Blogs in "Event Reports"

April 2014

CMC Animation Exchange 2014: Kay Benbow

Posted on: Monday 07 April 2014 11:32am

Kath Shackleton, of Fettle Animation, muses on the momentous changes in the animation sector in the last 12 months and reports on Kay Benbow's Opening Keynote at the CMC Animation Exchange (4 April) Time flies.  I can’t believe it’s one year since the Animation Tax Break came into force. I remember sitting at last year’s Animation Exchange thinking “this is great news for the animation sector” but not imagining that it would affect me, running a small animation company, quite so soon.  One year on, my business has moved forward exponentially with a series supported by tax breaks and new staff, courtesy of Creative Skillset.  I’m enormously appreciative of everyone who has been involved in making this happen and full of…

CMC Animation Exchange 2014 Event Reports

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CMC Animation Exchange 2014: Case Study 1: Cutlass

Posted on: Monday 07 April 2014 11:30am

Kath Shackleton, of Fettle Animation, reports in full on the first case study at the CMC Animation Exchange (4 April) Speaker: David Curry from Cutlass Productions David was upbeat about how his studio have benefitted from developments in the past year. He is mindful that some of the best people have started out small – all you need is ambition.  Ben Wheatley started out by making a feature film with £6000 and now he’s making high budget movies and directing episodes of Dr Who. There are new models of finance, with Modern Toss raising £40,000 on Kickstarter offering crazy rewards such as a  dinner with the lease creatives Jon and Mick in Burger King - for a £300 donation! As a studio,…

CMC Animation Exchange 2014 Event Reports

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CMC Animation Exchange 2014: International Co-production – long term strategies for animation businesses

Posted on: Monday 07 April 2014 11:26am

Kath Shackleton, of Fettle Animation, reports in full on the final panel session at the CMC Animation Exchange (4 April) The session was introduced by animation veteran, Tony Collingwood who asked how it was possible to create a long-term business plan in such a rapidly changing environment? Huw Walters, Senior Business Affairs Consultant at Industry Media, focuses on advising about international co-production.  With companies in all shapes and sizes and a huge variety of models for funding, how is it possible to create a business plan to stretch over a number of years? You really need to focus on proper exploitation of your Intellectual Property.  Small companies can be very successful, because their production margins are low. In the race to sell…

CMC Animation Exchange 2014 Event Reports

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CMC Animation Exchange 2014: The Tax Break, One Year On.

Posted on: Monday 07 April 2014 2:08am

Kath Shackleton, of Fettle Animation, reports in full on the second panel session at the CMC Animation Exchange (4 April) Last year at the Animation Exchange, Oli Hyatt from Blue Zoo Animation and Animation UK illustrated his presentation with a collection of rubber ducks, urging us to “Get our ducks in a row”. Are we there yet? This year Oli is proudly sporting a spotted shirt and a comedy bow tie, fresh from a trade delegation to Korea.  He certainly feels that we are well and truly on our way... Oli had some rather astounding statistics! Research for the Creative Industries Advisory Group suggests that since 2012, the UK animation industry has grown 96%, with 50% more employment in the sector.  Numbers…

CMC Animation Exchange 2014 Event Reports

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CMC Animation Exchange 2014: Case Study 2: Doodle and ‘Okido’

Posted on: Sunday 06 April 2014 1:44am

Steve Smith from Beakus attended the CMC Animation Exchange and sent in this description of the second case study on funding for animation. Speaker: Jules Coke Squint Opera Jules explained how his company had just begun work on a new series for CBeebies called Okido. They currently have 40-50 people working on Okido, which started life as a very non-commercial, self-published magazine about science and art (which, Jules explained, gave the series project a “backbone of integrity”). So funders saw their input as a philanthropic investment as well as a financial one. Early tests were done in-house, and they took what they had along to CBeebies. However, it was clear Jules needed to develop the project some more, so they continued development…

