Private Project

Belonging: HERE

Belonging is a series of journeys into the emotional lives of MetaHumans.

In this episode, on a drive along the Mediterranean coast, a loving father attempts to connect with his gay son by revealing a long-held secret.

Directed, animated and edited by visual effects educator, Nick Jushchyshyn. Starring Eric Bear as both father and son. Produced under the SAG•AFTRA micro-budget project agreement.

BACKGROUND: Isolated during quarantine, tech entrepreneur and actor, Eric Bear, craved connection and creative collaboration. He assembled a team of animators and filmmakers from around the world to explore what might be possible using performance capture and Epic Games’ MetaHumans for Unreal Engine. They embarked on a fully-remote experiment aimed at answering the following questions: Can virtual people effectively express authentic emotions? Can audiences be touched, moved and inspired by performances captured using free software and off-the-shelf hardware? Can multiple artists direct, shoot and produce high-quality episodes from their home studios during a global pandemic?

10 episodes. 10 directors. 25 MetaHumans. 3 live actors. 3 voice actors. 1 engine. Lots of love.

  • Nick Jushchyshyn
    The Last Airbender, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Eric Bear
    The HyperWatt Conspiracy
  • Eric Bear
    The HyperWatt Conspiracy
  • Nikki Levy
    OMG!, Don't Tell My Mother
  • Rebecca Miller
  • Eric Bear
    Key Cast
    "Arthur / Josh"
    Annie Hall, Yellowstone:1883
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Television, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Romance, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 22, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Motion Capture via Unreal Engine
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival 2022
    Providence, Rhode Island
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
    Fort Lauderdale
    United States
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Nick Jushchyshyn

Nick, an Epic Fellow, worked in visual effects for feature film, television and commercials for a decade before transitioning to teaching at Drexel University. After directing Drexel's Animation & VFX program for six years, he launched and grew the university's first program in VR to what is now a major in Digital Media and Virtual Production. In addition to his industry work at visual effects studios including Digital Domain, Nick has worked for Epic Games as an online course author and a consulting Unreal Engine instructor for engagements with Tribeca Films and One Club for Creativity. Nick also shares his knowledge of virtual production through his "Pixel Prof" YouTube channel.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Eric Bear [EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & SERIES LEAD] is a classically-trained film actor known for a meme-generating role in “Annie Hall” and recurring on the Yellowstone prequel “1883” on Paramount+.

As a kinesthetic artist, Bear specializes in primate motion capture and authentic, grounded expression. Prior to returning to filmmaking, Bear was a tech entrepreneur known for creating award-winning interactive media (e.g., Best Animation at SXSW Interactive 1999).

Bear’s invention of seamless video expansion in 1994 was popularized by "The Matrix” – enabling DVD viewers to “follow the white rabbit” to access behind the scenes footage. This technology has been licensed to all major motion picture studios in the USA and top consumer electronics companies in the world. Bear’s 100+ hardware and software patents also include body-based solutions to motion sickness in virtual reality. Products based on Bear’s inventions are in use every day by millions of people and thousands of companies.

Bear is a partner at Capital Factory Ventures and the founder of HyperWatt® Productions.

Additional episode screeners and details are also available.