Blogs

July 2019

CMC 2019: Report – Life On The Small Screen

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 7:09pm by Shannon Reeve

Jessica Rees, a research manager at Ofcom, shared their insights on the media use and attitudes of children, examining the reasons that children are drawn to online services including Netflix and YouTube. Takeaway: Older children increasingly view content via tablet and smartphone. YouTube is the most popular platform with Netflix second. There are rapid changes in trends with children losing interest in Snapchat in just two years. Detail: Jessica discussed the Children’s Media Lives research, a longitudinal study which explored the media activity of children over a period of five years, and the Life on the Small Screen research, a one-off project which followed forty children between 4 and 16 over the course of three months. Children's viewing of live…

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CMC 2019: Report – Writers Assemble!

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 5:16pm by Emma Boucher

What happens when a group of writers get together in one room? They share their top tips for getting that sought-after first credit in kids' TV, developing as a writer and staying relevant in the industry, of course! Takeaway: Do your homework – watch shows, be familiar with broadcasters and production companies. Network – build and maintain relationships with your contacts through emails, social media and events. And last but not least write, write, write – producers and agents want to read exciting original scripts.  Detail: Hosted by Dominic MacDonald, the packed session kicked off with plenty of top tips on how to enter the industry as a new writer. The panel advocated the importance of learning the business, watching…

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CMC 2019: Report – Pushing the Boundaries for Learning

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 4:22pm

The session explored a simple but important question; how do we deliver the best, most innovative learning content for children? In a world where children are increasingly media and digital savvy, how can new technologies be used to create learning experiences to compete for children’s attention.  Can the newer skills like gamification and transmedia storytelling make an impact across the education space and help children develop the skills and knowledge the next generation will need to navigate an increasingly complex and challenging world? Takeaway: Characters and narrative deepen the learning experience. Pedagogy knowledge can make sure learning accompanies engagement. Simple AI is already delivering real benefits in learning and is an exciting area of development. New technologies and approaches are…

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CMC 2019: Report – Stream if You Wanna Go Faster

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 3:27pm by David Hodgson

The session began with a presentation by Changemaker Dan Laws, from Youth Politics UK, which offers young people training and opportunities to discuss issues with high profile decision makers. Session: With an expert panel, comparing and contrasting Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and the rest, this session looked at their business models, and explored aspects of customer acquisition and retention strategies in a lively and highly informative session which did not disappoint. Takeaway: SVOD's sole focus is on content that can help them increase and retain subscription, nothing else matters to them. Netflix and Amazon are doing less in-house originals now, but are not necessarily commissioning more from indies as a result, preferring to acquire already established IP. Unless you have an…

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CMC 2019: Report – Limiting the Limitless?

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 3:14pm by Helen Dugdale

This Question Time style session saw an industry panel face pre-planned questions from the audience about several challenging areas, including the new Young Audiences Content Fund, how they really feel around SVODS and how to tackle the safety of kids online. Illustration: Greg McLeod. Takeaway: The industry welcomes the Young Audience Content Fund. There is enough space for both PSBs and SVODs. The government needs to get involved in the battle for online safety. Detail: The session host Stewart Purvis welcomed everyone to the session and talked briefly about the sponsor, The Children’s Media Foundation, and their important work. Question 1:  Is Ofcom happy with responses from the commercial PSBs to last year’s report? Clarifying Ofcom’s position, Kevin Bakhurst said:…

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CMC 2019: Report – Research 3 & 4

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 3:00pm by Gabrielle Smith

Two back-to-back presentations providing thought-provoking research considering today’s media landscape, both on and offline. Research 3 looked at attitudes regarding who makes the rules on age ratings as a point of contention and debate. Combining independent research and the BBFC Public Consultation, the panel delved into some of the concerns of how aspects of sexual violence and threat are portrayed on screen. Research 4 focused on the unique streaming service HEIHEI, and the way in which New Zealand has introduced innovative ways of supporting home grown media and local kids’ content. Takeaways: "You don’t need to see sexual violence to feel its impact" – teens already good at talking about this with their peers. Are children becoming interestingly cautious about…

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CMC 2019: Report – The Art of Play

