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June 2022

CMC 2022: Preview – Mentoring

Posted on: Wednesday 29 June 2022 3:23pm by Chitra Soundar

Is mentoring just for newbies trying to break into the industry? Or do we all need mentors throughout our careers? If so, how do we find them? Chitra Sounder outlines the plan for her session in the Crucible Adelphi Room that explores the potential of being a mentor and being mentored. Our panellists will answer these and many other questions in CMC’s first ever session on mentoring. Don’t miss it.  As a little teaser, we asked our panellists about their experiences of mentoring. Ciaran Murtagh Back in 2008 my writing partner and I were asked to perform on a CBBC talent contest called 'The Slammer'. Although we didn’t win, or come second, or even third – ahem – the producer, Steve Ryde, liked what…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Live Changemakers at CMC

Posted on: Tuesday 28 June 2022 5:55pm by Amy Rich

CMC Changemakers are young people (usually under 25) with something to say to the children's media industry. They are all achievers in their own fields, some are campaigners, some are media personalities already.  In this year's CMC, four Changemakers will be live in The Crucible Theatre, while five others are featured in videos in the on-demand library.  Amy Rich outlines the live Changemakers and how they'll feature at CMC.   Ever since the legend, Whitney Houston, sang ‘I believe children are our future’ in ‘The Greatest Love of All’ circa 1986, us olds have known it’s only a matter of time before we’re kicked to the kerb to fester in the gutter, while the kids take over. So, before we’re too old to…

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CMC 2022: Preview – The Future of Education?

Posted on: Tuesday 28 June 2022 3:13am by Jo Redfern

There’s been a trend growing for a while that sees kids and young people search for information and learning online, outside of their formal schooling. For a myriad of reasons they’re looking to the internet for everything from information on finance (What is a mortgage, how much is the average salary? etc) to DIY (How do I hang a picture, what is a Phillips head screwdriver?) to basic cooking tips and innovative ways to learn coding. While this habit is nothing new amongst kids, the speed at which it increased during the pandemic was something never before seen, and the indications are that it continues even now schools are open. Video has replaced text as Generation Alpha’s preferred way of…

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CMC 2022: Preview: What Next for Kids?

Posted on: Wednesday 22 June 2022 6:57pm by Becky Jones

Becky Jones has produced many sessions for the CMC Learning Strand in recent years. But none are more important than What Next for Kids?  Following the CMC 2022 them, and reflecting on the state of childhood as we emerge for Covid, but into war, inflation, widespread childhood poverty and the education deficit caused by the last 2 years. What’s Next for Kids focuses on our responsibilities as content makers, broadcasters and platform operators, and learning providers  for the young audience today. In a post-pandemic world, our kids are entering a new phase of global unravelling – the war in Ukraine, failure of government, environmental destruction, poverty, inflation, fake news... the list is long.  Young people are being characterised as “behind” - educationally, disconnected socially and their mental well-being under…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Why Families are Asking for Diverse Media

Posted on: Wednesday 22 June 2022 1:51pm

This video in the Inclusivity Now strand The media we consume play a critical role in shaping how we make sense of ourselves, our identities, and the world around us. It can perpetuate stereotypes and bias, exacerbating injustice and inequities. But it also presents an opportunity to reduce bias, end division, and be a gateway to a more inclusive future. Research from Common Sense Media shows parents and caregivers agree that the media their kids are watching still largely contains stereotypes of people of colour. Most feel that White people are often portrayed in a positive light in the media their children are exposed to; one in four believe that portrayals of Black, Hispanic, and LGBTQIA+ people are more likely…

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CMC 2022: Preview – The Modern Black Fairytale

Posted on: Tuesday 21 June 2022 7:01pm by Chloe Lansley

The Inclusivity Now strand at CMC aims to offer practical solutions that delegates can use in their own working lives to improve access, representation or inclusion.  Chloe Lansley produced a case study of a surprising literary conversion and the powerful affect it had on both participants and viewers.   At the end of the Q&A session at Sky Kids’ and Sky Cinema’s Little Darlings premiere, a tiny voice popped up from the crowd: “I’ve never seen my kind of hair wet before on TV”. It was a moment of total delight for the show’s creative team, whose hope was to bring an authentic, positive, and uplifting Black story to the small screen for kids and parents alike. In this CMC panel, Executive…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Animation that Sustains

