Blogs

July 2020

CMC 2020: Preview: The Creator’s Inner Child

Posted on: Sunday 05 July 2020 6:23pm by Gráinne McGuinness

Grainne McGuinness, Creative Director of Paper Owl Films, took on an ambitious project for CMC 2020 Online What kind of kid were you? How does that kid speak to the story worlds you create for young audiences today? We asked some stellar creators that very question… What did Keith Chapman get in trouble for? Why wasn’t Nancy Kanter a Disney kid? Was Angela Santomero a tiny bit daunted when it came to bringing her own childhood hero to a new generation?  It was an honour to reflect on the childhood selves of great kids content creators and how they have informed the joyous, important and enriching worlds they weave for new audiences today. They’ve brought their childhood playgrounds with them into…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Creative Keynote – Cressida Cowell

Posted on: Sunday 05 July 2020 6:04pm by Jayne Kirkham

Jayne Kirkham, producing this year's Creative Keynote, felt the Muse come upon her when we asked her to write a preview... Creative Magic by J Kirkham Remember the first book you read? The joy making stuff up in your head? For some fun breaking rules And top tips for all (see what I did there?) Come and join us in Cressida's shed.

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CMC 2020: Preview: PJ Briefcases

Posted on: Saturday 04 July 2020 10:52pm by David Kleeman

David Kleeman shares the outstanding children's TV that emerges from the PRIX JEUNESSE International Festival every two years. The Festival has just finished its first ever online screenings, and hot-off-the-press, David has curated three different views off some of the best kids' TV from the last two years - worldwide. I’ve been going to PRIX JEUNESSE since before many of you were born. My first festival was in 1988. That was a wholly different time in media, and some things are radically new, while others haven’t changed at all. One of this year’s top preschool competitors was a remake of a show I loved at that 1988 event! Still, there’s nothing I look forward to more - an uninterrupted week…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Inclusivity Now – Beyond The Quota: Authentic Inclusivity

Posted on: Saturday 04 July 2020 6:02pm by Akin Akinsiku

Akin Akinsiku, co-creator, director and writer on BAFTA nominated and Broadcast Award winning CBeebies pre-school drama ‘Apple Tree House’, writes about the efforts, sacrifices and commitments he’d like to see from broadcasters and content creators to ensure real change and authentic diversity. The Children's Media Conference Facebook Group Chat - Inclusivity Now offers the opportunity for delegates to comment, ask questions and discuss the content of all the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC. We are in a position where we can affect generational changes. When I was a kid, I loved superheroes and comic books. My favourite characters were Superman, Batman, Hulk and Spiderman. I used to draw them…all the time. In art college, I realised I could draw men’s anatomy very…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Commissioner Conversations – PSBs

Posted on: Saturday 04 July 2020 5:31pm by Barry Quinn

Barry Quinn has produced many commissioner sessions for CMC over the years... This one is something new. This is without doubt the most extraordinary PSB Commissioner session I have ever produced - not only has production been paused, budgets slashed and future commissioning kicked into the long grass - it's also opened up opportunities for fast turnaround content and imaginative production techniques - necessity being the mother of invention and all that.  And with Black Lives Matter giving a new urgency for broadcasters to get diversity strategies right and Channel 4 going all out to win over the fickle teens, it's a session not to be missed!

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CMC 2020: Preview: Inclusivity Now… Equal Measures – the 50:50 Story

Posted on: Saturday 04 July 2020 2:59am by Lara Joannides

Lara Joannides explains the background to this video in the Inclusivity Now strand for CMC 2020. The Children's Media Conference Facebook Group Chat - Inclusivity Now offers the opportunity for delegates to comment, ask questions and discuss the content of all the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC. "You can’t be what you can’t see”. It’s a phrase we’re all familiar with, and one which is particularly important when it comes to creating content for young audiences. People of all ages are consuming more and more content every day, whether it be TV ads, the news or social media. And what that content looks and sounds like can have a huge impact on our understanding of the world around us and…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Perspective On… LGBT+ Now

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2020 12:49am by Natalie Walmsley

