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"When Old is New, What about the New, New? - It’s Perfect Timing for the New, New to Break Through"

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October 23 Conference

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David Levine - Lightboat Media

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In the animated content landscape, the commissioning pendulum has undoubtedly swung from the shiny frontier of global streamer deals, back into the old world of international co-production coalitions. There’s a positive mood coming off of Cartoon Forum in Cannes, the stalwart bastion of co-productions.  This was led by the French, along with a gracious welcoming-back of a UK contingent. Next up is a great opportunity to read the UK landscape at this week’s brand NEW Get Animation Conference in London. Then we head off to the Cannes markets in two weeks - let’s see if this holds. 

And there’s a heightened sense of conservatism regarding the origins of new shows.  “Bring me brands, pre-existing awareness, ways to cut through the clutter”, say the commissioners. Yes, of course some are concerned that this approach could overlook original gems like ‘Bluey’ - but having been there at the time I can say that show was uniquely special from its first pitch, a true rare jewel. 

The area that interests me the most these days is the path from digital IP to global brands.

Not just YouTube– buuut, also definitely still YouTube in all its messy, fragmented glory.

There are many routes to rise through the red-logo-led sea, and connecting the dots from these platforms into the broader kids content landscape is a specialty of Lightboat Media, the company I founded last year. While some brands clearly dominate the space, new talent, stories and characters can begin to break through - Ms. Rachel, Gracie’s Corner, and Omoberry are just a few. And which Roblox game - oh sorry, experience - will be the first to make the leap? When does the ‘Adopt Me’ show get announced? 

The confluence of the rise of Tiktok and YouTube viewership over traditional media, with the fact that Gen Z’s *just* beginning to enter parenthood, could see an interesting shift in the next few years. Where will these new parents turn to entertain their late-Gen A/Gen B(?) kids? 

As Mr. Beast mellows and has a beastling of his own, does he turn his gaze into the kids world? “Beastie and his Besties” (animated, 52 x 7 minutes, K2-5) is my pitch. Here’s hoping it’s coming to your (multiple) screens sometime soon. 

Get Commissioning...


When Old is New, What about the New, New? - It’s Perfect Timing for the New, New to Break Through... - David Levine

Get Producing...

While the UK animation sector continues to deliver high quality content and services valuable to the UK economy, it faces growing competition from other countries keen to wrestle the business away - Tony Humphreys

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Get Licensing...

It’s a difficult world of conflicting aims and commercial returns and during this session we will talk to industry experts who will explain how the L&M side of the business works and why some properties are more commercially attractive than others - Graham Saltmarsh

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Get Retailing...

Every animator wants to inspire devotion in their audiences and to create characters that have a lasting impact.  To make that little short that grows and grows to become a series, a movie, a theatre show, a toy range and a treasured memory that transcends generations - Richard Hollis

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Get Financing...

There is no shortage of talent in the UK and we are world leaders in story, design and production - but the limiting factor is how many projects can actually get funded. - Andrew Baker

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The UK is a globally recognised hub for animation, celebrated for its innovative and creative content. Our strengths lie in storytelling, character development, and humour - Kate O'Connor

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