Blogs

July 2017

CMC 2017: Report – IP 360

Posted on: Wednesday 05 July 2017 3:40pm

This session used real-world case studies to explore why some IP succeeds and some does not in today's 360 landscape. By Guest Blogger Craig Hill Takeaway: There is no one 'magic bullet'; success in 360 comes from attention to detail across a wide range of disciplines including planning, finance, asset management, audience research, platform understanding, development timelines A deep understanding of the child's view of the brand, the storyline and characters is essential to be able to bring them to life in different ways on each platform, playing to the strengths of each It is important to have a deep understanding of children's play patterns and styles of interaction, and use each platform in the right way to match them…

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CMC 2017: Report – Can We Fix It?

Posted on: Wednesday 05 July 2017 3:06pm by Tyler McRae

Debating the issues surrounding online child safety has never been more important. Giles Dilnot spearheaded this important panel discussion, with the aid of in-house social media app Slido to bring audience comments and feedback into the equation  Takeaway: Tech conglomerates need to be more involved in safety, despite it not being profitable. A digital charter is necessary but needs great development to work effectively Educating parents will make a child’s online experience better Detail: Digital literacy can be just as important as some of the core school subjects such as Maths and English to help a child gain key skills. Baroness Beeban Kidron, Founder, 5Rights, discussed the introduction of a digital charter that should include tailored design standards around content, activity, and algorithmic…

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CMC 2017: Report – Are We Open?

Posted on: Wednesday 05 July 2017 12:25pm by Gabrielle Smith

The full session is available here as a video and as a podcast: Prof. Jeanette Steemers moderated this morning’s session dedicated to covering many of the policy issues facing children’s television today, in a ‘Question Time’ panel format – asking how is the industry open for ideas, challenges and potential problems within the current climate? Takeaway: Policy, budget and funding will impact the creative industries in short and long term Securing terms of trade suitable for everyone should be an industry priority UK is a powerhouse of creative talent, so thought should be given to how we protect and nurture it now and in future Detail: Leading the panel’s discussion, Prof. Jeannette Steemers reminded delegates of regulator Ofcom’s upcoming consultation…

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CMC 2017: Report – Tuesday Workshop: Pitch Perfect

Posted on: Wednesday 05 July 2017 11:44am by Lyndsey Smith

In this workshop a panel of industry experts were on hand to share their experiences of pitching and provide helpful tips on how to pitch and develop skills. Each member of the panel had unique experiences they were able to bring forward to the session. Takeaway It all starts with the pitch and the characters – know your story Flexiblity of ideas, allowing them to be tailored for different platforms Don’t fixate on the one project that you think is going to be your golden ticket. Mickey Rogers, Director, MRM inc., began by sharing her knowledge with the delegates through a number of useful points and tips beginning with: “One of the most important things about pitching is authenticity”. She gave…

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CMC 2017: Report – First Timers Reception

Posted on: Wednesday 05 July 2017 10:27am by Lucy Heavens

This event, hosted by Disney, was an opportunity for first timers to mingle with each other and CMC veterans. CMC debutant and Guest Blogger Lucy Heavens dived right in. Takeaways: Friendliness! The children's media industry isn’t your run-of-the-mill media industry; these people are nice! People want to chat – they’re here to chat, so use this opportunity to introduce yourself. Go to as many sessions as you can; they are all full of nuggets that could prove invaluable to your work. Detail: After a pretty intense trial by fire this morning at the International Exchange (not for the faint-hearted), and a great ‘Pitch Perfect’ session full of really solid advice, the day has been intense and interesting. I topped it…

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CMC 2017: Report – Opening Keynote

Posted on: Wednesday 05 July 2017 2:16am by Simon Bor

The full session is available here as a video and as a podcast: Broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake introduced the two keynote speakers from BBC, James Purnell, Director of BBC Radio & Education, and Alice Webb, Director of BBC Children’s and Director of BBC North, to discuss the details of the BBC’s increase in children’s spending announced today. Takeaways: ​BBC announces additional £34m spend on children’s content over next three years. CBeebies and CBBC content and channels remain in place though fewer and bigger will become the watchwords. The new money will mainly be used for digital developments, greater interactivity and new content for 12-16s. A key development will be personalisation of the iPlayer, allowing older children and young teens to receive…

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CMC 2017: Preview: Opening the Vault

