Events

Pitch Yourself Perfect | Top Tips

Pitch Yourself Perfect | Top Tips

Animated Women UK Board member Georgina Hurcombe took part in the Children’s Media Conference’s ‘Pitch Yourself Perfect’ skill builder workshop in July along with some other amazing industry experts including Lynsey O Callahan and Louise Bucknole (Viacom), Natalie Llewellyn (Jellyfish), Harriet Williams (YACF), Josie Grierson (Entertainment 1).

The Session was run by Justine Bannister and aimed towards providing insight and tips to enhance pitching skills within the animated Children media landscape.

Throughout her career, Georgina has pitched at numerous International markets including MIPCOM, MIPJR, Kidscreen, Children’s Media Conference, Annecy and most recently MIPTV where she won The Kids series in development pitch with her 3D adventure craft series Pop Paper City.

We asked Georgina to share her top tips for pitching your animated idea!

It can be nerve-racking pitching and going to markets, especially when you’re new to the children’s animated TV landscape!  Here are a few of my pitching tips…

  1. KNOW YOUR PROJECT
  • You need to know your project inside out. You need clarity on every aspect of your project: What style is it? What’s its USP? Who is the target audience?
  • Practice until you can pitch your project in five minutes or less. There are lots of opportunities for speed meetings at markets such as MIPJR, MIPCom, Kidscreen, Maninimation and CMC (which are often accessible to new talent), so it’s important to be able to pitch your project quickly and concisely.
  1. RESEARCH
  • Always research who you’re going to be pitching to.
  • Find out what kind of project the person you want to pitch to is looking for, as sometimes your project may not match their needs – you don’t want to waste somebody’s time pitching them a project that doesn’t fit their remit. For this reason, it’s always good to have a few projects to discuss.
  1. RELAX AND BE YOURSELF
  • Be authentic and passionate – enthusiasm is contagious!
  • Relax – most people you’re pitching to are lovely. They’re looking for awesome projects and ideas and want you to do well.
  1. NETWORK
  • Network, network, network! Luckily, the children’s TV landscape is super friendly. Often you’ll meet other great creatives who you may be able to work with, get tips from, etc.  I’ve met lots of great creatives in markets and made some great friends. There are also fantastic groups you can join, like Animated Women UK!
  1. PREPARE FOR YOUR PITCH
  • Ideally have visuals or a clip to show when you are pitching. Or, even better, have a full bible which you can talk somebody through. The person you’re pitching to will almost definitely appreciate being able to ‘see’ your project or idea as well as hear about it. So have as much creative content as possible even if it’s only sketches.
  • If you are pitching in a pair, always work out who is doing what parts of the pitch in advance and then assess what worked and what didn’t about your pitching format after you have finished.
  • If your pitch doesn’t work out, always take rejection gracefully. Don’t be disheartened.  Lots of projects have gone through significant development before getting to the right standard and others may never come to fruition. Be realistic, but positive.

I hope these are helpful tips and good luck with your future projects!

Georgina

Georgina Hurcombe is MD and Producer at LoveLove Films.  She is also on the board of Animated Women UK.

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Events, Homepage, News, 0 comments
AWUK Connect and AGM

AWUK Connect and AGM

On August 4 2020 we hosted our AGM followed by our first ever AWUK Connect online Networking event. 

In case you missed it, in the AGM we reviewed and approved the 2019 AGM Minutes, the AWUK Accounts and some changes to our Articles of Association.  Lou and Beth also provided a round up of everything we’ve been up to over the past year

Once the AGM finished the AWUK Connect event began and everyone was divided into small groups to start talking. In a recent survey, many of you told us that you were interested in AWUK-hosted networking events, so we designed AWUK Connect to help you meet new people while working remotely. 

As an icebreaker, everyone was invited to bring two items that represented something about their career and something about their personal lives to share with the group. The Show and Tell was a great way to get everyone talking and by breaking everyone into smaller groups for 2x 30 minutes we made sure everyone got to meet at least 5 or 6 new people. 

It was also great to see so many people from different parts of the UK who would normally not be able to meet in person! 

We were really thrilled that so many of you joined us and we intend to set up more virtual networking events in the future. Watch this space!

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Events, Homepage, News, 0 comments
Achieve Online | Connecting Members

Achieve Online | Connecting Members

Thanks to support from ScreenSkills, Marianne and I were able to conduct our first ever Achieve Online workshops over the last few weeks.

The format translated really well, making use of Zoom’s ‘room’ functionality for the breakout sessions allowing us to bring Achieve Programme content to our members through the UK from the comfort of their own homes.

We asked some of our participants to provide some feedback.

“At the moment, perhaps more than ever, we are craving connection and I was so impressed by the support and empathy shared in a brief one and a half hour workshop. When we’re all working from home in bedrooms, and at kitchen tables with children popping by, it creates a more personal experience which only enhanced the ability to share and learn.’

These are practical workshops and it was great to see how quickly the delegates were able to fully participate in this virtual way.

The small breakout rooms helped ensure that everyone had a voice, and that was certainly reflected in the feedback from delegates:

Achieve Online Workshop
Everyone had a chance to speak and feel included, you can’t shy away at the back of the room!’
‘I think it helped people to be a little more confident than they might have been in a room’ 
‘I had an incredible time and came away feeling super inspired!’
‘It was fantastic to be able to offer these workshops to AWUK members outside of London. From Belfast to Cornwall, Glasgow to Norfolk, there was a great geographical spread which added to the experience for everyone.’
In addition to adapting some of the content from the Helen North Achieve Programme for online delivery, it was exciting to be able to offer some brand new workshops on Managing your Virtual Communication and Thriving as a Freelance.
I have always been a fan of face to face communication, but I can see the benefits of being able to offer the Achieve Programme to more people, wherever you live. We are learning as we go and will build on the experience as we all adapt to this new way of working.
‘A huge thank you to everyone who helped make Achieve On-line a real success.’

