Blogs in "General Guest Blogs"

July 2018

What’s Next for UK Kids? – A Message from Tom Watson MP

Posted on: Wednesday 04 July 2018 1:33am

Shadow Culture Secretary and deputy Leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson MP sent this message to CMC delegates ahead of the 4 July opening Question Time session policy debate in Showroom Cinema 4 at 9.30 am. Firstly, my apologies for not being able to attend this year's Children's Media Conference. The work you do is at the core of inspiring our young with wonderful tales, fantastical journeys and, so importantly, educational opportunities. It seems particularly poignant that this week saw the passing of Peter Firmin, one of the great creators of children's programming, who has inspired millions and millions of children. It was quite remarkable that just three years ago my all-time favourite of Peter's programmes, The Clangers, was…

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CMC 2018: CMC and Gender Diversity

Posted on: Monday 02 July 2018 6:02pm by Olivia Dickinson

Olivia Dickinson on CMC and Gender Diversity I’ve been involved with the CMC for over five years and this year I’m exec producing two panels: Learning – What’s Happening?and Learning What’s Next?  One of my key concerns is the visible representation of women and women’s voices in the learning and kids’ content industry in general and at the CMC itself. This year the CMC is nearly there with a balance of men and women: of the Changemakers 7 are women, 5 are men; there are 22 women moderators and 26 men; there are 106 women speakers and 118 men. But: gender equality is not just for Christmas. We need to be thinking about how we ensure that in ongoing years…

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June 2016

CMC 2016: Brief Encounters…

Posted on: Tuesday 21 June 2016 11:22am by Anne Brogan

Anne Brogan is the co-Director of multi-award winning independent production company Kindle Entertainment, successful producers of 'Dixi', 'Leonardo' 'Kiss me First', 'Treasure Island' and many more.  Anne was suitably brief about the encounters at CMC which are her response to "What has the CMC Ever Done for Me?" CMC has introduced me to a number of people over the years whom I have worked with subsequently. It's often people with experience in areas a bit outside of our immediate territory (scripted content) whom I might not have come across in the day to day; publishers, interactive producers, writers, financiers, designers. Our enjoyable and successful collaborations with both Plug-in Media ('Big and Small', 'Get Well Soon') and Walker Books ('Hank Zipzer'), to name but two, came out…

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CMC 2016: Finding Our Voice

Posted on: Wednesday 15 June 2016 10:10am by Anna Home

Anna Home, Chair of the CMC Board, and for ten years Chair of the CMC Advisory Committee, considers the question “What has the CMC ever done for me?” In July 2006, in the final session of what was then called the Showcomotion Children's Media Conference, when people were beginning to think about making sure they didn’t miss their trains home from Sheffield, Anne Brogan (the joint founder of Kindle Entertainment) who was then running Children’s ITV, made a dramatic announcement. The production arm of ITV Kids was to close due to declining advertising revenue. This was a huge shock. Alarm bells rang, loud and clear. Suddenly the whole ecology of the UK Children’s TV market was going to change radically. The reason…

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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: What Happens in Sheffield…

Posted on: Wednesday 08 June 2016 9:30am by Eric Huang

Eric Huang has been a speaker in several past conferences and this year is producing the Session 'Innovation in Education'. This is his response to the frequently asked question "What has the CMC Ever Done for me?" The Children's Media Conference is one of my favourite conferences in the world. Through the years I've met so many people who became business partners, employers, and friends. My first time was in 2009 when I was one of the children's publishers at Penguin. I looked after a licensed publishing list: books behind media brands, generally from big studios like Disney, The BBC, etc. The CMC was a nice alternative to the giant licensing shows. It was - and is! - full of…

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May 2016

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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March 2016

CMC Animation Exchange 2016: CMC Animation Exchange – a View from China.

