Blogs in "Event Previews"

June 2018

CMC 2018: Preview: The Making of ‘Gudrun: The Viking Princess’

Posted on: Friday 29 June 2018 2:24pm by Mick Cooke

Mick Cooke from Children's Media Network Scotland explains their choice of creative case study for CMC 2018 Q: How do you turn hundreds of hours of natural history footage into an award winning preschool series? A: Well you could start by adding a nine year old princess and 25 vikings… Such was the ingenious tactic employed by Maramedia when creating Gudrun: The Viking Princess for CBeebies. Gudrun…is Maramedia’s first foray into children’s media. The company are better known for producing natural history programmes featuring the talents of David Attenborough and Ewan McGregor. This transition to kids’ media was made easier by bringing in Simon Parsons, who was Head of Childrens’ at BBC Scotland for six years. After that he went on to…

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July 2017

CMC 2017: Preview: Opening the Vault

Posted on: Tuesday 04 July 2017 11:45pm by Rosemary Klein

Rosemary Klein, session producer for Opening the Vault, looks at how to get your hands on more money for your projects – what’s not to like? Thursday 6th July, 9.30am, in Cinema 4  Money, money, money, MONEY… makes the world go round (well that and cosmic forces). But it certainly is the fuel to launch and maintain children’s media projects and business. Are sources of financing your children’s media venture more or less open in 2017? Are you looking for cash in all the wrong places? Or are you simply still awake from the party the night before and need a quiet place to grab a kip? Shake off the CMC party hang over, grab a strong coffee and regenerate…

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CMC 2017: Preview: Engineering Change

Posted on: Tuesday 04 July 2017 10:57am by Esther Kaufmann

Esther Kaufmann, session producer for Engineering Change, on why opening up STEM careers to girls is still a pressing social issue – and what we can do to help. Thursday 6th July, 2pm, in the HUBS Common Room  Let's face an ugly truth: most young girls struggle to name even a single female engineer. Only 3 in 500 girls at 11 go on to study anything technical at university, and less than 9% of the UK engineering workforce are women. The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2012 predicted that we needed 1.5m more STEM Professionals by 2020, and over 60% of the current UK school population will do jobs that currently do not exist – mostly in the STEM sector. Don't we have to prepare our kids…

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June 2017

CMC 2017: Preview: Best Friends Forever?

Posted on: Friday 30 June 2017 3:46pm by Viola Gabrielli

 Viola Gabrielli, session producer on Best Friends Forever? asks 'can broadcasters and funders work together to finance children’s features films?' Let’s talk about it...   At 12.45 pm Thursday 6 July, in the Hubs Common Room For more years than we like to remember, Kathy Loizou (Director of CMC) and I have been discussing children’s feature film production. Most of the time we wonder why the UK has such a problem in producing feature films for children – particularly live-action of different genres. It seems that other European countries that face the same obstacles do much better. Moreover, they've been able to establish and maintain a special focus on production for the young generation. For most countries in Europe a diversified and…

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CMC 2017: Preview: IP 360

Posted on: Friday 30 June 2017 1:13pm by Lucy Gill

Lucy Gill, kids app and User Experience (UX) specialist is the session producer for IP 360. There she talks about the challenges of creating a 360 brand in the children’s space. Like many mothers, I can map my son’s early years through his brand affiliations. From 'Fireman Sam' to 'Octonauts' to a world of superheros, our house has filled with toys, books, magazines, stationery, really anything ‘on brand’ that he could get his hands on. Accompanied, of course, by an obsessive desire to watch the show, play the games etc etc. I vividly remember having to wash my son’s one Fireman Sam plate after every meal for several weeks - at 18 months he simply wouldn’t eat off anything else! In…

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CMC 2017: Preview: Focus on Canada.  UK/Canada co-productions – the perfect match?

