Head of Sky Kid's Content Lucy Murphy
Job title: Head of kid's content at Sky
Industries: Animation | Broadcasting
Lucy Murphy is the head of kid's content at Sky, and was previously creative director at Azoomee. She has worked on children's TV and animation at King Rollo Films and as an associate producer on BBC show Fimbles. Her credits also include The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, and the interactive Tate Movie Project created by Aardman.
Lucy studied art hitory at the University of East Anglia. During the summer holidays whilst at uiversity, Lucy temped at the broadcaster London Weekend Television (LWT), which allowed her to work in different departments across the organisation. From this experience, Lucy knew that she wanted a career in television.
Whilst at LWT she was asked to go to the Cannes Television Festival to support King Rollo Films and helped run a stand for the animation studio, which she found enjoyable. She then took on a research project for King Rollo, whilst studying for her final year at university, mapping the landscape of children’s media worldwide. Not long after King Rollo after offered her a job.
She worked for King Rollo for four years in programme sales. She gained experience across the production process in this company, and learnt about areas such as the voice recording process through volunteering to stay late the day before a dub, helping the editor by filling in dub sheets.
Lucy then set up a sister company where she represented King Rollo and other independent studios. Through this, Lucy learnt about co-production and how to speak with international broadcasters about pre-sales. Through these conversations, Lucy became aware of what broadcasters were looking for and was able to go back to the producers and suggest developing projects that would suit the broadcasters needs.
“As animation is so difficult to finance, it tends to be a mixture of sales, pre-sales and finding pockets of cash here there and everywhere.”
Lucy moved into development and production as she found this area more interesting than sales and distribution. She freelanced as a consultant for companies such as LEGO, Hallmark and Pearson, and then found a role with Novel Entertainment as an associate producer on the BBC show Fimbles which gave her an opportunity to write episodes as well as develop bespoke content for books, magazines and DVDs.
“I had never written an episode before but I asked if I could try and the producer of the series said that if I wanted to have a go on my own time then I could submit a story or two. Luckily, they were accepted and I went on to write seven episodes.”
Other projects followed, including working with Aardman on the interactive Tate Movie Project, and with Acamar Films on CBeebies series Bing.
In her teens and twenties Lucy had been a worker in a children’s hospital, so understood the need for audience engagement in developing projects, and this has been fundamental for projects that Lucy has since worked on.
As creative consultant for Magic Light Pictures on the award-winning half-hour specials The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Room on the Broom, Lucy was able to give advice on producing content that was suitable for a pre-school audience. She sat in on development meetings and gave editorial notes on storyboards and animatics.
On pre-school series, Bing Lucy was one of the key strategists. She was involved in the development of the series from the original books and was involved in the pitch meetings and pre-sales conversations with broadcasters. Lucy produced the first schedule and budget for the production, and brought in the production partners, working in tandem with producer Mikael Shields. Lucy also ran the writing team on Bing, hiring the 20 writers, producing the writers’ bible with the original creator, commissioning the scripts and doing the final edit on all scripts to ensure consistency of the character voice.
After the 78 episodes of Bing were delivered Lucy then oversaw the transition of Bing into books, magazines, licensed products and apps. Lucy worked with Harper Collins, Egmont and Fisher Price to make sure that they understood the brand and to ensure quality control of all editorial across the products they produced.
“You have to give the licensing aspect the same integrity as you give the development and scripting process. It’s easy to make the show and then license it to a publisher and let them do what they want. You never get a good result that way.”
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