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 1:09pm by Jess Percival

The Art of Play was a dive into how playing is an amazing way to connect not only with children, but also adults. The session was filled with creation, and lots of noise. Takeaway: Grab fun with both hands Don’t limit children, they can create big things Play for play’s sake - it doesn’t have to be educational. You might have to help children reach a breakthrough, but the results will be wonderful. Detail:  The session was split into two halves, to demonstrate different types of play. The first half focused on play which involved toys and objects, things that you can get your hands on. The second was more focused on imagination, playfulness and sound. The first half was…

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CMC 2019: Report – The CMC Drinks Reception

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 10:28am by Simon Bor

Sheffield Cathedral was humming with chatter and live music as a record number of CMC delegates arrived for the annual drinks reception. Surrounded by displays of classic and current characters such as Mr Benn, it was a chance to catch up with old friends, meet new contacts and sample delicious canapes. Takeaway: "If I can leave this conference inspiring people to tell stories in a new way then I’ll be happy." Detail: The atmosphere was captured by the blogging team as a whole who asked delegates how the first day of the conference had gone for them.  "Factory's opening drinks were so much fun," said one. "This is a great conference." One who was at the CMC SkillBuilder said, "I'm making…

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CMC 2019: Report – First Timers Reception

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 10:12am

The First Timers’ Reception kicked off with an impromptu walking tour of Sheffield, as delegates chatted their way through the town to the impressive location of the City Hall. Once the ‘newbies’ had gathered (and found the reception!) presenter Chris Jarvis began, making sure to include useful tips that were both reassuring and engaging for all.  Takeaway: Do download the CMC app to plan your sessions effectively. Don’t forget to use the #tcmc whenever you share anything on your social channels. Do attend the opening and closing sessions. Don’t forget to take notes, you’ll never remember everything! Do turn up early to sessions, they can get very busy. Don’t keep to the same few people for all three days, broaden your social…

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CMC 2019: Report – CMC International Exchange 2019

Posted on: Wednesday 03 July 2019 9:06am

This year’s International Exchange market day at CMC seemed bigger than ever with delegates from all corners of the world from the UK to China. They were welcomed to the exquisite Victorian  Town Hall in Sheffield’s city centre to pitch their ideas to television executives, book publishers, distributors and more. Takeaway: 60 potential buyers from a wide range of companies and services across the children’s media industry. A swift and friendly process where fifteen minutes can make the difference. From television pilots to picture books to animated content to games, people participated in a competitive market with a friendly atmosphere. Detail: Participants had two half-day sessions of the Exchange to pitch and sell their ideas to the buyers, some of…

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CMC 2019: Report – CMC Skillbuilder Bible & Pitch

Posted on: Tuesday 02 July 2019 11:45pm by Helen Dugdale

With a team of industry gurus to guide our delegates through the tricky but essential world of crafting the perfect pitch, there was talk of whether bibles were even still ‘a thing’. In this round-table format, delegates could discuss their ideas and get honest and workable feedback from those that know best. Takeaway: Keep your pitch brief and do your research. Believe in your project. Aim for the follow up/next. A bible isn’t essential - it’s all about the idea. Detail: With a strong team of sixteen children’s media gurus ready and waiting to share their top tips - advice on what needs to be in an outstanding pitch, as well as the ideas to include in a bible were…

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CMC 2019: Report – Opening Keynote: Nadiya Hussain

Posted on: Tuesday 02 July 2019 10:40pm by Cate Zerega

Tonight at Sheffield City Hall, CMC Advisory Chair, Sue Nott, welcomed the huge gathering of CMC delegates and asked us all to reflect upon what it means to be ‘limitless’- the theme for CMC 2019. With an outstanding address made by Changemaker Noga Levy-Rapoport, the 17-year-old student challenged the audience to eschew a diplomatic approach in addressing climate change in children’s media. Her call to action asked that we all create much needed and vital content, across all platforms- from YouTube, to ‘Insta’-stories as well as in publishing and conventional TV programming. She notes that there is a ‘global call for children to become the leaders of today’, so why not start with their media? The Keynote Takeaway: Create the…

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CMC 2019: Report – Playground 

