The Children's Media Conference

CMC British Animation Afternoon - Session 4

The CMC organised an afternoon of panel discussions and case-studies on the afternoon before the British Animation Awards - 15th March 2012. The topic was digital futures for the animation industry.

Thanks to  Sanjay d’Humières for his blog copy:

Digital Exploitation on Other Platforms


Marc Goodchild, Founder IpDipSkyBlue


Maurice Wheeler, Planning Dir & Co-founder, DoCo

Juliet Tzabar, MD, Plug-in Media

Eric Huang, Publishing Director Media & Entertainment, UK Penguin Group

James Huggins, Director, Made In Me

James White, Development Director, Studio Liddell 

Marc Goodchild chaired the largest panel session of the afternoon dedicated to digital exploitation on other platforms.  The panel tried to assess whether digital is merely an extension of the television market or whether it has now become viable in its own right.

There was a consensus among the panellists that the use of games as extensions to a television programme can greatly enrich the viewing experience and create a cohesive experience for the audience

It was felt that animation projects have to be conceptualised with the digital extentions in mind from the very beginning and a project is less likely to succeed if it is just dumped in the digital world or badly transposed.

As Eric Huang explained, Penguin no longer just receives proposals from agents but gets an increasing number of ideas for development on digital platforms for a wide variety of creative sources.

Apps have been considered the easiest channel to make people pay for and although their initial cost may not be much, consumer loyalty can help generate regular revenue streams. An example of this is Rovio and their Angry Birds application, which has been one of the most downloaded in the App Store’s history.  The cost of a basic app is estimated at £30,000 and the more versions you develop across the different operating systems, the more it will cost to develop and update.

From a marketing perpective, digital platforms have played an important role in reaching out to audiences in a cost effective way.  

CMC British Animation Afternoon - Session 3

The CMC organised an afternoon of panel discussions and case-studies on the afternoon before the British Animation Awards - 15th March 2012.  The topic was digital futures for the animation industry.

Thanks to  Sanjay d’Humières for his blog copy:

Session 3 - Rights in the New Landscape

Chair: Helen Brunsdon, Animation Consultant and Producer


Andrew Baker,

Ed Galton, Cake Entertainment

Karl Woolley, Impossible Kids

Helen Brunsdon, Producer of the CMC Animation Afternoon took to the stage to Chair a session where she discussed with her guests the issue of rights and striking good deals. The panelists shared their experiences of negotiating contracts with big broadcasters in a constantly changing and evolving media environment.

The panelists all felt under pressure by the number of rights Commissioners ask for when making deals, often with little flexibility or real sympathy for small indies wanting to monetise their IP on a global scale.  In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it has become crucial to protect IP with tools such as geoblocking.

With an increased number of broadcast platforms there are more classes of rights to be negotiated with potential buyers in a tight space.  And they will want as much as possible for as little as possible.  Because the media landscape is converging so quickly, every player will need to protect his or her turf and the funds from the additional rights are vital for re-investment in content.

Broadcasters flexing their muscles in deal making threatened to squeeze smaller players out of the market.  Sometimes a lack of profile for children’s content allowed this to go unnoticed.

Associated with this. the panellists emphasised the need for government to support the industry by providing tax credits that would reduce the financial burden, attract more foreign programme-makers and partners, but most importantly keep ours producing in the UK.  Canada was mentioned several times as being one of the most aggressive countries in attracting foreign programme-makers through a generous fiscal policy.

CMC British Animation Afternoon - Session 2

The CMC organised an afternoon of panel discussions and case-studies on the afternoon before the British Animation Awards - 15th March 2012.  The topic was digital futures for the animation industry.

Thanks to  Sanjay d’Humières for his blog copy:

Digital Opportunities


Oli Hyatt, Creative Director, Blue-Zoo


David Curry, Director, LeSinge Media

Greg McLeod, Director, Brothers McLeod

Vicky Brophy, MD, Wonky

Jos Carlyle, Creative Director, Persian Cat Pre>

Oli began with a wide and open-ended question: Are digital opportunities for television and digital platforms completely different or have we reached a point in this converged world where they have become totally joined?

The overall consensus from panelists was that digital has happened and therefore it had to be embraced with small online commissions becoming progressively bigger.  When asked the question Jos Carlyle explained that in her field (publishing), digital helped children get a more enriched sensory experience.  She also added that most of her company’s work was based on new titles with the online experience at the forefront of her mind and that adaptations off existing works are done, but in small quantities. The Gift, Persian Cat Press’ first picture book would have been very difficult to achieve and publish without digital technology.

