ThinkJam – Day 2

A good start to ThinkJam Day 2 : ‘Did anybody had nightmares or reflections on the event since yesterday?, asks Paul Tylor, when the group is gathering in the hall at the HIPP.

The groupmembers obviously know each other a little bit better now after the game playing and discussions on ThinkJam day 1. There’s a lot of chatting and knowledge sharing in the very nice atmosphere.

And a good deal of reflection on what it was like to play with the group of children invited to join ThinkJam the afternoon before.

‘We had the topic universe in our game. I realised from two of the children, that the universe is not far away out there, but within every little thing and within ourselves. My project is dealing with science fiction, time and future, so it was very important inspiration for me.’ Karin Berghammer, producer, Vienna


One important insight is that by creating the ‘perfectly’ formulated answer to ‘Why do you want to make this film?‘ when turned around into a phrase, may provide the author with a sort of direction for the creative work.



When pitching
Paul explains that often the creation process is about doing business to business. It’s kind of the breakground. But since relevance for the audience is the keyword, you need to include it, otherwise they will never find the product or use it. Imagine if you could discover stuff about the audience, and if the topic, the issue is relevant for them.

Imagine if…
According to Paul It’s actualy possible to communicate about even very difficult topics, in a way that the kids can relate to and are conscious about. The example given is ‘power’, and we watch a video where children respond to what they would do, if they were the ‘ruler’. The answers show that some kids care most about themselves: ‘I want some people to send me a hot dog’, while others tend to demonstrate a broader perspective, or maybe answer, what they assume the adults want to hear: ‘I would make less cars and more green’. It’s agreed upon that no matter the answer it’s amazing how much valuable information you can get out of a question like that.


When the question is turned over, the answers are very different, and it just proves how much output depend on the way you formulate the questions. A French boy answers ‘Angela Merkel’ to the question; Who rules the country? Another says ‘God’, a third one ‘I don’t know’.

When you are using games and play as an approach you’re holding a mirror towards the children. You are creating a ‘seductive’ frame, where the game is not important, but the reactions and emotions are the key. Thomas Vigild


The Gigglebug app
Another is example is a video about The Gigglebug app. It seems to be a very social app, since the children in the video use the app in groups and are laughing a lot, while they use it together. Actually you see the target audience more, than how the app is functioning. So it is an example of a product marketed by the laughing children; the user experience is in focus, not the app itself. The video shows, that the app is relevant to the audience, and that’s an important selling point. And when you see somebody laughing, you will laugh too; the audience may feel included: By showing the reaction to the game, we tend to mirror it.

Individual capture on what was going on
Each partipant is getting 20 minutes to individually reflect on the meeting and playing games with the kids yesterday. The participants may use the internet to see, how kids care about a subject, issue or domain.


Paul Tylor slide: Individual capture…

Presentation af projects
The last couple of hours are spend at individual presenations of projects and reflections emerged from the session with the kids. One of the participants presents his project and afterwards condenses it into one sentence. Then the next one explain the essense of her experience from the meeting with the children. Each individual capture is written down to be shared.


 This lead to a fruitful long discussion about a lot of universal issues, when it comes to develoment of contet for kids. For example about differencies in the way girls and boys perceive fiction characters: Whereas girls still tend to be watching films for kids with a male protagonist, the opposite is often not the case. And a debate about the importance of bringing in a little bit of familiar ‘atmosphere’ when describing a fantasy universe, to make the kids feel ‘safe’; to make sure that there is something, they may relate to.

Next concept is for an app. It’s at a very ealy stage. It is planned to be a multilinear story. You choose your own path of reading and structure. It’s relevant to boys, because ‘they are interactive’, the presenter says. Again keywords and phrases are put on a piece of paper, written in a circle. The statement leads to a fundamental knowledge sharing about children and reading.


Now follows a presentation of the third project, a TV-series. It’s a mixture of documentary, adventure and science. Targeted a young audience around 14. The characters of the story connect with the future, and can influence it. In this case the experience working with the children was, that the children actually were going back in time somehow to look into the future. So it seems they somehow confused travel through time with travel through space, so they provided the team with very important insights, because of their ability to dig into each picture in a very innovative way.


