Locksmith Animation have announced they’re in development on an animated feature, The Empty Stocking, specifically for digital platforms, based on a series of Christmas children’s books by writer/director Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, Yesterday). Veteran producer Bonnie Arnold, (How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story, Tarzan) will join Locksmith heads Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart to oversee the project.
The company is partnering creatively on the feature with Curtis and his team, which includes illustrator Rebecca Cobb, executive Colin Hopkins and writer Peter Souter. Curtis and Souter will write the screenplay.
“We are thrilled to be working with iconic British talent like Richard, of whom we are perennial fans, and delighted to be partnering on this utterly charming and unique material. It is a perfect opportunity to expand Locksmith’s stories into new formats, and forge new relationships with digital platforms.”
LSA become part of the Warner Bros. Family
LSA are pleased to announce, Warner Bros. Pictures has signed a multi-film deal with Locksmith Animation, the UK CG feature studio, to co-develop and distribute its slate of pictures.
WB said: “In recent years, animation has become a tremendously important part of our slate, and this deal with Locksmith dovetails perfectly with our forward-going plans,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, and Courtenay Valenti, President, Production and Development, Warner Bros. “We love Sarah and Julie’s sensibilities and work, and look forward to working with them to create titles that will enchant today’s audiences and become classics for future generations of animation lovers.”
The deal covers the development and production of family animated features that Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute in theatres worldwide. Locksmith will collaborate closely with Allison Abbate, Executive Vice President, Warner Animation Group, to add a “fresh voice” to complement the Studio’s current animation activities.
Locksmith’s first feature, “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” is currently in production in London and will be released by Walt Disney Studios. Locksmith Animation was founded in 2014 by BAFTA® Award-winning director, writer and producer Sarah Smith (“Arthur Christmas”) and acclaimed producer Julie Lockhart (Academy Award®-nominated “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” “Pirates! Band of Misfits”) together with Elisabeth Murdoch.
Manchester Animation Festival 2018
A masterclass from UK feature animation studio Locksmith Animation is one of the highlights of the fourth annual Manchester Animation Festival (MAF), which runs from November 13-15.
MAF will take place at Manchester’s HOME cinema. The programme includes an animated short competition, screenings of new features, retrospective screenings, workshops and networking events. Panel and discussion events will include ‘Animated Women UK’, a platform for women in the animation business to share their stories.
BY BEN DALTON27 SEPTEMBER 2018
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