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CEO, Founder, Director

Larry D.

Whitaker Jr.

Larry Whitaker is a veteran of the animation industry, specializing in character design, 2D and 3D animation, storyboarding, and voice acting.

 

An alumnus of California Institute of the Arts, Larry got his start working at Warner Bros. Television Animation on Tiny Toon Adventures (1990) and Tazmania (1991).  He spent the next several years working on notable films and shows like Ferngully: The Last Rainforest (1992), The Swan Princess (1994), Quest for Camelot (1998), Space Jam (1996), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and George of the Jungle (1997).

In 1999, he co-founded Cornerstone Animation, doing work for The Walt Disney Company on such projects as The Lion King 1 ½ (2004), Return to Neverland (2002), Jungle Book II (2003), Mulan II (1994), The Tigger Movie (2000), and various theme park projects.  Larry was nominated for a Golden Reel Award for his work as director on the Larry-Boy (2002) video series, for which he also voiced various characters.

After that, he worked on projects for Colgate Palmolive (The Legend of Tooth Kingdom (2009)), Film Roman (Stan Lee Presents: The Condor (2007), Me Eloise (2006), and Scary Godmother (2005)), Nickelodeon (Dora’s Explorer Girls (2011)), March Entertainment (Mia and Me (2011)), and Warner Bros. (Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse (2012), and Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz (2011)).

Larry has also devoted his time to teaching animation at Warner Bros. Acme Virtual Training Network, The Art Academy, and California Institute of the Arts, encouraging young students to pursue careers in the animation industry.

 
 

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Producer

Dan

Hawes

Daniel Hawes is currently the President and Creative Director of Toonrush Inc., a Canadian digital media production company focused on creating powerful experiences and compelling content in animation and gaming.  Dan is one of Canada’s leading independent producers, and has overseen over $75M of digital media content over the last decade. His work includes animated TV series, movies, games, and web & mobile apps, and his collaborations have included international partners from England, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, India, and the United States.

 

Dan began his career as a software engineer, eventually evolving into an internet content entrepreneur, building and selling two internet companies.  In the late nineties, Dan and his creative partner, Doug Sinclair, created the animated Flash site, Chilly Beach, depicting the everyday life of a fictional Canadian resort town.  Chilly Beach was eventually developed into a CBC series in 2003, and even spawned two feature films. Today, the show can be seen on Hulu.

 

In 2003, Dan founded March Entertainment, a CGI animation studio to develop games, television series and movies (eight series, over 300 episodes, and six movies).  Their content was broadcast in over 120 countries, and included notable broadcast partners like BBC, CBC, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney, ABC Australia, and Sony Pictures.

 

In his spare time, Dan serves on the advisory team to the Ontario Minister of Communications and Culture, as well as on the Sheridan College Animation Advisory Board.  He has attended the Universities of Ottawa and Waterloo, and is currently pursuing a PHD in Digital Media at Carleton University, Ottawa. He also teaches “The Art and Business of Gaming” and “Managing Creative Enterprises” in the Creative Industry program at Ryerson University, Toronto.

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Concept Artist, Color Supervisor

Bill

Dely

As one of the top concept artist and color supervisors working in the business, Ghost Train Pictures is proud to count Bill Dely as part of their team.

Originally from Michigan, Bill got his start majoring in Fine Arts and Illustration before graduating with a Bachelors in Illustration from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.  After that, he started his career in earnest at none other than Hanna-Barbera Studios, working on cartoons like Fender Bender 500, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures, and The Pirates of Dark Water.

In the mid 1990s, Bill broke into feature animated films, mostly as a background or development artist, working on notable animated hits like: Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991), Thumbelina (1994), The Pagemaster (1994), The Swan Princess (1994), Space Jam (1996), Quest for Camelot (1998), and The Iron Giant (1999).

After doing some Concept and Final Art work for Walt Disney Imagineering in 1999 for their Epcot Center attraction, Millennium Village, Dely began working for Larry at Cornerstone Animation Inc. There, he acted as Art Director and Background Artist for various projects, such as: The Tigger Movie (2000) ("Singing the Blues" sequence), Larry-Boy (2002), the Veggie Tales spin-off video series, and The Lion King 1 ½ (2004) (the "Meerkat Rhapsody" sequence).

Since then, he's worked for Film Roman, Warner Bros TV Animation, and IDT Entertainment, and contributed artwork to the films Evan Almighty and Hop.  He joined Nickelodeon after that, and worked on the Warner Bros Animation animated film, Teen Titans Go to the Movies (2018).

 

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Executive Producer, Consultant

Howard G.

Kazanjian

Howard Kazanjian is perhaps best known as the producer of two of the most beloved movies of all time, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983).

Born in Los Angeles, Howard graduated from the University of Southern California, where he befriended George Lucas.  The two were part of a group of young filmmakers at the time known as The Dirty Dozen, which included other notable filmmakers such as screenwriter/director John Milius, director Randel Kleiser, and composer Basil Poledouris.

