As Locksmith Animation gears up for the Oct. release of its first feature film “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” the studio has announced that Natalie Fischer has been named chief executive officer of the company.
Fischer is the former chief operating officer of Illumination Entertainment and has been a senior adviser there for the past four years.
In addition, Locksmith co-founder and “Ron’s Gone Wrong” producer Julie Lockhart has been named president of production and will continue to lead all aspects of production and development as well as partnering with Fischer at a strategic level.
“We are incredibly fortunate that Natalie Fischer has joined us to lead Locksmith’s expansion,” says Elisabeth Murdoch, chair and co-founder, Locksmith Animation. “She has a proven track record of success in the animation industry and those instincts and insights combined with Julie Lockhart’s unsurpassed production expertise will guide a new era of growth at our studio. I’d also like to thank our co-founder Sarah Smith for her contributions to Locksmith’s growth, her dedication to building the amazing team at the company, and her vision as a filmmaker. We are grateful for her leadership and stewardship of our first release, ‘Ron’s Gone Wrong.’”
Fischer joined Illumination as head of business development in 2009. Previously, she was senior vice president, business development and strategy at Universal from 2004 to 2009 and a business strategist at Channel 4 Television in the U.K. prior to that. She holds an MBA from Harvard and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
“I'm thrilled to be joining Liz, Julie and the incredible Locksmith team at an exciting time in the animation industry,” says Fischer. “We have big opportunities ahead and I look forward to using my experience to help drive this new phase of growth at Locksmith.”
Sarah Smith, co-founder and writer and director, “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” has stepped down from her role at the studio to concentrate on developing her own creative projects.