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CMC and Gender Diversity

Posted on: Monday 02 July 2018 6:02pm by Olivia Dickinson

Olivia Dickinson on CMC and Gender Diversity I’ve been involved with the CMC for over five years and this year I’m exec producing two panels: Learning – What’s Happening?and Learning What’s Next?  One of my key concerns is the visible representation of women and women’s voices in the learning and kids’ content industry in general and at the CMC itself. This year the CMC is nearly there with a balance of men and women: of the Changemakers 7 are women, 5 are men; there are 22 women moderators and 26 men; there are 106 women speakers and 118 men. But:…

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Preview: Is the internet really broken?

Posted on: Tuesday 03 July 2018 2:44pm by Nick Crossland

Wednesday 4th July 2018, 14:10 - 15:10 Showroom Cinema 2 Last year James Brindle wrote an article “Something is wrong on the internet", pointing out some uncomfortable examples of online algorithms going awry. The part that gained most attention highlighted the disturbing trend of thousands of YouTube videos containing favourite kids characters in inappropriate, disturbing and dangerous situations. Parents, producers and the tabloid press were understandably up-in-arms about how this could have happened. But was this a one-off error; an out-of-control algorithm; or was it symbolic of something more fundamental being amiss not on the YouTube platform, but with the…

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Preview: It’s Alive!

Posted on: Tuesday 03 July 2018 3:31pm by Lucy Gill

Wednesday 4th July 2018, 11:00 - 12:00 HUBS Common Room Artificial Intelligence – has it hit your radar yet? If not, it really should have! The opportunities are endless, exciting and inspiring. It’s definitely time to engage. I have to admit that until recently I’d really given Artificial Intelligence (AI) very little thought beyond the world of Sci-Fi movies. However, I don’t know about you, but in the last few months it just keeps cropping up, whether it was Alexa becoming increasingly commonplace or news of auto-generated inappropriate kids YouTube videos. It wasn’t just in techy spheres either, even my…

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Preview: Podcasts - The New Big Thing

Posted on: Tuesday 03 July 2018 3:26pm by Kate Ockenden

Thursday 05 July 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm HUBS The Stage Do you listen to podcasts? If so, you are definitely not alone. Podcasts are perfectly packaged parcels of audio covering a range of subjects and genres, that you can listen to whenever you like and wherever you like. They can be consumed wherever you go - a world of on-demand audio that many of us are falling in love with.  The upward trend for podcast listening is now being passed to our children, who are happily absorbing podcasts on car journeys, as part of daily school life, or sitting at the kitchen table…

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Preview: The F Word

Posted on: Friday 29 June 2018 4:41pm by Ed Moline

Failure: The Secret Ingredient Of Success, 2:10 Thursday 5 July - Showroom Cinema 3 Netflix was once struggling so much that a buy-out by Blockbuster seemed like the best option. Now it is reported to be worth more than Disney. Love Island was axed in 2006, 9 years later it came back to be one of the biggest shows in British broadcasting. And in 2013, Meghan Markle was losing at love having just divorced. It’s safe to say she’s bounced back on that front. Often failure is the prelude to a bigger success and yet instead of embracing it as part…

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Preview: The Making of ‘Gudrun: The Viking Princess’

Posted on: Friday 29 June 2018 2:24pm by Mick Cooke

Mick Cooke from Children's Media Network Scotland explains their choice of creative case study for CMC 2018 Q: How do you turn hundreds of hours of natural history footage into an award winning preschool series? A: Well you could start by adding a nine year old princess and 25 vikings… Such was the ingenious tactic employed by Maramedia when creating Gudrun: The Viking Princess for CBeebies. Gudrun…is Maramedia’s first foray into children’s media. The company are better known for producing natural history programmes featuring the talents of David Attenborough and Ewan McGregor. This transition to kids’ media was made easier by bringing…

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Preview: What A Relief!

Posted on: Friday 29 June 2018 5:16pm by Chris Halliday

Creative Industry Tax Reliefs, have you heard of them? If not, you should’ve! The tax reliefs are easy and accessible, as well as being available to any size of project. The tax reliefs have been a welcome and successful incentive to bolster the children’s creative sector, helping to make the UK competitive in an international market and an attractive place to do business. As funding remains a tough battle to get hold of within the creative industries, the UK’s tax reliefs are a key source of finance to put into your programme’s budget. In this panel session on Wednesday 4 July (14:00…

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Report - Accessibility – What’s Next?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 1:34am by Gabrielle Smith

Changemaker and activist Heather Lacey delivered a poignant introduction to today’s session on accessibility and what it means to campaign for inclusivity within professional media industries. Through highlighting some of her own experience, Heather reinforces the key message that in ‘seeing a representation of yourself- your true self is so incredibly validating, that you matter, that you are worthy.’ Takeaway: Provision of access to impaired audiences should be considered from inception, and not as a bolt-on after production. Making content alongside creative and dynamic captioning, subtitling and audio description an interactive process with added agency given to performer. Bringing something…

