Blogs

July 2019

CMC 2019: Report – Going Global

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 10:38am

Changemaker Finlay Pringle is an Ullapool Shark Ambassador, at only 11 years old. He inspired the audience in the session to “Think like a mountain”. What he suggested using this quotation is that people shouldn’t just think about the top of the mountain, but try to think about the other aspects surrounding it. Session Takeaway:  “No beach you’ve ever stood on will be there in 35 years-time”. Keep your eyes on the horizon. Life’s a journey, and what you experience in yourself. You give children the right access to the right tools and they absorb it. Detail: After Finlay Pringle’s inspiring Presentation, Professor Stephen Hepple asked Finlay to join the panel to give a young person's perspective on education. The…

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CMC 2019: Report – The Incredible Playable Lunchtime Show

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:42am by Peter McGrath

An award-winning video-game styled comedy show where the audience take to the stage! The Incredible Playable Show draws on elements of clowning and improv. comedy to blend gaming with performance. Every person in the room should feel they made the show unique. Each performance is different and, with the audience as the stars, there’s no telling what might happen. Takeaway: The whole show is interactive. Team building and bonding are encouraged and promoted. The emphasis is on problem solving in a fun inclusive way. We are all ‘big kids’ at heart. Detail: Alistair Aitcheson introduced himself as a showman and immediately put the wheels in motion. This was the second iteration of the Show at CMC - the previous lunchtime and…

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CMC 2019: Report – The Art of Voice & Song

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 9:37am

This session was split into two parts. The first  was Joss Peach and Ellie Wyatt and focused on the importance of song for children.  Marc Silk ran the second part of the session and focused on the work of the voice-over artist. Part 1: Takeaway: Music is an important part of children's development. A programmes music has a powerful emotional effect on the audience and can change the tone of a scene. It is a collaboratarial process that requires flexibility and understanding from producers and composers. Details: Joss Peach began  by saying the session was designed to be fun and informal which was achieved thanks to audience participation at every opportunity. Together with Ellie Wyatt they explained the importance of…

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CMC 2019: Report – Cultivating Community

Posted on: Friday 05 July 2019 8:52am

This panel focused on the pivotal importance of the relationships between fans and brands, with a broad range of speakers. Moderated by Joshua Davidson, the focus was all about ideas to inspire and engage with brand-loyal audiences. Takeaway: Build a relationship with your fans. Allowed fans to feel like they have a voice, and they are being heard. Know your audience. Detail: Dan Berlinka began the session with an interesting case study on 'Dixi'; an interactive fictional social platform allowing user interaction only through moderated comments. Kids engaged as if the characters were real, talking as though they were friends. An element of self-moderation within the community began to emerge as users realised that certain types of comments would be…

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CMC 2019: Report – Online Killed the TV Star

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 10:34pm by Cate Zerega

5 BILLION YouTube videos are watched EVERY DAY. With 430, 000 hours of content being uploaded to the platform every day, it’s no surprise that we all fear the demise of TV as we know it. Takeaway:                            Recognize the snobbery that dismisses the online star. Creating a crossover success is best served with a holistic, talent first approach - can’t plug just any talent into any show and expect audience success. Detail: Presenter Leah Charles King started the session playing three clips and asked the panel and audience which clip had the most views. A clip of Kylie Jenner’s daughter won with over twenty-seven million. Influencer Lewys…

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CMC 2019: Report – Immersive Journeys in Education

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 9:58pm by David Hodgson

This session set out to immerse attendees in how kids today are being given the opportunity to learn from via augmented and virtual reality experiences. Takeaway: Augmented and Virtual Reality technology is not the future. It is here, and ready to be put to good use in the classroom. The panelists all agreed that these technologies can be most successful when they exploit their unique abilities to grab even the most challenging children’s attention. Such moments of amplified experience are not in themselves enough for learning – it requires the context given by good storytelling and teaching before, during and after. Detail: Moderator Dr. Carlton Reeve framed the opportunity presented by augmented and virtual reality as bringing the world to…