We plan to run more of these sessions later in 2020, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested in joining.

You can find out more about Achieve Programme and our tutors here.

Jan Armstrong

Jan Armstrong is a Leadership development expert, Executive Coach and Trainer who designs and delivers the Helen North Achieve Programme for Animated Women UK.

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Achieve Programme, Education, Events, Homepage, News, 0 comments
Achieve Online 2020

Achieve Online 2020

‘Achieve Online’ at our workshops this June.

We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be running four online workshops this June exclusively for AWUK members, thanks to the support of ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund, with contributions from UK animations productions. The tutors of our oversubscribed Helen North Achieve Programme have adapted two of the programme’s most popular sessions for online delivery via Zoom. These are ‘Confidence and Getting your Voice Heard’ and ‘Impact and Building the Brand You’. Jan Armstrong and Marianne O’Connor have also developed two new workshops, one of which is devoted to ‘Thriving as a Freelance’. The other – ‘Managing Your Virtual Communication’ – focuses on an aspect of our jobs that is particularly relevant right now when so many of us are working from home.

The Helen North Achieve Programme 2019 alumni

The last few months have undoubtedly been challenging. Working on your laptop can often literally mean working on your lap while juggling homeschooling and other caring responsibilities. When the threat posed by the virus recedes and lockdown eventually ends, some remote working may however become the new normal if employers have found it to be productive and staff are keen to continue working this way. 

One of the perceived drawbacks to homeworking is its potential to damage career prospects. It's long been a concern for many women taking maternity leave and/or going part-time that being out of sight means being out of mind for promotion and interesting work projects. That concern also applies to homeworking. 

The workshop on 2 June will help participants develop practical strategies for building virtual relationships. This is key in an industry where relationship building is central to success (79% of women surveyed working in the animation sector said they got their job through networking). 

The session will include guidance on getting the most from a virtual team meeting, motivating yourself and others when working remotely and communicating creatively and assertively online. Members will also gain individual tips and techniques to hone their online skills in a Coaching Clinic. 

Our workshop’s focus will be on helping to ensure that participants’ careers thrive in an increasingly virtual environment where some staff will be working out of the office all or part of the time. This session is relevant even for entirely office-based staff, as many people are likely to be communicating with team members and clients who are physically elsewhere. 

These four highly interactive online workshops will use virtual break-out spaces to allow participants to workshop ideas and receive feedback in small, supportive groups. They’ll also include a ‘surgery’ where members can discuss difficult work challenges. 

Open to AWUK members at all levels of experience, the workshops are just £25, thanks to the support of ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund.  Because they’re stand-alone, members can apply for those that are relevant to them, whether that’s one or all of them! Each lasts one and a half hours, so can be fitted in around work and other commitments.  

We’re excited to be going online for the first time ever and our workshop leaders Jan and Marianne look forward to welcoming registrants this June.

Click here to find out more information and apply for tickets.

Stay safe and keep well. 

By Louise Hussey, Co-Chair, VFX, Animated Women UK 

Read what our alumni say about The Helen North Achieve Programme below.

Chloé Deneuve
Anne Akande

These workshops are supported by ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund with contributions from UK animation productions.

About ScreenSkills

ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen-based creative industries - animation, film, games, television including children’s and high-end, VFX and immersive technology. They work across the whole of the country to build an inclusive workforce with the skills needed for continued success, now and in the future. 

https://www.screenskills.com

 

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British Animation Awards 2020

British Animation Awards 2020

London Southbank, 12 March 2020: the British Animation Awards draws the best of the industry from across these isles for its biennial event and this year was no different. We still only had relatively small numbers of COVID-19 in the UK and self-isolation and social-distancing had not yet changed the way everyone lived their lives, so those who spend a lot of time in dark rooms anyway did not seem perturbed – this was their night to shine. Following the advice to refrain from the usual hugs, kisses and handshakes, the creative types got creative with different ways to greet one another – for some this may have been the last human contact they’d have for a good while!

The award ceremony itself was swift, no hanging about under the new leadership of Helen Brunsdon, who put on an incredible show, despite what must have been one of the craziest weeks of her life. Not being able to shake the hands of the winners collecting their awards, made the host Miles Jupp look even more awkward than usual, which just added to the comedy.

The crowd was diverse from a gender perspective, but it is still a privileged white crowd on the whole – we still have a way to go there. Those collecting awards, maybe because they’re quicker to jump up, were predominantly male, and if you look through the nominations, balance is not quite there yet, directors are still a high majority male. This is by no means the fault of the BAAs, but is something we need to address as an industry, when engaging crew, putting shows forward for nomination and as jury members. We do know that more women are studying animation and this was reflected in those represented in the student and emerging talent categories, which showed parity. Most significantly the number of women nominated under the new LAMB category for emerging talent was incredibly encouraging. Stop motion rigger Roxi Linklater won this category. Hers is not only one of those unsung but critical jobs in the animation pipeline, it’s also very much a man’s domain still. We at AWUK would like to congratulate Roxi, what an inspiration to young women in the industry and may there be more like her next time around!

You can take a look at all this year’s winners here.

By Beth Parker, AWUK Animation Chair

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Events, Homepage, 0 comments