Posted on: Tuesday 04 July 2017 11:45pm by Rosemary Klein

Rosemary Klein, session producer for Opening the Vault, looks at how to get your hands on more money for your projects – what’s not to like? Thursday 6th July, 9.30am, in Cinema 4  Money, money, money, MONEY… makes the world go round (well that and cosmic forces). But it certainly is the fuel to launch and maintain children’s media projects and business. Are sources of financing your children’s media venture more or less open in 2017? Are you looking for cash in all the wrong places? Or are you simply still awake from the party the night before and need a quiet place to grab a kip? Shake off the CMC party hang over, grab a strong coffee and regenerate…

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CMC 2017: Report – Tuesday Workshop: Get Social

Posted on: Tuesday 04 July 2017 10:02pm by Kerry Drewery

This session discussed how to make a brand successful on social media – looking at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube – followed by hands-on experience of how to create social media content. Takeaways Think about where your brand fits. Make your brand voice authentic. Make sure what you post fits with what your audience want and what your themes are. The session first discussed using social media to reach and grow your audience, and was chaired by Moderator/Producer Nellie McQuinn, from Grass Roots Media. The panel: Rebecca Frankel, Head of Distribution and Partners at Little Dot Studios. Anna Lewis, Co-founder of branding and marketing agency, Marsden/Mee. Luisa Sanders from Aardman Animations. Harriet Shearsmith is the digital influencer behind Toby & Roo. Lisa…

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CMC 2017: Report – Tuesday Workshop: Open to Virtual?

Posted on: Tuesday 04 July 2017 5:37pm by Tyler McRae

A hands- and head-sets-on workshop on getting to grips with the world of virtual – and how to use it to create good content. Takeaway: Creative storytelling is in high demand for the VR industry. Small techniques from non-creative sectors are crucial in immersive design. The market for children’s virtual reality is in high demand. Detail: Moderators Ray Maguire and Alison Norrington expressed from the get-go that VR is an ever-growing technology. Brands like Playstation, Oculus and HTC are funding further development of stereoscopic cameras and pinpointing tracking technology. In order to become a successful virtual reality company, Ray explained how a typical business model should base itself around two areas: price of equipment, and the output of content and…

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CMC 2017: Report – Playground

Posted on: Tuesday 04 July 2017 4:16pm by Gabrielle Smith

and Catherine Trewavas Based at Cantor Gallery, the Playground is open to all. An interactive digital art exhibition featuring cutting edge digital technology – mixing play and interaction for children (and big kids too)! Games, apps, toys and even VR to immerse oneself in. Takeaways Projects focused on enhancing digital skills and encouraging emotional development. Games to promote creative thinking and problem solving. Explore paper craft cityscape through interactive 360 virtual reality headset. With free admission to all, the Playground is a component of the Children’s Media Conference you won’t want to miss. Carefully curated to showcase some of the UK’s leading artists, innovators and developers – this exhibition is interactive digital art that will spark your imagination. With so much…

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CMC 2017: Preview: Engineering Change

Posted on: Tuesday 04 July 2017 10:57am by Esther Kaufmann

Esther Kaufmann, session producer for Engineering Change, on why opening up STEM careers to girls is still a pressing social issue – and what we can do to help. Thursday 6th July, 2pm, in the HUBS Common Room  Let's face an ugly truth: most young girls struggle to name even a single female engineer. Only 3 in 500 girls at 11 go on to study anything technical at university, and less than 9% of the UK engineering workforce are women. The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2012 predicted that we needed 1.5m more STEM Professionals by 2020, and over 60% of the current UK school population will do jobs that currently do not exist – mostly in the STEM sector. Don't we have to prepare our kids…

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June 2017

CMC 2017: Preview: Best Friends Forever?

Posted on: Friday 30 June 2017 3:46pm by Viola Gabrielli

 Viola Gabrielli, session producer on Best Friends Forever? asks 'can broadcasters and funders work together to finance children’s features films?' Let’s talk about it...   At 12.45 pm Thursday 6 July, in the Hubs Common Room For more years than we like to remember, Kathy Loizou (Director of CMC) and I have been discussing children’s feature film production. Most of the time we wonder why the UK has such a problem in producing feature films for children – particularly live-action of different genres. It seems that other European countries that face the same obstacles do much better. Moreover, they've been able to establish and maintain a special focus on production for the young generation. For most countries in Europe a diversified and…

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CMC 2017: Preview: IP 360

Posted on: Friday 30 June 2017 1:13pm by Lucy Gill

Lucy Gill, kids app and User Experience (UX) specialist is the session producer for IP 360. There she talks about the challenges of creating a 360 brand in the children’s space. Like many mothers, I can map my son’s early years through his brand affiliations. From 'Fireman Sam' to 'Octonauts' to a world of superheros, our house has filled with toys, books, magazines, stationery, really anything ‘on brand’ that he could get his hands on. Accompanied, of course, by an obsessive desire to watch the show, play the games etc etc. I vividly remember having to wash my son’s one Fireman Sam plate after every meal for several weeks - at 18 months he simply wouldn’t eat off anything else! In…

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CMC 2017: Preview: Focus on Canada.  UK/Canada co-productions – the perfect match?

