You know those ‘aha moments’?
You meet someone by chance and you’re not sure how, but you know that a new door has been opened. Or you’re struggling over a problem and you stumble across a missing piece of information and the solution suddenly becomes clear.
If you have, then you understand Startled Cat.
And our ‘aha moment’ happened by bringing together the right people, at the right time, for the right reasons. We discovered a shared passion for the capacity of storytelling to create real and lasting change. And we brought together a set of talents to bring stories to life in new, immersive ways.
We’ve set out with a big goal: to be a global leader in fostering talent and creating immersive stories that facilitate positive change. And we think we have the leadership, team, capabilities, and understanding of where immersive stories can take us to make it happen.
But we also can’t get there without you. So we invite you to join us in telling your story.
In her “first” life Jena Ball is a writer, educator, and storyteller who has tackled everything from technical papers and textbooks to features for national publications and personal essays. Her love of stories, told both in words and images, drew her to Second Life where she has been exploring how narratives connect us all.
Ball has recently focused her energies on creating immersive and engaging Story Quests designed to bring participants into and help co-create personal stories. Her work as the Coordinator of the HIV/AIDS sim, Karuna, was the basis of The Virtual Worlds Story Project’s groundbreaking film and Story Quest, “The Life and Times of Uncle D,” which takes audiences into the life of an HIV-positive person known simply as Uncle D.
Martin J. Keltz
Emmy award winning producer, Martin J. Keltz has been involved in education and children’s media throughout his career. As the Co-founder and President of Scholastic Productions, Inc. (SPI, 1978-1995), he was the Senior Vice President in charge of New Media at Scholastic, Inc. His vision helped make Scholastic, the largest publisher of children’s literature in the English-speaking world, into a global media company.
From The Baby-Sitters Club to Goosebumps and The Magic School Bus, the top-rated Emmy and Annenberg award-winning animated series, Scholastic was at the forefront of developing educational media content for children and families in traditional and new media during his tenure. Groundbreaking projects in new media with companies like Microsoft to produce educational multimedia products related to the science-based animated series, The Magic School Bus and a traveling museum collaborative that brought science and fun-learning to kids across America.
Among his many production credits, Keltz was the co-executive producer of the International Emmy Award-winning series My Secret Identity and the critically acclaimed, big-budget feature films, The Indian in the Cupboard (Paramount and Columbia Pictures) and The Baby-Sitters Club (with Columbia and Beacon Films). During his tenure, SPI received over 75 national and international awards, including numerous Emmys, Cable Aces, ACT, Cine Gold Eagle, Ollie, Gemini Awards and was regularly honored with Parents Choice Awards for creating “the best in children’s media.”
Following his career at Scholastic, Keltz continued to produce innovative content and programming. For example, with Stuart Samuels Productions, based in Toronto, he spearheaded and co-executive produced the international specials, Urban Wild, for Discovery Canada. As Executive Vice President of GS New Media he worked with Sun Microsystems (U.S. and Israel) Protocol Entertainment, Inc. (Canada) and Crawford Productions, Pty, Ltd (Australia) to develop an online virtual world for children based on the popular children’s book and television series The Saddle Club.
Recently, working with Jena Ball (Jenaia Morane) he helped develop and launch The Virtual Worlds Story Project, which creates educational programs and helps groups form communities of practice using TVWSP’s unique Questing model.
Doug Thompson brings over 20 years of brand strategy, market research, advertising, and digital media experience to Startled Cat.
Thompson formed Remedy Communications in 1998, a full service agency providing brand strategy, training, education, content services and creative. Thompson formed AOBI: Academy of Bright Ideas in 2010.