Posted on: Friday 30 June 2017 12:54pm by Jeff Norton

Jeff Norton, moderator of the CMC 2017 Focus on Canada session, and a Canadian in London, tells us what to expect from our friends across the pond...   As Canada celebrates its historic 150th anniversary, there much to cheer about with respect to its success in kids' TV. Canada, a country with a population roughly half of the UK, has long punched above its weight in children’s television. Historically, the combination of tax credits, government incentives, and independent funds (created in the wake of various M&A activity in the sector) have enabled creators, producers, and broadcasters to assemble a large percentage of a show’s budget out of Canada. The country’s globetrotting Minister for Heritage, Melanie Joly, is focused on urging Canadian…

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CMC 2017: Preview: Growing and Making Money

Posted on: Wednesday 28 June 2017 10:49am by Anttu Harlin

Gigglebug Entertainment co-founder and CEO Anttu Harlin (session producer for Beyond Survival: Growing your Business and Making Money) talks about getting comfortable with money. Let’s get it out in the open. Money. In the kids' business, where does the money flow from and who gets it?  Money is a topic that's shrouded in far too much mystery and we're terrified to talk about frankly. That needs to change. If producing is about enabling great content, than being a producer in 2017 means being an entrepreneur. It’s time for more producers and creatives to get entrepreneurial.  Why is money so scary? It need not be. Content people and money people just need to get out of their comfort zones and talk to…

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CMC 2017: What has the CMC Ever Done… for Sheffield Kids?

Posted on: Tuesday 20 June 2017 1:40am by Emma Cooper

Emma Cooper, CMC Advisory Committee member asks... Which for a Children's Media Conference that has happened in Sheffield every year for the last 14 years is a very good question.  As a Sheffield resident and someone who works in children’s media I’ve gained a huge amount from CMC being on my home turf. Not just sleeping in my own bed and seeing my own children while attending a conference, but also making international connections,  learning more about making media for children, and growing and strengthening my career - from outside the M25. A thousand or more delegates coming to the city to talk business and spend their hard earned money at our bars restaurants and hotels has a definite benefit…

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January 2017

UK@Kidscreen 2017: UK@Kidscreen – Miami Info

Posted on: Friday 20 January 2017 12:15pm

Jose Luis Martinez is Executive Producer at Atomic Digital Media, a Miami-based  company, founded in 2016, which will produce, acquire and license content, including programming for a new children’s digital platform scheduled to launch in Q2 of 2017.  Here he shares everything delegates to Kidscreen need to know about his home town... Dear UK@KIDSCREEN Delegates: As you prepare to embark on this year’s journey to the always changing, always unpredictable place we call home, your friends at Atomic Digital Media would love to offer some basic info on what to do, where to go, and what to eat during your visit to Miami. We know your time is limited, as you are all making great deals happen and meeting other talented folks, so…

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July 2016

CMC 2016: Preview – Mind the Gap

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2016 10:44am by Dr Jacqueline Harding

Dr Jacqueline Harding introduces a session that considers the ‘gap’ between mindful, calm behaviours among children and their rapid-fire media consumption. What’s best for kids – a fast-food media diet, or should a more slow-cooked meal be served up? Our session throws down the gauntlet to the panel and challenges them to offer solutions that will bring a leisurely smile to us all. Can you have your cake and eat it? Come along and find out. Mike Batt brings his wide-ranging industry experience to the table and will get us all humming to a new tune with the reawakening of the Wombles (yes, they are back!), while Beth Wood will have us all in a state of peace and tranquility…

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CMC 2016: Preview – The Changing Face of Production

Posted on: Tuesday 05 July 2016 3:19pm by Nellie McQuinn

Nellie McQuinn hosts a session discussing digital production techniques and how production companies have evolved to accommodate a new generation of consumers. Our session brings together key players from different areas of online content production, and they will explore the following issues: Digital production companies are becoming key players in the children’s entertainment industry – but does digital content mean cheaper content? How do companies deal with delivering content that is on trend with such little lead-time? How have digital content creators adapted their production methods to fit in with digital needs? Are production methods different when creating digital content vs linear content? Our panel will consist of: Jon Benoy, who heads up partnerships at WildBrain, the DHX Media-owned multi-platform…

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CMC 2016: Preview – The Prix Jeunesse Suitcase

Posted on: Tuesday 05 July 2016 2:27pm by David Kleeman

Session producer David Kleeman on the value of seeing what’s out there in international kids’ TV. Warning: graphic nudity. In children’s TV. There... that ought to fill Cinema 3. That’s not all, though – far from it! Come to the PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase screening – kids and tweens programming from around the world – to see a 9-year-old marrying his 10-year-old girlfriend, a monster who really wants to be a singer, a moondance, and preschoolers playing agony aunt for their stuffed animals. But, wait, don’t stop there. We’ll finish with a five-clip focus on Japan’s NHK, which is turning out the world’s most highly-designed, visually innovative, unique treatments and narratives for all ages. Why watch kids’ TV from Japan, Norway,…

