Blogs in "Event Reports"

July 2020

CMC 2020 Online: Report: Masterclass: Moomins & Pippi Longstocking

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2020 7:08pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways  ‘Pippi Longstocking’ was central to re-educating children after the second world war and the end of the Hitler Youth. The beauty of Pippi Longstocking as a character is that she is at home doing normal things. ‘Moomins’ reflects Finnish society after the war. Men were working and women were more resourceful. There are parallels between the two Nordic classics by Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren and Finnish writer/illustrator Tove Jansson: both ‘Pippi Longstocking’ and ‘Moomins’ started in an intimate way, are celebrating their seventy-fifth anniversaries, were written by female authors whose lives spanned the twentieth century, and are now being put back on the screen with the ‘Moominvalley’ TV series and a feature film for Pippi. Children’s writer Frank Cotterell-Boyce…

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CMC 2020 Online: The Last Word: What’s Next?

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2020 5:12pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

CMC Advisory Committee Chair Sue Nott introduced the final session of the conference with a run down of the highlights and thanks to the supporters and contributors in 2020. Despite lockdown, CMC has continued to support the kids’ media industry by keeping it “alive, alert and punching above its weight.” Delegates were then treated to performances from Miss Jacqui and John Kelly of Graeae Theatre. Both writers, musicians and performers, they explained that, as Disabled people, they had faced challenges throughout their lives and dealt with them through a relationship to the arts.  Having worked in the arts for nearly 30 years, with performers both disabled and non-disabled, John understands first hand that inclusion works. He talked about feeling different…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Animation Assemble!

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2020 5:06pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways Flexibility. The flexibility achieved in animation during lockdown is a powerful tool to use in post Covid production & office culture.  Challenges in licensing for children to work in voice whilst in lockdown, technical difficulties and struggle to direct take longer and are harder in lockdown so must be planned for to ensure that kids voices are retained in animation.  The lockdown implementation of virtual writers rooms have helped manage a bar of entry in the U.K. allowing to bring in wider voices from around the world Host Beth Parker began by asking the panel about the opportunities the animation sector has experienced because its production is suited to the conditions of lockdown.  Kate O’Connor, Director of Animation UK,…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 6:07pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

This session began with an invitation from session sponsor Enterprise Ireland to visit the specially created website for CMC delegates to explore what Ireland has to offer creatives: https://irishadvantage.com/events/cmc/. Under the guidance of dragon-wrangler Nigel Clarke, three creatives pitched their projects to the ‘dragons’, who were Jules Borkent (VCNI), Nigel Pickard (Nevision), Adina Pitt (Cartoon Network), and Alison Warner (Blue Zoo Rights). Pitch 1: ‘Umami’ (Jonathan Clarke, Distillery Films) Set in the world of food trucks, this is an animation for 6-11 year olds that is “fun, fast, and full of flavour”. It follows 4 friends whose parents own different trucks selling various street foods. The pitch outlined the world, values, and dramatic tension of the show and introduced the…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Commissioner Conversations- Channels

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 5:26pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways Producers must do their homework. They need to watch the channels and be prepared to explain how the project fits. In normal times meetings would be at markets, but it’s virtual pitches only at the moment. All content should have the potential to go global, even if it starts as a regional or national project. Ben Cajee hosted this year’s commissioner’s conversation with global channels, Warner Media (Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito) and ViacomCBS Networks (the Nickelodeon channels). Before this, he introduced a short Changemaker video featuring disability rights campaigner, Lucy Edwards. In the video, she highlights and challenges the fact that 18% of people of working age have a disability, but in the children’s media industry only 5.7% of…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Write On

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 2:29pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways No tardiness: a deadline is your friend. Study: know your show, know your broadcaster, know your audience, know yourself. Practice and study versatility: different types of writing and platforms always come back to the story. What does your character want? What obstacles will I put in their way? Enjoy and use your network: most of us want to pay the help we received forward to new voices.   The session began with a screening of ‘Why’ by Joshua Haith, an Under-16 Finalist in the PQATV / CMC One-Minute Film Competition, and moderator Sharna Jackson encouraged everyone to view he 15 finalists and vote fore winning film.  The conversation began with Adam Redfern of Red Furnace Productions discussing how to…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Creative Keynote – Cressida Cowell