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CMC 2019: Report – Unconscious Bias

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 3:12pm by Cate Zerega

Increase your awareness of your bias... One way to do so is to take an implicit association test. Practise good self-care so that you can free up brain space to better challenge your implicit bias. We can help change a child’s brain structure by what we show them. Takeaway: Only 1% of children's books feature a BAME character. Despite being in starring roles, animated female Disney characters  have less dialogue than males. Why do we like cats over rats when both are furry animals with pointy ears? Detail: The HUBS Hideout filled with delegates for Luise Usiskin's talk on unconscious bias. Luise started with how humans learn to categorise. She shared the story of when her daughter was small and…

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CMC 2019: Report – Commissioner Conversations PSB

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 2:55pm by Sarah Darling

Before the PSB reps began we heard from Ruda Santos, the young Changemaker who discussed storytelling, why we do it and what young storytellers can bring to the table. We then began what was almost a shopping list from the broadcasters. Takeaway: The Young Audience Content fund has opened broadcasters up to take chances with content that they previously wouldn’t have risked. PSBs are commissioning as a result of the fund Each has their own wish list Detail: Simon Tomkins of CITV showed their reel including lots of commissioned animated content due to be broadcast in the autumn. His wish list for commission mainly included live action, including scripted comedy or drama series, a game show and live action make…

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CMC 2019: Report – The Note Behind the Note

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 2:49pm

Stephanie Wahlstrom, Kidzilla Media, introduced this panel about the importance of sending and receiving notes for script development and exploring the issues writers have when dealing with good, bad and conflicting notes. Takeaway: It’s less about winning and losing a note and more about the benefits for the show. Never say no to a note but always ask questions and communicate. There’s a difference between a better note and a different note. Detail: The panel began discussing issues on how notes can delay a project. Getting agreement with writers in advance is important, to organise the re-writing process so that all parties can stick to schedules and deadlines set for notes. There was discussion about what makes a good note…

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CMC 2019: Report – True?

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 2:43pm

Braydon Bent (FYI) energetically set the stage for a fascinating session moderated by Zoe Daniel (Guardian/Reuters) on kids and fake news. He demonstrated how the impact of false reporting – from Russian spy Whales to fake Obama speeches – is increasing as it becomes more prevalent and complex, with digital technology and AI making it easier to generate and harder to distinguish. Takeaway: Fake news changing how we think, what we buy and how we vote. This is making kids anxious. Kids care about the news, and they are savvy, but network effects make it easy for Chinese whispers to abound and fake news to get amplified Kids need support in learning to spot fake news – only 2% of…

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CMC 2019: Report – Successful Pitches – The Secret History

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 2:31pm by Vanisha Sumboo

Tim Patterson from T1M Consult introduced the panel and invited them to share their experience with pitching and their tips on what it takes to make a pitch successful. A strong recurring theme throughout the session was tenacity. Takeaway: Keep it simple: have a sense of humour and be tenacious! Commissioners have many things they need to navigate internally, put yourself in their shoes. Pitching is a relationship that takes time, commitment and nurturing in order to make it work. Don’t get attached to one idea, be flexible and develop a very thick skin – there’ll be a lot of no’s before you get the yes. Detail: Chris Dicker reflected on how 'Becca’s Bunch' came to fruition. He discussed how…

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CMC 2019: Report – China: Business & Partnerships

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 12:45pm by Tim Collins

Doing business in China is entering a golden period – there appear to be more opportunities than ever before.   So what should we be looking for and how do we approach China? Takeaway: China is a huge market, with over 360m children, including 180m pre-schoolers. There is a projected animation spend of $34bn by 2021 China is investing in and creating IP and is actively looking for foreign partners. The Department for International Trade, BFI and others can help with regulations, censorship, quotas on foreign content and IP protection. Detail: The session started with a comprehensive scene setter from our host Louise from the DIT.   The UK Government is working very hard at our relationship with China and the recent…

