Session Reports 2022


Report - Animation Assemble!

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 9:05pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways Invest in concrete disability training for all people and talent teams to see the rewards. Children need to know there’s a world worth saving. When you invest in children, you invest in the future: don’t trivialise the work of investing in children. Host Beth Parker began CMC’s panel about animation as a force for good using Andrew Kavanagh’s Kavaleer cartoon ‘Adam Loves Adventure’ as a case study. Andrew reacted to Adam King’s wish to go to space, even though he uses a wheelchair, by asking, ‘Could I make a cartoon about this kid?’ Andrew has since worked with people…

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Report - Are Your Ears Burning?

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 9:52pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

Takeaways Interest in audio is booming, boosted by the pandemic and parents' concern about kids' screen time. Audio is highly inclusive of all kids and offers great creative opportunities for writers and creators. Think about audio in terms of a mixed economy: from audio to TV or TV to audio. Though money may be tight at this time, the opportunities to monetise audio content will grow over time. Moderator Carla Herbertson began the session by outlining the growth in audio content recently. Downloads of audio in the UK has grown 14% in total and by 20% since 2019 for kids…

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Report - Bright Young Things

Posted on: Friday 08 July 2022 12:37pm by Hannah Boursnell

Takeaways: You need to be where your audience is. If you're making kids' content, that means TikTok and YouTube. Brands should be wary of jumping on TikTok trends. They need to earn the 'right to play' in an online space. If you want to make brilliant content for young people, you should probably be hiring them! In this panel, a group of under-25s working in the industry discussed emerging trends in tech, audience behaviour and marketing.  The session began with introductions: moderator Zamil Zareen from KidsKnowBest was joined by his colleague Estelle Dragan, Thierry Ngutegure from Journey Further and Brandon Relph from Studio BE. The first topic…

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Report - Bringing Books to the Metaverse (or is it the other way around?)

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2022 1:01pm by Hannah Boursnell

Takeaways: Children's publishing is buoyant, with sales up year on year. But more than 400k children do not own a book of their own (National Literacy Trust). Immersive, multi-platform storytelling is already here. Digital can be a bridge to reading for those with limited literacy. There is an appetite within traditional publishing to embrace storytelling that blends print and digital, but funding is a barrier. A panel representing both traditional children's publishing and innovative digital storytellers discussed where printed books sit within the digital ecosystem and whether the metaverse will help or hinder the children's literacy crisis. Moderator John Lomas-Bullivant…

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CMC 2022 Report – Opening Keynote, Ben McOwen Wilson

Posted on: Tuesday 05 July 2022 9:45pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

Takeaways Think about young people’s passion for environmental issues when commissioning content. Honour kids’ interest in conservationism by being ecofriendly in your production processes. The industry will need to take its responsibilities to young people even more seriously in the next few years. The industry will need to respond with positivity and creativity to the forthcoming regulatory and funding challenges. Sue Nott and Tim Patterson welcomed delegates back to Sheffield for the first time since 2019 before introducing CMC Changemaker, conservationist, and Britain’s Got Talent star Aneeshwar Kunchala. Seven-year-old Aneeshwar spoke to the audience about ‘Inspiration’. He explained that his…

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Report - Comissioner Conversations, 6-12

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2022 6:31pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways CBBC's move to digital will not affect commissioning hours or spend. Nickelodeon is looking for ideas that are bold, messy and punchy. CITV is actively looking to work internationally, to cover the gap in funding left by the end of YACF. Original programming for the Sky Kids platform should complement rather than be competition for existing programming. Joe Godwin introduced this year's panel of children's content commissioners, who were optimistic about the future of the sector despite the recent news about CBBC going online and the end of the Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF). They were Sarah Muller (CBBC),…

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Report - Commissioner Conversations, Pre-school

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 2:53pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways The best commissions are child-centred. ‘Broadcast sensibility’ is still important across platforms. Kids are brilliant at self-curation and are good at discovering ‘known’ IP. Shows that stand out on busy platforms are more likely to win commissions.   Host Tiernan Douieb asked the panellists to begin by summarising their commissioning priorities: Paramount’s Louise Bucknole began with Channel 5’s Milkshake!, which provides kids content for two- to five-year olds every morning with 60% of the productions coming from regional producers. Additionally, Nick Jr. commissions franchise IP content that will ‘grow with kids from nappies to baggie jeans’. Sean Henry of…

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Report - Creative Keynote, Joseph Coelho

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 10:39pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

Takeaways Creativity flourishes when freedom meets structure. Children need permission to play with words without fear of breaking so-called 'rules'. Wait for no one! If you want to create something, do it. Everyone has the means to succeed in this digital age. This session began with the double-act of Ollie Ball and Jacob Pasquill, who are TikTokers with an ability to make everyone laugh. They talked about the power of social media, which has changed their lives and allowed them to share themselves with the world. They then introduced the new Waterstones Children's Laureate, Joseph Coelho. Joseph treated the audience…

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Report - Creative Masterclass with Holly Phillips

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 5:50pm by Lorna Partington Walsh

Takeaways Spend as much time developing characters before you begin writing; it will pay off. Diversity in the writers room is key to a rounded cast of characters that speak to a wide range of teens. New writers need more opportunities to develop their skills on the job. This inspirational session began with a screening of the ‘Get Even’ trailer, a CBBC/Netflix co-production from production company Boatrocker, and an intro to Holly Phillips, showrunner. Throughout the masterclass, Holly touched on a range of creative issues. But first she outlined her background. She grew up in a small village where there…