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 10:44pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaways “Creativity is magic and magic is for everyone!” The key to succeeding is finding your personal quest. Have confidence in your own style, write without rules and create characters to care about! This session opened with Changemaker and comedian Aaron Simmonds who talked about his creative process in lockdown, particularly the importance of trying out ideas and making mistakes to get that spark. During the past few months, he has created a new podcast which is due to be released in the next couple of weeks. He also talked about how comedy has given him the opportunity to redefine how people see his cerebral palsy, saying, “stand-up has opened up a conversation”. Then we joined Waterstones Children’s Laureate and…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Commissioner Conversations- SVODs

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 10:32pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways  The on-demand platforms are serving families well during the pandemic with educational content and art-and-craft shows helping home-schooled kids. Black History and diversity are amongst the projects the platforms would look at getting involved with. The platforms are on the lookout to acquire big brands and little gems. Children’s on-demand television has seen a huge rise in demand this year. Four representatives of companies that continue to feed the appetite of kids in the UK and territories through the world were on hand to talk to Chris Jarvis and explain what sort of opportunities are on offer to content providers.   Brenda Bisner, Chief Content Officer at Kidoodle.TV, described the service as a streaming app for kids; a safe…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: The BFI YACF: Success, Learning and the Future

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 2:39pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways The first year of the YACF has helped strengthen the production pipeline throughout the UK. Please use word of mouth to help increase the plurality of voices the YACF seeks to amplify. Use available funding to help you look through the unknowns to a bright future. Nico Franks of C21 Media explained that BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund was introduced at the CMC in 2019. Jackie Edwards, head of the YACF at BFI, revealed that, over the last year, the fund received 227 applications, of which BFI approved 81. Around £13 million has been awarded in funding. Lockdown made public service even more important as a means of creative expression for children, and the fully online YACF application process…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Lockdown, Learning and Brands

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 12:07am by Cate Zerega

Takeaways Navigating new platforms as a gateway to the brand is best executed by deeply learning about the platform, its content managers and what they want to promote. Otherwise the content will get lost. Lockdown has shone a light on positive content that helps children move through tiresome tasks in a positive, healthy way. A child’s existing interests are a great gateway to embedding STEM in their play. Moderator Lucy Gill began the discussion with Editor in Chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday. Guinness found that the best way to reach kids is through partnership. He has access to a huge amount of content because they are currently receiving one hundred applications a week for records. The company moved…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Commissioner Conversations – PSBs

Posted on: Tuesday 07 July 2020 5:58pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways Covid-19 has affected most broadcasters commissioning practices and schedules, but lockdown has produced interesting new content (including by young people). Broadcasters are investing more in diversity on- and off-screen, and YACF is enabling them to make better content choices. The future points to fewer linear models of programming, moving to more on-demand to reflect young people’s viewing habits. Most commissioners said that Covid-19 had pushed their schedules forward, replacing what could have been new programming for 2021. However, lockdown had generated a lot of spontaneous new content. All panellists agreed that the Young Audience Content Fund (YACF) was a great success and all had benefited from it. There was awareness from each of the speakers that BAME involvement in…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: Question Time – Right Now and What’s Next?

Posted on: Tuesday 07 July 2020 3:38pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaways       The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely impacted children’s lives, as well as the media industry.       This period of time does, however, present an opportunity to pause and bring our attention to issues affecting young people.       Content should reflect the diversity of audiences and encourage voices to be heard.       Creativity can flourish in challenging times, and we need to encourage policy makers to listen to young people's campaigning, as well as support the mental health of future generations. Right Now and What’s Next? Looking ahead to a future post-Covid 19, this session explored what’s next. Led by Newsround’s Leah Boleto, panellists Tracy Brabin MP, Ollie Bray from Lego Foundation,…

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CMC 2020 Online: Report: CMC Keynote Panel: Black Lives Matter

