Stephan Kuslich - CEO

stephanWhat do I do?
I'm the founder and executive producer. These days, I am responsible for most of the sales and make sure that we have the best gear for the job and that everyone is happy.

What's the coolest thing about Ghost?
Ghost doesn't suffer from any of that corporate whatever-you-call-it. There are no cubicles here, just wide-open creative spaces where minds join and ideas happen, and it is the perfect environment for an occasional Nerf war.

What do I do when I'm not working?
When am I not working? Well, in the summers I'm spending as much time as I possibly can wakeboarding or riding my bike. All year round, I'm hanging out with my kids and groping my hot wife, though you can almost always talk me into a game of chess or Nintendo.

My story:
I am Stephan Kuslich, the Executive Producer at Ghost Productions, Inc. This means that I am primarily responsible for the vision and workflow of our 2D & 3D motion projects. Everyone at Ghost Productions, Inc. both creates and animates models, but it is my job to make sure that each frame of animation is perfect.

I began designing with a computer in 1986 with a Macintosh 512k. I continued to use the simple graphics programs of that era until I was able to commandeer my first color Macintosh. In 1988, I mastered Pixel Paint and began using a beta version of Photoshop and QuarkXpress. My skills in desktop publishing apexed in 1992 when I was almost expelled from my parochial high school for publishing an underground newspaper. (Informer Staff, thanks & I wish you all the best.) I was allowed to graduate from high school and went on to the University of Minnesota where I majored in everything that interested me and changed my mind often. I drove my advisors crazy by changing my major each quarter. By the time I left, I had achieved a virtual doctorate in psychology, sexology, anatomy, business, economics, marketing, video arts, film production and literature. Direction and film production was becoming my favorite scholastic interest until the U of M dropped all media productions classes from their docket.

It was in a summer job as a presentation designer at Metropolitan Medical Center that I discovered my true calling. While creating a slide show, my boss asked me if I could make the graphics move. I was sent to the computer store with the corporate card and purchased my first piece of animation software. I called my mother two days later and told her I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I remained a self-taught animator a few years until I was accepted into the last 6 months of a 2-year animation program at SCA. I graduated and took my demo reel to the Burbank Animation Opportunities Expo. I interviewed with Disney, Pixar, and Dream Quest Images–to name a few. Toy Story was still very new and computer animators were pretty rare. So my whole class got some great offers. I had a lot to consider that year. I wanted to work on movie production at Dream Quest, but I had also been offered a position at a local medical development company with great stock incentives. The coin flip was greatly influenced by my desire to stay near my future wife who was still in school at the time.

I learned a lot working in medical development. I mostly learned that I couldn't stomach the rhetoric of corporate structure. I left, re-energized Ghost Productions and began making a new life beyond the constraints of the status quo.


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