CMC Animation Exchange 2014 Event Reports

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CMC Animation Exchange 2014: Funding and Flow

Posted on: Sunday 06 April 2014 1:34am

Steve Smith from Beakus attended the CMC Animation Exchange and sent in this full description of the third session of the day – on the issues around funding, cash-flow and investment in animation. Panel: Genevieve Dexter (Serious Lunch) Adrian Wilkins (CHF); Simon Flamank (Bob & Co); Henry Becket (Ideas at Work); Liz Brion (Grant Thornton); Tom Harberd (Bankside Films & Headgear); Agnieszka Moody (Creative Europe) Tom introduced his company, Headgear, who are new to investing in animation. There was a lot of debate about Special Production Vehicles (SPVs) during this session, and straight away it was clear that SPVs are helpful in raising private equity. Genevieve suggested Tom’s company was an alternative to Coutts or Barclays.Genevieve introduced the session which would cover cash…

CMC Animation Exchange 2014 Event Reports

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CMC Animation Exchange 2014: Preparing People for Production

Posted on: Sunday 06 April 2014 12:57am

Steve Smith from Beakus attended the CMC Animation Exchange and sent in this full description of the first session of the day - on training initiatives from Creative Skillset and the progress of the training levy, one year into the new animation tax incentive. Panel: Ruth Fielding (Lupus Films), Hannah Green and Kate O’Connor (Creative Skillset) Kate O'Connor (Deputy CEO for Creative Skillset) began by continuing a metaphor she’d used at this event last year, that the animation industry had given birth to twins – the tax reliefs and the Skillset training levy. She joked that their ‘weight’ had exceeded all of our expectations. Kate continued that a new Animation Skills Council had been set up, led by Miles Bullough (Wildseed), supported by Ruth Fielding (Lupus)…

CMC Animation Exchange 2014 Event Reports

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January 2014

Manimation 2013: New Players, New Perspectives: New Players, New Perspectives – Manimation #3

Posted on: Sunday 26 January 2014 2:46pm

The final events in the Manimation season, bringing business and creative insights to the Manchester animation community, took place at The Sharp Project on December 12, 2013 Greg Childs, Editorial Director, CMC welcomed the Keynote Speaker, Jocelyn Stevenson, Executive Creative Producer Film & Television Projects at Mind Candy, and a group of speakers working at the cutting edge of new business models, and innovative approaches to market in the animation world. John Lomas Bullivant (Writer-Developer, Transmedia Consultant and Showrunner) Jesse Cleverly (Wildseed Studios) Anttu Harlin (Gigglebug Entertainment – Helsinki) James Huggins (MadeinMe) Sharna Jackson (Hopster) Sarah Muller (CBBC) Julia Posen (Walker) video linked After the business focus of the daytime event, the final pre-Christmas social and creative treat was to meet animation legends Brian Cosgrove and Jean Flynn - who worked closely together on the…

Manimation 2013: New Players, New Perspectives Event Reports

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November 2013

Manimation 2013: Manimation Generations

Posted on: Friday 22 November 2013 6:59pm by Samuel Hutchinson

Speakers: Andrew Burrell (CBBC) Josh Weinstein ("Simpsons" Show Runner and Head Writer "Strange Hill High")  Phil Chalk (Factory Transmedia) Moderator:  Beth Hewitt (Salford University). Date: 21st November, 6.30 pm - 8 pm Venue: The Digital Performance Lab, Salford University MediaCityUK In what was a bonus evening event for those at Manimation - Going Global, organised as part of the Salford Media Festival's Generation Programme for young people - in this case animation students at Salford University - the Manimation Festival joined a fascinating insight into a unique new CBBC show, STRANGE HILL HIGH. Show Runner Josh Weinstein was amongst the panel as the audience was taken through the process of how STRANGE HILL HIGH was brought to life, from origin right up…

Manimation 2013 Blog Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation – Going Global: Case Study 2 – Cutlass Productions