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Report - Bagging a Book Deal

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 3:08pm by Joseph Channon

Do you have a brand or license that you believe is perfect for a children's book? Find out what publishers are really looking for from our expert panel. Takeaway: • Whilst an IP can be attractive to publishers due to the promise of a built-in audience, the key thing that appeals is a passionate pitch and a strong polished idea. • A style guide will be essential in showing how your IP can translate into a book. • Approximately 15% of published material in a year will be a licensed product. Detail: John Lomas-Bullivant (Kickback Media) introduced a panel from…

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Report - Behind the Screens at YouTube Kids

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 4:01pm

Before the session we heard from changemaker, 19 year old Zoë Daniel - a Guardian and Reuters Journalist who is also a freelance filmmaker and broadcaster. Zoë’s story of how she has built a career in the media was inspirational and shows how given the right opportunities, talent will shine. The challenge is how to encourage individuals of all backgrounds to be part of the media both in front and behind the camera.  Takeaway: YouTube App now has over 70 billion views and 11 million active weekly users. The App is in 37 countries and 8 languages. Parental controls are…

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Report - Big Lessons from Niche Memes

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:22am

The ever-changing landscape is evolving at such a pace that companies are constantly working to keep up with demand and expectations of the audience. Takeaway: Kids still like the same things they liked 25 years ago - it's the delivery mechanism that has changed. Kids are cherry picking the best bits and tailoring to their needs. Not all content is universal, one size does not fit all. Detail: After an inspiring film and presentation from Changemaker Jemima Browning, moderator Nick Fisher, co-founder of Hook Research, kicked of the session asking how brands can keep up with trends in terms of…

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Report - Birthday Brands

Posted on: Friday 06 July 2018 10:13pm by Gabrielle Smith

Takeaway: Enjoyable and recognisable brands are usually those that are also trusted by parents. It is important to constantly strive for new ways to make audiences laugh and do appropriate market research to find out what children today want. Brands that stand the test of time are ones that can keep using their characters but are willing to be contemporary. Detail: Today’s panel invited conversation and of course, a celebration of three British brands that are famous for their longevity on and off screen. For decades, iconic characters like Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, the Beano Studios and Sooty…

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Report - Building An Audience - What's Next?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 10:35pm

Takeaway: There is a consolidation of the average number of devices in households. Average number of smart phones means children “own” one more device than they did three years ago. Total time watching videos is up. Children are still watching linear and doing so on TV, smart phones and tablets. Video content consumed is different depending on the device on which that content is being consumed. Detail: The panel for this session comprised of Adam Woodgate from Dubit Trends, Sarah Muller VP Children and Youth at Sony Pictures Television and Simon Ragoonanan Brand and Communication at Hopster. Adam gave a…

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Report - CMC SkillBuilder: Building a Bible

Posted on: Tuesday 03 July 2018 11:24pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaway: ·     The best bibles don’t tease the broadcaster, they show that you can do the job. ·     Collaboration is about finding people who understand your style. ·     The most effective pitchers are magicians - they have passion, they have vision for the pipeline and most importantly they are adaptable. Detail: Alison Norrington, CEO of Story Central, kicked off the session on Building a Bible with a challenge to all workshop attendees. Think of your audience in terms of the literary archetype rather than the industry standard metric of age. Who is the hero? The trickster? The wise person in and viewing your…

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Report - CMC SkillBuilder: Building a Pitch

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 12:30am by Tom Jordan

An esteemed panel of experts guided delegates through the daunting world of pitching, putting would-be pitchers through their paces in a round-table format and offering invaluable advice from a diverse range of industry sectors. Takeaway: ·     A good pitch is all in the preparation. ·     Pitching is about your idea, but it is also about you and the conversations that might develop. ·     Short is sweet – commissioners can sit through more pitches in a fortnight than you are likely to give in a lifetime.  Detail: They said this session would be ‘intensive’  – and they weren’t joking! Over the course of four…

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Report - Commissioner Conversations - BBC

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 3:48pm

This session invited key speakers from the BBC to reveal their strategy for the future and how the CMC audience can engage with them through pitching, development and production of content across all platforms. Takeaway: • The ‘Fewer, Bigger, Better’ strategy will provide focus for priority brands, but not at the expense of new content across all genres and platforms. • There are opportunities to pitch for new content for 13-16 year olds which will sit on BBC iPlayer. • Across CBeebies and CBBC there are opportunities to pitch for drama, as well as games and short form content for…

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Report - Commissioner Conversations: Branded Content

