Reimagined Volume III: Young Thang

Inspired by “The Woman with Two Skins” of Southern Nigeria, the story follows Young Thang, a human girl living within The Community, a place where humans are forbidden; deemed dangerous and ugly. To blend in and survive, Young Thang’s guardians urge her to wear a second skin to transform her appearance. After the pressure to conform pushes Young Thang to the brink, she unknowingly puts her beloved guardians and The Community in peril. Can Young Thang find the courage to reveal her full self and save the very beings that discriminate and suppress her?

  • Melissa Joyner
  • Melissa Joyner
  • Julie Cavaliere
    Co-Directors and Producers
  • Michaela Ternasky-Holland
    Co-Directors and Producers
  • Ryan Genji Thomas
  • Zoe Roellin
  • Julyza Commodore
    Key Cast
    "Young Thang"
  • Debra Wilson
    Key Cast
    "Spider Parent"
  • Nicola Delgado
    Key Cast
    "Professor Beetle"
  • John Eric Bentley
    Key Cast
    "Water Juju"
  • Zoe Roellin
    Lead Artists
  • Tyler Friedel
    Key Collaborators
  • Samia Khalaf
    Key Collaborators
  • Nick Diaz
    Key Collaborators
  • Funilab
    Key Collaborators
  • Lucas Smarker
    Key Collaborators
  • Alissari Kobeiss
    Key Collaborators
  • Simon TaufiQue
    Music By
  • Mawhyah Milton
    Concept Artist
  • Frank Lubsey
    Sound Design and Mix
  • Project Type:
    Virtual Reality
  • Genres:
    Action, Drama, Animation, Fantasy
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2024
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Meta Quest
    Country: Worldwide
Director Biography - Melissa Joyner

Melissa Joyner is a director, writer, actor, vocalist, and professor with an authentic approach. She honed her craft under esteemed mentors, including the iconic Dr. Maya Angelou. Melissa's dedication led her to earn an MFA from The Actors Studio, solidifying a foundation for her multifaceted career.

Her writing and directorial debut, Reimagined Volume iII: Young Thang, also known as The Young Thang with 2 Skins; or, she was not really ugly, but beautiful, as she was born with two skins fable is keen storytelling that blends thoughtful narrative, emotional depth, and strong visual prowess.

Raised in N.C. based in N.Y.C., her screen credits include FX mini-series "Mrs. America", Spectrum Original’s “The Bite”, CBS Networks' Blue Bloods, FBI, Madame Secretary and Evil. You may learn more about her work in the Los Angeles Times, Black Film, Slate Magazine, AYO Magazine, AV Club, The Today Show, The Morning Show, New Normal Rep: Play Date and TEDx Vancouver.

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Director Statement

Reimagined Volume III: Young Thang is about belonging. In today's world, it's all too common to feel the pressure to conform, to put on a metaphorical second skin cloaking your full identity. In Young Thang’s world, a distinct two- and three-dimensional visual style not only immerses the audience in unconventional beauty but also symbolizes the challenges we encounter when our uniqueness is obscured and the transformation the world may reap from embracing our multidimensionality.

The VR animated film is ablaze with the use of color, animation, and dynamic soundscapes, the film immerses the audience in a world that is both real and magical. This project is also a tribute. From the elegiac Dunbar to emboldened Bearden, it draws inspiration from artists who inspire and is an ode to embracing what makes us unique and celebrating all of it!

The third volume of the Reimagined series, also titled The Young Thang with 2 Skins; or, she was not really ugly, but beautiful, as she was born with two skins fable is a call I hope people answer, with an awareness of their own hidden talents, a curiosity to find beauty in all things, especially themselves, and shed their metaphorical second skins, answering, “Yes. This is who I am”.