Posted on: Friday 22 November 2013 6:45pm by Samuel Hutchinson

Speaker: David Curry (Cutlass Productions). For our final session of the day, Greg Childs introduced David Curry (making an inevitable food-based joke about his surname in the process), so that he could talk us through our second case study, exploring the strategy behind his animation company Cutlass Productions. David began by talking us through the company's background and its work in animation, particularly the short online animated series running as a spin-off from the parody twitter account, @Queen_UK. David even treated us to a (very funny) episode screening during the session. Commissioned by Yahoo with its 1m+ following uppermost in mind, the series will run in the UK first but the greater aim is for Yahoo to begin rolling it…

Manimation 2013 Blog Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation – Going Global: Case Study – OKIDO

Posted on: Friday 22 November 2013 6:34pm by Samuel Hutchinson

Speaker: Jules Coke (Squint Opera). Jules talked us through our first case study of the afternoon, his project and show, OKIDO. OKIDO is an 11-15 minute series and a CBeebies pre-buy acquisition that is going into production now. The series revolves around bringing science to life in the form of stories, and originally started life in a print magazine. Jules freely admitted that he and his colleagues got a bit carried away as they decided to develop the idea initially and they were at first surprised when they first approached CBeebies and were sent back to the drawing board. Still, once they had developed the show further, based upon the suggestions CBeebies gave them, they thoroughly improved it and this…

Manimation 2013 Blog Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation – Going Global: Building Your Co-Pro Partners

Posted on: Friday 22 November 2013 6:26pm by Samuel Hutchinson

Moderator: Robin Lyons. Speakers: Alison Stewart (CBeebies), Jules Coke (Squint Opera) and Mike Robinson (Mike Robinson Consultancy/Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick). FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! Okay, it wasn't that bad. But this panel did provide the most engaging debate and the most healthy disagreement of the day. After a few sessions that had flirted with the topic of Co-Productions, it was time to get to the core of the issue. We did so here in the company of a an entertaining panel and an up-for-it audience. And, as if I haven't sold this session enough, it was also quite comical! Speaking for the 3rd time today, Robin was plagued by a moment of forgetfulness and, in his hesitation, he introduced one of his speakers as…

Manimation 2013 Blog Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Making the Deals and Making it Pay

Posted on: Friday 22 November 2013 6:09pm by Samuel Hutchinson

Moderator: Robin Lyons. Speakers: Jane Hyndman (Rights TV), Adam Selly (Union Media) and Nikki Collier (Industry Media). In a session that reinforced a sobering and very important point - that the days of receiving 100% of funding from one broadcaster are long gone - the panel helpfully swooped to the rescue with explorations of numerous other potential sources of finance for producers. Primary UK Broadcasters are the most obvious sources of funding, but funding can also be found via the co-production route, pre-sales, crowd funding campaigns and even charities! So all is not lost! There is money out there! We just have to look in "unusual" places. No, not down the back of the sofa... The panel took us succinctly…

Manimation 2013 Blog Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation – Going Global: The UK Tax Break

Posted on: Friday 22 November 2013 5:58pm by Samuel Hutchinson

Speakers: Anna Mansi (Head of Certification, BFI) and Moses Nyachae (Director of Film and TV, Saffery Champness). Our speakers were described during the introduction as a double-act, but any implications that this session might adopt a comedic vibe were shortlived. It was all business - but valuable business, for sure. The audience was eager for the details surrounding the UK Animation Tax Break (introduced in April of this year) which is applicable when your animation expenses make up 51% of the total cost of your production. And what is it worth? Tax Credit of up to 25% of 80% of your total budget, as long as you're eligible. And how do you know you're eligible?  In captain-dumby language, you just…

Manimation 2013 Blog Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation – Going Global: Keynote/Opening Address