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 9:44pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaway: Do your brand homework. New IP has to fit with the brand voice to make an impact. Think more kid - qualitative child research is at the forefront of Beano Studios.  CMC Changemaker Femi Owolade-Coombes said it best: the future is inclusive and collaborative. Detail: Moderator, TV presenter Nigel Clarke, kick-started the conversation asking his panel about the opportunities for content creation. Hasbro’s Finn Arnesen seeks IP internally and externally that fits a global audience and has strong merchandise potential. The other end of the spectrum is Gina Costelloe with Lego. Lego’s content focus for the last ten years serves…

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Report - Commissioner Conversations: Disney and Sony

Posted on: Friday 06 July 2018 9:46pm

The session began with a presentation by changemaker Holly Churches, a post production coordinator working on Thomas and Friends. Holly works with charity KEYPR (Kids Entertainment Professionals for Young Refugees), raising money for children’s charity UNICEF. Takeaways: The commissioners and acquisitions teams are keen to hear about great content and have open door policies The main focus is on animation but commissioners are open to live action content. Detail: Sarah Muller from Sony was the first speak at the session, discussing her new role at Sony, running their three channels – Tiny Pop, Pop and Pop Max. Sarah explained that…

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Report - Commissioner Conversations: Nickelodeon and Turner

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 9:25pm

In a session sponsored by A Productions, the ‘big cheeses’ of animation from Nickelodeon and Tuner got together to discuss how to get your project on their desks, and once it’s there, what it takes to seal the deal.  Takeaway: Nickelodeon and Turner generally look for content that is character driven, non-prescriptive, and communicates a sense of adventure. The companies are very interested in the production of local content with ‘global legs’. Be creative: there are no set rules on how a piece of content needs to manifest itself. We have entered the era of the ‘networked society’ and content…

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Report - Commissioner Conversations: PSBs

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 5:17pm

This session aims to demystify the Public Service Broadcasting Commissioner’s process. Takeaway: • Commissioners are optimistic about the coming year, as there is such a variety of great kids’ content. • Research is key when pitching to commissioners. Detail:  Alison Bakunowich, SVP and General Manager of Nickelodeon UK and Ireland, NEE and Milkshake was first to speak, commenting on the enthusiasm for new writers across the channels that she manages. Alison noted that as they have the facilities to provide writer’s rooms, they are a great place for new talent, and they open their doors to upcoming creatives. On the…

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Report - Commissioner Conversations: VOD

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:52am

Takeaway:  Successful pitches to video on demand platforms must combine and demonstrate an exceptional concept, stunning visuals and inspire confidence in the talent behind the idea to ensure that the concept in question can be realised within the prescribed timescales Detail: At 19 years old, this afternoon's changemaker, Ben Towers, has been described as “one of the most influential entrepreneurs on the planet”. Ben gave an impassioned introduction to this session focussing on how to encourage educate and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and how to establish the “driving why” behind entrepreneurship. The VOD Commissioner Conversations featured luminaries from…

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Report - Competing for Time

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 1:12am

Takeaway: The panel discussed challenges facing brands, emerging voice recognition technologies and the importance and influence of the younger generation and their characteristics. Detail: Emma Worrollo, founder of The Pineapple Lounge, began the session highlighting that companies do not just compete with each other, but are now competing for the time and engagement of the new generation of children. Making up approximately a quarter of the population, this is an audience who have an unprecedented amount of access to commercial experiences. Where the older generations tend to think in a more linear way, younger generations move with more fluidity between…

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Report - Creative Keynote: Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 10:44pm by Gabrielle Smith

Changemaker and award-winning performance poet Jay Hulme introduced tonight's Creative Keynote with an honest and inspirational plea for breadth of inclusivity, understanding and empathy for all. Jay’s performed poetry came from personal experiences of what it is like to grow up transgender, and how different an experience that might have been in an accepting and tolerant society. Keynote Takeaway: ·      Those in charge do not always have your best interests in mind ·      In order to create the stories that are needed, our greatest role is to step aside for others ·      It is not how you use…

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Report - De-risk

Posted on: Saturday 14 July 2018 5:29pm

This session, hosted by Gareth Cotton from La Playa, broke down the easiest ways to protect against copyright infringement, as well as intellectual property and libel issues. Takeaway This session covered: ·     Risks companies face on a daily basis ·     Legal implications ·     Insurance of these risks Detail Sunny Kang from Nine Lives Media explained some of the challenging risks he had to consider and deal with on a number of projects. The first project discussed was 'Learning to Fly', a documentary about air cadets flying for the first time. Around the time of filming there was a near collision in which…

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Report - Disruption - What's Next?