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CMC 2016: Preview – Research Insights @ CMC

Posted on: Sunday 03 July 2016 1:07pm

The CMC prides itself on making space for 9 distinct research insight sessions, from a variety of research providers - the academic community, commercial research companies and major institutions. This year Sheffield University, Platypus, Family Kids and Youth, the BBC and Ofcom are amongst the bodies offering 30 minutes of research insight and analysis. The CMC schedule is designed so that every research session is repeated on Thursday. All the research session can be conveniently found in Showroom Cinema 1.   Here's the full list: 1. Continuity and Change: The Impact of Online on Children’s TV Viewing Compelling video footage plus a decade of quant research reveal what’s changed in children’s viewing and what this might mean for the future. Presented by…

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CMC 2016: Preview – Under the Bonnet of Over the Top

Posted on: Friday 01 July 2016 5:11pm by Jon Watts

Jon Watts (MTM) has assembled his team of mechanics to take apart the OTT business model and reveal its inner workings. Have you ever wondered what’s really going on, under the bonnet of over-the-top video services? Well, fear not – we’ve got just the session for you. We’ve assembled up a panel of industry leaders and experts – including Alice Webb of the BBC, Hopster’s Chief Creative Officer Miki Chojnacka, leading kids' producers and distributors Zodiac Kids and Cake Entertainment, and Ofcom’s Head of Media Research and Market Intelligence Jane Rumble – to give us the lowdown on what’s really happening and where the market’s going. What does the latest research tell us about OTT video consumption and the future of linear kids'…

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CMC 2016: Preview – Green Shoots for Children’s Film

Posted on: Friday 01 July 2016 3:06pm by Phil Parker

Session Producer Phil Parker is taking a positive attitude to an area showing small signs of growth. For the last three years at CMC we have had discussions about different ways to fund and make children’s and family films. Come to this session to see how you can join in the fun and pain of Indie film-making for the world’s largest audience. ‘Bach In Brazil’, an Indie family film, has now been in the cinemas for 16 weeks, defying all expectations in Germany. This first-time feature, by Ansgar Ahlers, was made using a combination of a co-production deal, pre-sale, TV sale and public funds. So what are the prospects for the UK? Film Cymru / Wales have a whole new strategy.…

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CMC 2016: Preview – VR 101: Making Virtual a Reality

Posted on: Friday 01 July 2016 2:09pm by Imogen Hesp

Session producer, Imogen Hesp, on why now is the time talk VR and how she plans to do that at CMC. 2016 is pegged as being a watershed moment for VR. Oculus Rift, first made available as a development kit to producers in late 2012, has finally hit the consumer market. Google’s cardboard and Samsungs Gear are making VR experiences accessible to anyone with a smart phone and McDonalds took VR to the masses with its Swedish Happy Meal Box that transformed into a VR viewer. VR experiences have obvious appeal to the children’s market. With the ability to transport you into magical worlds and new exciting places who could be a better audience? But producing for VR is a new…

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June 2016

CMC 2016: Preview – Commissioner Conversations: VoD & OTT

Posted on: Thursday 30 June 2016 5:42pm by David Heslop

Freelance producer & director, David Heslop (session producer for 'Commissioner Conversations: VoD & OTT' has some observations on 'VoD and Me' I’m of an age where I remember (in the fog-shrouded ancient times of the 1980s) coming home from school to find solid blocks of television just for me; one on BBC 1 and another on ITV. They ran from approximately three o’clock until about 5.25, until Neighbours started. And, aside from the obligatory weekend morning programmes, that was your lot. Regimented and ordered, a curated platter of dedicated children’s television served regularly at the same time, day in, day out. Even as we moved from those after-school slots to the wall-to-wall smorgasbord of multi-channel TV – dozens and dozens…

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CMC 2016: Preview – What Do We Tell the Children?