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CMC 2019: Report – Tackling Teens

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 12:41pm

With the swift and powerful development of social media, there are some concerns that we are now in a world where connecting with teens through traditional means has become tricky. This session took a look at engaging with audiences not only through their social media, but also through writing styles and narratives. Takeaway: Teens’ input into programmes is paramount in as research for programme development. Teens love memes! Amplify the use of memes when a programme is live for more interaction with teens. Social media is where teens spend most of their time and disregarding social media can disregard them. Detail: Claire Tavernier, introduced the session stating that "70% of teens now have social media profiles and are very connected,…

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CMC 2019: Report – Fortnite-ly Phenomena: What creates a digital craze?

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 12:31pm by Tim Collins

Digital crazes aren’t a new phenomenon. Think Moshi Monsters, Club Penguin, Angry Birds... But they’re happening quicker than ever. New devices and social media are key drivers in accelerating these trends. Takeaway: Smartphone ownership has been increasing 33% YoY for 4-9 years olds since 2017. Access to new technology by younger kids is accelerating how digital content and experiences can lead to crazes. The gaming revolution has been driven by increasing device capability, more devices, more games available for free and the introduction of social and chat. Illustration by Greg McLeod Detail: The session started with moderator Neil Court asking the panel if there was any special sauce in being able to spot or even help create a digital craze.…

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CMC 2019: Report – Creative Masterclass: Clangers and Paddington

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 11:47am by Peter McGrath

In the case of the comeback phenomena of 'The Clangers' and 'Paddington', the people who remade these classics thought there were many more stories to be told and were inspired to create many more. This is not always the case when reinventing classic children’s intellectual properties, as this session explored. Session Takeaway: Both of the original series were a success because of the simplicity and innocence of the characters. While the stakes are now much higher and more people are involved than just one creator and one animator, success depends upon the singularity of purpose amongst all those concerned. At their heart both 'The Clangers' and 'Paddington' are pure and good - in the original and the remakes in the…

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CMC 2019: Report – Delivery Demands

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 11:39am by Vanisha Sumboo

Technical standards and delivery demands have undergone vast changes in recent years. Content is commissioned by the platform giants and viewed by the consumer in very different ways than how it used to be. Nowadays, the process has much shorter timelines, higher production costs, and more delivery formats - meaning the final quality can be at risk. This session took a look at how to effectively tackle these new delivery demands. Takeaway: ● Netflix have their own QC (quality control) requirements – knowing them from the outset will help streamline the process. ● Have an IT specialist to help with the demands of security procedures. ● Test your pipeline and delivery processes as early as you can, use automatic routines…

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CMC 2019: Report – Research 7 & 8

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 11:33am by Vanisha Sumboo

Research 7 & 8 put representations of gender, family and friendships under the lens across two research panels. Takeaway: Male representation is dominant - both on screen and off screen. Gender imbalance continues to be an issue that needs to be addressed. Young people rate their families highly but become frustrated at the amount of time parents spend online. Gaming and social media give opportunities to communicate with friends and is part of the fun gaming. Friendship and family relationships can be enhanced through communication online. Detail: Following a study conducted by IZI (International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television) into gender and diversity representation 10 years ago, Dr Lynn Whitaker presented her 2018 research which analysed 300 hours…

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CMC 2019: Report – The Incredible Playable Lunchtime Show

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 11:20am

With a chance to become human buttons, take on the Power Rangers, zap each other with barcode scanners and play Pac-Man using inflatable toys, The Incredible Playable Lunchtime Show was a hilarious CMC innovation putting the audience at the centre and gives them the chance to unleash their inner kid. Takeaway: Everything was interactive from the start. It's a chance to unleash the inner kid. Detail: Dressed out on the stage with inflatables, coloured barcode jackets, everything appeared to be very interactive from the start. Game Developer, Alistair Aitchrson, hosted the event looking like ‘The Greatest Showman’. His work is known for its emphasis on physical activity and social interaction, and his games have won awards at the IndieCade and GameCity…