Posted on: Monday 06 July 2020 9:02pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways  Diversity in gatekeeping will help decision makers understand and produce authentic, full and complete stories in digital as well as broadcast.  Discomfort with talking about race is long held, but this has shifted with the death of George Floyd. We owe it to young people now and in the future to talk about it openly and instigate change.  Teams are more effective when they are diverse. It is important to speak up and offer possible solutions, even when you feel like you’re not the most important person in the room. Sue Nott, CMC’s Advisory Group Chair, welcomed delegates to CMC 2020 and introduced CMC Changemaker Nandi Bushell on her drums. Nandi has been raising awareness for Black Lives Matter…

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June 2020

CMC Webinars: Report: Life After Lockdown – An Opportunity for Change?

Posted on: Sunday 28 June 2020 12:23am by Cate Zerega

Key takeaways: The inspiration produced in a creative collaborative environment is difficult to replicate in the remote-work model and will hopefully be nurtured in post-lockdown business. Distractions can be a useful part of the creative process. If you only head down a linear path you only produce linear work. Sueann began by asking the panelists how they had made the adjustment to life in lockdown.  Each panelist found that they had adapted quickly to the technical components of working remotely and found that lockdown created a more open conversation about the challenges of organizing childcare. However, employee isolation and creating a collaborative environment while working remotely were issues needing more dynamic problem-solving. The panel agreed that maintaining motivation and creativity…

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April 2020

CMC Webinars: Blog – Kids in the Time of Corona

Posted on: Monday 27 April 2020 10:36am

In the first of a series of webinars for the ‘Children’s Media Community’ leading up to the online Children’s Media Conference in July, the presentations shared the latest data about kids’ response to coronavirus lockdown and what it might mean for content producers in the short- and long-term. Adam Woodgate, Dubit Adam presented the latest research data representing kids’ media consumption from 2017 to 2020 (slides available by request from adam.woodgate@dubitlimited.com). Some of the more notable findings: An uptick in use of smart speakers, which are broadly discounted by parents as ‘screen time’. Tablets are making a comeback in lockdown. PC laptop use is on the rise—a likely consequence of remote learning. Linear TV viewing for pre-schoolers is on the…

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July 2019

CMC 2019: Report – Research 5 & 6

Posted on: Wednesday 24 July 2019 12:55am

Research 5 and 6 focused on the trends in familial co-consumption of content and possible ways to improve con-consumption experiences. In today’s media landscape, digital media dominate daily habits for both children and adults. Research 5 looked at how grandparents fit into the picture of children’s playtime. Additionally, it examined how the difference in play styles between the generations could be reconciled with today’s technology. Research 6 talked about trends in familial co-viewing of content and attitudes of parents and children in different activities. Takeaways: Grandparents are increasingly likely to join in on digital gaming Smart toys are a really good way to bridge that gap Parents are feeling guilty about not spending enough time with their children TV is…

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CMC 2019: Report – Are the Robots Coming for our Children?

Posted on: Thursday 11 July 2019 1:01pm

There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having an increasing impact across a wide range of industries. This session explored both the opportunities for AI in children’s industries, from robots to marketing campaigns, as well as the risks and ethical dilemmas this presents. In such an exciting and fast growing area, how do we ensure as an industry that we don’t cross the line? Takeaways:  Applications for AI across children’s media are fast emerging, from robots that support early language development to deep analysis providing audience insights However, there are also numerous potential risks and ethical concerns The panellists highlighted existing guidelines such as those from the European Commission and called for more research, discussion and rules both…

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CMC 2019: Report – Media Medicine

Posted on: Thursday 11 July 2019 12:54am by Michelle Jones

Media Medicine used case studies to illustrate the various ways in which it's possible to make a difficult and sometimes disturbing topic not only palatable, but fun and engaging for the younger audience. Takeaways: Play is the best way to educate children of all ages and get these difficult facts across to them Kids don’t want information to be dumbed down and getting the right mix of fact / educational and Entertainment is a challenge and ever-changing. When kids are ill they age down slightly and are happy to cuddle a teddy bear – they want information to be simple to make them feel better….. Play, fun and entertainment can be used across all media – children learn in different ways and all information should…