Posted on: Friday 30 June 2017 12:54pm by Jeff Norton

Jeff Norton, moderator of the CMC 2017 Focus on Canada session, and a Canadian in London, tells us what to expect from our friends across the pond...   As Canada celebrates its historic 150th anniversary, there much to cheer about with respect to its success in kids' TV. Canada, a country with a population roughly half of the UK, has long punched above its weight in children’s television. Historically, the combination of tax credits, government incentives, and independent funds (created in the wake of various M&A activity in the sector) have enabled creators, producers, and broadcasters to assemble a large percentage of a show’s budget out of Canada. The country’s globetrotting Minister for Heritage, Melanie Joly, is focused on urging Canadian…

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CMC 2017: Preview: Growing and Making Money

Posted on: Wednesday 28 June 2017 10:49am by Anttu Harlin

Gigglebug Entertainment co-founder and CEO Anttu Harlin (session producer for Beyond Survival: Growing your Business and Making Money) talks about getting comfortable with money. Let’s get it out in the open. Money. In the kids' business, where does the money flow from and who gets it?  Money is a topic that's shrouded in far too much mystery and we're terrified to talk about frankly. That needs to change. If producing is about enabling great content, than being a producer in 2017 means being an entrepreneur. It’s time for more producers and creatives to get entrepreneurial.  Why is money so scary? It need not be. Content people and money people just need to get out of their comfort zones and talk to…

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CMC 2017: What has the CMC Ever Done… for Sheffield Kids?

Posted on: Tuesday 20 June 2017 1:40am by Emma Cooper

Emma Cooper, CMC Advisory Committee member asks... Which for a Children's Media Conference that has happened in Sheffield every year for the last 14 years is a very good question.  As a Sheffield resident and someone who works in children’s media I’ve gained a huge amount from CMC being on my home turf. Not just sleeping in my own bed and seeing my own children while attending a conference, but also making international connections,  learning more about making media for children, and growing and strengthening my career - from outside the M25. A thousand or more delegates coming to the city to talk business and spend their hard earned money at our bars restaurants and hotels has a definite benefit…

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CMC 2017: Introducing…. Monica Murthy – DIT New York

Posted on: Monday 12 June 2017 12:26am

In the first of our new series, CMC guests, delegates and contributors introduce themselves and why they re coming to Sheffield in July. Some of you already know me, but my hope is that by the end of CMC 2017, every delegate will know my name. My name is Monica Murthy, and I work for the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT – formerly known as UKTI), out of the British Consulate-General in New York. A little bit about me: I grew up in the US in the New York area, but eventually headed south to Washington DC where I worked for various non-profits and think tanks for 4 years before deciding to head back to New York. I’m a…

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May 2017

CMC 2017: An Offer You Can’t Refuse…

Posted on: Monday 08 May 2017 3:44pm

The origins of CMC 2017's interstitial animations are revealed in Spinning Clock's Matt Buck's latest contribution to our occasional series: "What Has the CMC Ever Done for me?" Our first interaction with CMC was the summer conference in Sheffield in 2016. It's been a whirlwind ever since. Having met Greg Childs and talked through what our agency gets up to, he has been an invaluable voice of wisdom on the children’s media climate. Our involvement is set to jump up a few notches when we complete this year’s interstitials that open every session and Keynote at this year's CMC.  How did this happen? It’s all a bit of a blur... It all started with an impromptu conversation with Greg in the Children’s Hub…

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April 2017

CMC 2017: China on my Mind

Posted on: Monday 03 April 2017 11:25am

Helen Howells, Joint MD of Hoho Entertainment reveals her ambitions for working in the Chinese market and how she plans to get there. I sighed heavily and asked myself: “Was it really going to be worth it?” Here I was desperately shovelling coins into a machine and pressing buttons manically trying to print out yet another letter before the computer and indeed the ’booth” would say ‘no’ again at 3.00 p.m. at which point I would have to go home and come back in the morning and take another number! What was I up to? Well quite simply (or not as it turns out) trying to apply for a visa at the Chinese Visa Centre. This was the 3rd (yes 3rd)…

