CMC British Animation Afternoon – Session 3

Posted on: Saturday 24 March 2012 7:28am

The CMC organised an afternoon of panel discussions and case-studies on the afternoon before the British Animation Awards – 15th March 2012. The topic was digital futures for the animation industry.

Thanks to Sanjay d’Humières for his blog copy:

Session 3 – Rights in the New Landscape

Chair: Helen Brunsdon, Animation Consultant and Producer


Andrew Baker,

Ed Galton, Cake Entertainment

Karl Woolley, Impossible Kids

Helen Brunsdon, Producer of the CMC Animation Afternoon took to the stage to Chair a session where she discussed with her guests the issue of rights and striking good deals. The panelists shared their experiences of negotiating contracts with big broadcasters in a constantly changing and evolving media environment.

The panelists all felt under pressure by the number of rights Commissioners ask for when making deals, often with little flexibility or real sympathy for small indies wanting to monetise their IP on a global scale. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it has become crucial to protect IP with tools such as geoblocking.

With an increased number of broadcast platforms there are more classes of rights to be negotiated with potential buyers in a tight space. And they will want as much as possible for as little as possible. Because the media landscape is converging so quickly, every player will need to protect his or her turf and the funds from the additional rights are vital for re-investment in content.

Broadcasters flexing their muscles in deal making threatened to squeeze smaller players out of the market. Sometimes a lack of profile for children’s content allowed this to go unnoticed.

Associated with this. the panellists emphasised the need for government to support the industry by providing tax credits that would reduce the financial burden, attract more foreign programme-makers and partners, but most importantly keep ours producing in the UK. Canada was mentioned several times as being one of the most aggressive countries in attracting foreign programme-makers through a generous fiscal policy.

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