Blogs

June 2020

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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November 2019

Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Diversity: Good for Business

Posted on: Friday 15 November 2019 2:27pm by Helen Dugdale

Following up on the UK Screen Alliance inclusion and diversity survey, the session considered how access to the animation industry can be improved and why that‘s better for business. Kate O'Connor (Animation UK) Kate O'Connor: PowerPoint Kate gave a whistle top tour through the Key findings of the Screen. Alliance Report on Diversity and Inclusion, which offered separated figures for the animation sector. Talent is critical issue - 30% of our work force come from outside the UK. Gender balance is improving but - 66% of women in animation are in junior roles. This isn’t good enough! BAME representation. Only 14% of animation workforce, lower than other sectors. 92% of the animation workforce holds a first degree, so the record…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Panel: Ads and Animators

Posted on: Friday 15 November 2019 1:58am by Helen Dugdale

A panel discussion exploring the connections between animation studios and ad agencies that have worked together to develop successful relationships and inspiring animation. Top Takeaways Small animation studios can take on jobs and turn them round quickly Creative agencies like to see visuals from animators to get an idea of their take on the brief Animation studios and creative agencies need to be honest with clients about budgets and time frames to get the best results Agencies want a safe pair of hands to deliver the creative. Andrew Lord (Flipbook) Flipbook are behind the animated ad for Manchester Christmas Markets. They worked with the creative agency M4 on the ad alongside Manchester City Council, to come up with the concept…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Global Opps.

Posted on: Thursday 14 November 2019 2:01am by Helen Dugdale

The realities and benefits of working with co-producers: Top Takeaways Look out for people who are on the same wavelength. Make it a real partnership. Have the conversations at the start of the co-pro. The difference in time zones is interesting . You can easily lose a day on the animation schedule. Don’t have money changing countries as if the exchange rate shifts  your budget will rise. Speakers: Tamsin Lyons (Ink and Light) We’re a small company and it can be lonely. With an international co-pro, you have partners to share the highs and lows and creative decisions. Our partners in Ireland and Finland are supportive and are great broadcasters. They have made it more fun. Look out for people…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Keynote: Sarah Muller, BBC Children’s

Posted on: Thursday 14 November 2019 12:35am by Helen Dugdale

Sarah Muller: PowerPoint Greg Childs introduced Sarah Muller, recently turned to BBC Children's to take on the role of Head of Independent Animation and Acquisitions, and who would take us through a comprehensive outline fo how the BBC finds its animation and what it is looking for. “It’s an interesting time to be in the industry. Our key audience is very media literate and tech-savvy. They are loyal to the content and not to the platform anymore,” said Sarah Muller Top Things BBC is looking for: We need more drama for CBeebies with a BBC angle We’re looking for dominant and strong female characters Comedy – little kids like to laugh – we like smart writing and gags 2-D fast-paced comedy…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – Forum: ScreenSkills and the Animation Skills Council

Posted on: Thursday 14 November 2019 12:09am by Helen Dugdale

Tom Box: PowerPoint ScreenSkills is an industry-led body which offers training and funding. Under the chairmanship of Tom Box, who is Chair of the Animation Skills Fund, which guides ScreenSkills in their priorities, invited guests shared training opportunities already available and guest and delegates also shared thoughts on what animation companies would like to see as future training initiatives. ScreenSkills training available: The Helen North Achieve Programme – growing the careers of women in animation. It offers great networking opportunities as well as expanding skillsets and job opportunities. 72 women have been on the programme so far. CPD developments - freelance sessions, masterclass sessions, return to work training and 2D training. Storyboarding is a recognised skills gap. ScreenSkills will be…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 – The Shock of the New

Posted on: Thursday 14 November 2019 12:07am by Helen Dugdale

James Stevens: PowerPoint Richard Cooper: Power Point John Knowles: PowerPoint James Stevens, CCO, YellowDog: Presentation Three separate presentations discussed the latest in tech, animation on the new platforms and new sources of funding. Top Takeaways The TV industry has a duty of care - datacentres spill massive of carbon pollution Technology is great but the story is king The Young Audience Content Fund is a great resource Shock of the new in technology James Stevens looked back over the last few decades exploring the trends and patterns that have emerged in tecnology - from the early Intel days and the personal computer which meant everyone could produce content to the birth of mobile communications and the boom of the internet which…