It seems that digital tools have also helped the speed at which productions are completed and the number of projects that can be achieved in a year. This can have a big impact on finances, which is vital to any business operating in a competitive market.  With digital exploitation, IP can be exposed much faster as the audience/fan base can be found quickly.

The panelists pointed out during the session that an online product is as costly to create, maybe more so, compared to content for television and that end-users often tend to take that for granted.  They expect everything online to be free. When this perception changes (over time) this will benefit content makers who will be able to monetise more easily and spend less time convincing users to pay.  In the end payment will be the way to get great content.  The question is when will consumers realise this.

CMC British Animation Afternoon - Session 1

The CMC organised an afternoon of panel discussions and case-studies on the afternoon before the British Animation Awards - 15th March 2012.  The topic was digital futures for the animation industry.

Thanks to  Sanjay d’Humières for his blog copy:

Exploiting Animation – Transmedia at Disney


  • Orion Ross, Vice President, Original Series, Disney Channels EMEA
  •  Jeff Jones, Vice President/General Manager, Digital Games, The Walt Disney Company EMEA

Orion and Jeff did a double-act on the digital content that they produce for The Walt Disney Company across Europe. Their focus has been on developing a strong transmedia strategy and creating “connected experiences” for audiences. Talking about how audience expectations have changed Orion said that, for example, a child of 12 years is likely to use three different gaming devices, on average.

Their focus includes developing games, magazines, mobile content that will transform the child’s consumption into a truly 360° experience.  

In terms of their core TV activity, there are currently 17 shows in the making for Disney in the UK, some co-productions and some-pre-buys. Britain has become the second programme-making hub outside Burbank.  Although programmes that come from the US are the drivers for the channels, Orion looks at content from the UK and the rest of Europe to complement what is already being produced.

Jeff began by explaining how The Walt Disney Company created a transmedia task force -  a group of executives responsible for devising all strategy related to 360° content. The role of the taskforce is to make sure that an idea can be easily transposed to other genres and platforms across the portfolio, creating continuously connected stories. 

Orion emphasised that unlike colleagues in the US who have the infrastructure to produce in-house animation, he doesn’t and therefore works closely with independent companies and both Orion and Jeff encouraged companies to get in touch if they felt they could contribute to their 360° vision as part of this process.

Following a question from a delegate, both said that communications with senior management in the US is vital for anything of substance as they will expect their shows to be internationally successful, and in Disney, sign-off on creative occurs at the highest level on all projects. 

When asked about the use of Disney Stores as a way of pushing out the Club Penguin brand to children, Jeff responded by saying that a cautious approach was being used on the count of the brand’s relatively young age and that the franchise was in the process of phasing out some merchandise and introduce a new line of products.


  • Disney are producing in Europe and keen to work with British animation companies.
  • 360 ideas are welcome and projects will be explored for 360 potential by the new in-house transmedia task force
  • Projects need to be internationally viable and will be assessed right though the Disney system and signed off at the highest level.

What’s App? The Truth Behind Creating A Successful App

Our chums at BAFTA have a few tickets left for this great event….

Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN

Members | FREE
Public | £7.50 - please click here for public tickets

The apps market has exploded over the last few years with the emergence of affordable smart phones and tablet browsers. Year on year, the apps marketplace has become ever more crowded and competitive and its never been felt more than in the film, tv and publishing industries, where apps have revolutionised storytelling.

But can this digital phenomenon really compete with, and compliment, traditional models of story telling?  And if so,how are they doing this? 

To uncover the truth behind creating a successful app, BAFTA is delighted to welcome apps-pert, Stuart Dredge, freelance journalist (R6 Planet of the Apps, The Guardian, The Times) and editor specialising in mobile apps and mobile content who will be joined by three award winning app developers to share their experiences with us and focus on three different case studies.

Our confirmed guests so far include Paul Bennun, Chief Creative Officer of the triple BAFTA award winning content design and creation company Somethin’ Else, who will be discussing their hugely innovative apps and digital storytelling for teens.  We’re also delighted to welcome Tom Bonnick, Digital Project and Marketing Manager at multi award winning, independent publisher of children’s book and apps Nosy Crow whose inspiring early learner’s apps, Cinderella and The Three Little Pigs were a permanent fixture in the top apps lists for children 2011. And we’re thrilled to have as our third guest Peter Sleeman, co-director of interactive games publisher P2 Games whose apps for children include the Award Winning Postman Pat Special Delivery Service, Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam and Tracey Beaker and he will be discussing Peppa Pig Party Time, the number 1 ipad app.

