Blogs

June 2019

CMC 2019: Preview – Writers Assemble!

Posted on: Sunday 23 June 2019 8:17pm by Darren Jones

Writers Assemble! Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 12:30 - 13:30   Someone with more wisdom than I once said that there are two questions every writer will ask of themselves during their career - “Have I got what it takes?” and “Have I still got what it takes?” For the first time, the Children’s Media Conference is scheduling this session aimed squarely at writers, script editors, show runners and anyone who works (or wants to work) with them. Becoming a writer - and getting paid to do it - is a tough ask. So, what are the ways to break though in an ever-evolving media landscape? And more importantly, once you’ve got that first break, how do you get traction and maintain…

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CMC 2019: Preview – The Art of Voice and Song

Posted on: Sunday 23 June 2019 7:33pm by Adam Redfern

The Art of Voice & Song Thursday 4th July 2019, 11:10 - 12:10 When people remember a classic kids’ show that they love, what’s the first thing they often do? Sing the theme tune? Shout out a favourite character’s catchphrase? Getting the music and voice performances right for your audience is a vital part of production– and they can fast become the favourite, most unique ingredients of your show that your viewers love returning to, each and every episode. And in an age when Baby Shark (pictured) can go from meme to commission, it’s even more important to grab your audience’s attention quickly with unforgettable songs and some killer catchphrases from standout characters. So what goes into composing and producing…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Animation Skills Fund: Use it or Lose it!

Posted on: Sunday 23 June 2019 12:48pm by Grace Hebditch

Animation Skills Fund – Use it or Lose it! Thursday 4th July 2019, 14:00 - 15:00 The skills shortage is the biggest issue facing animation studios in the UK. The combination of a booming streaming industry with its insatiable appetite for animated content, the welcome tax reliefs and the world-class reputation of the UK animation industry, means the amount of animation work the studios are taking on are outgrowing the talent-base (without even mentioning the ‘B’ word - and all the issues around mobility of labour!). This could drive studios to set up overseas instead, leading to our domestic industry slowly dissolving way. To mitigate this, the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council are proud to announce that the Animation Skills Fund…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Stream if You Wanna Go Faster

Posted on: Friday 21 June 2019 2:51pm by Rachel Murrell

So you want to work with Netflix? There’s a reason why Wednesday’s panel on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Disney+ and AppleTV doesn’t include commissioners from any of them.  The streamers are cash-rich and data-savvy, but famously discreet. So, instead we asked people who understand how they roll and can say what they think. And we have them. Claire Tavernier is a digital and media strategist who helps media companies design their on-demand strategies. Independent producer Billy Macqueen has two Netflix commissions and a seat at the table when Pact talks policy. Samreen Ghani, CFO of Moonbug, supplies Netflix and goes direct-to-consumer on YouTube too. And Richard Cooper studies what the streamers commission, and what this reveals about their strategies. The session will be moderated by media…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Going Global

Posted on: Thursday 20 June 2019 2:52pm by Jo Redfern

Thursday 4th July 2019, 14:00 - 15:00 Showroom Cinema 4 24th Jan 2019 saw the first International Day of Education - the director-general of UNESCO said: “Firstly, education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility. Secondly, education is the most powerful force in our hands to ensure significant improvements in health, economic growth and to unlock the potential and innovation we need to build more resilient and sustainable societies,” In Going Global four experts working in education at an international level come together to discuss the macro issues facing content creators, entertainers and educators endeavouring to scale-up in a world in which national sentiments are coming to the fore. Through social media, YouTube etc. there is little doubt that 21st century kids consume entertainment on…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Pushing the Boundaries for Learning

Posted on: Thursday 20 June 2019 2:40pm by Becky Jones

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 11:00 - 12:00 HUBS The Stage If you are interested in finding new ways to link media and education in the fast-changing world of EdTech, then this session is  for you. With children exposed to prolific volumes of stimulating media, how can we produce learning content that stands out? Join us on a creative journey that explores what’s working best to keep children delighted, engaged and inspired in the school setting.  And take a peep at what’s just over the horizon. Delve into the magical world of the Night Zookeeper, and find out how this interactive literacy tool has been turned into a Sky Kids TV series – where children can create their own stories. Meet the Editor of BBC Bitesize and…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Immersive Journeys in Education

