Whiting was raised in Michigan. He was interested in arts from an early age of three, and was already making films by the time he was ten. He is the grandson of Oscar Lundin, who was Vice Chairman of General Motors, and the nephew of pilot Hugh Ferguson, who flew one of the B-29's which bombed Nagasaki.
Whiting waited several years to be called by Detroit Tigers, but finally decided to move to California and attend the Art Center College of Design, which he attended with Michael Bay, Roger Avery, and Tarsem Singh.
In 1989, after he had graduated from the college, Whiting began his career as an editorial/book cover illustrator. He later combined his loves of art and film, by becoming an art director and production designer at Warner Bros.