Wrier/performer Natalie Walmsley has produced the Perspective On... video, LGBTQ+ Now.   Perspective On... LGBTQ+ Now has a CMC Facebook Group Chat area for discussion, questions and comment during the conference. A little over a year ago, I sat in a writer’s room that set out to change history. As the only queer person in the room, on one of those larger than life screens, I typed the words: “I’m gay”. It came out of the mouth of a 16 year old character and was set to be the first time anyone had said those words on live action kids TV in the UK. I could feel the tension, then the silence and then the euphoria from all the creative…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Commissioner Conversations – Channels

Posted on: Wednesday 01 July 2020 5:08pm by Angela Morrow

Angela Morrow, producing the CMC Commissioner Conversations with Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, wants to encourage you to attend and ask questions! In a year of unprecedented challenge and change for the industry we can all take a modicum of solace from the perennial presence of the CMC Commissioner Conversation – Channels panel. You may be a new creator, an industry veteran or somewhere between the two. Wherever you are along that road, you’ll want to hear what these highly experienced commissioners have to say. They are the conduit between creator and audience and their insights are invaluable in plotting the route from idea to screen. Discover how WarnerMedia and Nickleodeon have risen to the challenge of keeping kids entertained in…

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June 2020

CMC 2020: Preview: Perpective On… Our Frame of Mind

Posted on: Tuesday 30 June 2020 10:53pm by Jude Spencer

Jude Spencer, mental health trainer, producing and presenting this video in the Perspective On... strand asks "How to Change your Frame of Mind?" Perspective On... Our Frame of Mind has a Chat area in the Children's Media Conference Facebook Group. Delegates can use it to leave messages, ask questions and discuss. “Coronavirus put the breaks on my career . So I went “Aggggghhhh” for a while and then I paused and then went “this is how it is, I can’t change how it is”, that’s when I re-engaged with it,” says storyboard artist and Co-creator of 'Shane the Chef', Andrew Wildman. Andrew is no stranger to setbacks and adversity. He previously worked for Marvel before they filed for bankruptcy in…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Inclusivity Now – Mission Employable – Presenting Popular Shows in BSL

Posted on: Tuesday 30 June 2020 10:25pm by Cecilia Weiss

Cecilia Weiss shares ITV Signpost's experience in creating 'Mission Employable' and 'Dare Master', two popular CITV shows - in this video for the CMC 2020 Inclusivity Now strand... The Children's Media Conference Facebook Group Chat - Inclusivity Now offers the opportunity for delegates to comment, ask questions and discuss the content of all the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC. SignPost Productions is ITV’s centre of excellence for multi-platform British Sign Language services. SignPost combines industry-leading expertise and resources with a passion for social mobility and diversity. Gareth Deighan, ITV SignPost Productions’ Head of Content, and Christopher Luke, producer at ITV SignPost Productions and Sign Language Services, insist that making more accessible content with more inclusive teams is not difficult. Speak to people…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Inclusivity Now – Intentional Inclusion in Children’s Books

Posted on: Monday 29 June 2020 4:40pm by Jessi Parrott

Jessi Parrot from Inclusive Minds reveals the thinking behind their contribution to the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC 2020 Online. The Children's Media Conference Facebook Group Chat - Inclusivity Now offers the opportunity for delegates to comment, ask questions and discuss the content of all the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC. Everyone has different life experiences. These experiences are informed by background, culture and sense of identity (which incorporates factors such as gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, disability/impairment and socioeconomic status). Moreover, as academic Rudine Sims Bishop  reminds us in her 1990 research, books can be ‘mirrors, windows and sliding doors’ for children’s imaginations - showing them reflections of themselves and allowing them opportunities to learn about other people. Following on…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Inclusivity Now – The ‘Drip Drip Effect’- How to Combat Gender Stereotypes