Posted on: Thursday 20 June 2019 2:27pm by Becky Palmer

Thursday 4th July 2019, 09:40 - 10:40 Showroom Cinema 2   The future of learning has arrived! If you’re interested in augmented and virtual reality, teaching in schools, museums and what excites and delights children, then this session is for you. Join us as we uncover how children today learn about bugs, oceans, WW1, Vikings and Egyptians via a series of AR and VR experiences. What’s it like to be able to feel you’re in the trenches or to examine a sarcophagus in Ancient Egypt or to hold a planet in your hand? Even pre-schoolers are catered for, with Storytoys on hand to show us their AR version of Eric Carle’s 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. Meet the teams behind these passion-filled projects as we discuss how they are breaking down barriers by bringing tech…

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CMC 2019: Preview – First Timers Lunch

Posted on: Thursday 20 June 2019 2:36am by Esther Kaufmann

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 12:30 - 13:30 HUBS Hideout New to CMC? Looking for someone to talk to? This is where you'll find your perfect conference pal! It's the friendliest people in Sheffield coming together and having a blast - promise! I can hand on heart tell you that the speakers are a bunch of the  most lovely CMC veterans offering their advice on making the best of your time during the conference. They're open to chat and share lunch - though you should grab your own packed lunch as we can't do loaves and fishes.. Get cosy, get advice and leave with a full stomach, full brain and full contact list!

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CMC 2019: Preview – First Timers Reception

Posted on: Thursday 20 June 2019 2:19am by Chris Jarvis

Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 17:00 - 18:00 Sheffield City Hall Come to the ‘First Timer’s Reception’ sponsored by Disney and whistle while you network.   Join me, Chris Jarvis, and 'Go Jetter' Chris Banks for a spot of ’Name that Theme Tune’ as you mingle and hobnob with the great and good of children’s meedjah. Discover the whole new world of CMC - not just the bare necessities - and meet leading executives, producers and talent from TV, film, animation and games.  Looking forward to meeting you! And the drink is free!

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CMC 2019: Preview – Focus on Ireland

Posted on: Thursday 20 June 2019 2:05am by Shannon George

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 14:00 - 15:00 HUBS Common Room Ireland has become the go-to place for the creation and production of some truly outstanding content for audiences of all ages. Join us in the HUBS Common Room, for a panel put together by the Irish industry, to reveal what  Ireland can offer. The Irish animation industry is booming. Ireland has a lot to offer financially and creatively to those who need service work or production partners in both animation and live action. The Focus on Ireland panel features members of the Irish animation industry who are at the top of their field and have worked with networks and studios around the world. Come find out why you should be…

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CMC 2019: Preview – The Incredible Playable Lunchtime Show

Posted on: Monday 17 June 2019 1:56pm by Matt Bowen

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 12:30 - 13:30 HUBS The Stage and Thursday 4th July 2019, 12:30 - 13:30 HUBS The Stage This year, the Children's Media Conference is offering up something different over your packed lunch. The Incredible Playable Lunchtime Show is an interactive video-game comedy show where you, the audience, take to the stage and play the game. Become human buttons, take on the Power Rangers, zap each other with barcode scanners and play Pac-Man using inflatable toys. The Incredible Playable Lunchtime Show is a hilarious CMC innovation which puts you at the centre and gives you the chance to unleash your inner kid. The Show is created by Alistair Aitcheson – a game developer creating mobile and tablet games,…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Merging Digital and Physical Experiences

Posted on: Sunday 16 June 2019 11:22pm by Tine Knudsen

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 17:00 - 18:00 HUBS Common Room Over the years, CMC has seen a lot of exciting products that merge digital and physical experiences with the purpose of creating engaging play and education for children. And now many of these are out in the market along with large numbers of products that now integrate physical and digital play. Some wow us, while others leave us questioning the need for either the digital or physical part of the experience. My work at Funday Factory has been rooted in engaging people in the digital space, but often our inspiration comes from physical products and an interest in the tactile. Having ben involved in the development connected toys in the…