Posted on: Friday 11 March 2016 3:32pm by Alex Chien

Alex Chien is a consultant based in Beijing- her clients included Disney China, Shanghai Media Group, CCTV Animation, Beijing Design Week, the Swire Group, the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Arts to name a few. Before setting up her own consultancy, she was General Manager/ Head of Brand / Creative & Content Director with Nickelodeon from 2004-2012, posted in Shanghai, Singapore, London and Beijing. Prior to that, she worked as executive producer and producer/director at Disney and MTV in Asia. Alex came to the CMC Animation Exchange in London with Grace Tian and Ma Lin of Magic Mall Entertainment from Beijing with the aim of developing UK/China co-production opportunities. This is their perspective on the CMC Animation Exchange and its sister-event…

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January 2016

Calling all Animation Producers, Directors & Distributors!

Posted on: Monday 25 January 2016 9:30am

Justine Bannister, Founder of JUST B. is inviting animation practitioner to Shanghai... Justine was the Producer of the well-received 'Bible Studies' workshop at the CMC in 2015, and is already working on Part II – ‘The New Testament’ for this year’s conference. For the past few years, she has also been lending a helping hand to the fast-growing International Exchange, providing connections to her network of contacts worldwide. JUST B is Justine’s own ‘Creative Facilitation’ consultancy that provides Producers, Distributors, Festivals and Media Conglomerates with tailor-made services that are drawn from 20 years of eclectic experience in the children’s entertainment business - they include creative, commercial and marketing strategy, financing, funding, project sourcing, project evaluation, communication, press and brand building.…

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July 2015

First Step on the Ladder at Nutmeg

Posted on: Friday 31 July 2015 4:45pm

CMC Volunteers (this year in the pink t-shirts) come from a dozen universities and colleges across the country.  They are willing, enthusiastic, interested, and above all keen to get that first opportunity.   If you have starter work, internships or work experience opportunities that could be of interest to our wide group of student volunteers - let Greg Childs know:   We can post leads and messages in the CMC Volunteers Facebook Group (or you can). You'll get a great respsone from people who've "served their time" in children's media already as one of our hard-working volunteers. Here's one person's success story from this year's CMC... explained by Olu Alemoru. As a first time delegate to this year’s Children’s Media Conference I got what I bargained for – three days…

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CMC 2015: Mole Hill on the CMC

Posted on: Tuesday 14 July 2015 1:34am by Mole Hill

Co-director of 'The Clangers,' Mole Hill, on taking names at the CMC... Names.  It’s the names again.  I’m sitting at Stockport station, platform 0, waiting for the connecting train to Sheffield and slowly realizing that I’ve forgotten the names of every professional contact I’ve ever made.  I can picture their faces, but their names and job titles are completely gone.  This always happens when I go to a conference.  I used to get away with it but, now that my eyesight has all the clarity of a bat in a pea-souper, the tactic of glancing casually at a badge on a lanyard is no longer open.  I’d have to put my specs on, lean forward and stare. So I’m mightily…

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May 2015

CMC 2015: CMC: You Get Out What You Put In

Posted on: Wednesday 06 May 2015 11:21pm by Chris Banks

As CMC 2015 gets closer, we'll take advice on how to get the best out of the Conference  from the people involved - as delegates, speakers, sponsors etc... ...and at the same time we'll learn something about their "day jobs". Banks & Wag are award-winning London-based composers of music for media.  Their kids' credits include 'ZingZillas', 'Friday Download', 'Blue Peter', 'Newsround', and 'Wanda And The Alien'.  Most recently, they have written the score to the feature film 'Up All Night'. Ah, the Three-Day Jolly, so beloved of media folk everywhere.   Whether it be the free merchandise, the inside info on future productions, or merely the thirty minute bath without a five-year old asking for help with their Lego, the Children’s Media Conference surely offers something for everybody. But…

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February 2012

Guest Blog: When Kids Shine, So Will Our Future

Posted on: Thursday 16 February 2012 1:22pm

In this first of our regular series of guest blogs, Kate Henderson describes a UNESCO event which inspired her. If you have information, insights, inspiration or issues you want to air, let know. On 8th February UNESCO held the award ceremony of their Children’s Eco Picture Diary Global Contest in Paris. This contest, conducted in association with Panasonic Kids School, promotes awareness of ecological issues such as recycling and energy conservation through creativity and play. Children from around the world kept picture diaries of their eco-friendly activities and those with the best diaries were invited to Paris to collect their awards and take part in special events around the city. The judges included soprano Sarah Brightman, who was appointed…

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