Posted on: Monday 29 June 2020 1:38pm by Megan Perryman Tessa Trabue

Megan Perryman and Tessa Trabue from Let Toys Be Toys explain why they have made a video for the CMC 2020 Inclusivity Now strand. The Children's Media Conference Facebook Group Chat - Inclusivity Now offers the opportunity for delegates to comment, ask questions and discuss the content of all the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC. Back in 2012, heated discussions were taking place on a popular UK parenting message board about the ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signs spotted in the toy aisles of many UK retailers.  Cooking and cleaning toys along with dolls were signposted for girls, while construction, science and action and adventure toys sat firmly on the ‘boys’ side of the aisle.  Parents were concerned about children having their interests limited…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Inclusivity Now

Posted on: Monday 29 June 2020 3:29am by Olivia Dickinson

Olivia Dickinson is Excutive Producer of the Inclusivity Now strand of VOD content at CMC 2020 Online. Here she outlines the aims of the content which is new venture for CMC - practical examples of how creators and networks are pursuing inclusive content and expanding diversity in their productions. The Children's Media Conference Facebook Group Chat - Inclusivity Now offers the opportunity for delegates to comment, ask questions and discuss the content of all the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC. This year’s CMC has given us an amazing opportunity to create content that gives you concrete, practical actions and takeaways. Every one of the contributors in the 9 films that are part of Inclusivity Now will tell you at least…

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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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CMC 2020: Preview: Best Of…

Posted on: Saturday 27 June 2020 2:03am

Michael Carrington was a founder member of the CMC Advisory Committee.  Having been the first Controller of CBeebies, and subsequently Chief Content Officer at Cartoon Network and CEO of Zodiak Kids, he is now Director of the Entertainment and Specialist Division at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.   CMC asked several figures in the children's media industry to choose their favourite moments from CMC Keynotes. You can see their choices in the Best Of... strand of CMC 2020 video content.   This is Michael Carrington's recollection of CMC past... "A big hello to you all planning to attend CMC 2020 Online. I’ve had a long and chequered history in the kids' media industry but I'm certainly a long-term supporter of CMC from…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Inclusivity Now – The Road To MixMups and Beyond

Posted on: Thursday 25 June 2020 1:38pm by Rebecca Atkinson

Rebecca Atkinson explains what lies behind her CMC Inclusivity Now video and describes the (bumpy) road to 'MixMups'                     The Children's Media Conference Facebook Group Chat - Inclusivity Now offers the opportunity for delegates to comment, ask questions and discuss the content of all the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC. 'MixMups'? What is this show, where did it come from and why is it smashing the mould? As part of CMC 2020 ‘Inclusivity Now’, I’ll be sharing my story as the Creator and Executive Producer of 'MixMups', a pre-school stop-motion animation and toy brand about three little friends and a magic mixable fancy dress box.  The show features disabled lead characters…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Write On

Posted on: Monday 22 June 2020 4:21pm by Jasmine Richards

Jasmine Richards, Writer and Director of Storymix, on writing for more than one platform... Write On has a Chat area in the Children’s Media Conference Facebook Group. Delegates can use it to leave messages, ask questions and discuss. I’ve been a writer of children’s books for well over a decade now. My 9-12 fantasy-adventure novels are published by Harper Collins in the US and are about to go out on submission in the UK. In the last year, I have started writing for screen on the fifth series of PJ Masks and it has struck me how transferable that craft of writing is between screen and books. In my head, there was always a much wider divide. Don’t get me wrong, I still have lots to…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Perspective On… The Golden Rules for Creating Great Kids’ Cartoons

Posted on: Monday 22 June 2020 11:47am by Sam Harris

San Harris from Hook Research , producing this video for the Perspective On... series for CJC 2020, finds his Ikigai... What does it take to make a great cartoon? That’s the question we at Hook are exploring at this year’s Virtual Children’s Media Conference – speaking with writers, animators, producers, and researchers and distilling their thoughts into positive and inspirational ‘Golden Rules’ for creators and thought-leaders in the kids animation space. These experts include: Sophie Deen, the CEO and Founder of Bright Little Labs – a media company who are creating interactive, STEM-themed stories for young people Rebecca Hobbs, Freelance Writer and Creative Consultant – previously, the head-writer on 'Sadie Sparks' and currently working on a number of exciting, new…

