CMC 2020 Blogs


Report: Animation Assemble!

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2020 5:06pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways Flexibility. The flexibility achieved in animation during lockdown is a powerful tool to use in post Covid production & office culture.  Challenges in licensing for children to work in voice whilst in lockdown, technical difficulties and struggle to direct take longer and are harder in lockdown so must be planned for to ensure that kids voices are retained in animation.  The lockdown implementation of virtual writers rooms have helped manage a bar of entry in the U.K. allowing to bring in wider voices from around the world Host Beth Parker began by asking the panel about the opportunities the…

Continue reading >


Report: CMC Keynote Panel: Black Lives Matter

Posted on: Monday 06 July 2020 9:02pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways  Diversity in gatekeeping will help decision makers understand and produce authentic, full and complete stories in digital as well as broadcast.  Discomfort with talking about race is long held, but this has shifted with the death of George Floyd. We owe it to young people now and in the future to talk about it openly and instigate change.  Teams are more effective when they are diverse. It is important to speak up and offer possible solutions, even when you feel like you’re not the most important person in the room. Sue Nott, CMC’s Advisory Group Chair, welcomed delegates to…

Continue reading >

Report: Commissioner Conversations - PSBs

Posted on: Tuesday 07 July 2020 5:58pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways Covid-19 has affected most broadcasters commissioning practices and schedules, but lockdown has produced interesting new content (including by young people). Broadcasters are investing more in diversity on- and off-screen, and YACF is enabling them to make better content choices. The future points to fewer linear models of programming, moving to more on-demand to reflect young people’s viewing habits. Most commissioners said that Covid-19 had pushed their schedules forward, replacing what could have been new programming for 2021. However, lockdown had generated a lot of spontaneous new content. All panellists agreed that the Young Audience Content Fund (YACF) was a…

Continue reading >

Report: Commissioner Conversations- Channels

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 5:26pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways Producers must do their homework. They need to watch the channels and be prepared to explain how the project fits. In normal times meetings would be at markets, but it’s virtual pitches only at the moment. All content should have the potential to go global, even if it starts as a regional or national project. Ben Cajee hosted this year’s commissioner’s conversation with global channels, Warner Media (Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito) and ViacomCBS Networks (the Nickelodeon channels). Before this, he introduced a short Changemaker video featuring disability rights campaigner, Lucy Edwards. In the video, she highlights and challenges the…

Continue reading >

Report: Commissioner Conversations- SVODs

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 10:32pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways  The on-demand platforms are serving families well during the pandemic with educational content and art-and-craft shows helping home-schooled kids. Black History and diversity are amongst the projects the platforms would look at getting involved with. The platforms are on the lookout to acquire big brands and little gems. Children’s on-demand television has seen a huge rise in demand this year. Four representatives of companies that continue to feed the appetite of kids in the UK and territories through the world were on hand to talk to Chris Jarvis and explain what sort of opportunities are on offer to content…

Continue reading >

Report: Creative Keynote - Cressida Cowell

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 10:44pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaways “Creativity is magic and magic is for everyone!” The key to succeeding is finding your personal quest. Have confidence in your own style, write without rules and create characters to care about! This session opened with Changemaker and comedian Aaron Simmonds who talked about his creative process in lockdown, particularly the importance of trying out ideas and making mistakes to get that spark. During the past few months, he has created a new podcast which is due to be released in the next couple of weeks. He also talked about how comedy has given him the opportunity to redefine…

Continue reading >


Report: Lockdown, Learning and Brands

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 12:07am by Cate Zerega

Takeaways Navigating new platforms as a gateway to the brand is best executed by deeply learning about the platform, its content managers and what they want to promote. Otherwise the content will get lost. Lockdown has shone a light on positive content that helps children move through tiresome tasks in a positive, healthy way. A child’s existing interests are a great gateway to embedding STEM in their play. Moderator Lucy Gill began the discussion with Editor in Chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday. Guinness found that the best way to reach kids is through partnership. He has access to…

Continue reading >


Report: Masterclass: Moomins & Pippi Longstocking

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2020 7:08pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways  ‘Pippi Longstocking’ was central to re-educating children after the second world war and the end of the Hitler Youth. The beauty of Pippi Longstocking as a character is that she is at home doing normal things. ‘Moomins’ reflects Finnish society after the war. Men were working and women were more resourceful. There are parallels between the two Nordic classics by Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren and Finnish writer/illustrator Tove Jansson: both ‘Pippi Longstocking’ and ‘Moomins’ started in an intimate way, are celebrating their seventy-fifth anniversaries, were written by female authors whose lives spanned the twentieth century, and are now being…

Continue reading >


Report: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 6:07pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

This session began with an invitation from session sponsor Enterprise Ireland to visit the specially created website for CMC delegates to explore what Ireland has to offer creatives: Under the guidance of dragon-wrangler Nigel Clarke, three creatives pitched their projects to the ‘dragons’, who were Jules Borkent (VCNI), Nigel Pickard (Nevision), Adina Pitt (Cartoon Network), and Alison Warner (Blue Zoo Rights). Pitch 1: ‘Umami’ (Jonathan Clarke, Distillery Films) Set in the world of food trucks, this is an animation for 6-11 year olds that is “fun, fast, and full of flavour”. It follows 4 friends whose parents own different…

Continue reading >


Report: Question Time - Right Now and What’s Next?

Posted on: Tuesday 07 July 2020 3:38pm by Catherine Trewavas

Takeaways       The Covid-19 pandemic has hugely impacted children’s lives, as well as the media industry.       This period of time does, however, present an opportunity to pause and bring our attention to issues affecting young people.       Content should reflect the diversity of audiences and encourage voices to be heard.       Creativity can flourish in challenging times, and we need to encourage policy makers to listen to young people's campaigning, as well as support the mental health of future generations. Right Now and What’s Next? Looking ahead to a future post-Covid…

Continue reading >


Report: The BFI YACF: Success, Learning and the Future

Posted on: Wednesday 08 July 2020 2:39pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways The first year of the YACF has helped strengthen the production pipeline throughout the UK. Please use word of mouth to help increase the plurality of voices the YACF seeks to amplify. Use available funding to help you look through the unknowns to a bright future. Nico Franks of C21 Media explained that BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund was introduced at the CMC in 2019. Jackie Edwards, head of the YACF at BFI, revealed that, over the last year, the fund received 227 applications, of which BFI approved 81. Around £13 million has been awarded in funding. Lockdown made…

Continue reading >

The Last Word: What’s Next?

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2020 5:12pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

CMC Advisory Committee Chair Sue Nott introduced the final session of the conference with a run down of the highlights and thanks to the supporters and contributors in 2020. Despite lockdown, CMC has continued to support the kids’ media industry by keeping it “alive, alert and punching above its weight.” Delegates were then treated to performances from Miss Jacqui and John Kelly of Graeae Theatre. Both writers, musicians and performers, they explained that, as Disabled people, they had faced challenges throughout their lives and dealt with them through a relationship to the arts.  Having worked in the arts for nearly…

Continue reading >


Report: Write On

Posted on: Thursday 09 July 2020 2:29pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways No tardiness: a deadline is your friend. Study: know your show, know your broadcaster, know your audience, know yourself. Practice and study versatility: different types of writing and platforms always come back to the story. What does your character want? What obstacles will I put in their way? Enjoy and use your network: most of us want to pay the help we received forward to new voices. The session began with a screening of ‘Why’ by Joshua Haith, an Under-16 Finalist in the PQATV / CMC One-Minute Film Competition, and moderator Sharna Jackson encouraged everyone to view he 15…

Continue reading >