Posted on: Monday 20 June 2022 5:25pm by Amy Rich

Perspective on Animation and Sustainability is part of the "Animation for Good" strand of content at CMC 2022.  Video producer Megan Bryant gave CMC Blogger Amy Rich the low-down. When it comes to recycling and reusing, kids are majorly clued-up. After all, when there’s a kid around, a loo roll inner rarely makes it straight into the bin without being turned into something else first. But what about the adults who are responsible for creating their favourite content on-screen? Are they as savvy and green as the people they create content for? In this session, we take a look at the importance of sustainability on-screen and off-screen, and discover ways to make your animation production as sustainable as possible. Lucy Murphy, Director…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Going, Going, Going….. Live

Posted on: Monday 20 June 2022 1:46pm by David Kleeman

Remember the title sequence for Going Live? You will when you watch this video. But Perspective on... Going Live in the Metaverse has nothing to do with Saturday morning TV...  Or does it.  it's about the intersection of  entertainment, participation.  celebrity, music, brands, for kids.  but now we're in the virtual space.  David Kleeman outlines what this timely and relevant video covers.  Wouldn’t you love to go see your favourite performer, with a guaranteed front row seat and plenty of room to dance? Or you could have a spot right on the runway to preview the newest fashions, with the chance to try them on yourself? How about inviting your fans to meet your brand or characters in a playable world…

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CMC 2022: Preview – The Art Of… the Art Of…

Posted on: Friday 17 June 2022 3:06pm by Alison Stewart

The Art Of... sessions are some of the most popular that CMC offers each year. This year there are two live “Art Of... “sessions at The Crucible in Sheffield and two video presentations. people can watch at their leaisure. Alison Stewart regularly Execs the Art Of strand.... “The Art Of . . . “ sessions have been running at CMC since 2017.  These are not panel discussions, but are more informal mini-masterclasses, hosted by one or two experts, who talk about their career journeys, explain the scope of their current roles and give plenty of tips and takeaways for those interested to learn more or pursue a similar career. Past sessions have included The Art of the theme tune”, The…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Animation for Peace – Hope and Action

Posted on: Friday 17 June 2022 2:47pm by Steve Smith

Animation has always been a medium through which animators try to do good, teach morals, tell the uncomfortable truth, and generally make the world a better place. From Windsor McCay's 1918 epic 'The Sinking of the Lusitania' to Marjane Satrapi's 'Perspolis' (2007), via Brad Bird's 'The Iron Giant' (1999) and Jimmy Murakami's 'When The Wind Blows' (1986). But now that the world is faced with ever-widening ideologies and a war in Europe, how is our industry reacting? In this CMC video animation director and producer Steve Smith (Beakus) talks to broadcasters and animation practitioners about recent work and films that attempt to counter this destructive division in our social politics. We discuss the inclusion of war-themed CGI short 'Mila' (Cinzia…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Bringing Books to the Metaverse (or is it the other way round?)

Posted on: Friday 17 June 2022 3:04am by Dashiell Asher

One of several explorations of aspects of the Metaverse at CMC 2022... The Metaverse was famously birthed in a book – specifically, in the text of Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash.  But is the Metaverse destined to be the death of reading?  Or can digital tools ignite a new wave of publishing innovation, connect to physical books, and help solve the growing crisis in literacy? CMC’s discussion panel in Sheffield on 7 July will debate Bringing Books to the Metaverse (or is it the other way round?) and explore how books and Web 3 tools can enrich storytelling, literacy skills and education for young readers. Lens/headset time will soon replace phone and screen time as the parental/child challenge. So how can physical books continue to thrive and play their critical role in every child’s development?  Where does the Metaverse live on the problem/opportunity scale for the future of reading? At a…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Focus On… Focus On

Posted on: Friday 17 June 2022 2:02am by Sarah Baynes

Focus on…is the CMC strand of business content. It features territories and (this year) platforms, and provides insights into sales, deal making, and initiatives and advantages.  Sarah Baynes is the Executive Producer of the strand of 4 videos. We have all been on our own rollercoasters recently and the industry as a whole has been on a tumultuous journey. With Broadcasters and Platforms shifting and changing, and YAC funds evaporating, navigating the new world order to get our work in front of kids is like a Kaleidoscope, colourful, engaging, magical and changing. The big BUT is that while it looks great, how do we do it? Our Focus on sessions are here to give you that glimpse into other worlds, ones…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Understanding Kids in the Metaverse

