Blogs in "CMC Ebulletin"

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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CMC 2021: Report – The CMC Debate

Posted on: Thursday 08 July 2021 9:42pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

Takeaways Regulation is coming! CMC delegates should play a part in the debate and be open to all ideas at this stage, however controversial. The definition of PSM must evolve to be fit for purpose in the new algorithmic viewing environment. Kids must be included in the conversation about the future of PSM and be involved in commissioning. PSM must figure out its place in the ‘metaverse’ and consider ‘context’ alongside ‘content’. Moderator Pat Younge began by promoting the launch today of the Children’s Media Foundation report ‘Our Children’s Future: Does Public Service Media Matter?’ (also available to download in the CMC Delegate Bag). He then introduced one of the contributors to the report, Lord Vaizey. Ed Vaizey offered a…

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CMC 2021: Report – Commissioner Conversations BBC

Posted on: Thursday 08 July 2021 6:51pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways BBC Children’s has moved to an open-door pitch policy, and ideas can be pitched when ready, no need to wait on the calendar.  The team welcomes ideas rooted in British culture that reflect the variety of lives of kids growing up in the UK today. New and platform-agnostic voices/projects are welcome. Patricia Hidalgo and her team announced the Ignite initiative during this session. Ignite seeks to fund animation from both established and new voices with ideas rooted in British culture and relevant to British children growing up today. Sarah said she was eager to get started leveling the playing field with real funding for British animation from different voices.  Patricia stated that the biggest change during her tenure at…

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CMC 2021: Report – Creative Keynote: Dani Harmer and Jacqueline Wilson

Posted on: Thursday 08 July 2021 12:42am by Simon Bor

Takeaways ● Tracy Beaker is back, all grown up and bringing up her own daughter. ● Dani Harmer: ‘Unless you’re in a soap, you don’t normally get this kind of role.’ ● Mobile phones have ruined so much for writers! ● Children love naughtiness and recognise that Tracy has learnt to be tough and stick up for herself, but underneath she just wants her mum. ● Jacqueline Wilson: ‘I’m in the mind of a child; I see things from a child’s point of view.’ Sue  Nott, CMC Advisory Chair, introduced this keynote session as the first in-person CMC panel since lockdown; live from a studio, complete with extra-long socially distanced sofas! Rhianna Dhillon started by reminding ‘Tracy Beaker’ author Jacqueline Wilson, and Tracy Beaker…

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CMC 2021: Report- Animation Assemble: Talent and Toons

Posted on: Thursday 08 July 2021 12:31am by Lorna Partington Walsh

Takeaways  Animation remains the cornerstone of kids’ commissioning and, if anything, growing in importance. Commissioners are looking for local stories that represent children’s lives but have global appeal. Diversity off-screen is a priority and projects should address new talent development, especially of writers/showrunners/directors who are women or from underrepresented backgrounds. Producers/creators are encouraged to come forward with strong, character-driven ideas that the commissioner can help shape into a fully developed show. Beth Parker introduced the panellists and the theme of the session: working together to create quality content for kids. She began by asking the contributors to explain why animation is important to their company. ViacomCBS: Animation is a cornerstone for Nickelodeon worldwide. Their animated shows present the world from…

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CMC 2021: Report – The Key To… Konnie Huq

Posted on: Wednesday 07 July 2021 2:41am by Cate Zerega

Takeaways If people can get the kids right then the future is bright.  You have to see it to be it, so inclusivity is an important norm to continue pursuing. Your little me, when joined with the other little me’s, can spread the opportunity and responsibility for climate sustainability and action. Konnie Huq’s key philosophy is: ‘If people can get the kids right, then the future is bright.’ Huq, in conversation with Newsround presenter Ricky Boleto, said that there was little emphasis on BAME representation in programming when she became the first Asian presenter on 'Blue Peter'. However,  children’s TV has always led the way in her experience.  She had to navigate tokenism as a path to inclusivity becoming the…

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CMC 2021: Report – Commissioner Conversation PSB and YACF

Posted on: Wednesday 07 July 2021 1:58am by Lorna Partington Walsh

Takeaways All PSB broadcasters are commissioning content after the disrupted year of Covid. Channels are looking to on-demand to help broaden opportunities for youth content. YACF has helped all commercial PSB channels widen their commissioning remit, serve new audiences, and work with new creators. Live-action content is broadly favoured by the commissioners because it can better represent the UK’s diversity of young people. Chris Jarvis introduced the contributors: Louise Bucknole (for Channel 5’s Milkshake!), Jackie Edwards (YACF), Sioned Wyn Roberts (S4C), and Paul Mortimer (ITV).   YACF Jackie presented the successes of the fund, now in its second year, and praised the level of industry engagement. She announced that a full evaluation report will be presented to DCMS in the autumn and…