Also the last but one presentation of the day lead to interesting debates and inputs to a story that use magic in everyday life; not least about the meaning of the word ‘fear’, as understood by the children. It was also noted by the project group, that they – in general – might have been more concrete about keywords for the children, if their concepts had been more specified. For this project it would have been useful to exlore the notion ‘friendship’.

The last presentation is shedding light on problem fields not to be ignored. The group has been making af VR game in first person, made in 3D graphics, based on participatory design and are now working on another game related to the first one about the importance of empathy. The main character does not have a distinctive gender, which is one of the focal point in the concept.


Summing up
The purpose and main objective of these two days have been to create a framework for practising the methodology of bringing in kids in the development process as valuable resources.

The final thing for the participants to do today is to formulate a very last answer to why they want to make this project, and what they want to take home from the ThinkJam.

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Pitching Event 1- Presentation


Anette Brejner opens the pitching event at Palladium

This year Financing Forum for Kids Content is celebrating its 10 years anniversary, so Anette Brejner opened the event by inviting her closest collaborators in the team to the stage.


The hardworking gang behind the Financing Forum for Kids Content

Moderator of the day is Karolina Lidin, Film Consultant, Documentaries, Nordisk Film & TV  fond. Karolina has been part of the  Financing Forum from the very start.


Karolina explains the rules of the pitching event

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..that bring in kids as co-creators

Next session of the ThinkJam includes local kids. Most of the multilingual. They are divided into groups with the filmmakers. Each group is going to play a game with illustrated cards.

One in the group is the storyteller for each round, and the challenge is not to explain the picture on a chosen card on the card too simple nor too complicated. Tou are not aloud to describe the exact illustration, but only a association you get. If made too simple, you don’t get any points. After the explanation, the card is shuffled with a card from each of the other players, chosen to communicate somewhat the same. The cards – showing the illustrations – are put side by side on the table, and the participants now have to guess which card belongs to the storyteller.

For each round of playing a keyword is chosen by the storyteller in the group. Could be for example ‘future’, ‘travel’ or ‘time machine’.


Visualizations of ‘love is a game’


Four cards symbolizing ‘science’

Evaluation of the card game
The game is about association. And the participants have been asking the kids questions like: ‘Why did you choose that card’ and have thereby gotten a valuable insight into the way children may reflect on complicated topics and abstract notions. The game makes it plausible to discuss the understanding of these pictures in a new context with others – in this case children – you have never seen before.

New game about concept
A new game is presented. It deals with concept development. The object of the game is for the storyteller in the group to explain a word /person / notion / phrase by choosing and combining pictures from a canvas:


The picture canvas of the concept game

Also this game provide the partipants with a new way of collaborating with kids, and gives the filmmakers with new important insights into childrens way of thinking and creating connections.

Tomorrow the group is going to work the other way around…


Paul Tyler and Thomas Vigild facilitating groups of film makers and kids in the hall at HIPP

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ThinkJam: Head start on tools …


Introduction to ThinkJam

During Tuesday and Wednedsday afternoon the creative lab ThinkJam will challenge around 20 creatives from different fields of the kids content sector to backtrack their ideas, and examine the actual theme in order to make their original idea even better.

A jam is a kind of experiment, where it is okay to make mistakes. So you should embrase that notion.” (Thomas Vigild)

The ThinkJam is facilitated by Paul Tyler (Handling Ideas, Denmark), Thomas Vigild (Headmaster at Vallekilde Game Academy, Denmark) and Co-tutor Nicole Kellerhals (dramaturge X-Filme, Germany).

We are definitely not going to focus test your ideas…we are going to focus on, why you want to make the project and how you can make the audience see it.”  (Paul Tyler)

Here we go..
First part of the game: The participants are divided into groups of two. One is explaining to the other, why she/he wants to make that specific project, that they are dealing with at the very moment. The one who listens is making notes.


‘Why do you want to make this project?’

Now everyone has to sit by themselves to answer to the same question: Why do you want to make this project? Not only once, but actually five times, to be able to in the end to come up with the ‘perfect’ answer, which by each participant is put on a piece of paper.