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 2:55pm by Sian Reed

As the landscape of Children's TV changes, what is next for the companies involved? Takeaway: • Diversifying platforms still need great content and engagement. • Most viewing is still done via traditional TV but binge-watching tends to be on-demand. • Knowing your audience and researching thoroughly is the key to making content that lasts. Detail: Jon Watts, MTM and host, jumped right in by asking the panellists to discuss changes to the UK market in recent years. All three panellists agreed that the resulting factor has been the way in which we consume content. Alison Bakunowich, SVP general manager at…

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Report - Distribution - What's Next?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:35am by Louise Lynch

The lively panel was comprised of Josh Scherba, DHX Media - a super producer/distributor/broadcaster behind online streaming service Wildbrain, Dominic Gardiner, Jetpack Distribution - a service-focused boutique distributor,  Colin Williams, Sixteen South - a large animation studio with ambitions to have their shows seen by every child in every home in every country and Nigel Pickard, TRX - a trading platform for programme buyers and sellers. Nigel advises “think eBay but more sophisticated”. Takeaway: Kids distribution has always been tough. Distribution is a thing of the future, not the past. Only five years ago, US was controlled by Disney, Nickelodeon…

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Report - eSports - Ready to Play

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 1:44am by Tom Jordan

With a diverse audience of over 300 million, Esports is a hugely exciting, growing sector – but what exactly is it, how do you get involved and how do you use it to engage your own audiences? Takeaway:  Esports is MASSIVE, and is only going to get bigger. Esports is a platform to reach the unreachable audience: millenials. The platform can be a huge platform for good, creating communities and enhancing digital education. Detail: As someone whose main experience of watching gaming is impatiently standing around nagging my son to hurry up as he completes yet another game of Fortnite…

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Report - eSports Tournament

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 6:24pm

Takeaway: eSports are growing in popularity, with fans across all demographics. They allow children to engage and learn through play. This kind of gaming promotes analytical thinking amongst players and improves reasoning skills. Detail: Although both online and offline competitions have been an in-home staple since the domestication of gaming technology, competitions on a professional level did not become commonplace until the late 2000s. Recently, the popularity and spectatorship of eSports has continued on an upward climb with fans across all demographics converging to watch their favourite players compete. eSports ‘shoutcasters’ — an industry term for presenters — Ketchup (Ryan…

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Report - Financing Live-Action – The New Frontier

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 1:34pm

Introduced by: Sarah Muller, VP Children’s and Youth Programming, Sony Pictures Television Speakers: Val Ames, Kindle Entertainment; Katharina Pietzsch, ZDF Enterprises; Jeremy Salsby, SaltBeef TV; Josh Scherba, DHX Media Takeaway:  Live-action financing requires a mosaic of diffident funding sources.  Managing the various parties and their deal terms takes time and diplomacy and lots of good advice from professional advisors. With a great project and partners who share your passion, you will find a way to raise the funding. Detail: Financing live-action – specifically for older audiences – is a long and complicated road, but the panellists in this session included…

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Report - First Timers' Reception

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 2:42am

As sunshine poured through the windows of the Crucible Theatre, this year’s newcomers mingled over drinks, excitedly awaiting advice from seasoned CMC veterans on how to successfully navigate their first Children’s Media Conference—and perhaps something arguably more enticing: the opportunity to win one of four goody bags provided by Disney. Below are panel’s five top tips and insights into how to squeeze the best experience out of your short time at this year’s conference: Rick Adams: “Mix, meet and learn from each other’s presences, experiences, smells, whatever”. Christian Hughes: “Take every opportunity you can. Go out there and do it”.…

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Report - Focus On Chinese Kids and Family

Posted on: Friday 06 July 2018 10:24pm by Michelle Jones

Takeaway: Chinese parents are young and want to educate their children. Chinese children are under pressure to achieve.  Content makers want to strike the balance between fun, play and education. “Family”, “Food” and “Sharing” are really important. Western animation is well known to Chinese children and parents. Content for China can’t be overtly sexual or violent. Humour is international. Detail: Sarah Baynes from The Creative Garden and Alex Chien from A4 Studios welcomed and introduced the panel and said that we needed to dig a bit deeper into how China works - the largest country in the world. So what…

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Report - Focus On Working With China

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:49pm

Takeaway: The Chinese market does not have the same content-first approach as other territories – IP is key. Contracts are vital in the Chinese market. Localisation is important for Chinese audiences. Detail: Tony Humphries, Screen Specialist at the Department for International Trade, introduced the session by detailing one of the key differences between the UK and Chinese markets – in the UK system there is a focus on content first, whereas the Chinese market has a large focus on building brands and exploiting IP. Olivier Dumont, President of Family and Brand at Entertainment One, also has experience with the IP-driven Chinese…

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Report - If we can’t Measure it, how can we Manage it?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 3:54pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaway:     Kids don’t see their viewing as fragmented because they are adept at navigating to get to the programming they want.     Visual appeal, ease and the impact of voice as interface are all important factors in the future of children’s programming.     Qualitative data is immeasurably important to capture the child’s television experience. Detail: How do you capture children’s cross-platform viewing habits? Moderator Matthew Macaulay of MTM began by asking the panelists what the current data tells. Turner Broadcasting’s John Conlon says a more tablet-like experience provides a gateway to other services and devices. He said investment…

