The Pre-School Parent Trap Preview
Storytelling: The Pre-School Parent Trap takes place on Friday 3 July 2015, 9.40-10.40, Cinema 2
The CMC has grown beyond all recognition. What started out as a relatively homespun, small scale networking conference is now holding its head up high on the international stage. However, what I like most about the CMC is that it still maintains an atmosphere of inclusivity and camaraderie. It’s an intimate gathering of people who all have the same aim – to explore ways of producing high quality content for kids who are, as the movers and shakers of tomorrow, the most important audience of all. The well planned sessions are very varied, addressing both the creative and the fiscal challenges we face in the children’s media industry and helping to explore the potential of emerging platforms and innovative ways of delivering content. The International Exchange is an excellent recent addition and serves to separate the “market” and “debating” elements of the event.
I’m delighted to be moderating the session on pre-school storytelling which will focus on content for four to six year olds. There are very real challenges here on traditional linear pre-school channels, largely because of parental expectations. That’s not to say that there is no content for the age range. But there isn’t much. However, it’s a demographic that craves stories which step up to the plate and relate to their real lives; stories that help them process the emotions that they’re experiencing; stories that talk about the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be and stories that prepare them for life beyond the garden gate. So the panel will be exploring ways in which we can produce content with real emotional authenticity and strong narrative with appropriate levels of jeopardy. After all, by four, they’re watching “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Star Wars” and every Disney movie known to man. I recently ran a story workshop in a school for four to six year olds. They were full of amazing ideas – mostly fantasy, which, with the technology available to us now is a gift for TV. They had giants with exploding bottoms, fire breathing sea monsters, six headed vultures with eyes that popped out of their skulls – you name it. When I got home, energised and ready to plagiarise what I could (!) I realised there was nowhere for me to put this content on my chosen medium of television.
As programme makers and broadcasters do we not have a duty to serve this demographic? Or should we leave it to the emerging digital platforms and the movies? Our great panel of experts will be debating how best we might go about overcoming the existing obstacles and filling a gap that we’re all aware currently exists in our televisual content provision.
Adastra Development Ltd
Loud Productions Ltd
Writer and Owner
Freelance Scriptwriter and Script Consultant
Film Studies Lecturer, University of Salford
University of Sheffield
Head of CBeebies Production, Animation and Acquisitions
Animator and Storyteller
It's About Water