Private Project

Belonging: NIGHT

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

This episode is a dreamily reimagined excerpt from Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night” (1956). A poetic sailor is at peace in nature but challenged to feel a sense of belonging amongst friends.

Directed, animated and edited by Cory Williams. Co-directed by Jacqueline Cooper. Starring Eric Bear. 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.

  • Cory Williams
    The Mean Kitty Song, Coolest Sound Ever
  • Jacqueline Cooper
    Iron Man 3, Jurassic World, TRON: Legacy, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
  • Eugene O'Neill
    Long Day's Journey into Night
  • Eric Bear
    The HyperWatt Conspiracy
  • Nikki Levy
    OMG!, Don't Tell My Mother
  • Rebecca Miller
  • Eric Bear
    Key Cast
    Annie Hall, Yellowstone:1883
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Television, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Adventure, Romance
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 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:
  • Toronto International Women Film Festival 2022
    Toronto, Ontario
    Winner - Best Animation
  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival 2022
    Providence, Rhode Island
    United States
  • Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival 2022
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Montreal International Animation Film Festival - ANIMAZE 2022
    Montreal, Quebec
    Official Selection
  • The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction & Supernatural Festival 2022
    New York, New York
    United States
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Cory Williams, Jacqueline Cooper

Cory Williams is a pioneer in the world of online video as the world's first professional YouTuber. With millions of subscribers and billions of views across his 5 unique channels, Cory uses his filmmaking skills and technical abilities to continue pioneering new fronts. In 2018, he shifted his focus into full-time virtual production.

Jacqueline Cooper, an Epic Fellow, has been creating high-end imagery for movies, TV, commercials, music videos and live events for decades since film school. Jacqueline has worked for the world’s top studios including ILM, Digital Domain, and MPC on many blockbusters including three of the top 10 grossing films of all time including Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows II, Tron and Jurassic World.

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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.