Judges

2022 Competition

Jon Asperin

Jon Asperin is a multi-talented “behind-the-scenes” force of the Knott’s Berry Farm Entertainment Design team. From Special Ops: Infected to the all-new GORE-ing 20’s scare-zone, Jon’s raw energy and creative ideas have helped shape a new era of creative design at Knott’s Scary Farm. From creating and designing unique and immersive experiences year around to creating and directing the monsters of the fog, Jon’s passion for design and his willingness to experiment with fresh and new innovative scares has helped Knott’s Scary Farm take their rich tradition to a new level.

Jamie Bartkowicz

Jamie Bartkowicz has worked within the art department across various entertainment mediums including: film, TV, live events, and theme parks. From 2015-2021, Jamie had the privilege of being a part of the Halloween Horror Nights production team at Universal Studios Hollywood. During her career there, she held a variety of roles, such as: Design Coordinator, Set Decorator, and Associate Production Designer. Now, Jamie has switched gears back to her original roots of film production and works at Walt Disney Studios managing all physical assets for live action films.

Jon Cooke

Jon Cooke has designed, art directed and produced attractions for some of the most successful Halloween themed events in the world. As a former designer for Knott's Scary Farm, Cooke was responsible for ground breaking attractions such as "Special Ops: Infected," "Paranormal, Inc." as well as fan favorites "Dark Ride" and "The Depths." Having worked as Creative Director for Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, Cooke oversaw creative elements for Halloween events across the United States including the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. With his current company, Plague Productions, he has created escape rooms, immersive marketing experiences and attractions around the world. As vocalist for the deathcore metal band, Winds of Plague, Cooke has released numerous albums and toured extensively throughout the globe. Taking the two worlds of themed entertainment and live performance, Cooke has melded his experience into creating visionary ways to horrify the masses.

Brandi Creason

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

Ted Dougherty is a writer, producer, and director having worked in key creative capacities with Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm, Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, Cedar Fair LLC, FX Networks, and several others. Through the years, Ted has not only worked closely on the creative for some of the largest Halloween attractions in the theme park industry, but he has also written and directed innovative theatrically driven escape rooms, live action 4D virtual reality horror experiences and cutting-edge experiential marketing events. Prior to authoring the award-winning book, Knott’s Halloween Haunt: A Picture History, the first comprehensive history of Knott’s Scary Farm, Ted scared thousands as a “slider” monster in Knott’s famous Ghost Town Scare Zone. A crazed aficionado of the macabre, Ted uncovers innovative ways to terrorize through themed entertainment!

Claire Dunlap

Claire Dunlap is a producer and co-founder of Midsummer Scream Halloween and Horror Convention, Season's Screamings, Cemetery Lane Trick or Treat Experience and Spooky Swap Meet. She also has an extensive background in producing and acting in live theatrical stage productions. Claire is so pleased to be participating with Haunt Comp while having the opportunity to see the next generation of haunters share their amazing creativity.

Bonnie Hallman

Bonnie has worked worldwide as a Creative Director, Show Director, Writer and Producer for companies including Mycotoo, Riva Creative USA, Opak Creative, Universal, D23, Discovery, Nickelodeon, WB, HBO, Lifetime, Hallmark, Bethesda, Newline, and National Geographic.

Recent credits include: Creative Director: Dollywood Wildwood Grove, Creative/Show Director: Universal Studios Hollywood Lunar New Year, Creative/Show Director: Universal Studios Hollywood Jurassic World Attraction Press Event, Creative/Show Director: Jurassic World Walk-Around Dinosaurs, Show Director: WB’s Horror Made Here, Director: Queen Mary’s “Dark Harbor” Assistant Director: SXSW Westworld Activation, Writer/Assistant Director: E3 Fallout 76 Activation, Writer/Assistant Director: Comic Con BladeRunner 2049 Activation, Creative Director: MotionGate Theme Park, Show Director: Queen Mary’s “Chill”, Writer: Stranger Things Experience

Bonnie also writes and directs for theater and film including credits with Hallmark, Lifetime, OWN, Launchpad Theater NYC, Actor’s Temple Theater NYC, and Inkwell Theater Company.

David Markland

David Markland, executive director and co-founder of Midsummer Scream is a life-long Halloween fan. He has over 25 years experience working in live events in roles ranging from production manager to programming manager to sports planning director, for events including the ESPN Espys, the Special Olympics World Games, and Politicon. In 2013 he co-founded and produced ScareLA, and in 2016 co-founded Midsummer Scream. In 2021 he started his first Halloween attraction, Cemetery Lane, a trick-r-treat experience.

Paul Marshall

Paul's career with Knott's Berry Farm has spanned over two decades. From haunting the streets of Ghost Town to constructing the world famous Hanging to Technical Director, his adventure has been nothing short of amazing. His passion for for all things haunted and spooky drive his contributions to Knott's Scary Farm through innovation and a deep understanding of what makes you scream.

Eric Nix

Eric Nix has worked in the themed entertainment industry for almost 25 years. Most recently his career has brought him to Knott’s Berry Farm where he has taken on the role of Creative Producer for the Entertainment Division. Eric is an active member of the Themed Entertainment community and part of the Western North American Board of Directors for TEA (Themed Entertainment Association). While Eric enjoys ALL the seasons at Knott’s Berry Farm – Knott’s Scary Farm holds a special place in his dark heart. His passion for detail, story-telling, and world-building has helped drive the overall Guest experience to new levels and he’s especially excited for the debut of the 2022 Knott’s Scary Farm season and next year’s 50th Anniversary of Knott’s Scary Farm.

Grace Perrotta

Grace Perrotta is a show writer, producer, and dramaturg who's worked for companies including Disney Live Entertainment, Disney Cruise Line, RWS Entertainment Group, The Second City, and Countdown2Escape. Grace's past work spans everything from live shows and interactive entertainment to experiential coffee bars, escape rooms, and beyond. Currently, she is a writer on Pixar Day at Sea and is also working on a myriad of freelance projects that will soon be announced.

Participating in last year's Haunt Comp, Grace and her team won best story deliverable and best presentation. This year, she's excited to be on the other side of the competition, helping the participants as a story advisor.

Phil Rayborn

Phil 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. He is also a multiple-time presenter for Haunt Con and Transworld.

Sandra Schoenfelder

As a multi-disciplinary designer Sandra has created immersive experiences for countless clients, including some of the most widely recognized brands and properties around the world. Starting out as a site supervisor for HHN Hollywood, she quickly advanced as technical and show set designer for Universal (incl. USH, USO, USJ). One of her fondest memories in the industry includes the time spent living in Japan to open Super Nintendo Land and experiencing the fun, yet vastly different approach to HHN oversees. When not designing or fabricating she is likely babying her pit bull rescue or volunteering with Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners to contribute to a better life for all dogs.

Jeff Tucker

Besides being one of the few judges who has been with us since the beginning, Jeff is also one of our writing advisors who will review the teams’ rough drafts.

Jeff Tucker is a 25 year veteran of the theme park industry. In that time he has written and produced countless theme park shows and experiences. Working with Knott’s Scary Farm. Jeff has helped created “Trapped” – an interactive haunt maze, “Possessed” – a thrilling ghost experience and many more. In his free time (ha!) he has written and published numerous books, including “The Sixth Key”, “The Infinite Backward” and “The Ice Temple”, among others. He is also the host of the popular pop culture podcast, “91 Reasons”.