Posted on: Tuesday 02 July 2019 4:49pm by Jess Percival

From the 25th June until the 7th July 2019, the Site Gallery becomes Playground - a free interactive exhibition for those aged 5-12 years (but everyone is welcome to join in!). This year’s theme is Game/Changers showcasing several iconic toys and games reimagined in exciting forms that encourage participation, teamwork and having a lot of fun! Takeaway: The core focus of Playground is to combine physical and digital play. Everything is suitable for a variety of ages, and can help bring young and old together. Each exhibit combines recognisable elements with new and exciting interactions. Detail: Will Hurt’s Abstract Playground: AP1 is an interactive, engaging, abstract audiovisual scene using geometry of physical sites to re-present local architecture and landscape. The interesting style…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Gambling and Gaming. What’s the Difference? Whats the Harm?

Posted on: Monday 01 July 2019 11:01am by Heather Wardle

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 14:10 - 15:10 Showroom Cinema 2 This session highlights the human cost of gambling-harms and explores whether the increasing intersection of gambling and gaming is something to be concerned about or is the latest moral panic about children's behaviours online. Gambling with Lives, the charity founded by families bereaved by gambling-related suicide, to raise awareness of the serious health risks of gambling addiction, have spoken about their experiences for the first time in this hard-hitting film, which will be first seen at CMC.  From Pukka Films on Vimeo.

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June 2019

CMC 2019: Preview – Unconscious Bias

Posted on: Sunday 30 June 2019 9:24pm by Kathy Loizou

Thursday 4th July 2019, 11:00 - 12:00 Repeated: 14:00 - 15:00 HUBS Hideout Luise Usiskin will expertly take you on a journey through the thought-provoking subject of Unconscious Bias in a way that’s interesting, useful, fun and not at all intimidating. All of us have learned a variety of stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, and ingrained. These are able to influence how we behave in our day-to-day lives.  Our everyday environment influences,  and continues to influence, how we’ve become, who we are and how we interact with the world. Unconscious Bias training is about exposing these biases and helping us look at why it is inherent in all of us. The training helps us think about how we can start to recognise…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Career Guidance Session

Posted on: Saturday 29 June 2019 8:09pm by Florencia Donagaray

Monday 1 July, 4-5pm  HUBS The Stage Florencia Donagray, having presented research at CMC previously is producing this year's CMC Volunteer Guidance session. Here she explains who it's for and how it works. Those who have had the chance to attend the CMC might have noticed that apart from the thought-provoking sessions and inspiring panelists there is another signature element that makes the conference unique: the amazing team of hard-working and ever-smiling volunteers. It’s largely thanks to these young people that the CMC runs smoothly - in every session and venue. The volunteers are the driving force during the event – and, because of this, the CMC team works hard to ensure that the volunteers also take something back with…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Delivery Demands

Posted on: Saturday 29 June 2019 12:52pm by Dalton Deverell

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 17:10 - 18:00 Showroom Cinema 2 "Netflix and chill” is at risk of becoming decidedly warm due to a series of delivery demands that has swept through the industry over recent years. We look at the benefits of becoming a superhuman spec’d up studio after navigating the user friendly muli-pagre NP3 questionnaire and what exactly it adds to the production. Of course it’s not just Netflix, every giant has the best way to work with mere mortals and we discuss the implications this can have on budget, scheduling and managing relationships. Hearing from a range of industry experts to give first tale accounts of these demands and the best way to jump through the hoops and…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Commissioner Conversations – Channels

Posted on: Saturday 29 June 2019 12:48pm by Gary Milne

Thursday 4th July 2019, 12:30 - 13:30 Showroom Cinema 4 Whether you’re a veteran in the industry, just starting out, or somewhere in between, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re going to want to hear what the commissioners have to say. After all, they are the champions of our content and thus the gateway to our audiences. In an ever-evolving media landscape, we find out what’s new with Sony, Turner and Viacom, what they’re looking for and how best to approach them with your next big idea. As the theme of this year's CMC is 'Limitless' we'll also hear their thoughts on how they think kids having access to near-limitless choice, affects the industry and their viewers. The Commissioner panels have been a staple fixture at CMC, proving popular…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Staying Local

