A run down of our time at this years Childrens Media Conference in sunny Sheffield, free sandwiches aplenty!
This July the Arcus team descended on sunny Sheffield to attend the 2015 Children’s Media Conference. We arrived to be presented with these nifty neoprene carry bags, covered in loads of our favourite characters, courtesy of Cartoon Network:
We swiftly divvied up the keynotes, lectures, workshops and seminars, to cover as much ground as possible, and we all agreed that the festival programme was fantastic. There were sessions catering to every aspect of the industry’s concerns, from the future of commissioning to the incorporation of educational content, from gender equality in the media to the rise of Mexico and China as producers of animation. Also every lunchtime there was free sandwiches. Sessions took place in both the lovely Showroom Cinema and the Sheffield Hallam University Hubs, a giant student union built in the image of a human heart.
Every member of the team had a different highlight. Mike was most excited about the launch of the Children’s Media Network Scotland, with it’s potential to make looking North as valuable as looking to the South. Marc enjoyed the talk by Platypus Research’s Jo Cliff, Childwise’s James Davies and Dr Maya Gotz about children’s consumption and attitudes towards consumption over the past decade. Miguel’s personal favourite session was a talk by Industrial Light and Magic about how visual effects are added to a film, including a sneak peak at how they are integrating virtual reality into their process. The whole team enjoyed the keynote speech by Michael Stevens, the creator of the VSauce YouTube channel, where he underlined how the future of children’s media consumption is undeniably on-line. Other highlights included some fantastic lectures about how to make content appeal to both boys and girls, the unveiling of some fantastic new educational tools and Tom seeing these cheeky chaps in the flesh:
We met loads of interesting people as we networked, schmoozed, bantered and gossiped over free cheeseboards and complimentary glasses of wine and had lots of reunions with other animators and Directors we’ve met over the years. Then in the evenings we had a good root around Sheffield to find interesting places to eat and drink. We had sunkist beers in the courtyard of the Leopold Hotel, a hotel and bar built into a Victorian school building, before a trip to the AAGRAR Indian restaurant, which attracted our attention when one of our number misread the name as AAAARGH.
All in all we had an amazing time, learned some exciting things and met some interesting people. Next event we’ll be attending is the Manchester Animation Festival, which will be running in tandem with the CMF’s next event, Manimation, in late November. We hope to see you all there!