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Report - First Timers' Reception

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 10:43am by Yosr Saber

Takeaways: The Conference is known for its friendliness, so don’t be afraid to talk to strangers. Make use of the speed meetings, as they are a great opportunity to get business done fast. Make sure you have fun too! After two years of a global pandemic and social distancing, getting together at the Head of Steam pub in Sheffield at the First Timers' Reception for drinks and the opportunity to mingle with like-minded people in the UK’s children’s media industry was a refreshing way to kick start The Children’s Media Conference 2022. The room was buzzing with many conference first-timers…

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Report - Mentor Me, Mentor You

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 9:19pm by Cate Zerega

Takeaways Resilience & Gentle Persistence: There’s one yes out of twenty no’s. Lead with your voice - it’s better to know the writer’s voice for effective feedback & advice Learn the rules but don’t be bound by them - Each show is written on differently, down to the script font. Download this resource: Host Ciaran Murtagh started CMC’s session on mentoring by asking the panel for their experiences of mentoring. Mariama Ives-Moiba completed formal mentoring schemes as a mentee and now manages the relationship via an informal, annual email. Mariama’s found the most success by being friendly and willing…

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Report - Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 10:12pm by Yosr Saber

Takeaways There is a need to engage children more with content about environmental conservation. Detective mysteries are on-trend now with a need for a new comedic detective TV show. Mental health issues in children are on the rise and using media to address those issues can be very impactful with more reach being achieved. CMC this year is all about 'whats next' and what is needed next are more diverse, inclusive, funny, entertaining, and warm shows. TV Presenter and Entertainer Joanna Adeyinka-Burford, together with TV Presenter, Entertainer and Podcaster, Nigel Clarke were joined by a panel of US judges via…

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Report - Question Time

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 2:21pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways The loss of YACF may have significant cultural implications for children’s programming. The sell-off of Channel 4 also represents a major challenge for indie production companies. The changes at CBBC could have a big impact on diversity and inclusion, especially if there is a cut to live-action production. Streaming platforms still offer exciting opportunities for British-made content, and Netflix is where the 13-16 audience is right now, with shows like ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Heartstoppers’. C21’s Nico Franks chaired a panel consisting of Maddy Darrall (Darrall McQueen), Marc Goodchild (Connected Ideas), Seetha Kumar (ScreenSkills), Franz Osman (Gold Wala) and Mikael…

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Report - The Art of Preschool

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2022 8:45pm by Yosr Saber

Takeaways: Know your audience, both commissioners and potential viewers. Nail the creative. The ideas and characters are key. Aspire to make a difference. Host Michelle Jones started the session with introductions and a recap of the careers of both Andy Mundy-Castle of Dochearts and Lynsey O'Callaghan of Paramount Kids and Family. Lynsey regularly reviews pitches for preschool shows and said those that stand out have really done their homework and are not pitching something that is already out there. They know what their audience watches, what they find funny, what's important to them and what's reflective of them. They also…

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Report - The Art of Young People's Theatre

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 6:19pm by Yosr Saber

Takeaways Even if the material is dark, difficult, or challenging, ask yourself whether joy sits at the heart of the play. If you ever deny hope to children, you are really doing them a disservice. Working in theatre really helps you to understand the audience; there is much to be learned from engaging with a live audience in a room. Speaking first, Vicky Ireland, chair of Action for Children’s Arts (ACA), explained the charity’s mission: to campaign for children’s right to the arts, to connect children’s arts practitioners, and celebrate children’s arts in the UK. Vicky stated the importance of…

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Report - The Young Audiences Content Fund, What Next?

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2022 2:05pm by Cate Zerega

John McVay, OBE, was absent and sent a statement on behalf of Pact.  Takeaways The next step for the children's media industry is to craft a single objective that captures the value of children's content for its many stakeholders, including government, parents, institutions and teachers. Once this has been agreed upon, an ecosystem can begin to take shape. A large number of children don't have broadband access - accessibility needs to be part of the next steps. Avoid too much doom and gloom. Focus on analysing and celebrating the achievements and successes of the YACF. Host Faraz Osman began today's…

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Report - UK Creativity - Talent-Driven and World Beating

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2022 6:00pm by Yosr Saber

Takeaways: There is a huge opportunity for growth in the sector and the UK should be taking a bigger share of the global market, which is a £260bn industry. A strategy for skills training on a large scale is required. Tax relief is a great scheme for investments but needs to be revised to be more competitive. This session discussed how UK creative talent is attracting international investment, with leading businesses flocking to set up studios in the UK or work on co-productions. What does this mean for the local landscape for kids' content in the UK? After introductions by…

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Report - What Next for Kids?

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 8:24pm by Simon Bor

Takeaways Imagine being a child in the 21st century, having seen and experienced so many difficult situations. Don’t turn 10-year-olds into 13-year-olds. We need to help children express their innate kindness and empower them to make a difference. Emma Scott (Chair, World Book Day) introduced the session’s Changemaker, Inspiring Vanessa, an award-winning, 15-year-old motivational speaker, talkshow host and actor. ‘We are going back in time with history continuing to repeat itself,’ said Inspiring Vanessa, who asked the audience to imagine being a child in the 21st century, reminding us what today’s children have witnessed in their short lives. She asked…

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