What’s attractive for the target group…

Next step is for each participant to vote by applying three stickers to mark the top three to the individidual answers – placed on the wall – to the question; What do think is most interesting for the target group? 


The stickers


All answers presented on the wall

That gives a picture of which answers are the strongest ad most convincing.

The card game


Some of the cards

Then a card game is introduced.

And now preparation for the kids to come… to be continued…

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Inspiring Case Study 2: The Invisible Boy

Producer Carlotta Caori from Indigo Film in Italy tells about the development of The Invisble Boy, a cross media universe evolved around a superhero film, developed for a young audience. The media, channels and artistic means include graphic novel, novel, music context and school context.


Carlotta udfolds the challenges and reflections on how to engage a young audience during development phase as a tool of marketing.

The film is made in Italian, set in the windswept city of Trieste, Italy. Directed by Oscar-winning Italian director Gabriele Salvatores (Mediterraneo), who is known for one of Europe’s best films, often focusing the children’s perspective in I’m Not Scared (2003). Carlotta explains that part of the success is due to the fact, that Salvatore is very willing to experiment and try out new possibilities.

The Invisible Boy 2 will be coming soon.

Inspiring Case Study 1: Play Sandbox –

Jo Lansdowne, designer and project manager of REACT within the team of Watershed, UK, tells about the experience working with children in the creative process on Play Sandbox.

Play Sandbox is a R&D programme that brings research experts and companies together to experiment, produce and design new prototypes in collaboration with children.

From the beginning the role of each child in Play Sandbox is clearly defined to assure everybody have the same expectations, and to be sure that children are regarded useful resources in the process.

Children are incredibly imaginative…

The process including the children is performed under the headline; ‘listen, observe and respond’, which make way for an open creative process with room for refexion.

REACT / UK has developed six new products and services for children through a process of co-design with children themselves.

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Introduction by Cooperation Partners, moderator and participants


Malte Krückels, State Secretary for Media and Representative of the Free State of Thuringia for Federal Affairs, Germany


Maria Ward, Chair of the Culture Committee of Region Skåne, Sweden


Manfred Schmidt, CEO, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Germany / Ralf Ivarsson, CEO, Film i Skåne, Sweden


Moderator Mette-Ann Schepelern, Producer / Director Magma Film & TV

Happy Birthday!

Official opening


Head of Financing Forum for Kids Content ready for the opening 2016


Annette Brejner, Head of Forum, Sweden, and Viola Gabrielli, Project Manager of Kids Regio, Germany

Finally (we have been looking forward to this day for a long time) it’s time for the official opening of the 10th Financing Forum for Kids Content.

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RealYoung Workshop 2016 – new fruitful insights

Tuesday morning at the HIPP. Experts from the documentary film industry and the target audience are debating the possibilities of lifting  documentaries for young audiences. The pivotal point is a number of presentations of specific documentary concepts, very different by nature; dealing with very different topics, made for very different purposes, cultural contexts, and target groups. The 4 hours workshop is facilitated by Ove Rishøj Jensen, Film Consultant EDN, Denmark.

First presentation of a film concept raises the question of how exactly  to meet the target group. Does the project appeal to the audience it is meant for? Luckily the workshop include two young men, aged 14 and 15, who comment qualified on that, which provides the filmmaker with new insights for sure – and possibly the rest of the participants, as well.

It is obvious that these animated discussions about a wide palette of facets of concrete concepts, in a forum of entusiastic documentary film experts are very fruitful. Not least because of the contributions from the target audience.  This workshop form deserves a lot of openess and respect, of course, which is also fully demonstrated here. When done in the right atmosphere, as at the RealYoung Workshop,  everybody may learn from debating whether a story / film concept / game /  should be communicated on more media, in more languages, have more narrative layers, whether it should look more into the emotions and lives of the characters, whether it should be more informative about facts, be more cross cultural etc. etc..

First and foremost the output is a lot of useful insights for the filmmakers who present their ‘darlings’ in this closed forum. A convincing start to the day.




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Last minut packing, testing and tasting

As you may see the team in Malmö plus Move by Bike are working hard to make everything perfect for tomorrow…  


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