Every year Creative England announces their CE50, an annual celebration of 50 of the most exciting, innovative and disruptive creative companies and individuals across the country.

This year Platform, and three of its members, Carse and Waterman, Enlighten and Rachel Shenton all made this exclusive list and increased the spotlight on the regions Moving Image quality, diversity and talent.

Heres what the report had to say about them….

Carse and Waterman

Since its inception in 2009, Carse & Waterman has grown in size and stature and has produced a number of award-winning projects, working with a variety of acclaimed names including Richard Ayoade, Simon West and Keith Lemon. Carse & Waterman’s service gives brands a way to tell personable stories to their audience in a uniquely engaging way.

Recent successes have kick-started further growth this year with the purchase of a new 4-storey studio (4,300 sq ft), an increased staff team of up to 20, and the facilities to deliver a new animation school supporting routes into the industry.


Enlighten is a truly inspirational company which has grown rapidly over a short period of time to become an authoritative name in the world of augmented reality and e-learning.

Enlighten is addressing the gap in quality online learning resources, reducing the need for face-to-face time when learning and transferring skills, reducing the monetary and environmental costs. By embracing and leading innovation in the sector Enlighten is improving the learner’s experience at a streamlined cost.

Enlighten’s co-founder and CEO Suzanne Edwards is a highly regarded female entrepreneur and “woman in tech”, who regularly speaks at high-level business and technology and is one of only seven people globally who sits on the executive council of CompTIA’s Emerging Tech community, encouraging more women and girls to consider tech-based careers through the “Power of 1” campaign.

Rachel Shenton

Rachel Shenton brought the issue of profound deafness to the public’s attention when she wrote and starred in short film The Silent Child, which then went on to win Best Live Action Short Film at the Academy Awards. Leaning on her own experience to portray the loneliness and isolation of children who are affected and the attitudes of society, Shenton crafted a touching screenplay which resonated with audiences.

Shenton is now working on turning the film into a feature and has lent her voice to promote her hometown of Stoke in its bid to be the new home of Channel 4.

This year’s cohort highlights the move towards technology and creativity merging to create meaningful solutions to real-world problems, with many of the companies championing diversity, and giving a platform to unheard voices.

The list was hand-picked by Creative England, along with nominations from regional partners including The Growth Company in Greater Manchester, Cultivate Cornwall, Stoke City Council, Newcastle Gateshead Initiative and Tech Nation.

Read the full report here CE50 2018

To find out more about Platform click here: www.platformstaffs.com/about-us

For a list of our members click here: www.platformstaffs.com/directory

Stoke-on-Trent based animation company, Carse and Waterman Productions, has today announced its involvement in an ambitious, new animation project which will see the company work with the producers of hit films “Saving Santa” and “Nativity!” to produce a festive animation titled ‘The Claus Supremacy’.

Carse and Waterman

The story itself places its audience in a world of alternative history. This forms the backdrop for an entertaining story of discovery where we, as an audience, learn how the Santa Claus that we’ve all grown to know and love can deliver all of those presents to millions of children across the world.

Development has now started on the family feature film and the team at Carse and Waterman are now busy modelling, rigging and animating key characters.

Company director Daniel Waterman, says that the project marks an exciting chapter of ‘growth and reflection’ for the business. ‘We (Daniel Waterman and Gary Carse) launched the business after our first year at Staffordshire University in 2009 and our first project together was a music video for The Prodigy.

‘Since then, we’ve worked tirelessly to build a diverse, imaginative team who have gone on to work on a range of notable projects, working with industry giants such as AT&T and United Nations.

‘Nine years since the launch of Carse and Waterman we’re very proud to remain in Stoke-on-Trent and we’re keen to share the message that digital creativity and youth aspiration are very much alive within this city.’

The animation will be produced by film producer Richard Turner and Terry Stone. Turner co-produced the highly acclaimed festive hit ‘Nativity’ while Stone who has carved an impressive career on both sides of the camera over the past 14 years.

Describing the animation as a ‘film for the whole family’, Turner explains his reasoning for choosing to work with a Staffordshire-based company on the project.

‘Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire have a fantastic range of digital and creative industries, fuelled by outstanding local talent and a vibrant, diverse business environment.

‘We’ve already received a huge amount of interest in the film and we look forward to working with Carse and Waterman throughout this project’.

The feature film is now in pre-production stage with the objective to launch in cinemas in December 2019.

– More information and a short trailer can be found at www.claussupremacy.com

The VFX Festival 2018

Running for over 5 years ‘The VFX Festival’ is the UK’s leading animation & VFX conference. This year it took place from the 6th – 8th February at Rix Mix cinema in Shoreditch, London. It hosts industry leaders in animation and VFX from all over the world. Bringing everyone together allows a sharing of knowledge with both industry veterans and emerging talent. It provides an opportunity to learn from the best along with recruitment panels to help artists get their foot in the door.

Stoke-on-Trent based studio, Carse & Waterman made it’s debut at the London festival this year as Company Director and Producer, Daniel Waterman, was invited to speak on a panel about VFX Producing.

Titled ‘Production and Artists: Let’s Bridge the Gap’, the panel saw Daniel alongside producers from some of London’s biggest VFX companies. The lineup consisted of ‘Double Negative’, ‘Framestore’, ‘The Mill’, ‘Smoke & Mirrors’, ‘Moving Picture Company’ and of course ‘Carse & Waterman Productions’. In front of an audience of around 50 keen VFX producers and artists, the panel discussed the many challenges of being a producer and how best to work with artists in order to harness their creativity effectively.

Upon his return to Stoke, Daniel had this to say:
“It’s nice to show people in London that the industry reaches further than just the capital city. I think many were surprised to hear that a VFX studio of our calibre was based in Stoke-on-Trent rather than London. It was great to be on the panel and hear how other producers handle things. It’s also exciting just to be sat next to the VFX Producer of Paddington 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”