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CMC 2019: Report – Creative Keynote: Horrible Histories The Movie

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 11:07am by Helen Dugdale

Changemaker singer/songwriter Sapphire introduced tonight’s keynote session with a breathtaking rendition of 'Shallow (A Star is Born)' before an impassioned plea to the audience concerning the struggles teenagers are facing when it comes to mental health issues. Her rally for change in content moderation focused in on social platform Instagram - a platform where, she argued, young people can readily access inappropriate content in contrast to the existing standards in the film and television industries. Takeaway: Quintessential British humour - in the great tradition of sketch comedy. The books aren’t about history - they’re about people. People make the comedy. Write for adults and children (just leave out the swearing). Detail: The keynote was an entertaining dive into the hilarious…

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CMC 2019: Report – The CMC Debate: Limitless Content Good or Bad?

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 10:07am

The session was opened with an introduction of a showreel by changemaker Toby Lloyd, DOP from Truetube, a platform that tells stories about the struggles of young people. He explained that as a child, he was not allowed to explore a lot of things he was interested in, due to lack of accessibility. Even today, smartphone ownership is still not universal among young people. While young people of this generation are so much more aware of the human experience than previous ones, society still has the responsibility to protect them from dangerous content.   Session: The motion of the debate was whether limitless content is good for children’s media. In a world with increasing amounts of content and numbers of…

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CMC 2019: Report – First Timers Lunch

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 9:13am by Cate Zerega

The Hubs Hideout hosted Ester Kaufmann and her 'conference buddies' - CMC experts who have been attending since at least 2013 - for a relaxed lunch packed with tips and tricks to help new attendees navigate the conference hustle with confidence and aplomb. Takeaway:     Newbie homework from Esther Kaufmann - catch one research session, they are always interesting and in her opinion underattended. Brolly Brollyman - Read your fellow delegates' body language and pounce when the body language is laid back and not before. Chella Quint has found Karaoke to be a great boundary leveller. Detail: Jonny Ford recalled sweating at his first conference whilst thinking, “I know there are people I need to talk to but I have no…

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CMC 2019: Report – Pizza Express 2019.

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 9:03am by Simon Bor

The delegates assembled in Devonshire Street for the annual CMC visit to Pizza Express. Takeaway:

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CMC 2019: Report – Focus on Ireland

Posted on: Thursday 04 July 2019 8:51am by Simon Bor

Ireland has become the go-to place for the creation and production of some truly outstanding content for audiences of all ages. The panel, put together by the Irish industry, revealed what Ireland can offer. Takeaway: A supportive broadcaster and tax breaks have created a world class Irish animation industry. Pablo is a pre-school series that aims to raise awareness of the autistic spectrum. The quality bar, for animation, was raised a long time ago.   Detail: Andrew Kavanagh, from Kavaleer Productions, introduced the panel of content-makers from the island of Ireland by asking them to divulge a secret. Lean Byrne, head of Jam Media’s scripting department told us that she left home at twenty-two but her mother continued to buy the…

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CMC 2019: Report – Resetting the moral compass

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 11:47pm by Jenny Kane

In April 2019, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport published the White Paper on “online harms”. This session questioned whether we are finally resetting the dials on the internet to make it truly friendly for children and families. Considering high-profile cases, such as the tragic death of Molly Russell, the White Paper demonstrates the a governmental responsibility to safeguard the activity of children within their 'digital playground'. However, as the panel clearly expressed, the protection of children online cannot rely solely on government policy. Content producers, brands, parents, schools and the platforms themselves all have a part to play.   Takeaway: 400 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute. "Children won’t 'jump-ship' on their favourite platforms and…

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CMC 2019: Report – Clicks and Mortar: The New Retail Space

