Bloom Studio on Tour!

On Monday 28th May, the Bloom Team ventured across the Pennines to Manchester to spend 2 days meeting with potential production partners, commissioners and other interesting animation companies.

Having spent 4 years working on the MediaCityUK project, our Business Development Director, Jason Legget has built up a great network of contacts in the media sector particularly in the NW and the list of companies we met with was impressive.

We started the day by meeting with Sarah Muller, Head of CBBC Acquisitions & Drama Development, based at the new BBC Children’s offices in MediaCityUK. Sarah is a brilliant exec, superbly connected in the animation industry and a true expert in the genre, we had a great meeting discussing how best to work with BBC Children’s and she gave us some great advice around the commissioning process.

We then met with Lisa Hill, Marketing Manager at MediaCityUK itself, who showed us around The Greenhouse, the purpose built flexible workspace designed for companies wanting to secure a base of operations at MediaCityUK. The £700m development is just completed it’s first phase with a range of office spaces clustered around purpose built state of the art production studios. Very Impressive stuff!

After lunch we me with Ray Hanks, a hugely impressive guy, who having succesfully retired from the European Advertising Industry a number of years ago, is now involved with major independant film production working with many illustrious names (Our lips are sealed!) but is also developing a new Mobile app business in partnership with a number of Universities. very inspiring and some potential business we hope.

Tuesday started with a mad dash through rush hour traffic to meet with Robbie Muirhead, Business Development Director for award winning creative agencyThe Foundry, who specialise in working with clients in the food, drink and medical sector.

We then headed back to Salford to meet with industry pioneer Andy Sumner, who along with his wife Janet run one of the North’s leading post production businesses Sumners. Sumners has been working in Manchester with ITV and the BBC for many years and has grown into one of the largest post houses in the UK. Andy showed us around his new MediaCityUK base of operations within Salford Universities new campus building, which was amazing.

Then out of Manchester to the leafy suburbs of Footballerville (Prestbury) to visit one of the UK’s leading creative media agencies McCanns. We met with Abbey Moore, who talked to us about how McCanns currently utilise CGI and VFX and we met with some of the team who produce brilliant work for clients across Europe. A very inspirational visit!

Then back into Manchester to meet with Leo Casserley, top man at Flix Post Prduction based in the centre of the City. Flixx like Sumners has been around for many years and Leo’s background is in children’s TV and animation having worked back in the day on Bob the Builder and Pingu and Flixx has worked with the Manchester animation scene for over 15 years. Brilliant meeting with an industry pioneer!

Finally we finished our day with a trip to CITV to meet with Wes Wood a particularly talented producer/Director and all round lovely guy who was very generous with his time and gave us some great advice and insight into the CITV production and commissioning process. We even got to meet and watch an industry legend at work, when Wes introduced us to Tim Collings, a stop motion animator working on the Compost Corner series.

Having spent 2 days meeting some truly inspiring and talented people we went our separate ways with Martin heading to London for the SoftImage Usergroup Network held near Passion Pictures and the rest of us headed home over the Peninnes excitedly planning our next visit!

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