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CMC 2019: Report – VR and AR Storytelling for Kids

Posted on: Thursday 11 July 2019 12:38am by Jess Percival

The ways children interact with the world around them is changing fast. With many children preferring to watch content on a mobile device, such as a tablet, than they do traditional TV, there are a lot of new possibilities that comes with having a device in your pocket. Takeaways: Use music and audio to engage and guide Create an emotional connection with the characters Let kids interact, touch, stamp and more - they want to DO stuff The testing phase is crucial - you never know how kids will react Detail:  The differences between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are big. AR creates a little bit of magic in your reality, whereas VR allows you to experience a completely different…

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CMC 2019: Report – Merging Digital and Physical Experiences 

Posted on: Saturday 06 July 2019 10:51pm by Helen Dugdale

Merging Digital and Physical Experiences was a friendly and informal panel discussion looking at the way real-world play and digital play are now entwined. The panel discussed how to help some parents to overcome their resistance to the world of digital as it is now linked to many of their children’s toys. The panel explored the challenges, possibilities and experiences of working in this space. Takeaways: Children use coding to come up with real-world problems and digital solutions A big challenge is communicating to parents that digital isn’t evil. 70% of girls are more interested in learning to code which is a pattern replicated around the world. Detail:  To kickstart the hour, moderator Laerke Vindahl asked the panel: “Playing in the real world always…

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CMC 2019: Report – Research 1 & 2

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:52pm by Shannon Reeve

Research 1 and 2 focused on the content strategies being used by online video organisations and tech-giants to get into the children’s side of the growing online video sector. Takeaway: ● Netflix is looking for content for 7 to 9-year- olds, whilst Amazon is looking more for pre-school content. ● YouTube is the dominant content provider, with Netflix following behind. ● Only 10% of children go to live TV sources first, versus 41% of adults. Detail: The first of the research presentations, delivered by Fred Black of Ampere Analysis, examined what key SVODs have been commissioning and may be looking for in the near future. The focus of the research was on the contrasts between Netflix and Amazon, and where…

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CMC 2019: Report – China – A Creative Approach 

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:51pm by Cate Zerega

Connecting with the Chinese market can be difficult but very rewarding. With a lot of hard work you can create something very successful. This session gave advice to those looking at cracking the Chinese market, and was upfront about the challenges. Takeaway:  Creators acknowledge that they don’t know how China works or how they can develop better partnerships within China.  Everyone wants a successful show, however, the definition of success is different, which is where partnerships can diverge. There is Chinese market potential for voice software applications for remote parenting apps.  Detail: Moderator Alice Webb began the hour asking,  'What works creatively and what doesn’t work in China?  Manman Chen highlighted WeKids' search for properties from the global market targeting…

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CMC 2019: Report – Kids’ Media Connected

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:50pm by Jess Percival

MACKY, the Media & Audiovisual Creatives for Kids and Youth, is an international organisation of children's media professionals which gathers the insights of creatives and youth across platforms. Founded in Belgium, MACKY is now looking for partnerships abroad to put the collective on sound financial ground and develop supporters in neighbouring countries, so it can grow into an international creative association. Takeaways: MACKY was started because Charlie believes all youth deserves to be represented in all media. MACKY brings together many professionals who want to share their knowledge with those who want to learn. It is important to spark more conversations about what creators truly want to create - not just what they think broadcasters will like. Detail:  Audiences are…

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CMC 2019: Report – Gambling and Gaming: What’s the Difference? What’s the Harm?

