Donnie Ocean, Mean Cat Entertainment & The Nonprofit Acceleration Fund
WHO? Donnie Ocean
ROLE: Founder & CEO of both – Mean Cat Entertainment & The Nonprofit Acceleration Fund
The Nonprofit Acceleration Fund: “I just began a nonprofit this year. I’ve been working a lot on that in conjunction with Mean Cat Entertainment” says Don. “It’s titled The Creative Accelerator of Nonprofits. We use multimedia and virtual reality as a tool to draw public awareness to humanitarian organizations, or groups doing great things to alleviate human suffering.
Mean Cat Entertainment: We produce cutting edge visual effects systems for film. Our systems are designed to be plug-and-play for filmmakers, saving production time, lowering costs, and increasing creative control on set. We are currently in talks about partnering with the USC Film school in Los Angeles.
HOW? “These two organizations are a dream come true,” Don explains. “I have so much room to excel. My Mean Cat Entertainment team and I are able to gift powerful tools our beloved film industry. And my team at The Creative Accelerator of Nonprofits and I have the luxury of strengthening communities through social responsibility, a tremendously under-rated reward of success. I love both of these companies and see them the tip of an iceberg, only a beginning for what is to come.”
DON & THE FUTURE: “I see Mean Cat Entertainment partnering with higher education, USC, NYU, Champlain, ect. I see our organization creating local jobs for Vermont tech-industry. I see us expanding into art services for movies, training, and original content creation. As for The Creative Accelerator of Nonprofits, I see us gaining momentum very quickly. We have written programs to teach Virtual Reality Public Journalism to under-privaledged Junior High and High School students. We have written programs to help address starvation in 3 African countries and programs to help provide Haitian families with clean water. I see us implementing all of them.
BIGGEST WIN IN THE PAST YEAR: “Just this month, we came out of development on our Mean Cat Effects Station, (hardware and software) a tool that allows filmmakers real-time viewing of effects, animations, composited actors and virtual locations on set before post-production. This increases creative control on a level that has never before been available to the indie-film industry. This system is full circle production tool, saving time and money in pre-production, production, and post-production. We are very proud of our design. Academy Award Winner Michael Fink, VFX Supervisor of X-men, The Golden Compass, Blade Runner, and many more sated, “this system is outstanding, very useful.”
Our Nonprofit began a trial run with Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, an extraordinary camp for kids that have had to deal with the struggles of being diagnosed with cancer. “ These kids are just full of love, resilient and inspiring beyond anything I have ever known.” Don says. “We made a virtual reality experience to enable kids at the UVM Children’s Hospital to attend camp too, though they are too sick to be there in person. As a permanent installation at the Children’s hospital, they can experience the fun of camp without being there, everything from zipliness to visiting wild animals. The camp itself is more of a giant family than anything else, a group that sticks together through the think and the thin. Some staff members have been going to camp for over 30 years, having started as campers.”
Our organization also won the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award for the virtual reality experience Spare Change, a 360-film about chronic homelessness in the inner city. We were given a large scale premiere at the King Edward Hotel, a 300 person live screening in VR headsets. Admission was free, thanks to our partnership with the Healthy Housing Foundation”. This subject matter hits home for Don, who spent nearly a decade homeless as a youth.
WHAT WERE YOU FOR HALLOWEEN? “Rockstar, of course”… ‘nuff said.
FUN: “Making movies with my kids is the bomb. I play the drums and have been messing around with the synthesizer… I love to skate and if I can make to the beach I surfing is my religion”.