Students Do Great Job in Hot Seat; Pilot Quiz Episode Produced with the Help of University

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Byline: Nicola Weatherall ? 0191 204 3308 ? nicola.weatherall@ncjmedia.co.uk

STUDENTS from the North East have helped to film and produce a pilot for a quiz show being developed for TV.

The 45-minute pilot episode of Hot Seat, which is in development for a major UK broadcaster, was shot at Sunderland University's TV studios.

The students have been involved at every stage of production, from casting and rehearsals to the filming, special effects and editing.

The pilot was directed by Tom Gutteridge, one of the region's most influential TV executives and a Journal columnist, who has won numerous international awards, including an Emmy.

His Newcastle-based production company Standing Stone created the format and decided to approach the university when the UK broadcaster asked them to develop the show for a possible network slot.

Tom Gutteridge, who is chief executive of Standing Stone, said: "This was a perfect opportunity for a collaboration between university and industry.

"Sunderland has terrific facilities and very enthusiastic students and staff, and we added some professional expertise and the format of the show.

"The result was something that was virtually indistinguishable from a broadcast quality production, which is amazing for a first pilot. The broadcaster was seriously impressed."

Students worked with industry experts in design, lighting and editing and acted as camera operators, sound assistants, runners, floor managers and editors.

Teesside-born TV presenter Kirsten O'Brien fronted the pilot, which featured contestants from across the region. …