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Report - International Exchange

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 12:56am by Chris Colman

Each year the first day of CMC orbits around the International Exchange, an all day market event, divided into morning and afternoon blocks, in which UK and international buyers, sellers, broadcasters, distributors, producers, writers and everything in between collide for whirlwind 15-minute meetings. The 2018 International Exchange was the biggest yet, with 155 registered delegates, seeing it outgrow last year’s already sizeable Millennium Gallery and relocate to the historic Sheffield Town Hall.  On a beautiful sun-kissed morning, the Town Hall’s Mandela Room was already abuzz by 9am.  The CMC has a stalwart following, many of whom return every year, and…

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Report - Is The Internet Really Broken?

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 4:36pm by Joseph Channon

Can publishers, creators, parents and governments trust computers and algorithms to make intelligent decisions about what is shown to children online? Takeaway: Big platforms (especially Google) are placing an increased importance on algorithms both to model their users for advertising and to control what content is provided to them. However, without proper moderation you cannot always be sure that what these algorithms provide will be entirely appropriate (especially for children). Parents and children need to be taught better media literacy skills so that they have the tools to safely navigate online providers. However, it is too easy and dismissive to…

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Report - It's Alive

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 11:31pm

With AI constantly in the news today, this session addressed fundamental questions for the children’s media industry; will AI in its various forms really work for kids of different ages? How will it impact creativity, content creation, learning, jobs? How can AI engage children? Where are the opportunities and what are the challenges? Takeaway: AI with children is at a very early stage.  It simply does not factor in the special style of a child’s conversations, and there are concerns around safety and being age appropriate. The Industries developing and benefiting from AI need to take a very different and…

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Report - Learning – What’s Happening?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 1:23am by Monica Siegenthaler

Takeaway: There are many ways to measure the success of your work, either with a survey, a study or observation. The key to engaging young people is with fun. You can show them a different way of learning and they do not     even realise they are learning. Interactivity and the need to inspire forms the basis of panellist's work. Detail: Host Sophie Deen, author of Detective Dot, challenged the panel with questions. She asked questions such as: Why do the panel do what they do? Why do these panellists work in education? How do schools know if they…

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Report - Learning – What’s Next?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 2:00am

This session explored ways in which AR and VR is being harnessed to bring about improvements in children’s learning, what early adopters are doing and also what needs to happen to make this type of learning experience part of children’s everyday lives? Takeaway: AR and VR each have enormous potential at home and in the classroom to enhance existing experiences and be part of new types of learning experiences. Technology issues are important; it is important not to creep into a ‘have and have not’ issue where not all children in the classroom have access to rich learning experiences. AR…

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Report - Let’s Talk About Sex

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 1:57pm by Joseph Channon

What is being done to bring taboo topics to kids and young people? Covering sexual, emotional and personal education in engaging and meaningful ways.  Takeaway: Sex education is an important part of a child's emotional development and needs to be addressed in a frank but human manner. There is no widely agreed age for when it is appropriate to talk to children about sex as this comes down to each child being ready. Content creators may face criticism and concern for raising the subject matter but there is proven research showing the benefits of better education. Detail: The session was…

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Report - Masterclass: Kids on Earth

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 3:01pm by Tom Jordan

Howard J. Blumenthal, creator of international hit show ‘Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?’, is globetrotting again with a new project entitled Kids on Earth – and in this masterclass he explained what on earth it is all about. Takeaway: ·     It’s about giving kids a voice, and connecting them globally. ·     Every child has a story, it’s about how you find it. ·     It’s an organic project thinking globally rather internationally – get in touch with Howard via his website if you’re interested in collaborating. Detail: This fascinating conversation with Kids on Earth creator Howard J. Blumenthal, guided by interviewer Julian Scott, began…

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Report - Opening Keynote

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 4:17am

Acclaimed children’s poet, broadcaster, columnist and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen took to the Crucible stage for the opening keynote, to ask how children’s media can encourage creative and inquisitive thinking and safeguard children in the digital world. Takeaway: Rosen expressed concerns that the education system teaches children only how to pass tests and minimises children’s ability to ask questions of the world around them. He discussed how the digital media world is largely unregulated and can be a dangerous place for children. He suggested that the children’s media industry needs to work together to find solutions and create safe…

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Report - Out and Proud? Or Still Under Wraps?

