EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of its debut interactive project The Complex, Cardiff-based producers Good Gate Media are heading into production on Five Dates, a fast-turnaround rom-com project that has been conceptualized and developed during lockdown.
Mandip Gill, who played Doctor Who’s companion in the last two series of the long-running UK show, is joined by Georgia Hirst (Vikings), Marisa Abela (who is a lead in Lena Dunham’s upcoming BBC project Industry), Taheen Modak (co-lead in Maisie Williams’ new Sky show Two Weeks To Live), and Sinead Harnett (UK singer/influencer) in the cast.
The project is an interactive romantic comedy aimed at Millennials which is being built from a script of more than 350 pages. Viewers will be able to guide the choices of those on screen to create their own outcomes.
The plot follows Vinny, a millennial from London who joins a dating app for the first time while living in lockdown. From a choice of five interested women, the player can control who Vinny video dates and how he interacts with their very different personalities.
Producers have shipped iPhones and sound equipment directly to cast, with director and writer Paul Raschid (who helmed The Complex) set to steer filming, which begins on Wednesday, remotely. Further crew working remotely include producer John Giwa-Amu, Head of Production for Good Gate Media Sarah Barker, production and costume designer Chrissie Pegg, DOP Haridas Stewart, and casting director Heather Basten.
Wales Interactive, the video games and interactive publisher, co-developed the project and will handle distribution, as it did on The Complex. It will be released globally on Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo and Steam.
The Complex, which follows the effects of a major bio-weapon attack from inside a London laboratory, was released across digital platforms on March 31, following in the footsteps of similar interactive projects such as Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch and the BAFTA-winning Late Shift. Producers said The Complex outperformed the likes of Late Shift in its first week of paid-for downloads.