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CMC 2019: Preview : Kids with Stones in their Pockets

Posted on: Sunday 16 June 2019 11:15pm by Alison Norrington

Thursday 4 July 2019, 12:30-13:30 HUBS Common Room What do you get if you put a Creative Story Lead from Lego, a Senior Researcher in Kids' Education and VR, and a Flying Seagull together in a room with a bunch of CMC delegates? A collective knowledge about how children play that is far bigger than the sum of its parts. With a title inspired by the 2013 academic study from Pauliina Rautio at the University of Helsinki - the topic of how kids play was repeatedly raised across the research sessions on VR+Kids that storycentral conducted for the Children’s Media Foundation in 2018 and was resonant across the research roadshows in Leeds (Dubit), London (National Theatre)  and Manchester (Immotion VR). Mikkel Lee, Creative…

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May 2019

CMC 2019: We’ll Keep a Welcome…

Posted on: Monday 27 May 2019 1:53pm by Brolly Brollyman

One of the things I look forward to most on my journey to CMC from Wales to Sheffield each year is the chance to meet lovely new people and see what they’re up to. This really comes into focus at the International Exchange - ‘speed dating for luvvies’.  As a composer it’s always exciting to see people’s pilots and projects and imagine what kind of music I could put to their lovely ideas. Through the exchange I have composed music for Space Chickens, Blue Donkeys, Alien Dogs and many other crazy characters but last year was special. Last year I met two lovely chaps from Dublin, Aidan and Colm from Turnip and Duck. They had a project in their portfolio that I fell…

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CMC 2019: Writers Assemble!

Posted on: Friday 17 May 2019 2:15pm

Hello my name is... Angela Salt and I will be your friendly guide to What’s on for writers at The CMC this year. This 2 - 4 July get ready to push back on ill-timed deadlines, throw off that slanket, emerge from your solitude, and embrace the writers’ Shangri-La of Sheffield... Regular CMC-goers may recall me as the 6’ up-rockin’ hostess of the official party in previous years; the one with all the free drinks tickets (yeah, now you know me...!) but this year I’ve been asked to step away from the dance floor and into a new role as an advocate for writers at the conference. A Writers’ Rep.   So what’s my rep? I genuinely credit The CMC for setting me…

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March 2019

CMC Exchange @LBF: CMC @LBF 2019: The Gruffalo 20th Anniversary – from Book to Global Brand

Posted on: Sunday 17 March 2019 2:02am by Simon Bor

Moderator Juliet Matthews (Harper Collins Children’s Books) Speakers Nick Hall (Boxine) Belinda Ioni Rasmussen (Macmillan Children’s Books) Toby Mitchell (Tall Stories) Michael Rose (Magic Light Pictures) Daryl Shute (Magic Light Pictures)   Takeaways Axel’s challenge was to create a monster that was frightening but not terrifying. Michael Rose wanted to be true to the book and not change a single word. They wanted a character that would last for fifty years.   Can it really be twenty years since we first met The Gruffalo? Juliet Mathews of Harper Collins Children’s Books asked the panel of some of those involved the Gruffalo’s continuing success: ‘How did this go from a thirty-two-page picture book to what it is today?’ Current publisher at…

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CMC Exchange @LBF: CMC @LBF: Changes and Challenges Confronting Licensing

Posted on: Sunday 17 March 2019 1:13am by Simon Bor

Moderator Tim Collins (The Brand Director) Speakers Susan Bolsover (Penguin Random House) Trudi Hayward (Trudi Hayward Licensing) Ashley Holman (Riverside Brands)   Takeaways Peppa Pig took three years to work. A property has to work in six weeks now. Live and experiencial events bring consumers into a dedicated space with a gift shop at the end. If kids leave a platform you have to catch them somewhere else.   The changing nature of how children find content is creating new challenges for the licensing industry. Tim Collins, MD of The Brand Director asked: ‘What has been the evolution of the business model?’ Susan Bolsover of Penguin Ventures, the licensing arm of Penguin Random House Childrens, handles the classic characters owned…