Posted on: Thursday 16 June 2022 2:44pm

The Understanding Kids strand at CMC replaces and updates our previous "research" sessions, with an in-depth dive into understanding what kids are up to and how they perceive the Metaverse - plus a range of tightly constructed research-based videos packed with insights and information. Some reflect this flagship session and also explore the Metaverse, and some stand alone.  The Understanding Kids strand packs out CMC with the knowledge you need to support your creative and business plans in the children's and youth sectors. Here Pete Robinson, producing the Flagship session, outlines what will be discussed.  The Metaverse is here!  Well it has been for a while, but it is becoming increasingly relevant to children’s media. For those that sigh, and…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Doctors in the House (and a Taxi)

Posted on: Wednesday 15 June 2022 6:33pm by Victoria Coker

New member of the CMC Advisory Committee, Victoria Coker, gets all the best gigs. On this occasion - supervising an interview with the doctor-presenters at the heart of one of Britain's' best loved children's factual series 'Operation Ouch!' No need to be nervous about this doctor’s appointment. Relax, and enjoy this revealing, and hilarious dissection of 'Operation Ouch!' with its three stars, Drs Xand, Chris and Ronx. The multi-award winning BBC Children’s series has been prescribing a healthy dose of entertainment and education for ten years. In the session, the trio reflect on how it all started, the gut-wrenching audition (all will be revealed) and the importance of creating a family feel on set. They give us the lowdown on…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Are You Listening?

Posted on: Wednesday 15 June 2022 4:31pm by Carla Herbertson

Carla Herbertson is passionate about audio - here she tells you why you should be too... I am so pleased to put audio on the map at this year’s CMC, but you may ask why audio matters? First, I can dazzle you with stats: Audio downloads across all genres are up 14% to £151 million. (Publisher Association) There’s been a 20 percent increase in listenership for podcasts in the kids and family category since 2019. (NPR and Edison Research’s 2021 Spoken Word Audio Report) US Children’s and Young Adult audiobook sales have increased, with 61% of parents saying their children listen to audiobooks. This is up from 35% in 2020. (Audio Publishers Association) Lots of different platforms are now capitalising on…

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CMC 2022: Preview – The Young Audiences Content Fund – What Next?

Posted on: Wednesday 15 June 2022 4:03pm by Gregory Boardman

Greg Boardman is producing the CMC Debate around the closure of the Young Audiences Content Fund and how that leaves the industry and the children's audience.   Fifteen years of market failure reduced the funding for UK-originated children’s media to an unprecedented low level.  The Young Audiences Content Fund provided an important lifeline but its untimely end leaves kids' TV with a new funding crisis. The government is looking at what will come after the YAC Fund and campaigners and industry organisations are weighing in with their opinions. If you’ve got a desire to shake things up around funding for kids' TV, a vision for how you would build a YACF 2.0 or if you just want to make sure UK-made kids' content has…

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CMC 2022: Preview – MC Grammar has the Last Word

Posted on: Wednesday 15 June 2022 1:49am by Elaine McElroy

Elaine McElroy is producing much-loved educational rap-artist MC Grammar for CMC's The Last Word - the final moment of every conference. She outlines what you can expect... If you can't decide whether the best thing about CMC is the thought-provoking content, or the inspiration you take away, or just the fun... then this year’s final conference Keynote [w]raps up all three for you in a fantastic personal take on the conference theme What Next from Jacob Mitchell... aka MC Grammar. Inspired by his experience of education as a teenager who couldn't get to grips with traditional teaching styles, Jacob’s message is simple - ‘If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.’…

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CMC 2022: Preview – UK Creativity – Talent Driven and World Beating

Posted on: Tuesday 14 June 2022 12:30pm by Vanessa Chapman

Session Producer Vanessa Chpaman looks at the why's and how's of successful British animation in this session at CMC. UK Creativity – Talent Driven and World Beating  brings some welcome good news and potentially promising opportunities.  So, if you’re engaged in the creative process from development to writing, from design to pre-production - and even if you’re the owner of IP or an animation business - this is the session for you! The inspiration came after witnessing a new wave of companies coming into the market, looking to invest and recruit. Yes, invest! This is despite Brexit and our relative lack of grants in comparison to other major territories. It provoked us to ask why now? And why the UK? The answer came back loud…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Get In, Get On

