Speakers 2019

Ve Neill

We're beyond thrilled to announce that celebrity makeup artist Ve Neill will be joining us for our 2019 West Coast Haunters Convention!

Neill has won three Academy Awards, including Beetlejuice, Mrs. Doubtfire and Ed Wood. She has been nominated for eight Oscars in total! Neill also serves as a judge on the Syfy original series Face Off which features makeup artists competing for $100,000. In addition, Neill has worked on all of the films of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Other notable films include Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Hook, and Edward Scissorhands.

We couldn't be more excited to welcome her to our West Coast haunt family this May!

...and yes, she's even agreed to judge the costume contest!!!

Brett Hays

Brett Hays' Fear Fair is simply one of the best-designed haunts in the industry. Few haunts can recreate classic horror movies and do them justice, but Fear Fair takes it to another level of fright. Fear Fair's detailed sets are so impressive that you'll feel like you've stepped into a classic slasher flick or entered a twisted western village. Many of the movies Fear Fair recreates are classics in every sense of the word and the creators of this jaw-dropping haunt know this. There's so much detail packed into scenes that you would need to tour the haunt at least twice in order to really appreciate all the hard work that has gone into making these well-known horror movies come to life. Camp Crystal Lake has real bunk beds with campers crying out for help. The mine shaft from My Bloody Valentine features a poor soul who has had a shovel crammed shoved in their throat to the point where the jaw has been separated from the rest of the mouth. Even Dr. Frakenstein's Laboratory has a large Tesla coil that looks like it was taken straight out of the 1931 Universal classic. Every great haunt has a dedicated cast of actors. The actors at Fear Fair are intense beyond belief. The characters you'll come in contact with are insane. You'll get touched, grabbed, pulled into a room and even have puss squirted on your face. Fear Fair is a very interactive experience. While some people may not enjoy being touched, I do. It makes the haunt more off the wall and unpredictable. I love it!

Ralis Kahn

Ralis Kahn is a Los Angeles based special makeup effects artist with over 25 years of experience in blood splatters and gore; creatures and monsters; chemistry and artistry combined. He has worked on productions all over the world. His film and TV work includes Resident Evil Extinction, The Collector, Angel, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This spans from blood rigs to beauty makeup, and every kind of prosthetic appliance in-between. He has provided many of the iconic looks for shock rock musicians such as Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, as well as pop stars like N’Sync, Missy Elliot, Puff Daddy, and more. Ronnie James Dio wouldn’t work on a movie without Ralis by his side as his personal makeup artist. Ralis works regularly with directors Dean Karr and P. R. Brown, and rock star/photographer Nikki Sixx. He is an award-winning music video makeup artist, a sought-after consultant in the Haunted Attraction industry, and he even has his own line of Halloween Masks.

Leonard Pickel

The owner of D.O.A. Haunt Design and Consulting Firm, Leonard Pickel has been designing commercial Haunted Houses since 1976 with over 100 such attractions to date in cities from New York to Los Angeles, Toronto to Puerto Rico and for companies including Madison Scare Garden to Universal Studios Florida, and Six Flags amusement parks. Pickel has presented educational seminars at every significant gathering of Haunters in the US and Canada on topics ranging from code compliance to effective scares, from increasing Haunt capacity to how to start

RJ Haddy

A native of Charleston, WV, it was obvious to everyone but Rj, from a very early age that he would become known for the extroverted, yet down to earth and kind person he exhibited on the show. He has also had quite a penchant for the creative flair since that time as well.

Due to the mesmerizing effect the visual imagery in the Star Wars saga had on him as a youngn’, Rj began making 3-dimensional art projects in Kindergarten and hasn’t stopped yet. He has a love of the creative process and enjoys the ability to see a project through from the very beginning conceptual phases all the way to the performance, literally bringing it to life.

Combining his love of creation and performance he naturally gravitated to Puppeteering. He was influenced largely at this time by the films The Dark Crystal, Little Shop of Horrors, and Labyrinth. But it wasn’t until Rj discovered the films of Tim Burton that he learned that makeup artistry and puppeteering and costuming were all very similar skill sets that crisscrossed over into each other.

Starting with Beetleguse, and Batman literally one year apart he became mesmerized with something new Prosthetic makeup. The names Nick Dudman (for his amazing Joker make up) and Ve Neill ( for her Beetlejuice and Penguin creations) would be forever burned into his brain, alongside Rick Baker, Stan Winston, Greg Cannom, and Jack Pierce his other makeup artistry idols.