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CMC Exchange @LBF: CMC @LBF 2019: The Future of Toys

Posted on: Sunday 17 March 2019 12:42am by Simon Bor

Moderator Tim Collins (The Brand Director) Speakers Sam Ferguson (Jazwares) Yesmin Kunter (Consultant) Billy Langsworthy (Mojo Nation) Richard North (Wow! Stuff)   Takeaways Video games can be amazing but it depends how the child is playing, why they are playing and how they are playing. In five years the toy industry will be looking at ethics in the way that the adult car industry is now. Selling toys through 3D printers has never been economical. It’s a dream.   Tim Collins, MD of The Brand Director, introduced the session saying that the $80 billion global market for toys was going through interesting times. He asked: ‘What will the toy business look like in five years time?’ Tim first asked play…

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CMC Exchange @LBF: CMC @LBF 2019: Experiencing the Story

Posted on: Sunday 17 March 2019 12:33am by Simon Bor

Moderator Tim Patterson (T1M Consult) Speakers Joshua Davidson (Night Zookeeper) Alexander Parker (Selladoor) Alison Warner (Technicolor) Jenny Worton (Roald Dahl Story Company)   Takeaways The Deep goes from comic book to global success. Children can contribute their own creatures to The Night Zookeeper Elma the Patchwork Elephant follows Roald Dahl to the stage.   Tim Patterson told the audience that this session would look at how stories can leap off pages of a book to film, TV, stage and beyond. How to broaden out the brand and maybe, even make some money. First to speak was Alison Warner of Technicolor, to talk about their hit CBBC series, The Deep. They have achieved in just five years, the transformation of an…

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CMC Exchange @LBF: CMC @LBF 2019: Knowing your consumer – Does the Future look Bright

Posted on: Saturday 16 March 2019 11:58pm by Simon Bor

Moderator Mara Alperin (Wonderbly) Speakers Sam Clough (SuperAwesome) Jelena Stosic (Kids Industries) Duncan Shearer (Seymour Distribution) Nick Richardson (The Insights People)   Takeaways Kids have a sense of regret that what we have now will go, but they see the future as bright. How many words are needed before a game becomes worthy? The magazine industry is worth £1 billion, despite the digital age.   Mara Alperin of Wonderbly introduced the first session of  CMC @LBF 2019 and wanted to know if today’s children saw the future as bright. Sam Clough of SuperAwesome talked about research on the future of shopping with ten to seventeen-year-olds. One view from a twelve-year-old saw a world with no shops, just one app, maybe Amazon. There…

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November 2018

Manimation 2018: Report – ScreenSkills

Posted on: Tuesday 13 November 2018 7:21pm by Helen Dugdale

Speaker Gareth Ellis-Unwin gave an insight into the new ScreenSkills. Who are ScreenSkills? Merged with the Indie Training Fund (ITF), Creative Skillset has been restructured and ScreenSkills is now the national agency for screen training. It has a new and easy to use website that can be found here: www.screenskills.com.   Services include:  Lobbying for skills and training on the national agenda. The outreach team will hold events - everything from open door sessions to bootcamps. There will be Continuing Personal Development (CPD) for people already in their career. Up to £600,000 will be available for training skills. Regional hubs will be created and the first one in Leeds will be a Centre of Excellence. There will be new mentoring opportunities.…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Welcome and Keynote

Posted on: Tuesday 13 November 2018 7:00pm by Helen Dugdale

What is the future of the business of animation? Olivier Dumont from Entertainment One shared the secret ingredients of what made 'Peppa Pig' and 'PJ Masks' the massive international brands that they are today. The Secret of 'Peppa Pig': 'Peppa Pig' went from simple sketch to an international smash. The five minute shows are easily digestible with a strong sense of humour running through each episode. The humour stays with the audience long after they have grown out of other pre-school shows. Humour in preschool is rare, so it is the secret to Peppa Pig’s success. The stories deal with the family unit making it relevant to any kids anywhere in the world. When broadcasters aired the shows back-to-back it caused…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Roundtable 1: Get Real

