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The First Get Animated Business of Animation Conference 23
Monday 2nd October 23 - COMPLETED
@ The Wellcome Collection Museum

Thank you to: Acamar Films, Aardman, Bulldog Licensing, Cantilever Media, Warner Bros. Discovery, BBC, Paramount, Lightboat Media, AnimationUK, Retail Monster, Graham Saltmarsh, HTI, Funko, Libertas Brands, JetPack Distribution and to our wonderful audience.

Get Animated 2023 - London - COMPLETED

We now have a dedicated commercial business conference that going forward will connect animation UK studios to finance, distribution, commissioners and the consumer products side of the industry. The ethos behind Get Animated is primarily to help educate animators, producers, (junior and experienced) on the business of the industry. Creativity and Business for the most part doesn't connect and we aim to help create more UK entrepreneurs, by giving them the educational tools in the early stages of their careers and giving them a better understanding of 'the business'.

Get Animated invites studio owners to share how they founded their studio and what is involved in running one, commissioners on what they look for, finance and distribution and how to get money.. and where. We also have panels in 24 that will focus on social media, law and copyright, tax and also keynotes from prominent business executives in the industry.

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The Studio Owners Panel

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Left to Right - Jon Rennie (clothcat), Mikael Shields (acamar films), Tony Humphreys (Department for Business & Trade), Gavin Halpin (Paper Owl Films)

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Our first opening panel for our first conference and we were delighted Tony Humphreys from the Department for Business and Trade moderated this esteemed panel of studio owners for us. Gavin Halpin 'MD' of Paper Owl films was our furthest distance travelled, flying in from Belfast that morning. Paper Owl have been steadily expanding their beautiful show 'Pablo' to international markets and it was great to hear him talk about their expansions into foreign territories.

Jon Rennie 'MD and owner' of ClothCat Studios joined the panel from Cardiff. Jon was able to share some of the benefits of owning a studio in Wales with the tax benefits his studio gets. Clothcat also are one of the few UK studios who have worked with Chinese IP owners for their 2D animation 'Luo Bao Bei'.

Lastly we had Mikael Shields 'Owner' of Acamar Films. Mikael is Scottish so we were delighted we had covered all nations in the United Kingdom with representation. Mikael has vast experience in running and owning a studio and shared with the audience his journey in turning his IP 'Bing' into a global hit brand. There were also discussions on what these esteemed panellists predict for the future of animation which will be on the session videos later in January 24.  Thank you DBT, ClothCat, Paper Owl Films and Acamar Films.

The Commissioners Panel

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Left to Right - Zia Sands (Warner Bros. Discovery), Sarah Muller (BBC), David Levine (Light Boat Media), Chris Rose (Paramount)

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We were delighted David Levine 'former' Disney commissioner and now owner of Light Boat Media stepped in to moderate a panel of esteemed commissioners from animation networks. Zia Sands who heads up commissioning for Warner Bros. Discovery went through what they are looking for and how they work with partners in production.

Sarah Muller from the BBC shared her passion for older skewed age animation and was sharing ideas for how the audience should think more about expanding their portfolio of output and that the BBC would love to see adult animated sitcom ideas with a British angle.

Chris Rose who heads up Paramount's UK commissioning moved the conversation forward as Paramount leads the way in adult animated comedy with South Park as an example. It was great to see the audience thinking ideas as these discussions were taking place. Someone even joked we could have a UK version of South Park and call it 'Hyde Park'.

We feel that idea might be left in the 'needs more work' pile on a commissioners desk.

Thank you to BBC, Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount and LightBoat Media.

The Finance Panel

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Left to Right - Dominic Gardner (JetPack Distribution), Andrew Baker (Cantilever Media), Kate O'Connor (AnimationUK), Miguel Mestre (Aardman)

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Money, Money, Money... this was the title of our next seminar and we were delighted Andrew Baker esteemed producer from Cantilever Media 'producer of Terry Pratchett's  'The Amazing World of Maurice' moderated our Distribution and Finance Panel.

We don't want to share too much of what was said in this panel as you won't buy a ticket for the next conference but what was discussed was that there is money out there and there are ways of raising early capital for development IP. With the 'abolition' of the YACF fund which was there to plug some gaps in productions the conversation was animation needs something bespoke for our industry. 

Dominic Gardner owner of 'JetPack Distribution' leads the way in distributing UK content and gave an insight into the market conditions. Kate O'Connor our trade association representative from 'AnimationUK' gave a great insight into our UK tax credits and talked through the new rates that had just been announced by the government.

Lastly Miguel Mestre from Aardman who distributes internationally gave the audience a great heads up of what translates into different languages and territories. We want to thank Aardman, AnimationUK, Cantilever Media and JetPack Distribution.

The L&M Agents Panel

Left to Right - Rob Corney (Bulldog Licensing), Graham Saltmarsh (Former Licensing International UK MD), Liesa Dornan (Retail Monster), Max Arguile (Reemsborko)

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Graham Saltmarsh is a licensing industry veteran having worked for studios, the BBC and Cartoon Network as their heads of licensing. He also followed in Ryan Beaird's (owner of Get Animated) footsteps and ran the UK office of the global licensing association - Licensing International. Both Graham and Ryan worked together to form a panel of experts in licensing.

Max Arguile who owns Reemsborko is one of the UK's 'go-to' licensing agents for anime and 'geek culture' animation genres. He shared with us the size of potential income anime shows generate in merchandise. The figures are far higher than pre-school shows now and Max really pushed the UK studios to expand their IP output into anime. If the French and Japanese can do it why can't the UK was the soundbite of the day.

Rob Corney owner of Bulldog Licensing gave insight into studios marketing for IP's and talked about digital social media promotions. Rob has been a licensing agent for many years and focuses on animated content. Liesa Dornan is the global head of licensing for Retail Monster and gave an insight into shows that have worked and those she was surprised had not done as well. There are no guarantees in brand building.

We want to thank Graham Saltmarsh, Reemsborko, Retail Monster and Bulldog Licenisng.

The Toys & Retail Panel


Left to Right - Liesa Dornan (Retail Monster), Richard Hollis (HTI Toys), Mark Kingston (Libertas Brands), Lucy Salisbury (Funko Toys)

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Richard Hollis has worked for the BBC, Dreamworks and is now a consultant for HTI toys. He focused on the retail side of the animation industry and how market conditions in the economy can affect the chances of a heavily promoted new IP, or existing one going through a refresh.

Mark Kingston formed global head of licensing for Paramount and now new co-partner of a new brand agency called 'Libertas Brands'. Mark shared how he approaches retail launch for new IP's and how engaging with the retailer is key.

Liesa Dornan stepped in last minute as Karen Hewitt owner of had to sadly cancel - Liesa has vast experience in Retail and was able to share with us her stories on retail relationships and how working with a manufacturer you can trust is also a good idea.

Lucy Salisbury who heads up licensing for Funko gave us a great insight into how they choose IP's for Funko. The size of their portfolio is huge, Lucy also agreed with earlier comments that the UK animation industry needs to do more 'geek' animated culture as it will help studios profit streams.

Thank you Richard Hollis, Libertas Brands, Retail Monster, (we will invite you to the next one) and Funko.

...and now we move onto our next event. The Get Animated UK Market conference will take place on the 1st and 2nd May 2024 back at the Wellcome Collection Museum in London.

See you there...

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