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 7:30pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaway: ·     Neil Gaiman said, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” Let’s beat them together. - Olly Parker ·     Let’s see this panel on the center stage next year - Shabnam Rezaei ·     Be Brave - Kez Margrie Detail: Host Sallyann Keizer of Sixth Sense Media began the panel by asking, “is technology offering platforms to represent LGBT+ and helping children self identify and identify with LGBT+ role models in a way that broadcasters don’t?”. Olly Pike, creator of the YouTube channel ‘Pop’n’Olly’, spoke…

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Report - Playground

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 1:31pm

Based at the Millennium Gallery, the Playground is a week-long interactive art exhibition held every year at the Children’s Media Conference, curated for 5-12 years olds (but enjoyable for all ages). The theme for this year’s Playground is Music and Response, with a host of auditory, interactive experiences to enjoy. Takeaway: • Projects focused on bringing together technology and play. • Games to encourage noisy play and music making. • Listen Manja Ebert’s immersive interpretation of internet culture’s impact on teenagers today. Detail: Open to all, and completely free, the Playground is part of the Children’s Media Conference that kids…

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Report - Podcasts – The New Big Thing?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 8:43pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaway: Podcasts are on the rise. They can offer entertainment, escapism and learning and can really enrich the lives of young listeners. Technology such as smart speakers and the new Google podcast app offer exciting opportunities in audio content creation. It is important to create and uphold top quality content and high production values. Detail: “Podcasts are becoming a big deal”, opened Bex Lindsay from Fun Kids Live, the host for this session. Why are podcasts so important? Johnny Leagas, Executive Producer from CBeebies Radio, highlighted that podcasts are on the rise and said that this generation are taking content…

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Report - Prix Jeunesse in a Suitcase

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 1:00pm by Joseph Channon

The world of children's TV comes to Sheffield, with outstanding and intriguing highlights from the recently staged premier international festival, Prix Jeunesse. Takeaway: • There is an astounding variety in children's TV worldwide that is worth becoming acquainted with by anyone who is looking to work on a global stage. Detail: The session was introduced by David Kleeman who explained that Prix Jeunesse is a bi-annual festival that celebrates children's programming from all over the world and which celebrated its 27th anniversary this year. With over 400 entries from 50 countries they had a lot of potential shows to share…

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Report - Put It Down To Experience

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:16am by Joseph Channon

How do real-world experiences engage children and enhance a brand's relationship with its audience? Four different approaches to the new emerging experience economy. Takeaway: • Consumers are increasingly looking for experiential events rather than products. • An experience can be a powerful brand enhancing tool for some companies or the entirety of the brand for others. • Inclusivity for the entire family is very important for the current generation, who value building memories with their family as much as they value the experiences themselves. Detail: This session covered four extremely different businesses and the experiential events that they offer for…

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Report - Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 7:38pm by Sian Reed

Takeaway: ·     Know who you are pitching to. It is important to do your research beforehand. ·     The children's TV market is saturated. You need a USP. ·     Make the pitch exciting - add in video and other visual elements. Detail: Dragons Den done CMC-style. This session presented the opportunity to pitch your TV ideas to four industry heavyweights. In this interactive session, five potential producers stepped up to share their pilots for the panel and audience to debate. Hosts Tony Collingwood and Anthony Utley first explained the format before introducing each contestant to pitch away. Each panellist had £1000 to bid for…

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Report - Research 1 & 2

Posted on: Friday 06 July 2018 4:35pm by Monica Siegenthaler

Sadie Buckingham the Associate Director of Giraffe Insights, Stephen Murfet the Head of Insight at Sky within the Sky Media team and Emily Keaney the Head of Media Literacy Research at Ofcom, discuss their research on what kids watch and why. 1. Kids and the Screen: Changing the Channel Takeaway: Analysis of data around viewing habits of young viewers. Kids are navigating through the content maze, this supports the concept that “Content is King.” Now it is up to the TV provider to make navigating to this content as easy as possible. The data identified patterns in viewing behaviour during…

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Report - Research 3 & 4

Posted on: Monday 09 July 2018 9:45pm by Sian Reed

This hour-long session was split into two half-hour research presentations: 'Beauty & the Beast' and 'The Kids’ Ecosystem, Under the Microscope'.   Beauty & The Beast The main focus for this session was to explore how tween and teen girls feel about the beauty industry. Although the sample of Razor Kids’ study was relatively small (76 UK-based girls aged between 8-16 were interviewed), the qualitative research meant that those girls interviewed were a real insight into how they view themselves and the media they see. These children are more clued-up than you would think. They appear to be bound by…

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Report - Research 5 & 6

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:28am by Cate Zerega

There is no really safe place where parents feel they can let their children go wild in the current voice world. The industry has not addressed parental fears of the long term impact voice technology will have on their children. Takeaway: The most successful games are built around social mechanics at their heart. Gender differences emerge in games in terms of platform. Both genders start on tablets with boys more likely to push through to consoles and girls more likely to graduate to mobiles. Detail: Alexa, Amazon’s voice technology application, gained notoriety because it beat out “mum” as a child’s…