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CMC 2021: Report – Opening Keynote

Posted on: Wednesday 07 July 2021 1:14am by Lorna Partington Walsh

Takeaways Art and creativity gives every young person, irrespective of background, the potential to express themselves and find their place in the world. If teachers, parents, and professionals do not include young people in the conversation and key decisions, we are failing them. Young people need role models in the arts if they are given the best chance to reach their creative potential. Media for young people are indispensable to parents, teachers and the young audience itself to ensure the young people can learn and develop. Artists and creatives can engage with Andria’s Artists in Residence programme via the website: www.artistsinresidence.org.uk Sue Nott officially launched CMC 2021 and introduced Global Teacher Award winner Andria Zafirakou, who presented an inspirational keynote…

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CMC 2021: Report – Question Time

Posted on: Wednesday 07 July 2021 1:05am by Cate Zerega

Takeaways There is still long-term value in investment in original content. The path forward in regulating cyberspace might be to protect the positive features of children creating content for themselves while designing protections and transparent processes for the young audience. If we want younger people to engage with the PSBs, we have to give them relevant content (which is an economic challenge). Host, Leah Boleto began by getting the panel’s take on the recent press stories about possible reduction of UK content in the EU. John McVay clarified that because the agreements around content wee Euopean rather than EU affairs there was no immediate threat to UK exports, as there was little the EU could do in the short term. …

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CMC 2021: Preview – Perspective On… Escapism or Empowerment? Children’s Media’s Role in Motivating Action

Posted on: Monday 05 July 2021 3:27pm by Mary-Jane Attafuah

 Mary-Jane Attafuah from Tifi has produced a video for the Perspective On... strand at CMC 2021. It asks "to what extent should kids' media promote and encourage activism in the young audience?" 2020 left us with a sharpened awareness of our impact on the planet and each other. What this means for children and the future they’ll inhabit is unclear, but as the leaders of the future - today’s children will inherit the consequences of the environmental and social issues we have created. It seems children are already engaging with these issues. The Insights Family survey more than half a million children and parents every year to understand their attitudes and behaviour, and found that far from being passive observers, kids…

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CMC 2021: Preview – Inclusivity Now – Inclusion & Creativity: The Manga Connection

Posted on: Monday 05 July 2021 2:20pm by Nigel Twumasi

Nigel Twumasi presents the video in the CMC 2021 Inclusivity Now strand which considers the power of Manga to advance diversity and inclusion. Manga is a medium that is so often misunderstood, even as it fills the shelves of enthusiastic readers across the country. The Japanese form of comic storytelling is frequently seen through the narrow lens of a stereotype, leading content producers to miss the great potential it has to speak to a new generation eager to consume content that relates to them.  In our video, Inclusion & Creativity: The Manga Connection, we examine the medium and learn why manga strikes such a chord. Our contributors will highlight how it can act as a bridge for inclusion in children's…

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June 2021

CMC 2021: Preview: Inclusivity Now – Bringing Diversity to Life

Posted on: Friday 25 June 2021 10:39pm by Lydia Mossahebi

“When I was younger, I really didn’t understand how come kids on TV had blonde hair and why didn’t I have blonde hair? And then I just felt left out.” Mia - 11 years old  Diversity and inclusion is so often discussed as something producers and content makers strive for, but what steps need to be made to turn that into a reality and create tangible results for young audiences? In this session, Bringing Diversity to Life, we sought experts from Mattel, Viacom and the BBC, who have made an impact in this space to discuss the ways they’ve found to deliver content that really cuts through to the audience. It’s an honest conversation about the challenges they found along…

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CMC 2021: Preview – Perspective On… Happy Media, Happy Mind

Posted on: Friday 25 June 2021 10:38pm by Sallyann Keizer

Sallyann Keizer, MD of BAFTA-winning Sixth Sense Media and founder of two mental health non-profits, writes about her upcoming panel ‘Happy Media, Happy Mind’ and why 2021 is the year to open up a real conversation about child mental health. Early this year, I was asked to write an article for the Children's Media Yearbook on the importance of protecting child mental health. As a children’s content maker of 25 years and the founder of Bow-Wowza, a digital non-profit offering empowering children to flourish, this topic is close to my heart. I began the article with one of my favourite quotes, from Archbishop Desmond Tutu:  “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the…

