At the core of Wrapped Productions is a team of executives with successful track records in the entertainment industry. The team covers: entrepreneurial experience, promotion, art direction, television production, music production, and product branding & promotion. Collectively, these individuals have over 80 years experience and will use their ability to leverage high-level relationships within all areas of the entertainment industry – sports television, talent relations, television distribution, music production, and new media. Additionally, the core team is complemented by a networked support group of consultants, performers, and technicians.
Louis Gosset Jr. - Executive Producer
Louis Gossett, Jr. is one of the most sought after and busiest actors working in theatrical feature films and television today. With over 50 years of stage, television, and film credits, Louis’s talents have garnered him every acting accolade including an Oscar for an electrifying performance as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in “An Officer and a Gentleman”, an Emmy for the role of Fiddler in “Roots,” multiple Golden Globes, and People’s Choice Awards.
Besides being one of the most talented and versatile actors working in Hollywood, Gossett maintains a strong commitment to helping others by giving back to the community both as a spokesperson and as a behind-the-scenes leader with the formation of the Eracism Foundation, geared to empowering and educating the youth of America. Louis’s belief in this philosophy is one of the reasons he’s come aboard to executive produce and narrate “The Untold Truth.”
Prince Whipple Project, L.L.C. - Executive Producer
Gregg Champion - Director - Producer - Entrepreneur
After finishing his studies in Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University, Champion jumped into the world of media -- television, radio, film, and the web. He has experience working at companies such as; XTRA Sports Radio, NBC, CBS, DreamWorks, ESPN, and 20th Century Fox. He has worked early in his career in all facets of television production for such shows as Ally McBeal, The X-Files, on FOX, LATER on NBC, and Winning Lines on CBS.
Next, Champion rose the through the ranks as a Producer/Director at FOX Sports for shows Best Damn Sports Show Period, The Sports List, 54321, and documentary sports series Beyond The Glory.
Champion co-created Mania TV! www.ManiaTV.com -- An Internet television network and served as Vice President of Programming and Development. In the same year, he was Co-Executive Producer for the celebrity talk show The Bronx Bunny Show that was STARZ Entertainment’s first venture into original programming in 2007.
In 2008, he started Champion Media & Entertainment to produce and direct high-end commercials and unique digital content for such clients as Gap, Nike, General Motors, Frito Lay, Mattel, Pokémon, and Mountain Dew. Champion worked directly with such talent as Tiger Woods, Heidi Klum, Tony Hawk, Will I Am, and Tom Brady.
In 2012, Champion Media was acquired by Mfactor -- a top tier commercial, on-air promotions, and design company based in the heart of Silicon Beach. Champion serves as Executive Producer and manages all production and post-production for Mfactor’s clients that include New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets, LA Sports and Entertainment Commission, NBC Sports, and NFL Network. Champion was a key creative to the Mfactor team that won 3 Sports Emmys in 2014.
In the spring of 2015, Champion was invited to teach a 400 level class at USC on “Venture Management” in the Lloyd Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Marshall School of Business. Champion was named “Mentor in Residence” in April of 2015 at USC. Champion serves as advisor, consultant, and equity owner in several start-ups.
Presently, The Untold Truth -- a feature length documentary on the Negro Baseball Leagues is Champion’s passion project. He is writer, director, and executive producer for the film.
Champion is married to Jennifer, a Pepperdine University Administrator, and they live in Los Angeles with their two daughters Elysse and Annabelle.
Gary Ballen - Executive Producer
My music/entertainment career began in the mid 60’s in junior high & high school when I was a singer/guitar player in various bands which I always managed and owned the sound system. In college I continued to perform, owned a sound company, merchandising company and started promoting concerts in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1978 at 26 years old I was hired to move to Los Angeles and manage a huge rehearsal studio in the San Fernando Valley. Among the groups I worked with were Chaka Khan & Rufus, Toto, Three Dog Night, The Knack, Andrae Crouch, Air Supply and many, many more. It was a dream come true for me, I was finally in the “Big League”.
From 1980-1983 I did my first major national touring as a production manager, merchandising manager and occasional opening act for Air Supply. After that tour of duty I spent the next 2 years on and off the tour busses with Lita Ford, Jeff Lorber Fusion, Richard Clayderman and in 1985 I opened my personal management company and managed heavy metal band Hurricane (The lead singer Kelly Hansen is the new singer for Foreigner), and Harmonica & Saxophone virtuoso Jimmy Z (Etta James, Tom Petty, Rod Stewart, The Eurythmic’s)
In 1989 I went to work as a production manager for my cousin Jerry Heller who managed the infamous West Coast gangsta rap group Eazy E & NWA. Jerry & Eazy formed Ruthless Records; the label sold approximately 25 million albums and was the launching point for Ice Cube & Dr. Dre. The motion picture “Straight Outta Compton” chronicles the time I was working for Ruthless.