Posted on: Friday 22 November 2013 5:39pm by Samuel Hutchinson

Speaker: Robin Lyons (Managing Director, Calon) Following a short introduction from our conference big-cheese Greg Childs, who dutifully fulfilled the promotional duties, Robin Lyons took to the stage (the desk bit at the front) and opened "Manimation: Part 2" in apt and charismatic fashion. As soon as some small technical difficulties with an IPadhad been overcome (kudos to Greg for some great stalling). The overarching message of this short but genuinely inspiring session was this: Nobody Knows Anything. Robin went about explaining this bold opening statement by reliving his experiences of working on "Super Ted", a show which has a remarkably simple origin story. It was a creative idea and they did what they wanted. With his hands held up,…

Manimation 2013 Blog Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation Report: Producer’s Perspective

Posted on: Thursday 07 November 2013 8:48pm

Phil Chalk is MD of north-west based Factory Transmedia, one of the only studios in Europe with expertise in all forms of animation – stop-frame, CGI and 2D. Factory has produced Roary the Racing Car, Fifi and the Flowertots and Raa Raa the Noisy Lion. Phil joined the Manimation event to outline a producer’s perspective on working with commissioners and acquirers of animated content. Phil began with a clip of the ground-breaking BAFTA-nominated show Strange Hill High made for CBBC, which combines traditional rod-puppetry with CGI animation. He briefly took us through the story of how it all started from the pitch, to the presentation, development of characters, development of methodology, and talked about the collaboration with Fremantle Media who…

Manimation 2013 Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation Report: Commissioning Conversation – S4C

Posted on: Thursday 07 November 2013 8:45pm

Sioned Wyn Roberts, Content Commissioner, Children’s and Learning, S4C Wales joined the Manimation event via Skype. She revealed that S4C is mainly involved with a number of co-productions but also interested in acquiring animation off the shelf. Sioned spoke passionately about being involved with co-productions that benefit Wales, especially encouraging new talent in writing and post-production.  Though they try to limit the amount of animation on favour of live-action programming, budgets have become more constrained of late, so when acquiring animation they go for “big hitters” like Ninja Turtles, and Kung Fu Panda.  All their acquisitions are are dubbed into Welsh. Sioned described the most interesting animations as ones with exciting stories, currently featuring more female characters and if education…

Manimation 2013 Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation Report: Commissioning Conversation – Disney

Posted on: Thursday 07 November 2013 8:41pm

Orion Ross is Vice President OriginalProgramming Disney Channels, EMEA.  He has responsibility for programming on Disney Channel and Disney XD, while his colleague Beth Gardiner looks after Disney Junior.  Orion opened by saying that he would let people know how the Disney system worked, but also offer some personal “top tips” for getting your idea to market, in general. On an anticipatory Halloween afternoon, Orion began with “we are hungry for your brains!”  Disney is after original content which has potential for a global reach.  Shows coming through London can be forwarded to the U.S. and in some cases shows have come in the other direction too.  Orion wants shows with thrills, optimism and heart. The ultimate desire from Disney…

Manimation 2013 Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation Reports: Commissioning Conversation – CBeebies & CBBC

Posted on: Thursday 07 November 2013 7:34pm

Jackie Edwards is Executive Producer, Animation and Acquisitions for CBeebies – the U.K.’s foremost dedicated pre-school television channel.  Jackie is Executive Producer on many of CBeebies animated series such as Tree Fu Tom, Octonauts, and Rastamouse. Jackie outlined CBeebies’ current success stories, the thinking behind acquiring animation for the channel and something of the process they use to acquire that content. Jackie began by playing a clip celebrating animation shown on CBeebies which included new titles Sarah and Duck, and Peter Rabbit.  CBeebies animations have colourful, larger than life characters and animation produces some of the top performing shows which help define the channel. Jackie praised the The North West as a long standing breeding ground for great animation including…

Manimation 2013 Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation Reports: Building Your Animation Business