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Report - Research 7 & 8

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 11:58pm by Sian Reed

This session was broken into two halves: News, Trust and Truth and Children’s Media and Diversity: What’s Next in Europe? Research 7: News, Trust & Truth Takeaway: ·     Do not dumb news and programming down for children, they are smarter than you think. ·     Focus on multi-platform content and social media: children get most of their news from apps. ·     Young people in theory are savvy but in practice, the results don’t showcase this. Detail: Do children and young people still trust news sources? This half-hour session explored Florencia Donagaray’s study into children and their perception of the media and fake news. Florencia’s…

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Report - Small People, Big Picture

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 11:05pm by Monica Siegenthaler

Chapman Maddox, the Vice President of Development and Production for Boat Rocker Rights in London hosts a panel of producers on their opinions of the content being created that address the big issues of the day. Takeaway: A study shows that 18% of teens trust the police. 93% of parents want their children to be open with them. If kids aren't having fun, they change the channel. The session highlighted the importance of giving children a voice. Detail: The panel addressed questions about environment, social change and violence and how to effectively work with this content to educate and create…

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Report - Sneak Preview: 'Stardog and Turbocat'

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:48am by Michelle Jones

Jan and Ben started Red Star in 2004 creating TV ads and theme park attraction videos but they also wanted to make animated films... Royalties from the attraction sector videos gave them the opportunity to monetise short-form projects and ten years later Red Star has grown from a team of 8 to 24 and now have the skills, team and the confidence to invest their own money in a feature. Takeaway: The film industry and investors want to see a script Red Star recruited using LinkedIn You cannot underestimate the power of star talent If you’re going to put money…

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Report - Steps to Retail Success

Posted on: Saturday 07 July 2018 12:29pm by Simon Bor

Sarah Fletcher (Maximum Licensing) asked the question: 'Is it tough for new IP to break through?' Takeaway: • Amazon must help to police licensing better. • Licensed products help reluctant readers get a book in their hands. • Licensing is not about exploiting but extending a property. Detail: Ian Wickham (Licensing Link Europe) was first to answer. 'Yes, it is difficult for new IP to break through'. With major retailers going and others in trouble, the market place is tough. Consolidation is a further problem, the proposed merger of Sainsburys and Asda especially. It’s the discounters who can be used…

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Report - Sustaining UK Animation

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 11:36pm by Simon Bor

What will the industry look like in the next two to three years? Kate O’Connor of Animation UK asked the panel for their realistic as well as optimistic views. Takeaways: There's life after Brexit, but we have to work on it. Utopia is what we should be aiming for. University is a place for critical thinkers as well as training. Detail: Phil Dobree (Jellyfish Productions) said that there was nothing positive about Brexit. Every good thing that was happening in the industry was despite of it. Everyone is hungry for content. He advocated getting things created and made in the…

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Report - Technology - What’s Next?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:08am by Cate Zerega

Takeaway: Consumers can expect to see reliable AR hardware on the market within 2 years. Emerging technology combinations learn and adapt, allowing children forward movement in infinite directions instead of traditional linear paths. This is exciting, terrifying and full of potential. Detail: Moderator Matthew Thomas of MTM began the discussion asking the panel where they saw opportunity for engaging kids with voice assistants. Preloaded’s James Allsopp is most excited about how voice technology can be used to create access for kids with vision and cognitive impairments.  What about the tendency to outsource a child’s attention to Alexa and an Ipad?…

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Report - The Art of Animation Design

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:59am

Takeaway: Ideas can come from unexpected sources. Stay true to yourself and don't fake it. Take opportunities that come your way. Detail: The session was opened by Changemaker Javid Rezai, who discussed LGBTQ+ representation in Children’s TV. Javid talked about how the television shows he watched as a child shaped him in a number of ways, and that he continues to see the influence of this. Javid said that more LGBT representation is not only important to those kids, but rooted in the goals of tolerance, and will speak to every child. Leigh Hodgkinson Author and illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson discussed with…

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Report - The Art of Laughter & The Art of Meaning Making

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 7:16pm by Chris Colman

This one-hour session was broken down in to two distinct halves. Part One: The Art of Laughter Writer, comedian and children’s performer Howard Read spent the opening minutes making jokes and playing games to elicit laughter from the audience, in order to later analyse why his efforts did or didn’t succeed. Professor Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at University College London then took to the lectern to discuss the (surprisingly little) research in to laughter and its meaning to humans. Ask an adult about laughter and they will tend to think of jokes, but Scott says it is in fact fundamentally…

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Report - The Art of Storyboarding and The Art of Puppets

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 9:04pm by Monica Siegenthaler

This session was jam-packed full, with two mini sessions combined as one! The Art of Storyboarding captured the task of creating storyboards in the process of filmmaking, meanwhile the Art of Puppets revealed how puppets can lead us down the road less travelled. The Art of Storyboarding takeway: Know the script back to front. Everyone follows behind the storyboard, it is the jumping off point for the rest of the film. Explore every aspect you can. There is always time for one more joke. Care about what you do. Find something that sparks your imagination in the script when you…