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What has the CMC Ever Done for me? Mittens, Shoes and Funding Clues

Posted on: Monday 14 June 2021 11:45pm

Nai Morris is a director and animator at Matinai animation, working alongside co-owner and CG artist Matt Morris, they specialise in high end CG animated films with humorous characters and stories at its heart. They are making CMC 2021's short animated sequences that will run at the start of every session. I first came to CMC Sheffield, in the summer of 2019, with a pitch bible tucked under my arm and an aim to test the water with my pre-school series, ‘Mitten and Shoe’. 'Mitten and Shoe' was inspired by many trips to the playground with my two young sons and noticing all the children’s accessories left around the park. Of course my crazy animation-y side of my brain thought,…

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What has the CMC Ever Done for me? Little Crowns and Big Ambitions

Posted on: Saturday 05 June 2021 1:54am

What has the CMC ever done for me?   I think that's an excellent question. Although it sounds cheesy, I have always dreamed of making children's television. The fact that it is actually starting to happen is astounding to me. Let's go back a bit! Little Crowns Storyhouse has been my company since 2018. We are a children's puppetry company that provides regular workshops and mother and toddler groups in South London. My toddler groups were regularly attended and parents would sometimes say to me, “I could see this toddler group on TV.” I was always so happy that they could see my vision. Then came the lockdown! There were no workshops, no toddler group, and I had to stay at…

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November 2020

What has the CMC ever done for me? Green, Inclusive Influencing…

Posted on: Wednesday 11 November 2020 7:23pm

Andy Mundy-Castle is the MD of Doc Hearts, a factually-skewed company working across genres. From its inception Doc Hearts has been dedicated to creating moments of culture through innovative storytelling. I first heard about the CMC at the BFI Young Audiences Content Fund launch... Everyone seemed to be going. The YACF team spoke highly of the conference and recommended we attend. As a company we were newbies in the world of children’s TV with only a few commissions to our name, so this felt like the perfect one-stop-shop, to gain a thorough understanding of the landscape. Over the past ten years Sheffield had always been synonymous with DocFest, so it was great to experience another festival in the city and…

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November 2019

Be Ready for Brexit: Brexit Implications for Export and Import Issues

Posted on: Wednesday 06 November 2019 3:38pm by Stuart Dredge

On 24 October, Animation UK and CMC teamed up for the 'Be Ready for Brexit' event in London, to help the animation and kids' content TV and digital production communities learn about and discuss the implications of Brexit on their businesses – whether the UK exits the European Union with or without a deal. At the time of the event, 31 October was still looming as the deadline for the UK's withdrawal agreement to be ratified – and a no-deal crash-out if it were not. Since then, however, the UK's request for an extension to 31 January has been approved by the EU, pushing back that deadline. The third session at the event focused on export and import issues, with a panel…

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Be Ready for Brexit: Brexit and the Future of Finance

Posted on: Wednesday 06 November 2019 3:34pm by Stuart Dredge

On 24 October, Animation UK and CMC teamed up for the 'Be Ready for Brexit' event in London, to help the animation and kids' content TV and digital production communities learn about and discuss the implications of Brexit on their businesses – whether the UK exits the European Union with or without a deal. At the time of the event, 31 October was still looming as the deadline for the UK's withdrawal agreement to be ratified – and a no-deal crash-out if it were not. Since then, however, the UK's request for an extension to 31 January has been approved by the EU, pushing back that deadline. The second session at the event explored the future of finance, with a panel including…

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Be Ready for Brexit: What will Brexit mean for workforce, skills and employment?