Posted on: Monday 13 June 2022 5:54pm by Amy Rich

Get In, Get On: free CMC Online Webinar 4pm – 5.30pm Monday 27 June 2022  Do you have a burgeoning desire to write scripts for live action children’s TV? Would you love your animations to be seen on TVs the world over? Do you believe 'Peppa Pig' needs a new voice, and you’re it? Book your ticket – they're free! - for Get In, Get On, a 90-minute online event run by the Children’s Media Conference, then. During the course of this session you’ll hear from a stash of industry insiders desperate to impart their expert knowledge to ensure the next generation of kids’ TV talent is the best in the world. Kids’ Industries Co-Founder and CEO, Gary Pope will…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Teen Titans Assemble – Commissioner Conversations Teen

Posted on: Monday 13 June 2022 4:44pm by Jackie Edwards

Jackie Edwards is co-Executive Producer of the Commissioner Conversations at CMC 2022. Here she outlines the teens commissioners’ session. Alright. It’s not sidekicks to Justice League superheroes, but it’s not far off. We have assembled the Premiere League of commissioners of teen content in the UK for your edification. Join them in the DC (da Crucible) to find out what they’ve been up to in the last couple of years, what they’ve been commissioning, what audiences are hankering for and what their commissioning plans are for the coming year. Karl Warner, Head of Youth and Digital at C4, Evie Buckley, commissioning digitally for young audiences across C4 and beyond, Helen Foulkes from BBC Education and Sioned Geraint at S4C will…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Doing it for the Kids: Commissioner Conversations 6-12

Posted on: Monday 13 June 2022 4:30pm by Jackie Edwards

Jackie Edwards is co-Executive Producer on the Commissioner Conversations at CMC 2022. Here she outlines the 6-12s commissioners' session. The Commissioner Conversations are back. But this year, bigger, better, with (literally) more theatre (have you seen the size of the Crucible?)  and with real live commissioners. Join the UK’s premiere league of kids’ commissioners as they tell you a little bit about their platforms’ taste and tone, discuss ‘What Next?’ for audiences and ‘What Next?’ for their commissioning plans. In the kids line up this year are panellists Paul Mortimer at CITV, Sarah Muller at CBBC, Chris Rose at Nickelodeon/Paramount and Ian France from Sky Kids. The panel is hosted by former Director of BBC Children’s Joe Godwin, who will…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Mario Kart Networking speeds into CMC 2022

Posted on: Thursday 09 June 2022 1:19pm

Not to be outdone by drinks receptions and late-night parties in Sheffield venues, the virtual crowd at CMC 2022 are also planning some social events. Here's one for the enthusiasts, planned for the evening of Wednesday 6th July - Organiser Chris Douch explains....   What do you get when you take a group of writers, producers, comedians and other industry creatives and get them to play Mario Kart? Chaos. Beautiful chaos. You also create a unique networking space, where the discussion moves seamlessly between animation writing tips, book recommendations and offers to hear pitches, to cries of, “WHO SHELLED ME AT THE FINISH LINE?!” The Mario Kart networking group started rather organically. When I saw a tweet from Dom Carter…

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May 2022

CMC 2022: Preview – Creative Masterclass + The Write Stuff

Posted on: Monday 30 May 2022 7:01pm by Rachel Murrell

Rachel Murrell is Exec Producing the Write Stuff strand of content for CMC 2022 . Here she outlines the creative interviews at the heart of the strand. They say that inside every kids’ writer is a hit show dying to get out. But where do you get your ideas? How do you shape them into a pitch that convinces other people to invest? And how do you hold onto the core concept during development? We got in touch with four brilliant writer/creators and asked them to tell us. And you. We invited Holly Phillips, writer/ creator of teen show ‘Get Even’, to give CMC’s Creative Masterclass. She’ll be talking with fellow writer Dan Braham about how she adapted the 'Don’t Get Mad' books…

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CMC 2022: Preview: CMC SkillBuilder – the Optimal Pitch

Posted on: Wednesday 25 May 2022 2:47am by Amy Rich

CMC SkillBuilder - the Optimal Pitch 28 June 2022 4-5.30pm BST Online £50 +VAT Places are limited - Register Now Top tips and honest fails are all shared in this essential event. So come and join us as we all go on a journey to find out what makes the magic work when pitching an amazing idea!  - Ian France, Commissioning Editor, Sky Kids Forget schlepping down to London, or trying to navigate the tram route to Media City in Salford, because with SkillBuilder, we’ve rounded up all the relevant folk and asked them to stay put from 4pm – 5.30pm on Tuesday 28th June 2022 for this exciting online-only event. Yes, that’s right, if it was the ‘90s, they’d be missing…