After college, Howard worked as an assistant director for Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Wise, Billy Wilder, Francis Ford Coppola, and Sam Peckinpah.  He eventually transitioned into film production, working on the aforementioned films.  In fact, Howard is credited with coming up with the idea of shooting Return of the Jedi under the fake name, Blue Harvest, in order to avoid any nosy journalists, or price gouging from suppliers.

Around the same time, Howard served as vice president of Lucasfilm, handling operations amid the release of the incredibly popular Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises in the early 80s.

Howard Kazanjian has continued to stay active as a producer, working on projects like The Rookie (1990), Demolition Man (1993), the television series JAG (1995), and, more recently, the television series, Mark Hamill's Pop Culture Quest (2016).

In addition to film-making, Howard is the author of several non-fiction books, including books on John Wayne, Dale Evans, Annie Oakley, and Roy Rogers.

 

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Composer, Orchestrator

Johannes

Steinray

Johannes Steinray is an accomplished pianist and composer who creates music for everything from original music for film and TV, musicals, dance-shows, bands, and orchestras.  Elegantly incorporating everything from pop and rock to big band swing and ambient hybrid, he creates music with a fresh and interesting sound.

He began composing and writing songs as a child, attending the Royal Church-Music School of Denmark.  He moved to New York at 19 in order to study at the New School of Jazz & Contemporary Music, and, at 23, he attended the Mannes School of Music.  While at school, Johannes developed a particular passion for jazz, classical, and film.

As a pianist, Johannes has performed in venues around the world, including Broadway shows, Madison Square Garden, and his largest concert yet, the Lincoln Memorial for an audience of more than 250,000.  He’s also had the privilege of performing with such iconic musicians as Stevie Wonder, Michael Bolton, Charlie Haden, and Ray Brown.

After moving to Los Angeles in 2004, Johannes began to write music for TV and film, including: Nickelodeon, New York, Theatre Ballet, Zentropa, HBO, Coca Cola, Lego, and Nike, as well as several fashion shows, independent productions, and theatre companies.

Johannes Steinray is excited to provide the score for Ghost Train Pictures' upcoming animated short, Paranormality.  Click here to visit the Paranormality page to listen to samples.

 

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Storyboard Artist, Animation Consultant

Luis

Escobar

Luis Escobar is a Storyboard Artist, Animator, and Character Layout Artist currently working on The Simpsons TV show.  Luis began working on The Simpsons back in 1993.  Since then, he has also worked on the movie, and spent twelve years drawing for The Simpsons comic books.

 

Born in El Salvador, Luis Escobar moved to California at a young age.  In high school, Luis joined the Rowland Heights animation R.O.P. program in the early nineties.  He simultaneously took classes tailored for high school students at the Art Center in Pasadena, California.

 

After getting hired on The Simpsons, Luis continued his art education by taking classes at the Animation Union and the since-closed Associates In Art.  At those two schools, Luis learned from some of the top talents in the animation field, taking classes in animation, character design, concept art, figure drawing, storyboarding, sculpting, and anatomy.

 

Luis Escobar’s passion for learning eventually evolved into a similar passion for teaching others, spending a lot of his free time helping others develop their talents or growing in the industry.  In addition to his own blog, Luis runs a website devoted to teaching beginners how to draw at  TheDrawingWebsite.com, and wrote a popular instructional book called The Art of Draw Fu: Beginner Level.

 

Today, Luis continues to work on The Simpsons, and lives happily in California with his wife, daughter, and four sons.

 
Communication Executive

Hilary

Clay Hicks

Hilary Clay Hicks is a Renaissance man who began his career with a Masters degree in Journalism and a Bachelors in Speech and Communications from the University of Michigan.  Ever since then, he has worn many hats throughout his career: an all-around communicator, publicist, novelist, writer, editor, marketer, creative executive, producer, and teacher.  His experience ranges from print, audio, video, film, digital, to online.

As a marketing consultant, under his Creative Action marketing label, he has written or contributed to thousands of press releases, bios, magazines, newsletters, business and marketing plans, business letters, grant applications, and marketing plans.

 

Hilary has also produced countless press events, award-winning music videos, public service media, industrial videos, radio, and TV spots.

 

Through all these services, he counts among his many clients such notables as: House of Blues Concerts, Radio City Entertainment, Hollywood Walk of Fame, the BBC, Filmation Studios, The White House, and the Los Angeles Times.  He's also served such talents as Ringo Starr, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Mel Blanc, The Grateful Dead, B.B. King, Chicago, The Eagles, America, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and The Beach Boys.

Today, Hilary Clay Hicks spends time teaching through the University of Phoenix, teaching various communications courses, public relations classes, several writing classes, and classes on sociology, pop culture, and mythology.

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