Posted on: Tuesday 05 November 2019 10:25pm by Stuart Dredge

On 24 October, Animation UK and CMC teamed up for the 'Be Ready for Brexit' event in London, to help the animation and kids' content TV and digital production communities learn about and discuss the implications of Brexit on their businesses – whether the UK exits the European Union with or without a deal. At the time of the event, 31 October was still looming as the deadline for the UK's withdrawal agreement to be ratified – and a no-deal crash-out if it were not. Since then, however, the UK's request for an extension to 31 January has been approved by the EU, pushing back that deadline. The final session at the event focused on the human side of Brexit…

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July 2019

CMC 2019: Report – The Last Word

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 10:52am

With the advertised contributor, Nikki Lilly unable to attend CMC due to illness in her family, CMC moved quickly to put together something inspiring and challenging for the final thirty minutes of the Conference.   Who better than the Changemakers (and friends)?  A group of young people who had never met before, some from this year's Changemaker team, one from last year's (now moderating a session of her own at CMC) and one of the much-appreciated CMC volunteer team who had been in the Changemaker support crew. and got to know them through the course of the conference. The panel closed the event by discussing their opinions of the conference and industry, and what they hope for the future of media…

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CMC 2019: Report – Online Killed the TV Star

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 10:34pm by Cate Zerega

5 BILLION YouTube videos are watched EVERY DAY. With 430, 000 hours of content being uploaded to the platform every day, it’s no surprise that we all fear the demise of TV as we know it. Takeaway:                            Recognize the snobbery that dismisses the online star. Creating a crossover success is best served with a holistic, talent first approach - can’t plug just any talent into any show and expect audience success. Detail: Presenter Leah Charles King started the session playing three clips and asked the panel and audience which clip had the most views. A clip of Kylie Jenner’s daughter won with over twenty-seven million. Influencer Lewys…

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CMC 2019: Report – Unconscious Bias

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 3:12pm by Cate Zerega

Increase your awareness of your bias... One way to do so is to take an implicit association test. Practise good self-care so that you can free up brain space to better challenge your implicit bias. We can help change a child’s brain structure by what we show them. Takeaway: Only 1% of children's books feature a BAME character. Despite being in starring roles, animated female Disney characters  have less dialogue than males. Why do we like cats over rats when both are furry animals with pointy ears? Detail: The HUBS Hideout filled with delegates for Luise Usiskin's talk on unconscious bias. Luise started with how humans learn to categorise. She shared the story of when her daughter was small and…

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CMC 2019: Report – China: Business & Partnerships

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 12:45pm by Tim Collins

Doing business in China is entering a golden period – there appear to be more opportunities than ever before.   So what should we be looking for and how do we approach China? Takeaway: China is a huge market, with over 360m children, including 180m pre-schoolers. There is a projected animation spend of $34bn by 2021 China is investing in and creating IP and is actively looking for foreign partners. The Department for International Trade, BFI and others can help with regulations, censorship, quotas on foreign content and IP protection. Detail: The session started with a comprehensive scene setter from our host Louise from the DIT.   The UK Government is working very hard at our relationship with China and the recent…

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CMC 2019: Report – Fortnite-ly Phenomena: What creates a digital craze?

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 12:31pm by Tim Collins

Digital crazes aren’t a new phenomenon. Think Moshi Monsters, Club Penguin, Angry Birds... But they’re happening quicker than ever. New devices and social media are key drivers in accelerating these trends. Takeaway: Smartphone ownership has been increasing 33% YoY for 4-9 years olds since 2017. Access to new technology by younger kids is accelerating how digital content and experiences can lead to crazes. The gaming revolution has been driven by increasing device capability, more devices, more games available for free and the introduction of social and chat. Illustration by Greg McLeod Detail: The session started with moderator Neil Court asking the panel if there was any special sauce in being able to spot or even help create a digital craze.…

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CMC 2019: Report – Delivery Demands

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 11:39am by Vanisha Sumboo

Technical standards and delivery demands have undergone vast changes in recent years. Content is commissioned by the platform giants and viewed by the consumer in very different ways than how it used to be. Nowadays, the process has much shorter timelines, higher production costs, and more delivery formats - meaning the final quality can be at risk. This session took a look at how to effectively tackle these new delivery demands. Takeaway: ● Netflix have their own QC (quality control) requirements – knowing them from the outset will help streamline the process. ● Have an IT specialist to help with the demands of security procedures. ● Test your pipeline and delivery processes as early as you can, use automatic routines…

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CMC 2019: Report – The Incredible Playable Lunchtime Show

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 11:20am

With a chance to 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 was a hilarious CMC innovation putting the audience at the centre and gives them the chance to unleash their inner kid. Takeaway: Everything was interactive from the start. It's a chance to unleash the inner kid. Detail: Dressed out on the stage with inflatables, coloured barcode jackets, everything appeared to be very interactive from the start. Game Developer, Alistair Aitchrson, hosted the event looking like ‘The Greatest Showman’. His work is known for its emphasis on physical activity and social interaction, and his games have won awards at the IndieCade and GameCity…

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