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 11:30pm by Michelle Jones

This panel discussed the way in which merchandising, the retail space and the licensing industry is adapting to the digital disruption it's facing.  With a seismic shift in the retail environment as 60% of purchases are now online - which has grown from 20% in 2017 - how are brand owners today creating new consumer product stories by developing their own direct-to-consumer platforms for the paying audience? Takeaway: We need to look at consumers (millennial parents) and where they want to shop. The more IP owners can demonstrate their products are wanted by consumers -  the better placed they are to get into traditional retail landscapes. Licensing spikes are coming from non-traditional TV content now (such as gaming - e.g.…

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CMC 2019: Report – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 11:13pm by Helen Dugdale

Five creative producers stepped up to the podium to pitch their ideas to the friendly industry dragons. The million dollar question is, who will walk away with investment? King Banana with Me Time pitch kicked off with the audience closing their eyes and cleverly taking some "Me Time". In a busy world, kids need downtime and this show, aimed at the 0-6 range, is a series of mini moments that introduce self-care and mindfulness. Why? Well, it's estimated that approximately 1 in 8 children have a clinically diagnosed mental health condition. The team said they wanted to build a "go-to" brand across TV, apps and toys. It’s a mix of animation and live-action, which they believed would work well on…

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CMC 2019: Report – Pushing the Preschool Envelope

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 10:51pm by Sam Barlow

With a panel of industry figures from across the kids' media business, this session discussed the challenges of finding and moreover holding a preschool audience, in the midst of an ever more fragmented landscape. Takeaway: Diversity is the key to building a global brand. Be genuine - don't be 'tokenistic'. Let the audience take the lead and don't be afraid to be where they are. Detail: With a universal audience, there is a need to tell relatable, authentic and skilfully told stories in order to teach children about emotional intelligence, human values, knowledge of the world, cognition and sense of identity. Jodie Morris opened with the topic of inclusivity and diversity and explained that in 'Bing', nothing is prescriptive which…

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CMC 2019: Report – Kids Taking a Stand

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 9:29pm

Young people are constantly given the reminder, especially by media, that their future is bleak. The narrative is one of low pay, dying democracies, a world on fire, and corporations bent on stealing their data. But this needs to be changed to one of hope and possibility even amongst those challenges. This was what the CMC theme – Limitless (suggested by a young person) – meant to the panel, the potential and possibility of youth. Takeaway: Young people are energised, hopeful and poised to take action, and hungry for content on activism – but they need the tools and resources to do it. Media must accept their responsibility as an educator of the young. We have to help ready a…

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CMC 2019: Report – The YACF – A User’s Guide

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 9:25pm by Shannon Reeve

Changemaker Euella Jackson opened the session with a discussion of her journey, and an important question: what can you be doing to inspire change? Session: The Young Audiences Content Fund is a pilot which launched in April 2019. Content makers and producers have the opportunity to access funds to support the creation of distinctive and high-quality content for children. The pilot for the fund is due to last three years and has £57 million available to support development and production. Takeaway: Apply sooner rather than later! - Funding will be split between the three years, offering around £18m per year Read more about the fund on the BFI website: https://www.bfi.org.uk/supporting-uk-film/production-development-funding/young-audiences-content-fund Detail: Jackie Edwards discussed what the fund is, describing it…

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CMC 2019: Report – Commissioner Conversations BBC

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 8:42pm by Sarah Darling

Changemaker Alvin Owusu is a highly inspirational 18-year-old who uses his disadvantaged background as a driver to help young people through The Advantage Group. His aim is to demonstrate to businesses that diversity is not charity, but in fact, good business sense, using Stormzy as an example of how this can work. Through his outreach he aims to help change 2000 young lives for the better. Takeaway: Mantra for BBC Children's:  ‘Making the good popular and the popular good’. Will commission good quality content that aims to instruct but also entertain. Using influencers in a way that doesn’t shoehorn them into an awkward format. BBC Education is restructuring- bringing Bitesize and Education together. Detail: The session opened with Helen Foulkes…

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