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March 2017

CMC Rights Exchange @LBF 2017: Report – Page to Screen: Making the Jump, and Back Again

Posted on: Friday 17 March 2017 4:56pm by Simon Bor

Greg Childs introduced a special guest, illustrator and writer, Nick Butterworth, to talk on the process of translating published work to screen… and back to print again. Takeaways It’s about characters and the relationships between them. Voice actors are vital - his included Joanna Page (Gavin and Stacey) as a Welsh alien. Is animation beastly? ‘From Page to screen…’ the PowerPoint slide read at the beginning of the talk. Based on one of his books, Nick’s project 'QPootle5' is about a little alien, who, not just content to come to Earth, has come from page to screen on CBeebies. First, Nick gave us an outline of his career to date, from his undistinguished schooling, his first jobs as a compositor…

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CMC Rights Exchange @LBF 2017: Report – Market and Build: How New Voices and New Properties are Guided to Market Success

Posted on: Friday 17 March 2017 4:36pm by Helen Dugdale

The session took the audience through a whistle stop tour of the steps that take place from a book being commissioned by a first-time writer, to acquisition stage to the marketing and PR teams getting involved. Moderator John Lomas-Bullivant Speakers Katy Cattell – Hachette Children’s Group Lucy Upton – Hachette Children’s Group Ruth Tinham – Kings Road Publishing Rebecca McNally– Bloomsbury Children’s Books   Takeaways Writers need to ensure they send the manuscript to the correct person at the publishing house and ideally should use an agent. Don’t second guess the market, write what excites you. First time writers should read the Writers and Artists year book. First time authors don’t need to be showbizzy, just nice people.   Winning…

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CMC Rights Exchange @LBF 2017: Report – Rebels and Empires: The Future of British Comics

Posted on: Friday 17 March 2017 4:07pm by Simon Bor

With a panel that represented some of the best of British comics from the past 80 years, moderator, Rich Johnston (from the comic review website, Bleeding Cool), asked, what is the future for British comics? Takeaways The traditional news-stand is a challenging environment for British comics up against licensed product. Bookshops, comic shops and the Internet are giving children access to new and classic British comics. Beano’s free app has resulted in sales increases for digital and print versions of the comic. Speakers Championing new British comics was Tom Fickling. The Phoenix is home to creator led strips, it gets kids reading and carries no ads. Kieron Gillen is a British based comic book writer for US based companies. Representing classic…

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CMC Rights Exchange @LBF 2017: Report – Margins and Merchandise: What has Licensing Ever Done for Us?

Posted on: Friday 17 March 2017 1:18am

Speakers Moderator: Tim Collins (The Brand Director) Speakers: Susan Bolsover (Penguin Random House) Anna Hewitt (Spin Master Toys) Katie Price (Hachette Children’s Group) Ingrid Selberg (Consultant) Objectives Why children’s publishers need to understand the wider opportunities available within the world of licensing. Expert panellists discussing both the acquisition and exploitation of IP (Intellectual Property) and tips on how best to navigate the wider licensing world. 360º branding – defining and understand what is meant by the term. The first key point was that in terms of trade association statistics, publishing is still very much in growth, with most categories still healthy. Fiction enjoyed the biggest percentage increase largely thanks to authors such as JK Rowling, David Walliams, Jeff Kinney and…

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CMC Rights Exchange @LBF 2017: Report – Brexit Late Breakfast: the future of children’s media in light of Brexit

Posted on: Thursday 16 March 2017 11:18pm

Takeaways: The need for clarification The affect on people and the workforce Opportunities through emerging markets   Chaired by: Nigel Roby, Owner and Chief Executive of The Bookseller, Speakers: Tim Collins MD, The Brand Director Oli Hyatt Chair, Animation UK Belinda Rasmussen Publisher of Macmillan Children's Books Rosina Robson Head of Nations and Children's - the Producers Alliance for Cinema and TV (PACT) Robert Taylor President, the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) The panel discussed the positives and negatives facing a post-Brexit UKRobert started the discussion stating that the FSE, which represents more than 20,000 European screenwriters both inside and outside the EU, has spent a lot of time lobbying for authors' rights in Brussels; the most recent success being a new directive giving creatives fairer…

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February 2017

It’s Super!