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Report - The F Word

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 10:22pm

Steve Jobs, James Dyson, Walt Disney and Marilyn Monroe all have one thing in common, they are all ‘failures’. The panel discussed how to embrace failure, welcome risk and find opportunities when it all goes wrong. Takeaway: Innovation cannot happen without failure. Reframing failure, learning from it and moving forward can lead to success. Don’t be afraid to seek support and take on board feedback. Detail: Shari Donnenfeld opened the session by joking that most people are happier saying the other F word than failure, before introducing the panellists: Cathal Gaffney, Managing Director/COO of Brown Bag Films, Biren Ghose, Country Head…

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Report - The Influencer’s New Clothes?

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 3:43pm by Sian Reed

Takeaway: Engagement is much more important than numbers: fans who engage with the content an influencer puts out are valued more highly than the most followers a channel/account might have. The power of word-of-mouth should never be underestimated. When looking at which influencer to use for your brand, ensure they fit the brand and actually are fans of the product/service! Detail: The world of influencer marketing is a minefield. This session took a look at the ever-changing landscape of 'kidfluencers' and how you can use these macro-influencers as part of your marketing and branding. Host Maddie Moate, YouTuber and CBeebies…

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Report - The Last Word: Toby Thompson

Posted on: Friday 06 July 2018 2:57pm by Simon Bor

The final session was opened by former changemaker, Jeremiah Emmanuel BEM (EMNL Consultancy), now a member of the advisory committee of the CMC. Takeaways: There were 239 speakers and 1100+ delegates at CMC 2018. Next year’s theme is ‘Limitless’. Toby Thompson evoked childhood wonder and made us think about 'freedom'. Detail: ‘There’s no limit to creativity,’ said Jeremiah, youngest ever CMC Advisory Committee member and a former CMC Changemaker, as he announced the theme he has chosen for next year’s conference: Limitless. Jeremiah then introduced us to Toby Thompson. Originally from Bath, Toby is based in London. He’s a 24-year-old…

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Report - The Making of ‘Gudrun: The Viking Princess’

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 9:16pm by Louise Lynch

The session opened with a showreel from Children’s Media Network Scotland followed by a conversation between Alix Wiseman from 9 Story Media Group and the programme’s writer and producer at Maramedia, Simon Parsons.   Simon explained how the commission came about after a casual conversation with Kay Benbow, CBeebies Controller at the time. Natural History producers Maramedia were making a series for PBS about the Vikings.  They were able to piggyback a pilot shoot for Gudrun during some PBS filming scheduled with a Viking boat and the show was commissioned from the pilot.   Kay explained that she “liked the…

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Report - Tips and Hits from Animated Women

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 3:36pm by Monica Siegenthaler

In spite of its longevity, the animation industry has only recently seen significant numbers of women entering the field behind the camera. This panel of female leaders in the industry spoke of challenges they have faced in their careers and the importance of bravery in the industry. Takeaway: While the number of women in the industry has grown (reaching 50% in certain fields), women still need to be supported - especially by other women. When in the process of recruiting it's about looking outside the box and not hiring where you are familiar. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out…

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Report - What a Relief!

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 6:02pm by Simon Bor

An overview of the successful creative industries tax reliefs and how to apply for them. Takeaway: Tax relief for animation and children's TV was worth £15.3 million in 2016/17. The UK tax relief system is one of the most efficient in the world. Go to the BFI for advice at an early stage. Detail: Kate O’Connor of Animation UK hosted this session. Andy Wright of the BFI gave an outline of how to apply for credits and the cultural tests needed for both British productions and co-productions with treaty countries. It is worth 25% of UK core expenditure on Children’s…

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Report – What's Next For UK Kids?

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 11:42pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaway: In the face of post-Brexit uncertainty, the need for the industry to unite is stronger than ever with regard to future access to European talent and funding. Contestable Fund will affect Public Service Broadcasters and content commissioning. More needs to be done to protect children online and diverse representation can be improved. Detail: Hosting today's session, Stewart Purvis CBE looked ahead to the future of post-Brexit access to talent and funding, the impact of a changing media landscape and how this will affect Public Service Broadcasters (PSB). VT footage of Margot James, Minister for Digital and Creative Industries, commented…

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S

Sticking to your Dreams

Posted on: Sunday 08 July 2018 9:23pm

Hi there!  My name's Theo Sparks.  I do animation stuff. So it all started with a doodle, a wacky little idea I had bobbing around in my brain for some time, and it was time to make it happen. Two years ago I attended the Meetup event, 'Frames’, in Camberley, held by the local animation studio, Fudge. At the time I had just finished creating the concept for a brand new style of animation - something that needed to be made, because it had yet to exist. And here it is. I premiered sticker-mation at this event, to get my idea out…

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