and features my insane fictional search for a piece of electronic tat. I'm accompanied by fan favourite Chef Excellence (a human version, not the bloody puppet), and together we try to overcome the odds - and all common sense - to lay our hands on the fabled Game Child, an old handheld video game. But a shadowy figure, aided by my irritating nemesis, wants the game for their own dastardly ends...
The film will be live action with some animated sequences. It's going to be funny, exciting and unique.
There are many excellent people working with me on this.
Much like The A-Team, G.I. Joe and that old Robert Redford movie Sneakers, I've assembled a crack team of specialists who could make this thing a reality. There's a cinematic, talented and experienced crew of professionals willing to use their expertise to make this film a reality and work for far less money than they should be getting paid. They'll use proper high-end equipment - The Quest For The Game Child will look like a cinema release, not something filmed on a webcam by someone looking the wrong way.
The cast will feature talented YouTubers and professional actors, not some blokes I met down the pub. I want to make a great film and quality is key.
This is some of the potential talent.
This is the bit where I ask for money.
Making a film costs loads of money that I don't have. (You probably knew that already.) This is where you come in.
If you've read this far then you already know that this could be the best thing since sliced brilliance. And with your support this film could be enjoyed by thousands and thousands of people.
Here's the bottom line - in order to make The Quest For The Game Child we need £100,000, which translates to approx. $153,000. That's not much to make a feature film but with the people involved we know it's possible.
(And yes, it does seem weird to be doing the campaign in US Dollars instead of Pounds Sterling. But running it in dollars means lower fees and more payment options for donaters.)
But! We don't need to raise $153,000. Because online media company ChannelFlip have already committed $103,000. So we only (Ha! "Only") need to raise $50,000 via crowdfunding to reach the amount we need including indiegogo and Paypal fees. That's just 18 cents per subscriber, if you enjoy meaningless comparisons!
With your help, The Quest For The Game Child can make the jump from page to screen. Have a look at the bar to the right for the perks offered to contibutors. I've tried to offer cool stuff whilst not promising anything that will eat up huge amounts of the budget or take loads of time to produce. Worldwide shipping is included in all perks. (Anyone donating over $1000 also gets access to the special VIP Club, which will provide some extra exclusive freebies.)
Plus! There's a special incentive scheme for all contributors. The person who gets the most referrals will be able to pick an item for me to review. The only rule is that it doesn't cost over £250 ($380) for me to get - as much as I'd like to review a ruby-encrusted aircraft carrier it's just not financially viable...
So pledge some money. Tell your friends about the movie. Join me and together we will make An Excellent Product.
Q & A
Can you describe the movie in the form of X meets Y?
Er... Indiana Jones meets Monty Python And The Holy Grail? With a bit of Bargain Hunt thrown in.
What will the money be spent on?
So much FILMY GOODNESS you won't believe it! All funds will go directly into production costs, here’s just a short list…
- Camera, lighting, grip and sound equipment hire
- Production design
- Visual effects
- Professional sound mix
- Cast and crew fees
- Makeup (I supply my own beard wax)
- Music costs
- Grade at a professional post production house
- Transport and travel costs
There’s plenty more but rest assured any funds we receive will be well spent.
If the total reaches over $50,000 what will you do with the extra?
It will all go to make the movie better by upping the quality and quantity of everything from locations to extras. If we get enough we might even upgrade the on-set catering from 'generic cheese' sandwiches to 'generic cheese and wafer thin ham' sandwiches!
Are you going to take all the pledged money and run away?
No. This is a genuine project to fund the production of a movie, not a dastardly plot.
Will the Ashens YouTube channel go on hiatus during movie production?
No. Whilst obviously I won't be able to produce videos while we're filming, I'm putting together a backlog of videos to upload then.
Will the movie be available to watch online for free?
Hell yes - I'm a YouTuber, so that's super-important to me. It will be available on ChannelFlip's YouTube channel The Multiverse.
Have you worked with ChannelFlip before?
Of course! They manage my YouTube channel and produced The Proxy. I wouldn't accept money from people I didn't know and trust. (Unknown producers might demand I change the movie into a documentary about U2 or something.)
Will you approach any other companies for funding?
Damn straight. This is an ongoing process and we're not holding out hope for huge sums of cash, but we might get free use of a car or something.
Did you write the script all yourself?
Good grief no - I'm a short-form comedy guy, I would have messed the narrative up so badly you'd think it was a Michael Bay movie. It was co-written with director Riyad Barmania, who has experience with story arcs, long-form plotting and all that screenplay jazz.
Will you film on location in Norwich?
Unlikely. It's just too darn expensive to film far out of London as you have to pay for travel & accomodation for the crew. There's a possibility we'll spend a few days in Norfolk with a skeleton crew, though.
Will there be any zombies or vampires in this movie?
I solemnly swear there will be no zombies or vampires in this movie. (I'm sick of them too.)
Will The Silver Skull appear in this movie?
Yes. There is no escape from The Silver Skull! (Unless he is removed from the final edit for reasons of narrative pacing. There is no defence against that.)
Team on This Campaign:
Director of Photography
Producer and Script Editor
Producer & Production Manager
Per Arild Iversen