My responsibilities beside’s organizing and advancing all tours ranged from artist development, office management, budgeting and overseeing video’s, press, marketing, TV appearances and dealing with lawyers, agents, managers, gangsta’s and Eazy E’s baby’s mamas.
After Eazy E died, in 1985, I left Ruthless Records and picked up two more personal management clients, Flesh-n-Bone from the multi- platinum act Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Dionne Warwick’s son and music producer Damon Elliott (Destiny’s Child, Pink, Jessica Simpson, Old Dirty Bastard, Beyonce, etc.)
Damon also worked on the music soundtracks for Austin Powers’ Goldmember, Fat Albert, First Daughter, Malibu’s Most Wanted, Small Soldiers & Fighting Temptations and he discovered and produced and signed multi platinum recording artist Keyshia Cole.
In 2003 I started working as the west coast rep for Anderson Mobile Estates. We sold & leased the most luxurious and most expensive on-location luxury trailers in the world to the likes of Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, Will Smith, Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx and Simon Cowell to name a few.
I also was the tour manager, production manager and sound engineer for Erika Jayne, whose last eight songs have topped the Billboard Dance Club charts. Erika is currently being featured on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”
In 2006 I helped fund & form Wrapped Productions for the purpose of filming a documentary about the Negro Baseball Leagues with Lou Gossett Jr. called “The Untold Truth.” We shot 25 hours of footage at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City and did various interviews with Rachel Robinson (Jackie Robinson’s wife), Jesse Jackson, Mike Turco, Manny Mota and many more.
John Rittenour - Executive Producer
With 33 years in the entertainment and marketing industry with tenures as a performer, business consultant, talent developer, project manager, creative writer, creative director, public relations, event promoter, and producer, John understands the 360 degrees of the entertainment business. In recent years, John has lead his own successful entertainment companies which have developed, managed, and produced projects in music, stage, TV, film and international cultural arenas.
Personal and Work Background
John was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1958. Before the age of 18, john was involved in marketing for Not-For-Profits (MDA, March of Dimes), political campaigns (Nixon/Agnew), community development projects (waste reduction), a published free-lance journalist, marketing intern with historical radio station DC 101, and produced PSA TV commercials in the Baltimore/Washington area.
John’s professional path has included tenures as business owner, business development consultant, creative writer, copy writer, creative art director, public relations, event promoter, bar & restaurateur, and marketing executive and digital technology developer.
John’s first adult career (1977 -1979) was in retail with the Rapid American conglomerate as a general property manager and profit and loss specialists. John managed two properties for the conglomerate and was the youngest general manager in company history at the age of 20. After a four year stint as a flight attendant with US Airways (1979 - 1984), John started his independent business journey by opening satellite TV retail stores in the state of Virginia.
In 1985, John moved to Kansas City and married a young lady from Lawrence, Kansas. The move led to a 10 year stint as a full-time professional singer/guitar player, free-lance promoter as well as number of entrepreneurial endeavors surrounding entertainment, consumer products and marketing. Some of these include ownership in a chain of consumer electronic stores. (To name a few titles: Auto Trends, Mobile FX, Loud and Clear, 621 entertainment, Trackside Café, Wrapped productions, The Untold Truth, C2R360, GFL.tv, M2Mstudios.tv, Pure Sports, Eco-circle, and The Retrofit exchange).
As a PR/Marketing/Promotions specialist, John has been professionally involved with notable international brands in many multi-cultural markets to include: Dr. Phil, Lou Gossett Jr. Bad Company, African Footprint, Alan Greenspan, John Sculley, Carly Fiorina, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President Clinton and many more…). John has developed and produced marketing campaigns with many other name brands in sports, entertainment, and public brands. Also, John is the co-founder of the digital theatrical research project ImmerseVision (digital movie content, development and marketing standards).
Larry J. Durham - Executive Producer
Larrie Durham (born February 25, 1943) was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, but moved to Kansas City, MO. And attended Benjamin Banneker grade school, and R T Coles High School before transferring to Central Jr. and finally Central High School.
