STUDENTS were in the hot seat as they helped to produce and develop a TV quiz show pilot.
The Sunderland University undergraduates helped to create the pilot of quiz show Hot Seat for top North East production company Standing Stone.
The 45-minute episode is being developed for a UK broadcaster and was shot in the university TV studios at the David Puttman Media Centre on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus on the banks of the River Wear.
Students were involved in every stage of the production, from casting to the filming and editing.
Michael Gorse, 19, a broadcast media production student, worked as a runner on the production and came up with ideas to change aspects of the show, which is presented by TV host Kirsten O’Brien.
He said: “This has been a great experience for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
“It’s my first media placement, but I have already been in touch with my tutors and placement co-ordinators about doing more work.
“This can only help my dream, which is to work in live TV.”
The pilot was directed by regional TV executive Tom Gutteridge, who has won awards for his directing and producing skills, including an Emmy.
Tom’s production company, Standing Stone, created the TV show and approached the university when the broadcaster asked them to develop the show.
He 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.”
He added: “Unfortunately, I can’t say anything about the programme as the format is under wraps, but what I can say is that it is an entertainment show with a new game show format, and that is why the production company were so impressed.”
Jo Gutteridge, Standing Stone’s senior vice-president of development, said: “The students and staff were absolutely amazing and supportive.
“We not only had students from the university film and TV courses but also from interior design courses, who worked with our professional scenic artists to finish the set in a matter of days.”
Jason Legget, head of media convergence at the university, said: “I think the willingness of the university to work with industry and how positive and receptive our students are, is key to why companies seek us out in the first place and work with us on a regular basis.”