Posted on: Thursday 07 November 2013 7:25pm

Alison Warner is responsible for developing, producing and selling new animated properties at Technicolor Digital Productions’ Animations and Games Group. Alison focused on how collaboration is often the key to the very expensive business of animation. Technicolor is a French global company, which is nearly 100 years old.  Historically, the company focused on technical and production services with a large animation and FX business - until about 3 years ago, when it started to develop its own IP.  They started talking to creators and production companies and this led to their first project - Atomic Puppet.  The project needed to be developed and needed more resources so they collaborated with a number of other companies including Disney and a Canadian…

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Manimation 2013: Manimation Reports – Research Insights

Posted on: Thursday 07 November 2013 9:17am

Research 1 - Maddalena Piras, Head of Audiences - BBC Children’s and Learning Maddalena Piras gave a fascinating run-down on the understandings gained from the BBC Children’s Tracker, as to how children use different platforms to access content, and how children of different ages react to animation... Maddalena  began by posing an important question. How can animation help overcome the challenges broadcasters face from new technology through its appeal to children? The BBC children’s tracker helps gain insight into what children like. In terms of technology, 61% of children now have access to tablets in the household.  Although relatively new, tablet devices have become the “second screen” in many households and are used predominantly by young children.  As tablets become cheaper, Maddalena…

Manimation 2013 Event Reports

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Manimation 2013: Manimation Reports: Opening the Manimation “Season”

Posted on: Thursday 07 November 2013 9:12am

Joe Godwin - Director of BBC’s Children’s – is responsible for all of the BBC’s services for kids, CBBC and CBeebies, on TV and Online. He opened the Manimation Fesstival and this first event on developing the business of animation in Manchester with some thoughts on the BBC, the kids' audience, animation and working in Manchester. Joe began with the question: ‘Why does animation matter?’ Animation is hugely important to childhood and childhood memories – Joe’s own animation memories include The Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Magic Roundabout.   Animation fuels children’s imagination, and Joe felt it provides a "cultural glue", with each generation collectively remembering some key titles and animated experiences.   Animation often explores the wilder reaches of imagination - again…

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July 2013

CMC 2013: Serious fun.

Posted on: Tuesday 16 July 2013 12:13am by Milly Ali

Games that are being developed to encourage children to learn through play is a growing market. At the heart of this sector's philosophy is the enjoyment factor, learning is easier when you're having fun. The preschool market is saturated with learning games but it seems the teenage market is fairly untapped. It's food for thought for any interested in developers out there. Channel 4 & BBC have a rich history of commissioning and developing such games and found it to be a useful way of reaching their audiences beyond just 'watching tv'. The Science Museum also has a 10 year history of commissioning such games. It seems its popularity is gathering momentum and growing. Among the key principles; Games must…

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CMC 2013: An Idiot Abroad

Posted on: Sunday 07 July 2013 4:41pm by John Kent

#TCMC An idiot abroad is a phrase that has resonance for  John Kent. But enough about family holidays.  This session was about working with international co-producers. And the panel thoughtfully provided their own list of takeaways, reproduced here: Top Ten (well twenty) Takeaways DO Do make yourself visible online – update your credits on IMDb and LinkedIn Do Cyberstalk – Know your co-pro partner’s channel brands, haunt their websits and view their shows on YouTube Do get to know the top 5 that everyone in your partner’s country knows, but other conuntries won’t have heard of. Books, TV, movie… then ask why they are important Do go to writer’s meetings in a mood to share Do be a little more…

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CMC 2013: What’s Good? Trust & Quality in a Digital World

Posted on: Sunday 07 July 2013 4:24pm by John Kent

#TCMC The safety of children of children in the digital space is a perennial topic of conversation, and one that often crops up at CMC. Over the past twelve months new concerns have developed around in app purchase on top of the usual concerns around social networking and e-safety. TOP TEN TAKEAWAYS The press image of children’s digital media – is that its dangerous, unscrupulous, eats too much time and that no one takes responsibility.  US studies suggest that parents are not overwhelmed – but they are concerned about privacy, in app purchase and their children coming across inappropriate content. The concerns tend to be around companies who are reaching kids but not targeting them. (David Kleeman) The Scale of …