It was while attending Central Jr. he would be drawn into what had been his childhood dream of becoming an entertainer. He'd always listened to vocalists Jessie Belvin, Johnny Ace, and female vocalist "Etta James" on the only black owned radio station KPRS- AM Radio. What began while in the fourth grade at Banneker, Larry, as his name was spelled then, formed a singing group with three other classmates, and they performed for other classmates. Although they never named their group, the entertainment bug had bitten Larrie.
Then came “Freshmen Day at Central Jr., where any freshman who thought they were talented, could perform for the entire freshmen class of 1958. “The Twilighters”was what we named our vocal group, four guys and a girl. I knew, when you stole the show, that I had found my calling.
The year was 1965 and “The Idols”, consisting of Roscoe Fisher; Harry Gay; Roamey; and Larry Durham, recorded the single”Check Her Out.” Even though the song was played on KPRS-AM, the very radio station that played the records of “Sam Cooke”;“TheTemptations”; “Smokey & the Miracles”; and “Mary Wells”, only local praise was received. The group was granted an invitation to audition with Berry Gordy’s Motown Record label, and were asked to return Monday morning. Nevertheless they never kept the appointment, signed with the independent label Magic City and the rest is history. After moving to Detroit the group experienced delay upon delay for the long awaited recording session, which never happened. Disappointed, the group members disbanded and went in different directions.
Larry traveled to Los Angeles, California and unknowingly moved into the same apartment complex with Al McKay and John Rayford, two (2) members of the “Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band.” After being introduced to the band’s leader Charles Wright, by their drummer James Gadson, whom he knew and had worked with in Kansas City, Larry was hired as their Road manager, Valet, Equiptment man, and also ran the spotlight. Being with their entourage, he was able to play tambourine on their album and hit singles “Loveland” and “Express Yourself.”
He next worked with the infamous “Ike & Tina Turner”, “Bonnie & Delaney”, traveled to London, England to work as Road manager with his brother Roger Durham’s group “Bloodstone.” Returning to the U.S. and after his brother’s untimely death, Larry was hired as Road manager to “Johnny Nash”.
After signing on with “Bloodstone” once again as their Road manager and then as their Manager, Larry met and joined with John Rittenour to honor John “Buck” O’Neil, the spokesperson and story teller for the “Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.” Having grown up across the street from Don Motley, then CEO and creator of the NLBM, Larry introduced John to Mr. Motley and thus, the “The Untold Truth” documentary was discussed and developed. Two of four producers, Gary Ballen and Gregg Champion were brought in from California, to complete the team and filming began. The team could only work during the evening after the museum was closed for business. This work of art has withstood the test of time and is finally becoming a reality.
Sean Lee - Editing / Web Design
Sean Lee is a very talented and creative multi-media designer. He is easy to work with creatively and on the same page... Bottom line, he get's it!
Sean has been a big part of the team since the beginning and always goes 'the extra mile' to get the job done.
Damon Elliott - Music Producer & Supervisor
Writer/producer Damon Elliott was born and raised in the music and entertainment business. From creating music for several new films to making records with the likes of Pink, Jessica Simpson, Eminem, Mya, Destiny’s Child’s Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland and his mom Dionne Warwick, songwriter/producer Damon Elliott has had one busy career. Now he's adding his touch to the Executive Production Team of Wrapped Productions in the building of The Untold Truth – Negro Baseball History Franchise.
Jay Shanker - Legal
Jay Shanker is a veteran entertainment industry attorney whose practice encompasses all aspects of entertainment, online and new media law. The Oklahoma native joined McAfee & Taft in 2005 after practicing law in Los Angeles for nearly 25 years. Jay's business affairs and legal expertise extends to the development, production and distribution of television and motion picture programming (including international co-productions), recorded music projects, live stage and events, book publishing, online and interactive media, and fine arts representation.
During his career, Jay has represented public, private and not-for-profit companies, along with individual producers, directors, writers, actors, musical artists, industry executives and entrepreneurs. His individual clients have over the years garnered prestigious international awards in every major creative media, including Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Clio award recognition.
Jay is co-author of “Entertainment Law & Business,” published by Juris in 2005. He was also editor of “Law and the Television of the ‘80s,” published by Oceana in 1982, and a contributing editor for “Entertainment Industry Contracts,” first published by Matthew Bender in 1986. He currently serves as an adjunct professor of law at both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University, and has lectured on entertainment industry legal matters at UCLA, USC and the American Film Institute (“AFI”) in Los Angeles and New York.