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CMC 2020: Preview: Perspective On…Listening to Kids

Posted on: Friday 19 June 2020 7:00pm

Esther Kaufmann and Laura Hamm - producing and  presenting one of the CMC 2020 "Perspective On..." videos  urge us to listen to kids, and tell us how to do it Perspective On... Listening to Kids  has a Chat area in the Children’s Media Conference Facebook Group. Delegates can use it to leave messages, ask questions and discuss. The call at last year’s CMC was loud. The young Changemakers were clear – we adults have to listen more. If we want to create media that speaks to children, that stays with them, we have to listen. But real listening is hard. We understand children best when they talk like adults, so there’s a lot we don’t hear. That means we miss…

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CMC 2020: Preview: CMC Quiz

Posted on: Thursday 18 June 2020 11:33pm by Steve Wynne

Steve Wynne is hosting the CMC Quiz Night on Wednesday 8 July, from 8-10 pm  Bored of Zoom?  Bored of quizzes?  THEN LOOK NO FURTHER. This is the Quiz to end ALL QUIZZES.  There will be questions, there will be answers.  There will be PRIZES.  Imagine not just beating your friends and family BUT EVERYONE IN THE CHILDREN'S MEDIA INDUSTRY to be crowned the CMC Quiz Champion 2020 (and forever as this is the first and last time we’re doing it). Are you smarter than a ten year old?  Do you know what celebs looked like as kids?  Think you know your TV themes?  No round will be boring, and no round too difficult. Hosted by someone who almost got onto BBC…

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CMC 2020: Preview – The CMC International Exchange

Posted on: Thursday 18 June 2020 2:04am

CMC International Exchange Exec. Helen McAleer and CMC China Connect Exec.Sarah Baynes want to encourage everyone with content, IP, ideas and talent to sell, to attend the world's friendliest kids' media market. Helen McAleer: I am so happy to be hosting the CMC International Exchange again this year on 2 July. It will be odd not to be rushing about in the Victorian splendour of Sheffield Town Hall, but we won't let a global pandemic stop us from putting on this incredibly useful and fun event!  Online face-to-face meetings are clearly working - even for pitching at media markets. Of course it hasn't been without its challenges. But with our incredible management and technical team we are delighted to be virtually…

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CMC 2020: Preview – The CMC Karaoke Show

Posted on: Tuesday 16 June 2020 5:47pm by Maria Pullen

                      Maria Pullen (Volunteer AP on the CMC Karaoke Show) tunes up for a great night.... in. When the working day is done, CMC just wants to have fun! And what’s more fun than one of the highlights of the conference – karaoke night. CMC lore dictates that karaoke is a place for forging bonds with friends old and new. With that in mind, we didn’t want to skip it this time around, especially when staying connected is as important as ever. This year we will be hosting our very first online ‘CMC Karaoke Show’ on Thursday 9 July, 8pm-10pm which will be streamed live via Zoom straight to you!…

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CMC 2020: Preview – SkillBuilder: Pitch Yourself Perfect!

Posted on: Tuesday 16 June 2020 12:40am by Justine Bannister

Justine Bannister - Producing and Facilitating the CMC SkillBuilder - on why it's the perfect opportunity to enhance your skills AND make vital new connections... Because of the unique circumstances we all find ourselves in, CMC has decided - as part of its mission to keep the kids' community connected and informed - to make SkillBuilder available as a separate ticket from the main conference in 2020. It's fantastic value for money, at just £30+VAT for 90 minutes of expert guidance and the chance to meet some of the best known names in the business of kids' media. CMC SkillBuilder aims to help you build, develop and refresh your pitching skills with a mix of advice and hands-on learning. I'll soon be…

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CMC Webinars: SVODs: The Producer’s Perspective

