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Three-part series about indie game development to be shown on Channel 4 in the UK.

Headlight Scotland is pleased to announce the broadcast dates for Crunchtime, the documentary series telling the story of the latest Dare to be Digital competition run by the University of Abertay, Dundee on Channel 4 later this month.

Dare to be Digital takes in students from all over the world to take part in an intensive development cycle, building a game from concept to prototype in ten short weeks. Each year, hundreds of prospective teams apply for the chance to be included in the competition, which is known for leading into top industry jobs. Crunchtime tells the stories of the fifteen teams selected to compete, as they learn about how the reality of game development compares to the dream, and prepare their creations to be judged by the public and industry in the lead-up to the BAFTA Ones to Watch award.

“Crunchtime is a fabulous opportunity to open up the excitement and passion within creative teams making games for a wider audience,” said Paul Durrant of Abertay University. “Abertay University has pioneered the provision of real world work opportunities for students and graduates, and Dare to be Digital has been our way of providing that opportunity and allowing all comers to compete at an international level and showcase their talent."

Channel 4’s Media Project Manager Ian MacKenzie added ”Crunchtime is not only a fantastic series showcase for Dare To Be Digital; it also highlights the world class digital sector of Dundee, a sector that Channel 4 has engaged with on a number of exciting creative digital projects over the last 12 months.”

A three-part series, Crunchtime (Channel 4, Sunday 27 March 0725am) begins as the teams arrive in Abertay’s home city of Dundee, from within the UK and Ireland and further afield, with qualifying teams travelling from China, Sweden, India and the USA. As development begins, the challenges of working in a foreign environment become apparent, and one team realises they may have underestimated the challenge ahead.

In the second programme (Channel 4, Sunday 3 April 0725am), the relationships between the teams come under scrutiny, the balance of technical and artistic skills required nearly scuppers one international team and the absence of women both in the competition and in industry is brought under the spotlight – especially when the organisers invite participants to a traditional Scottish ceilidh.

In the final programme of the series (Channel 4, Sunday 10 April 0725am), the true meaning of crunchtime is witnessed up close, with the teams’ first taste of the final stages of development as they prepare to meet the public players at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s Protoplay event, and teams are selected for the Ones to Watch award at the British Academy Video Games Awards.


Headlight Pictures is an independent TV production company owned by Mike Smith, the senior programme maker best-known for engaging factual entertainment programming, including the groundbreaking and award-winning Big Art Project for Channel 4 and the worldwide hits Jump London and Jump Britain, which have been viewed in more than sixty countries around the globe.

CREDITS Camera - Craig Hastings  Film Editor - Jim Allison Research - Will Templeton

Executive Producer Mike Smith Produced and Directed by Merle Currie

CONTACT will.templeton@headlight-pictures.com +44 (0) 7731 431 321  

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