We’ll be demonstrating a variety of fun apps suitable for all ages as well as discussing the process behind developing your own successful app and how this can promote and enrich, the lifespan of your story. 

Last Chance to Join the Flock

The CMC British Animation Afternoon

Main Content Inline Small

15 March 2012
1 Victoria Street Conference Centre, London SW1
12.30 pm lunch and networking, 1.30 pm start
Tickets on sale now

Delegates “Flock” to the CMC BAA event

Animators, producers, writers and others interested in the future of funding and distribution for UK animation, have flocked to book their places for this unique event. We’ve added some extra places so you can still book for just £55 + VAT.

With 18 expert contributors the afternoon is full to the brim with content too. 

The full speaker list is confirmed:

Orion Ross (VP Original Series, Disney Channel & Disney XD, EMEA at The Walt Disney Company) 

Andrew Baker ( Sarah Baynes (The Creative Garden) Vicky Brophy (Wonky Films) Jos Carlyle (Persian Cat Press) David Curry (LeSinge Media) Dan Efergan (Aardman Digital) Gina Fegan (Screen & Digital Media Specialist, UK Trade & Investment) Ed Galton (Cake Entertainment) Marc Goodchild (
Eric Huang (Penguin) James Huggins (Land of Me) Oli Hyatt (BlueZoo and Animation UK campaign) Helen McAleer (Walker Books) Greg McLeod (Brothers McLeod) Juliet Tzabar (PlugIn Media) Maurice Wheeler (DoCo) and Karl Woolley (Impossible Kids)

And the packed programme also confirmed:

Opening Keynote
Working pan-platform to maximize the potential of your brand

Panel 1 - Digital opportunities
What’s the potential for new distribution methods, funding sources and business models in the digital space?

Panel 2 - Rights in the New Landscape
Opportunities and challenges in negotiations

Panel 3 - Digital Expansion
Exploiting your IP in new ways by extending the viewer experience with interactive, mobile and multi-screen.


3 Case studies of prime examples

All this and you’re still just a short hop away from the British Animation Awards on the South Bank the very same evening.  If you’re coming to the BAAs, you should join the flock at the CMC BAA too.  Make a day of it!

BAAS Sold Out

News from the British Animation Awards (15th March) is that they are completely sold out for this year’s event.  

Main Content Inline Small


There may be a few cancellations so the organisers suggest the keen should turn up at the BFI on the Southbank at 7.30 pm (half an hour before the start) when they’ll make uncollected tickets available.  

Bring cash or chequebook as they don’t have credit card facilities on the night.

Don’t be Square - Try MipCube

Fri. 30 - Sat. 31 March 2012, Cannes, France

Main Content Inline Small

Those clever folks at MIPTV, Mipcom and Mip Junior have added another event to their offering in sunny Cannes.

They’re calling the new initiative MIPCube and they’re billing it as the innovation 

lab for the future of TV - a two-day high-level live learning and networking event before MIPTV that creates new links within the TV industry’s community of game-changers.

We’ve heard from CMC contributor Jason DaPonte (who’s working on the project) that there are some great opportunities to pitch new ideas for transmedia concepts, viral videos, distruptive TV startups and more - and some great cash awards.

You can find out more about the competitions here:

CMC - Join the Team

The Children’s Media Conference 2012 takes place from the 4th to the 6th July - and we’re looking for people to help us out.

Session Producers

There are some sessions in the planning stage which need session producers.  Volunteer producers get free access to the whole conference in return for the (not insignificant) work they put into their session.  You can suggest ideas for topics - we’re still open to that, or you can suggest yourself as a producer.  

Our volunteers come from all walks of media life - TV and radio  producers and directors, digital developers, writers, animators, academics, publishing, marketing, licensing, PR, museum and galleries staff and theatricals.  Whatever your skills we’ll find a way to slot you in if we can.



The CMC official blogging team do a great job of recording the Conference as it happens, and publishing it within an hour of the sessions taking place.  

If  you can write, and you’re happy to volunteer to take a “directed” route around the Conference content, broadly based on your interests and expereince, sign up for the blogging team.  


Tech co-ordinators, Runners, Registration Staff and Media Assistants

Main Content Inline Small

The CMC student volunteers are legends.  They keep the Conference running smoothly and every year they get huge praise from the assembled delegates.  For young people in media, journalism, PR, and marketing courses the CMC is a great opportunity to gain some experience of event management whle also meeting people and taking those first steps in networking.  

If you know a person over 18 who you think might benefit, get them to send their CV to Conference Administrator, Jacqui Wells