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:49pm

Gambling within video games is a real concern for parents and kids alike. What is the nature of the relationship between gambling and game design, and what responsibilities do we have as a community? Takeaways: Awareness is key - gambling features are prevalent in 54% of the current top grossing mobile apps, of which 94% were deemed suitable for children. Loot boxes can take many forms in gaming and certain safeguards need to be added to games to make this feature much more transparent. There is a correlation between gaming and gambling, which exploits people who are more vulnerable to addiction. Detail: Tim Miller introduced the session and ran through some sobering statistics revealing that 14% of 11-16 year olds…

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CMC 2019: Report – Commissioner Conversations VoD

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:48pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaway: Online Safety, although viewed differently is a guiding principal in all commissioning. Content with high and forward thinking child discoverability is lucrative in commissioning VoD. Detail: Nico Franks of C21 Media kicked off the conversation asking what has worked for commissioners in the past, what they’re looking for next and how to get a pitch through. Estelle Lloyd programmes for Azoomee’s platform according to the premium nature and hand picked sensibility of the brand. Game content is as important to Azoomee as video content because games are the number one driver of engagement with the product. Games content also helps them differentiate themselves from Netflix. Azoomee is emerging from a fallow year of commissioning and so are thinking again…

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CMC 2019: Report – The Animation Skills Fund – Use it or Lose it

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:47pm by Vanisha Sumboo

New initiatives from the re-booted ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council will address animation skill shortages. Animation recruiters were invited to have their say on the priorities and approaches. Takeaway: How best to use the fund is open for discussion and the panel welcomed input and opinion on this. While it can sometimes be tricky in deciding which initiatives to move forward with, working collaboratively and collectively as a whole is the key element to drive the animation industry forward and address the skills shortage. A position is open for someone to chair the Animation Skills Fund and act as an ambassador who can help it move forward. Detail: In terms of skills shortages, this can vary from practice to practice. In Adam…

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CMC 2019: Report – Fresh Kids Tech

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:46pm by Sam Barlow

In this session, Stuart Dredge gave the audience an entertaining whistle-stop tour of the latest tech trends in the kids’ space. Stuart explained that his talk was definitely not intended to evangelise about tech - and that while there is much to be excited about, some developments are cause for concern too. Takeaway: Even within big tech companies, pockets exist of people who care and seek to do ‘good stuff’ for the kids audience. Tech is capable of more than just entertainment. It can positively impact on kids lives in all manner of ways. There are still discussions to be had about issues surrounding kids privacy and the tracking of their data. Detail: Starting with Augmented Reality, we heard about…

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CMC 2019: Report – Kids with Stones in their Pockets

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:45pm by Emma Boucher

With a focus on narrative and play, this session explored the importance of creative, open-ended play to children’s development and how media experiences can encourage self-expression and self-discovery. Takeaway: Children need the space to explore ideas through creative play, with the room to try and fail. Open narratives encourage children to explore self-expression through play. Adults don’t need to teach children how to play! Detail: Alison Norrington introduced the session by telling the story behind the title of the session, which comes from her year of research into VR - best practice, narrative and experience design, and psychology and play. A boy collected stones and put them into his pockets. Every day his mum threw them away. Eventually he asked…

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CMC 2019: Report – Don’t Mention the C Word!

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 3:59pm by Gabrielle Smith

This session explored the way in which class and socio-economic background is (and has always been) an important driver of diversity on and off screen. This panel discussed personal and professional experiences of why inclusion is imperative at all levels. Takeaway: Ask young people what they need? They won't ask you - so be prepared to have a conversation in order to push past the barriers. Class is not visible - don't assume anything about anyone! Encourage young people to develop innate skills without obsessing about demonstrable qualifications. Detail: This session saw four speakers who were united in their passion for eradicating inequality across various media industries. By changing the way our young people are taught to think about how…

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CMC 2019: Report – Commissioner Conversations Channels

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 1:28pm

First, Changemaker Brandon Relph, opened up the event with a smile and youthful enthusiasm about his knowledge of Generation Z and his Yentrepreneurship - which stemmed from YouTube success with Minecraft videos, but now sees him advising companies as to heir relationship with Generation Z. Session: Industry veterans, those just starting out, or somewhere in between, gathered to hear what commissioners have to say. In an ever-evolving media landscape, we heard what’s new with Sony, Turner and Viacom, what they’re looking for and how best to approach them with the next big idea. Takeaway: Nickelodeon. “Everything we do is defined by the child”. Sony are looking into other platforms to build the audience around television screens. Projects (format and length) can…

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