International Exchange: Focus on Markets

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2013 7:21pm by Samuel Hutchinson


Blogger: Samuel Hutchinson.

Session comments;

“A great opportunity to hear from UKTI particularly, and a great insight into the European markets. I will certainly be doing my homework now.” – Olly Brown – Kanoti.

“A useful overview. Everyone has a different focus and, seeing the differences, you can see which one is for you.” – Emily Davidson – Head of Policy at PACT.

10 Top Takeaways if you weren’t there!

10) There is increasing international focus now due to a drop in domestic funds.


9) There is financial value in visiting international markets.

So, what do you have to do?

8) Have a strong strategy for marketing.

7) Go to sessions where current trends are discussed. Keep up to date in the trends!

6) Develop your understanding of the markets – decide which is best for you!


5) Major networking opportunities are available at these markets!

And how do you get the most out of them?

4) Don’t be timid/shy whilst networking – step (read: force yourself) out of your comfort zone!

3) Prepare in advance before pitching!


2) Know who you’re pitching to – everyone has a different brand/remit.

And, finally, most importantly, remember…

1) Children’s media is friendly.

There was something rather strange about being at a networking event where a number of further networking events were being pitched to you. Still, the speakers did a terrific job in the limited time they had allocated to them (7 speakers in just an hour session!). A swift yet informative whirl around a number of top international markets left you feeling armed with both new information and new hope. The speakers gave some great insights into some of the opportunities and funding available for those looking to try their hand overseas, whilst also sugarcoating nothing as they helpfully relayed a number of common mistakes people have made in the past. A number of the key points essentially boil down to poor preparation, with people not having a good enough understanding of the market they are pitching to or, perhaps even worse, failing to sufficiently prepare the pitch itself.

On a positive note, it’s seemingly only going to take the avoidance of a few schoolboy errors for you (YES YOU!) to begin distinguishing yourself from the herd. Indeed, the message is loud and clear that your destiny is firmly within your own hands. People can give themselves the edge by being prepared to leave their comfort zone, or not being prepared and doing it anyway, and talking to people they haven’t met before. Even though it’s scary.

Yes, I said it! Scary. The magnitude of some of these events, captured with some great preview video clips, is not to be undermined. Even if some of the clips wouldn’t play properly. Notably, Sannette of CineKid couldn’t play her clip at first, which lead to the start of a seemingly unrelated video. However, Sannette simply said, “This is nice, I’ll show you anyway.”

It’s easy to be intimidated at such high-profile, prestigious and, frankly, very shiny-looking events.  However, do your homework and push yourself were the overriding messages of the unfortunately hurried hour. And reassurance can be offered in the shape of my final point, and the point that’s top of my top 10 takeaways! That being that, in Debbie’s own words, “Children’s Media is friendly.” So, step out of your comfort zone.

After all, you’re in the right place to start practicing.

Producer: Jane Hyndman (Senior Business Affairs Manager – Rights TV).

Speaker: Ted Baracos (Director of New Market Development Television Division – Reed MIDEM. Lana Castleman (Editor – Kidscreen). Veronique Encrenaz (Head of Projects, Mifa  – CITIA/ANNECY). Karen Holden (International Trade Advisor – UKTI). Debbie Macdonald (Independent Children’s Media Consultant). Dawn McCarthy – Simpsons (Director of Market Development – Pact). Sannette Naeye (Director – Cinekid).


Samuel Hutchinson

About the author

Samuel Hutchinson

BBC, Script Reader

Upon graduating from Bournemouth University's Scriptwriting degree in 2012, Sam started working as a Script Reader for BBC Continuing Drama. He has since also become Development Executive for independent film company, Silver Leaf Pictures, and is currently developing further feature film projects with We Move Pictures, who will be taking… Read more