Posted on: Thursday 30 June 2016 9:21am

Olivia Dickinson and Lewis Bronze, outline the aims for their session to consider how children's news deals with difficult topics. Terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the murder of Jo Cox MP – a series of events, each shocking in their own way, assail us from the rolling news channels.  In the age of social media and 24 hour news, how do broadcasters relate these events to children?  Are the norms which governed Newsround for most of its long history relevant today?  What standards should be applied to children’s news outlets, are they showing too much or too little of the world we now live in? CMC brings together a panel of producers and journalists,…

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CMC 2016: UKTI @ CMC

Posted on: Friday 24 June 2016 12:39pm

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) will be at CMC and the International Exchange UK Trade & Investment, the government organisation that helps companies expand their business globally, are supporting the CMC International Exchange and the 'Focus on….' sessions at CMC covering China,  India, Canada and Europe. UKTI team members are available to International Exchange delegates on the Meeting Mojo bookings system - so why not book a short meeting to assess how we can help your plans and your projects. UKTI staff will also be around during CMC to advise you on how to get your content into key markets and how we can help you with support for key events like Kidscreen and MIPJnr.  We'll be present at each of the 'Focus…

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CMC 2016: Preview – Focus on China

Posted on: Friday 24 June 2016 11:55am by Maggie Liang

For the Focus on China Session, CMC Session Producer Maggie Liang asks “Is co-production with China possible?” China is a huge market. It has more than 50 broadcasters and thousands of production companies. Big and scary? Or a bigger pool, with lots of opportunities. It depends on your point of view . This is my third year at CMC, and I’ve encountered lots of UK children’s content talent at the Conference – some of who have the real intention to expand their international reach - especially to China. This year my company The Media Pioneers is bringing a group of Chinese content commissioners to the International Exchange and to the Conference to meet new people and explain the Chinese market for kids’…

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CMC 2016: Preview – Innovation in Education

Posted on: Thursday 23 June 2016 1:11pm by Eric Huang

We asked CMC Session producer Eric Huang to outline his plans for his session about breaking the boundaries of the classroom. ‘Innovation in Education’ brings together case studies of new projects and a panel of professionals to discuss balancing education, entertainment, play and real-world engagement, and how they plan to turn lesson plans into children’s media brands and platforms of the future. Children’s media organisations, from multinational giants to VC-backed start-ups, have sprung up around the world to tackle the problem of how to engage kids with school subjects and how to make learning interesting in a world in which their lives are spent on screens offering instant entertainment, information, opinion and social interaction.  How can the classroom compete? How can…

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CMC 2016: Preview – Too Cool for School

Posted on: Thursday 23 June 2016 12:56pm by Lorna Probert

Lorna Probert is producing a session that sounds like a song from a musical – 'Too Cool for School' Hosted by Mr Cool, Dan Efergan, Aardman's Digital Creative Director, who has considerable experience of making content both attractive and learning-focused, our panel brings together a group of people who each bring different insights into how entertainment content is actually being used in the classroom and its effects – perhaps in contexts or to teach topics we might never have imagined. The session will look at whether there really is a role for entertainment – film, TV or games – in the classroom. Of course the entertainment producers and commissioners at CMC will all answer with a resounding "yes". We can see the potential for the content we…

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CMC 2016: Preview – Minecraft University

Posted on: Thursday 23 June 2016 12:32pm by James Coleman

James Coleman, producing Minecraft University, asks "How can you teach kids in a world where they are the experts?" In this Minecraft University course, crammed into one hour, and hosted by Educational Technologist, Donna Comerford, we mine Minecraft and its ancillary activities to discover the opportunities they present to children, educators, and the community. Most of us have had some personal experience of the Minecraft phenomenon. It's totally immersive, challenging, creative, social, developmental, eclectic and has 'captured' millions of young users.  On YouTube millions of kids are watching people building and playing in Minecraft as their daily entertainment "fix".  Educators are already engaging, of course, especially as Minecraft sits so well as a bridge between creating and coding - the new educational priority. Now…

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CMC 2016: Making it Animated

Posted on: Friday 10 June 2016 11:57am

This year's CMC  interstitial animations- those funky little pieces that run just at the start of each session at the Conference to get the audience to pay attention - were made by Beakus - a South London animation company. Steve Smith - founder of Beakus - explains how they did it: We interviewed a range of children about their understanding of and interests in children’s media – what they want to see more of, or less of, and how they make use of devices we don’t even understand. Then director Rory WT set to wrk animating his favourite clips in his trademark morphing style. We love being a part of the CMC – the interstitials will play out before every one…