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CMC 2022: Preview – Commissioner Conversations 2022

Posted on: Wednesday 25 May 2022 1:56am by Tiernan Douieb

You don’t really need me to explain the Commissioner Conversations panels at CMC do you? They're clearly the only reason you’re attending, right? Well, that and the karaoke night obvs, because nothing will help your kids' media pitch quite like showing everyone you only know the chorus of ‘Islands in the Stream’ yet will keep trying anyway. These panels though are a must, as they’ll have the absolute top bods of the children’s broadcasting world telling you exactly what they’re looking for, for their platform, so you can immediately go create it. Then become the next Walt Disney or, er, Susan Netflix. That is the kind of insight you can only get by going to CMC. Or by hacking into the…

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July 2021

CMC 2021: Report – The Last Word

Posted on: Saturday 10 July 2021 2:49pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

Takeaways Adults shouldn’t assume young people will trust them; many young people have been let down by adults who must work to regain trust. Adults must take a genuine interest in young people and not just pay lip service because it’s part of their job. Young people must be consultants in whatever adults produce for them for it to have authenticity and value. Adults must put themselves into positions where they must trust young people. Only by showing trust can we get the best from young people. Sue Nott thanked the delegates, supporters and sponsors of the CMC and summed up a theme that emerged during the conference as trusting young people and enabling them to make a difference. She…

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CMC 2021: Report – Commissioner Conversations Channels

Posted on: Friday 09 July 2021 11:26pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways The priority for both brands is being where kids are.  Projects that have local content with global legs are a fit across platforms.  Exciting pitches have diversity baked into the idea and the team and helps brands reach and reflect all children and voices. Zia Bales is open for pitching year round. The pandemic caused WarnerMedia to add virtual and email pitching to supplement the in-person process. The pre-buy process depends on the needs of the series and the slot available. They try to begin collaboration early in the project’s development process and secure a broad scope of rights. WarnerMedia is a good fit for projects that fill local needs and have global intentions. Zia would like to continue…

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CMC 2021: Report – Write On

Posted on: Friday 09 July 2021 7:01pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways ● Everyone in the writers’ room has permission to talk nonsense and say things that aren’t going to be broadcast. ● Nobody really knows what a show is until halfway through the first series. ● In the writers’ room, you need detonators who also bring solutions. ● If you are a wallflower, make sure you’re the first to speak. Host Julian Scott asked us to guess which of the panellists had chased Gordon Brown down the street dressed as Mr Spock, stood in for Rowan Atkinson, given Ralph Fiennes elocution lessons or got a KGB officer drunk, all to be revealed at the end of the session. Julian started by asking the panel how you make writers welcome in the writer’s room. ‘Wine and…

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CMC 2021: Report – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on: Thursday 08 July 2021 11:33pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways The platform landscape is impacting show development and creating exciting opportunities for experimentation and out-of-the-box thinking.  This is a great time for projects championing diversity on screens and behind the scenes.  It’s a great moment for projects about mindfulness. The dragons heard diverse and vibrant five minute pitches from Jemma Gross of Fly High Stories, Author Chitra Soundar, Kath Shackleton of Fettle, and game designer Irwin Fustec.  Jemma Gross pitched ‘Poppy & Mo’, a show for ages 4-7 that mixes animation and live action to explore mental health and feelings in eleven minute episodes. Fly High Stories used emergency funding during the pandemic to transition their live events into an animated show and discovered their love for animation. The…

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CMC 2021: Report – Commissioner Conversations VOD

Posted on: Thursday 08 July 2021 11:21pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways: Sky Kids looks for content that complements rather than competes with their partner broadcasters. Kidoodle should be regarded as a new revenue stream. The UK is now a top-3 provider to Netflix, and in the past year, the platform spent a billion on UK production across the board. Children should learn that it’s okay not to be okay, sometimes. Two recurring themes cropped up in Tiernan Douieb’s discussion with VOD commissioners.  The first was the importance of their educational content during the pandemic, the second that their commissioned content often complements the global brands offered by some of their partners. Lucy Murphy, Director of Kids’ Content at Sky, said that everything changed as the pandemic hit, but they still managed to get an…

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