Posted on: Friday 12 June 2020 6:39pm

Fayon Dixon welcomed the participants and introduced two perspectives on how the SVoD platforms are conducting their kids' business and their relationship with the young audience.   Ampere Analysis Richard Cooper of Ampere Analysis began the session with a look at the recent data regarding the main UK SVOD providers and their catalogues of kids’ content: Netflix 12%, Amazon 11%, NowTV 16%. These established SVODs broadly maintain a consistent level of kids’ content with some slight growth in kids’ TV shows on Netflix and a slight decline on NowTV in favour of kids’ movies. To maintain relevance, SVODs are having to refresh content. On all platforms, more content has been added than removed. This is especially evident since lockdown. The growth in the catalogues…

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CMC Webinars: Commissioner Conversation – Cheryl Taylor

Posted on: Thursday 04 June 2020 11:03pm by Cate Zerega

BBC Children’s Head of Content in conversation with Chris Jarvis Takeaway Low-cost, quick-turnaround content is shining as a response to COVID-19 and Taylor would like to see the ethos of that continue at the CBBC. The immediacy, self-expression, high quality and entertainment value that’s come through this form has excited audiences. Current situation at CBBC: Key elements of the CBBC’s lockdown lineup includes informative programming that is entertaining while trying to offer the audience a sense of comfort and security. The production halt in response to COVID-19 has impacted on the work of CBBC commissioning into 2021-2022. Already-commissioned productions are now seeking slots in 2021-2022, leading to a difficult scheduling scenario. It will not be possible to fit in all…

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May 2020

CMC Webinars: Content in the Time of Corona

Posted on: Monday 18 May 2020 12:54am by Cate Zerega

Takeaways Kids are good at sensing their limit with their screen time, even during lockdown. Teens are very smart and can create content by themselves for themselves. Mindfulness has entered the children’s media space in a big way. Links and Resource Handout  for this webinar David Kleeman of Dubit began the first of three presentations by noting the differences that creators are navigating as the landscape is shaped by Covid-19: Time spent with media is up, and the usual rules about monitoring consumption are suspended. Creators need children to keep engaged, and kids want creators to keep new content flowing. The trust young audiences have placed in media during lockdown has heightened the social responsibility of creators. Children’s content created…

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CMC Webinars: Surviving as a Freelancer under Lockdown

Posted on: Saturday 02 May 2020 5:15pm by Simon Bor

Stating that 50% of the UK’s freelancers have had 100% of their work cancelled due to COVID-19, Senior Reporter and Editor of C21Kids, Nico Franks introduced the online panel. First up, Senior Policy Analyst at BFI Jack Powell. He explained the BFI had been tasked by government to coordinate the Screen Sector Taskforce to speak with one voice about the affects the crisis is having on the industry. The taskforce has been looking at the short- and long-term issues facing freelancers. The industry at large is split into three similarly sized groups of professionals: those on PAYE, sole traders, and those offering personal services. Many freelancers are not covered by the Job Retention Scheme. In the longer term, BFI has…

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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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CMC China Connect: What has the CMC Ever Done for me? The Earth Moved.

Posted on: Sunday 26 April 2020 12:06am

So, it’s around midnight here in Los Angeles. My expat self and darling wife – who is also my screenwriting partner – have stayed up late to take part in the CMC China Connect video meetings with companies in the Middle Kingdom. Five minutes into our first meeting, our building starts to shake. Mr. Wang, peering at us through the video link, might think the juddering is just a technical glitch, but the open-mouthed horror on my wife’s face kind of gives it away. Fortunately, the walls stop their twerking after a few moments, since the quake’s only a 3.7 on the Richter scale - but the epicentre was just three miles down the road, so it felt bigger. Afterwards…

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March 2020

What has CMC ever done for me? Rewriting a Career.

Posted on: Thursday 05 March 2020 5:52pm by Tom Jordan

What has CMC ever done for me? Oh, not much. Apart from change my career, allow me to become a TV writer, turn me into a minor celebrity among my daughter’s ‘Go Jetter’ loving classmates, and help make a wealth of connections across an entirely brilliant industry. But other than that… The first time I attended CMC I had no connection with the world of children’s media. I came from a publishing background – a decade and a half of working as a travel writer and editor – but with two young kids now taking over my life, I was keen to put the passport in the draw for a while and explore new, non-jet-setting avenues. Like most creatively-inclined parents…

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