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CMC 2016: Preview – Owning the Diversity Agenda

Posted on: Friday 10 June 2016 11:20am

Reem Nouss is the CMC Exec. on the "Make Something Happen" workshop - which will use the Open Space method to allow delegates to bring their own agenda to discussing diversity - and making something happen.  Reem is a former member of the CMC Advisory Committee and now works as an Executive Producer and Consultant both in the UK and the Middle East. Like so many others reading this, I’ve long cared about the diversity of the world we live in being reflected well in the content we consume and create. Despite the genuine and concerted efforts of many, it's still not easy. Not least because as the world becomes more diverse, our interpretation of the word becomes more nuanced, more…

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May 2016

CMC 2016: Creating a Buzz

Posted on: Thursday 26 May 2016 11:46am

“What has the CMC ever done for… King Bee Animation?” Martyn Niman from King Bee describes how pitching into CMC’s dragons’ den made all the difference for one of his projects. Last year’s 'Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is' session was scary, but exciting.  The cinema was packed, as it’s the most popular session at CMC. Four “dragons” on stage have real money to invest, to take short options in the projects being pitched. There are only a few minutes to pitch and, in a new twist to the format, the dragons were cast in the role of ‘The Voice’ judges and required to turn their chairs to show interest... or not turn. I pitched King Bee’s series IP based around…

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CMC 2016: Life Changing

Posted on: Friday 20 May 2016 9:01am

We asked Stuart Pearson, Director, International Content Distribution at Maker Studios to contribute to our series: "What has the CMC ever done for me?" Quite simply, attending the CMC changed my life. It’s almost a year since I attended as a self-funded delegate trying to get my content consultancy off the ground, and my abiding memory of the event is “white heat”. I don’t just mean the sweltering July temperature in the Showroom bar or the un-airconditioned budget hotel room that I had booked myself into. I mean that it reminded me of Harold Wilson’s 1963 speech about “the white heat of the technological revolution”. Like everyone else over that few days I networked my socks off, caught up with old mates, listened…

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CMC 2016: Daring to be Different at CMC

Posted on: Thursday 12 May 2016 9:53am by Kath Shackleton

What a fantastic year for Fettle Animation.  They won a Japan Prize, the first ever Sandford St Martin’s Children’s Award, two Yorkshire RTS Awards, a BAFTA nomination, a British Animation Award nomination and they have a book coming out!  Continuing our series ‘What has the CMC Ever Done for me?” Fettle Producer, Kath Shackleton describes daring to be different with the help of CMC. Guess where this all began? At the Children’s Media Conference. Well, we didn’t make a show about unicorns, princesses, puppies or talking toys. Our subject was the Holocaust. What? Yes, quite a tricky one! It took a while for people to understand why and how we might have made animation on such a difficult subject. However, over time,…

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CMC 2016: From Hamburg to Hollywood

Posted on: Monday 09 May 2016 4:34pm

In the third of our series “What has the CMC ever done for me?” author and screenwriter Esther Kaufmann describes her CMC journey – and just how far it has taken her. When I first went to CMC two years ago, I had just graduated from the German masterclass Academy for Children’s Media, encouraged by one of the Heads of Studies to think big and show the world my animation series concept, as well as myself as a writer. The same Head of Studies then told us about a conference he ran in the UK that we could come to. The suggestion struck a chord. I had been working as a freelance writer in Germany for several years, but maybe…

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April 2016

CMC 2016: Taking the Plunge at CMC

Posted on: Wednesday 27 April 2016 5:20pm

In the first of  our series 'What has the CMC Ever Done for me?" Adam Bailey, Head of Animation Development at Cloth Cat Animation in Cardiff, explains how coming to CMC meant taking the plunge, in more ways than one... What has the CMC ever done for me? Apart from being an ideal platform to kickstart a career in a challenging and ever adapting industry, the CMC is a must attend event for anyone working in animation in the UK. In my opinion. I first attended not knowing very much about the industry, having very few contacts but a passion for production and wanting to throw myself in at the deep end. As an animator working in commercials at the…

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