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Manimation 2019: Manimation 2019 Keynote – Peter Lord

Posted on: Wednesday 13 November 2019 11:15pm by Helen Dugdale

Peter's PowerPoint In this inspiring opening keynote, Peter Lord talked about the way Aardman has organised itself as a creative powerhouse over the last 30 years – and how their new position as a mutual company is part of that process. Aardman's 40th Anniversary Promo: The Aardman partnership began at school and as a hobby which somehow turned into a career. The team has grown slowly and steadily from the early days in Dave Sproxton’s back bedroom to now a team of 220 and an employee-owned company. What is the secret to their creative success?  Optimism, communications, a sense of play and understanding the privilege and power of working in the communications business. “We had the desire to keep going…

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Be Ready for Brexit: Brexit Implications for Export and Import Issues

Posted on: Wednesday 06 November 2019 3:38pm by Stuart Dredge

On 24 October, Animation UK and CMC teamed up for the 'Be Ready for Brexit' event in London, to help the animation and kids' content TV and digital production communities learn about and discuss the implications of Brexit on their businesses – whether the UK exits the European Union with or without a deal. At the time of the event, 31 October was still looming as the deadline for the UK's withdrawal agreement to be ratified – and a no-deal crash-out if it were not. Since then, however, the UK's request for an extension to 31 January has been approved by the EU, pushing back that deadline. The third session at the event focused on export and import issues, with a panel…

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Be Ready for Brexit: Brexit and the Future of Finance

Posted on: Wednesday 06 November 2019 3:34pm by Stuart Dredge

On 24 October, Animation UK and CMC teamed up for the 'Be Ready for Brexit' event in London, to help the animation and kids' content TV and digital production communities learn about and discuss the implications of Brexit on their businesses – whether the UK exits the European Union with or without a deal. At the time of the event, 31 October was still looming as the deadline for the UK's withdrawal agreement to be ratified – and a no-deal crash-out if it were not. Since then, however, the UK's request for an extension to 31 January has been approved by the EU, pushing back that deadline. The second session at the event explored the future of finance, with a panel including…

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Be Ready for Brexit: What will Brexit mean for workforce, skills and employment?

Posted on: Tuesday 05 November 2019 10:25pm by Stuart Dredge

On 24 October, Animation UK and CMC teamed up for the 'Be Ready for Brexit' event in London, to help the animation and kids' content TV and digital production communities learn about and discuss the implications of Brexit on their businesses – whether the UK exits the European Union with or without a deal. At the time of the event, 31 October was still looming as the deadline for the UK's withdrawal agreement to be ratified – and a no-deal crash-out if it were not. Since then, however, the UK's request for an extension to 31 January has been approved by the EU, pushing back that deadline. The final session at the event focused on the human side of Brexit…

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Be Ready for Brexit: Brexit and the future of funding for TV, film and games

Posted on: Tuesday 05 November 2019 1:20am by Stuart Dredge

On 24 October, Animation UK and CMC teamed up for the 'Be Ready for Brexit' event in London, to help the animation and kids' content TV and digital production communities learn about and discuss the implications of Brexit on their businesses – whether the UK exits the European Union with or without a deal. At the time of the event, 31 October was still looming as the deadline for the UK's withdrawal agreement to be ratified – and a no-deal crash-out if it were not. Since then, however, the UK's request for an extension to 31 January has been approved by the EU, pushing back that deadline. The first session at the 'Be Ready for Brexit' event focused on the future of…

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October 2019

What has the CMC Ever Done for me? From Cardiff to the World…

Posted on: Monday 28 October 2019 2:09am by Jon Rennie

As Cloth Cat Animation has grown over the last 7 years, the CMC has been not only been an essential part of the calendar but also our route to visiting conferences all over the world. We've had so much support from everyone involved and there is a real sense of family at all the events. Visiting CMC Sheffield is always a pleasure because it's a more relaxed event, with insightful panels and conversations over coffee and sandwiches. The keynotes are a highlight and they manage to be at the forefront of discussions on the future of the industry. Keeping on top of all the new platforms, emerging markets and expectations of the audience is the most challenging aspect of building an…

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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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