Posted on: Tuesday 13 November 2018 6:50pm by Helen Dugdale

Takeaway: Delivery and consumption of storytelling is changing. We are seeing a convergence of animation games and technology emerge. Aardman have ventured into games with 11/11. They are attracting a new kind of gamer who wants to play as a one-off, like how you watch a movie. No skills are needed for playing and tiny choices have an impact on the story and how the narrative unfolds. Detail: This informal roundtable session was produced and hosted by Paul Bason, discussing the future of storytelling using real time engines. Ben Lumsden – Epic Games Using Epic Games technology and expertise, they are creating content from outside the gaming world. Unreal Engine Technology software is initially free to use, then Epic takes 5%…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Roundtable 2: Skilling Up

Posted on: Tuesday 13 November 2018 6:45pm by Helen Dugdale

A roundtable discussion about how education and training providers are supporting the industry to improve recruitment. Top Takeaways Katie Lander - Brown Bag Films Brown Bag Films doubled their workforce this year with 70 new staff members - 45 per cent of new recruits are on short-term contracts and from the EU. The industry is facing a staggering issue around talent and we need to future-proof the problem. Employers need to take responsibility and help to shape apprenticeships as there is no consistency between each company and each apprenticeship scheme. There are no animation apprenticeships offered in the North West. Apprenticeships are not just for people looking for their first jobs. They are also for individuals already within their career.…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Roundtable 3: Agencies for Change

Posted on: Monday 12 November 2018 10:31pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaway: Research data analytics and brand activation can help create the best solutions for clients Interesting and unusual visual styles and animation techniques can enhance advertising projects Clear communication helps production to be as efficient as possible Detail: In this session produced and hosted by Westley Wood from BBC Creative, a panel of experts explored case studies in working with creative agencies and the use of animation in advertising campaigns and marketing strategies. The panel consisted of Tom Box from Blue Zoo, Jo Whitely from IF Agency Manchester, Jamien Middleton from The Animation Guys, Damien Lynch from Dock 10 and Tim Jones from BBC Creative. Working on creative projects Jo Whiteley explained how IF Agency Manchester uses data analytics, brand…

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Manimation 2018: Report – SODA

Posted on: Monday 12 November 2018 9:07pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaway: Manchester Metropolitan University is opening a new school of digital arts, named SODA The school will provide an interdisciplinary approach to media education that will serve the needs of the industry The school aims to close the skills gap and prepare the next generation for careers in a variety of specialisms including UX design, sound, animation, filmmaking and more Detail: In 2021, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) will be opening SODA - a new £35 million School of Digital Arts. Paul Bason from the university explained how the new building has been designed to respond to future changes in technology so that it can develop over time. He said that the school will progress and provide an interdisciplinary approach to…

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Manimation 2018: Report – Opening Panel: The Future of Animation Business

Posted on: Monday 12 November 2018 8:41pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaway: Storytelling remains at the heart of projects Technology can be used as a tool to build narrative and speed up production Using multiple platforms can boost brands to reach new audiences Detail: Kate O’Connor from Animation UK introduced this session, asking how we can create and secure the future of animation business. The panellists included: Andy Wood from Cubic Motion, Benjamin Donoghue from Blackstaff Games, Olivier Dumont from Entertainment One and Jackie Edwards from BBC Children’s Acquisitions and Independent Animation.   Working Together Collaboration is important in securing a strong future for the animation industry. In this session, Andy Wood highlighted the positive impact of harnessing technology to speed up pipelines and Benjamin Donoghue explained that creating interactive products…

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July 2018

CMC 2018: 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 a photographer and pilot were flying and the camera fell out of the photographer's hands, causing the pilot to make…

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CMC 2018: 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 positive, unifying values and behaviours such as diversity, inclusivity, social conscience, individuality, empowerment and independence. Although they still have the…

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CMC 2018: 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 there and see what people thought. The response was fantastic, everyone was really impressed, particularly the good people at Fudge…

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