TEA Connect Blog

27 September 2021

Creating Nightmares: A Look at Haunted Attractions

Join TEA NextGen committee as we talk with the creators of various spooky attractions across the United States, including Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood, Knotts Scary Farm, LA Haunted Hayride, Howl-O-Scream, SAW Escape, and Escape Blair Witch. We are doing this event to kick off the Halloween season with some insight on how the haunts side of themed entertainment works. Many NextGen have expressed interest in the haunts industry as seen in past haunt panels, the creation of haunted houses at colleges, and the high participation in [email protected]'s Haunted House Design Competition. The goal of this event is to shed light on what goes into creating these attractions from industry experts.

Moderator and Panelist Bios:

Matthias Baker - TEA NextGen, [email protected] Alumni
Matthias Baker is a recent graduate of UC San Diego, where he majored in Cognitive Science (Design and Interaction) and minored in Art Technology and Psychology. He is a long time horror fan, having dreamed up his first haunted house design at the age of 7. Since then, Matthias has had the amazing opportunity to study under Brandi Creason, Jamie Bartkowicz, and Ted Dougherty. Currently, he is utilizing the skills he learned from them as the Creative Director of Wonderland, [email protected]'s 2021 Haunted House. He was also previously one of the Competition Directors for [email protected]'s Haunted House Design Competition.

Jackson Mancuso - TEA NextGen, [email protected]
Jackson Mancuso is an up and coming concept artist in the Los Angeles area. With a background in interior design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Jackson currently works as a concept designer for a variety of large scale hospitality, event, and entertainment projects. He is a life long fan of haunted houses and has been going to Southern California haunts since he was a little kid. Jackson was also a part of the winning team for the [email protected] Haunt Competition and has a history of volunteering with local haunts.

Jamie Bartkowicz- Art Department, Universal Studios Hollywood (Halloween Horror Nights)
Jamie Bartkowicz has worked within the art department across various entertainment mediums including: film, TV, live events, and theme parks. Since 2016, she has had the privilege of being a part of the Halloween Horror Nights production team at Universal Studios Hollywood. During her career there, she has held a variety of roles, such as: Design Coordinator, Set Decorator, and Production Design Supervisor.

Brandi C Creason- Production Designer, Universal Studios Hollywood (Halloween Horror Nights)
For over 27 years, Brandi Creason has solidified herself as a valued member of the art department team, striving to put her passion and her work ethic at the forefront of her career, she has had the privilege of working on some of the most amazing and experiential projects in the industry. She has held varied positions throughout her tenure within art departments in all genres of the entertainment industry: film, TV, commercials, theatre, theme parks, restaurant design, live exhibits and even more. Most of those years, Brandi has worked freelance and more permanently, by the side of Universal’s HHN Production Designer, Chris Williams. She has become an integral part of the HHN Design Team, helping to lead and guide the process that takes Chris’ designs, from the initial pen-to-paper, all the way through on-site and installations.

Ted Dougherty - Independent Writer/Director - LA Haunted Hayride, Knott's Scary Farm, Cedar Fair
Ted Dougherty is a writer, producer and director for large scale seasonal events and interactive installations. Ted has worked in key creative capacities with Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights, Knott's Scary Farm, Cedar Fair, Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, FX Networks, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride and several other entities. In addition to authoring the award-winning book, Knott's Halloween Haunt - A Picture History, Ted terrified thousands of guests as an undead werewolf at Knott's Scary Farm's famous Ghost Town Scare Zone.

Ryan Gallego - Director, Global Live Interactive and Location Based Entertainment
As Director of Global Live, Interactive, and Location Based Entertainment at Lionsgate, Ryan Gallego leads and maintains the creative identity of the studio’s vast library of iconic film and television titles to life in unexpected, entertaining ways. With almost 20 years of experience in the industry, Ryan is responsible for ensuring that the brand and story development of the Studio’s live and location based projects are told through incredible immersive experiences. Ryan has developed projects such as Lionsgate Entertainment World, the world’s first vertical theme park in Hengqin, China, featuring attractions based on blockbuster films such as The Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga, the expansion to the Lionsgate Zone in the Motiongate Dubai theme Park and a roster of global touring shows including La La Land in Concert and Now You See Me Live, along with multiple seasonal experiences and horror based attractions.

Phil Raybourn - Raybourn Principal, Raybourn Creative
Phil Raybourn is a Creative Principal at Raybourn Creative, an entertainment partnership specializing in creative narrative and content development, immersive storytelling, conceptual design, writing, directing, and consulting. Phil worked for 15 years as a creative director, event concept designer, writer and producer for Busch Gardens Williamsburg, developing and designing haunted houses, attractions, shows, escape rooms, and themed kiosks for the award-winning events Howl-O- Scream, Christmas Town, and the Food and Wine Festival. He has 17 years of large scale event design development and implementation experience. His creation and design of haunted attractions and experiences for Howl-O-Scream ranked consistently in the top 10 of theme park Halloween events during the years he was Creative Director for the event.


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Posted by Josephine Gilmore



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