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CMC 2013: Leave them Wanting More…

Posted on: Sunday 07 July 2013 4:12pm by Niel Bushnell

#TCMC “This last session made a very tired woman very happy.” Alison Hume, Sparticles Productions Top Takeaways TV Execs know how to dance in chairs. Catherine Bennett will probably be on a CBBC show very soon. Innocence still exists! Never leave the CMC early! If you were at this year’s Children’s Media Conference and decided to leave early, thinking you were probably not missing anything, then you may have just made a big mistake. Pop-star of the future, Catherine Bennett, or CB as she’s also known, is the brainchild of a 9-year-old girl and her Aunt, who wanted to create a new positive role model for young people. Award-winning performance artist Bryony Kimmings collaborated with her niece, Taylor Houchen to create an alternative…

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CMC 2013: Come Out and Play

Posted on: Sunday 07 July 2013 4:04pm by John Kent

#TCMC. The Government reckons between 5 and 7% of the population are gay, and research tells us that most children know their sexual orientation by the age of 12. Is TV doing enough to reflect gay people? Top 10 Takeaways Most children know their sexuality by age 12. Gay characters are rarely featured in chldren's TV. Gay characters should become part of the landscape on TV, not an exceptoional feature When a gay couple were shown within a CBeebies show, no one objected Suicides are high amongst gay teenagers, because they don’t always feel ‘normal’ Everyone has a right to have their story told It’s not just gay protagonists – gay characters should just be part and parcel of the…

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CMC 2013: Theatre as the Crucible

Posted on: Saturday 06 July 2013 1:35pm by Jon Hancock

#TCMC This was a fantastic session full of passion, example and detail. I am taking away loads of ideas from this. Thank you. Stephanie Barton In an inspiring conversation on children’s theatre, the panel enthralled us all with their storytelling. It is this storytelling that is at the heart of what we all do ; whether in television, radio, publishing or theatre. This is the common thread that binds us together and makes magic for the audience. Thank you for this great session. The best in the festival, I think. Oliver Sussat – FUNtastic! / Zapisode. Top takeaways: • There are 696 Arts Council of England organisations/companies receiving £612million between 2012-2015, with a focus on young people and children. •…

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CMC 2013: Licensing out of the Box

Posted on: Saturday 06 July 2013 1:25pm by David Ault

#TCMC A look at the changing landscape of licensing new and nostalgic brands from heritage and digital companies. It's very interesting to see the differences between heritage and digital, and to see the same - and very different - challenges. Siobhan Pridgeon, BAFTA Fruitful conversations about where the next big things are coming from, and what the digital metrics for success are. Ed Corn, MTM London We need a retail session, getting big retailers in with publishers and TV companies to create partnerships and get perspectives from both sides of licensing. Bianca Abulafia, MTM London Top ten takeaways: 1. Above all things, it is imperative to listen to your audience and be audience-driven. 2. Digital moves very quickly, and it's…

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CMC 2013: Meet the Commissioners: Specialists

Posted on: Saturday 06 July 2013 1:17pm by Jan Leventhall

#TCMC Interesting  - it is good to know there are alternative ways of raising funding. Ogodinife Okpue (Adverto) You may not have walked away from this session with a suitcase of cash, but you will have left with new ideas of different funding and partnership options for the future. Top Ten Takeaways Tate Kids are interested in anything that engages kids with art. Take Kids have an annual budget of £20k although they would seek further funding for larger projects. You won’t make your millions from Tate, but they may open doors for you. Watershed in Bristol take a very interdisciplinary approach are passionate about supporting creativity and will help you research and develop new concepts They are currently particularly…

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