Posted on: Thursday 09 February 2017 2:26am

Hildri Gulliksen is Head of NRK Super, the public channel and VOD service for children in Norway. Members of NRK Super's managing group have participated in CMC three times.  CMC has been a great place to learn how the broad spectrum of the UK kids' media businesses think about children's needs in the digital age. We've enjoyed sessions about children's digital competence, the rapid change in how they consume content, child psychology and stages in their development. The research sessions have been very helpful in shaping our own strategies. It has also been inspiring to listen to young entrepreneurs and the other Changemakers. The CMC is a nice, informal conference where it's been easy to meet and connect with international colleagues.…

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January 2017

UK@Kidscreen 2017: UK@Kidscreen – Miami Info

Posted on: Friday 20 January 2017 12:15pm

Jose Luis Martinez is Executive Producer at Atomic Digital Media, a Miami-based  company, founded in 2016, which will produce, acquire and license content, including programming for a new children’s digital platform scheduled to launch in Q2 of 2017.  Here he shares everything delegates to Kidscreen need to know about his home town... Dear UK@KIDSCREEN Delegates: As you prepare to embark on this year’s journey to the always changing, always unpredictable place we call home, your friends at Atomic Digital Media would love to offer some basic info on what to do, where to go, and what to eat during your visit to Miami. We know your time is limited, as you are all making great deals happen and meeting other talented folks, so…

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November 2016

What did we do for Animal Fu?

Posted on: Thursday 24 November 2016 1:03pm

In another of our series "What has the CMC ever done for me?" Linda Hall creator of Kids' fitness programme 'Animal Fu' explains how the CMC helped her get fit for purpose and active in the kids' media space. What has the CMC done for me? As it happens, the CMC helped me to put into motion just about everything I could have dreamed of. Networking in an industry I knew very little about was pretty daunting until I saw the CMC website and who'd be attending. After that it was an easy decision to take the plunge. It was clear the CMC is about uniting everyone involved in developing great content for kids. It was an ideal platform for networking…

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Manimation 2016: Report – Panel 5: Training and Development – New Initiatives, New Entrants

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 5:38pm by Helen Dugdale

Speakers: Belinda Peach Peachy Abigail Fairhurst, Brown Bag Films Steve Swanborough, Freelance animator, motion designer and editor Praveen Zacharias, Brown Bag Films, Rose Marley, Sharp Futures Helen Brunsdon, Creative Skillset Adrian Healey, The Manchester Growth Company Takeaway: Getting ahead in the industry is about hard work, dedication and work experience, whether that’s in relevant positions or simply by improving your social skills working in Costa Coffee. Detail: The panel looked at: The changes to the apprenticeship schemes coming in April 2017 and what will be expected of businesses. Why universities and industry need to work together more. How the transition from education to work can be improved The beauty of growing and nurturing apprentices and watching individuals grow and flourish as…

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Manimation 2016: Report – Panel 3: Brave New Worlds

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 5:28pm by Helen Dugdale

Speakers: Ben Mills, Desk Dragons Jonathan Newth  Focal Point VR Nick Pittom, Fire Panda David Sproxton, Aardman Animations and member of BAFTA VR Advisory Board Takeaway: VR and AR technology is still developing, meaning there will be big changes in the next 5-10 years – but for now the industry and users are yet to be convinced about the type of controls and their relevance in the whole VR experience. Detail: The panel discussed how it’s an exciting time to be working in and involved with VR and AR, and how the industry is all still learning about what’s possible, what works and what doesn’t. They talked about how VR has the potential to do great things in education, such…

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Manimation 2016: Report – Panel 2: Creative Snapshot with the BBC

Posted on: Thursday 17 November 2016 5:21pm by Helen Dugdale

Speakers Westley Wood, CITV (moderator) Sarah Legg, CBeebies Jo Allen, CBBC Tim Searle, CBBC Productions Takeaway: Like cream, the best ideas always rise to the top! Spend time watching the channels to see what we’re doing and if you have anything different to offer. CBBC is on the hunt for a strong female-led series for 6-8 year olds, not pink princesses. The BBC still has lot of hope for kid’s content after Brexit – it will affect producers rather than the channel. Detail: Areas of discussion from the panellists included: Sarah Legg On the whole, CBeebies is looking for new ways to inspire and educate – big ideas for little people, such as 'Messy Goes to Okido', something that’s fresh,…

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