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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
Isolation Animation Nominated at Indie Short Fest

Isolation Animation Nominated at Indie Short Fest

In our May Newsletter we put out a call for animators to ‘Beat the Isolation Blues’ by producing up to 60 secs of animation as part of a collaborative initiative by Roobot Productions. The resulting short film Isolation Animation has since been selected for the Los Angeles Indie Short Fest where it is nominated for ‘Best Experimental Short’.

Bringing together the work of 31 animators, including AWUK member Christine MacKay, the film is an expression of the artists’ experiences of the Covid-19 lockdown. Director Ruth Ducker says it was great to see each artist express their experience of the lockdown in such different ways. There was only one rule for the artists to follow: each animator had to start their animation from the final frame of the previous animator. Otherwise, they were free to express themselves however they wanted which many found to be both exciting and scary.

Being a firm believer in looking after your mental health, Christine described the project as a ‘welcome and fun challenge that gave us free creative reign and refreshed our burning passion for all things animated.”

Not being able to see what others were working on aside from a single frame undoubtedly increased the diversity of the work and Ruth encouraged the artists to express themselves without creative interference.

Christine’s team upped the ante even more by having 5 animators work on 1 collaborative piece and splitting the 15 seconds between creatives, leaving only 3 seconds each to animate. This challenged the creatives to create effective transitions in a visually delightful way and the resulting section showcases everyone’s different personalities and styles through extremely different but equally gorgeous approaches to the animation.

Working on a voluntary project throughout the lockdown proved challenging at times as everyone was dealing with their own personal lockdown circumstances. Some artists had to juggle the project alongside their work, others had children or caretaking responsibilities for other family members. To breach the divide and combat the isolation felt by many, Ruth would send regular updates to the whole group so that each individual, though working alone, still felt part of a team of people who were collaborating. This also helped achieve a collective responsibility to one another to deliver.

For Christine’s team, the transition to working from home went extremely smoothly so working collaboratively and remotely on a project like Isolation Animation was one of their strong points. They loved the idea of creating something with other studios and the mystery of the outcome was tantalising but encouraged them to churn out work whilst keeping to a high standard.

For more information about how ‘Isolation Animation’ came to be, check out the ‘Making Of’ video below:

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Homepage, News, 1 comment
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
Covid 19 – Helpful Resources for Employers, Employees and Freelancers

Covid 19 – Helpful Resources for Employers, Employees and Freelancers

The recent unprecedented Covid 19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown has presented many unique challenges to everyone.

As a board member of AWUK as well as an MD of a VFX company I’ve been wading through the ever-evolving policies and information with everyone else and thought it might be helpful to gather up some resources that have reliable information to try to help navigate the way through.

I’ve broken it out into sections.

Furlough

Until a few weeks ago I had no idea what furlough was.  Also known as The Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, gov.co.uk describes it as:

“If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’. Your employer could pay 80% of your regular wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

You’ll still be paid by your employer and pay taxes from your income. You cannot undertake work for your employer while on furlough.”

Employees

Check if you could be eligible for furlough here.

Employers

If you run a business, find out how to claim furlough support here.

Moore Kingston Smith has also compiled some really useful guidance for business owners into a Coronavirus Hub. 

Freelancers

If you’re freelance you’re not eligible for furlough, but might be eligible for a grant that offers similar support if you meet certain criteria.

Find out if you meet the criteria here.

The BFI have set up a new COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund with the Film & TV Charity and a £1m donation from Netflix.  The new fund will provide emergency short-term relief to active workers and freelancers in the UK who have been directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Other Helpful Resources

UK Screen Alliance

UK Screen Alliance and Animation UK have curated some really helpful information on their website which is being updated regularly.

They are also actively lobbying the government on behalf of our industries. 

Support

film and tv charity

The Film + TV Charity offers a 24/7 support line which is free and confidential. You can contact them on 0800 054 0000 or visit the website to access their live chat service.

HMRC has also set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (Covid-19). The helpline allows any business or self-employed individual who is concerned to get practical help and advice. You can call them on 0800 0159 559.

I hope some of these resources are helpful.

There’s a lot going on.

juggling

Many people are juggling homeschooling and childcare or other caring responsibilities with home working – often with multiple people working at home.  On top of this, we all have people we’re worried about due to their age, health or occupation. Try to find time for you in amongst all of this.

Make use of the hour a day we’re allowed to exercise outside or lock yourself away for 20 minutes of yoga (try Yoga with Adriene – free and lovely) or book reading or a bath!

Yoga with Adriene

Try to keep in touch with your peers and colleagues.  It’s incredibly helpful to know we’re all in this together.

Lucy

by Lucy Cooper – non-executive director of AWUK and MD of Union

Find out more about our board and volunteers here.

Disclaimer: Please note this blog is a summary signposting resources. AWUK are not experts and cannot offer advice.  

Posted by Lucy Cooper in News, 0 comments