Posted on: Saturday 29 June 2019 12:44pm by Jesse Cleverly

Thursday 4th July 2019, 09:30 - 10:30 Showroom Cinema 4 Drama at home.... With the twin arrival of new SVoD players and the new BFI fund, kids drama producers have never had it so good - or so promising. However, figuring out which way to take your pitch to appeal to either domestic players looking for local fayre, or streamers looking for shows that will resonate all around the world  - seems to leave producers with a tricky choice. On the one hand they can develop stories that feel very culturally specific but might not travel, while on the other seem to be the stories that will appeal to kids all over the world but might not really speak sufficiently…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Successful Pitches: the Secret History

Posted on: Saturday 29 June 2019 12:41pm by Martyn Niman

Thursday 4th July 2019, 09:40 - 10:40 Showroom Cinema 3 Want to increase the odds of getting your series or idea commissioned? What is that magic dust that makes those broadcasters and partners green light an idea into production? Join four pitching pros on a panel that will cover real inside stories on how they successfully pitched their ideas to channels and publishers. Joan Lofts shines a light on Peppa’s pitch, Mellie Buse from Adastra, on selling 'Grandpa in My Pocket', Caryl Hart, on pitching her stories and getting them published and Chris Dicker, Jam Media, on the 'Becca Bunch' story. Tim Patterson (Children’s IP consultant & previous Nickelodeon exec) will ask those key questions to our panellists to get them…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Alexa How should Youth Brands Use Audio in 2019?

Posted on: Saturday 29 June 2019 12:36pm by Sam Harris

Thursday 4th July 2019, 09:30 - 10:30 HUBS Common Room It feels like everyone’s interested in spoken word audio right now – products like podcasts, smart speakers and (increasingly) audiobooks. As the influence and importance of audio grows, media brands are developing new strategies and initiatives to capture the ears of consumers. These strategies are increasingly placing audio at the heart of a brand’s media mix. As such, audio has assumed a new importance in the battle to win the fluttering attention spans of their audiences. Why audio? Audio is part of a seemingly endless, entertaining carousel of new and on-demand content. Young audiences especially flit nimbly between platforms and devices, apps and web pages, in the hunt for the next…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Creative Masterclass: Clangers and Paddington

Posted on: Saturday 29 June 2019 12:18pm by Sharon Miller

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 17:00 - 18:00 Showroom Cinema 4 Paddington and Clangers – two icons of Children’s Television - one created 59 years ago and the other 50 years ago, respectively. And, all these years later, they have been revived and re-produced to be, arguably, more successful than they ever were. How?  Why?  Vital questions. Vital questions you need to know the answers to. These questions will be posed to the creators and initiators of the current series of both of these phenomena, by Pui Fan Lee, whose has her own unique experience of iconic Children’s Television. Dan Maddicott, producer and swanee whistler-extraordinaire, and Dan Postgate, son of one of the legendary duo who originally conceived the Clangers back in 1969, Oliver Postgate  Dan Postage…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Cultivating Community

Posted on: Friday 28 June 2019 3:49pm by Michelle Forde

Thursday 4th July 2019, 14:10 - 15:10 Showroom Cinema 2 ‘Community is about being connected not just physically and/or digitally, but emotionally and for some common cause.’ Joshua Davidson, Night Zookeeper. At the ‘Cultivating Community’ session, we will be taking an in-depth look at how content creators and brands maintain and extend their relationship with their audience online and what that brings in terms of fan engagement, new content potential and brand loyalty. Hosting the session is Joshua Davidson, creator of  ‘Night Zookeeper’ (SKY Kids), which, before launch, invited children from across the UK to submit character drawings and background designs, as well as suggestions for plot points, dialogue and songs. "I've always been fascinated by the border between characters and…

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CMC 2019: Preview – China: Business and Partnerships

Posted on: Friday 28 June 2019 3:16am by Adam Bailey

Thursday 4th July 2019, 09:30 - 10:30 HUBS The Stage With increasing number of partnerships between Chinese and creative companies around the world we discuss the opportunities, broadcast and streaming platforms, finding the right partners and the UK-China co-production treaty. You have ideas, big ones, and you have just had that dream where your idea has gone global. It's the next big thing. You just need to find that crucial connection or have that conversation which actually gets the wheels in motion. It could well be that you've been looking in the wrong place or limiting your ambition. Well here's where that dream may come true.. (Is that enough hype already?)….okay… China! Everyone's talking about it, especially collaboration, finding the…

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CMC 2019: Preview – China: A Creative Approach

Posted on: Friday 28 June 2019 3:07am by Adam Bailey

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 11:00 - 12:00 HUBS Common Room Join our esteemed panel of speakers as they share insights and knowledge into how to develop and produce your projects with both a Chinese and international audience in mind. With the increasing number of partnerships between Chinese and international producers developing new IP, reworking existing IP or planning ambitious partnerships, we wanted to give you more insight into how to get yourself involved. Whether you are a Writer, Composer, Designer, Storyboard Artist, Voiceover Artist, Producer or are simply fascinated by the recent examples of successful projects being developed and produced in collaboration between Chinese and international production partners around the world, then this session is a must attend. We want…

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CMC 2019: Preview – the CMC Drinks Reception

Posted on: Friday 28 June 2019 2:39am

Tuesday 2nd July 2019, 19:15 - 20:45 Sheffield Cathedral Zoe Bamsey from CMC Drinks Reception sponsors, Factory, gives a flavour of what on offer in the Cathedral on Tuesday evening DRESS-UP and JELLY BEANS! Who doesn’t love dressing up? And Mr Benn… “as if by magic”.... is the best of them all. Come visit our photo booth, pick your outfit, and share your photos for a chance to win 'Mr Benn', 'Elmer' and 'Off the Leash' goodies, while enjoying the live Jazz band. If you get the nibbles there are pots of Jelly Beans and as a keepsake reminder of the evening an 'Elmer' or 'Mr Benn' badge – all courtesy of Factory, this year’s drinks sponsor – oh and free drink too  

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CMC 2019: Preview – VR & AR Storytelling for Kids

Posted on: Friday 28 June 2019 2:26am by Candi Bloxham

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 15:30 - 16:30 HUBS Common Room Want to tell stories in a new way? Want to get your audience closer to your characters, more engaged with them and more immersed with their stories? Then grab a seat at VR & AR (XR) Storytelling for Kids. The session will start with a sizzle showcasing some exciting examples of XR experiences. Then our host, Alison Norrington, will offer a short overview of some XR content that hits the mark in terms of storytelling and good user experience. She will also highlight results from the recent year long Children's Media Foundation survey into XR for kids, giving an insight for all those wanting to take the leap into creating…

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

Posted on: Friday 28 June 2019 2:15am by Debbie Macdonald

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 14:00 - 15:00 Showroom Cinema 4 Have you ever wanted to know what makes a buyer jump up and down with excitement?  Then this session is a MUST for you.  CMC’s popular bidding war is back again for its 7th year and it promises to be even bigger and better than ever before. Not only do we have 5 brand new fabulous pitches for you to see, we have a new team of hungry judges who are excited to see what our Producers have to offer this year.   Our Producers will bravely take centre-stage hoping to impress the industry big wigs and you.... the CMC audience! And if that’s not enough pressure, they will only have…

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CMC 2019: Preview – Don’t mention the C word!

Posted on: Thursday 27 June 2019 9:01pm by Putul Verma

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 15:40 - 16:40 Showroom Cinema 2 We need to talk about class. Our young audiences from working class backgrounds have a huge amount of choice in what they watch, play, read and listen to.  And if what we make doesn’t speak to them, they will move on.  Box ticking and tokenism, lazy stereotyping,  casual diminishing of the things that are important to them, assumptions about their aspirations and values based on where they live, their education level, their accent and their perceived lack of money – these are just some of the things that turn these young people off content supposedly aimed at them. This session looks at whether getting more people from working class backgrounds…

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

Posted on: Thursday 27 June 2019 7:21pm by Juliet Tzabar

Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 11:10 - 12:10 Showroom Cinema 2 With consumer habits shifting from traditional retail to digital purchasing, and amid ongoing reports of the death of the high street, this session will be looking at the impact that digital disruption has had on the children’s licensing business. Shelf space is increasingly dominated by the big studios, and toy companies are now investing in their own content arms, so the traditional licensing models seem less and less sustainable, particularly for smaller producers who are yet to secure a suite of licensing partners. Yet we know that digital brings with it opportunity, and the demand for licensed product remains strong.  The new players are taking things in-house and exploring the…

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