Eric Bear 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.
Rebecca Miller is a project & operations management and digital marketing expert. She spent the last decade at a NYC-based digital marketing agency as an Account Director – leading the strategic direction of integrated digital campaigns for national brands and shaping project management processes and organizational standards. Rebecca enjoys creating community and inspiring positive change.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Southern California, Cristina Mercado was motivated by the death of her teenage son to leave her corporate sales job and pursue her dream to inspire and uplift others who face similar challenges. With her partner Lance Mungia she co-founded Waking Universe Films and co-produced Third Eye Spies and “We Are Not Alone” for Media 1091. During the pandemic, she became determined to bring her artistic inspiration into the digital realms of 3D character design and motion capture using real-time animation in Unreal Engine.
With the episode Belonging: DUCK, Cristina makes her directorial debut.
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.
He directed the episode Belonging: WATER and co-directed Belonging: NIGHT.
Frederico Junquiera is a Brazilian 3D animator and motion capture (mocap) director based in Nashville, TN. Passionate about theater and technology, Fred combines his unique perspective from both sides of the camera in his work and is a firm believer in pushing creative boundaries. In 2013 Fred co-founded Brazil’s first mocap studio, Hero Live, where he spent over 6 years directing commercial and audiovisual projects for some of Brazil’s largest national brands. Most recently he worked as a facial animator at CounterPunch Studios for the NBA 2K22 title and Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, and studied with renowned industry professionals to expand his skillset in previsualization, character animation, and performance capture directing and acting.
He directed the episode Belonging: FIRE.
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.
She co-directed the episode Belonging: NIGHT.
Lance Mungia grew up working in the fields of California’s Central Valley. Inspired by his combination of Mexican, Spanish & Oakie heritage, he started documenting the immigrant experience in 16mm short films including Garden For Rio, featured at Sundance in 1996. Lance is the writer/producer/director of Dimension Films The Crow: Wicked Prayer, Media 1091’s Third Eye Spies, and his debut 1998 feature Six String Samurai, just re-released in 2021, called a “startlingly visual work by a tyro-talent” by Variety’s Len Klady. Lance also wrote, edited, and produced The Phenomenon, the highest grossing UFO documentary of all time. He has won awards at international festivals including Slamdance, Toronto, Chicago, The Hamptons, and South by Southwest.
Alongside his partner, Cristina Mercardo, Lance co-founded the production company Waking Universe Films which focuses on real-time virtual production. He strongly believes real time animation technology is the most exciting thing to come along in his 26-year filmmaking history.
He directed Belonging: FAREWELL.
Luke Hill is an Austin, TX based director, writer, and actor with a rich and varied resume; from producing and filming television in India to working as a traveling entertainer in Europe and the Middle East. While primarily working in live production, Luke has recently turned his focus to animation, creating the Mirror Valley animated stories YouTube channel. When he is not working on a project, he spends his time helping others as an acting teacher and mindfulness coach.
He directed the episode Belonging: ROSALINE.
Nick Jushchyshyn, 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.
He directed the episode Belonging: HERE.
Romeo615videos, CEO of VirtualVidz LLC, is an Epic Games Mega Grant recipient and content creator for Grand Theft Auto 5. He specializes in urban content creation via virtual production real-time pipeline development, level design, composure, and sequencing. Most recent notable works include directing and creating content for interviews, in-studio performances, and videos for clients including Eminem’s (Marshal Mathers) radio station Shade 45, StreetHeatTV and World Star HipHop.
He directed and starred in Belonging: PARTNERS.
Solomon Jagwe is an award-winning film director from East Africa, Uganda. Co-Founder of Sowl Studios, Solomon is the creator and director of the award-winning African children’s animated series, The Adventures of Nkoza and Nankya. With over 20 years of experience as a video game content creator, cinematic animator, storyboard artist and film maker, he is also an author, 3D artist, concept artist, illustrator and animator, and loves creating with a storytelling perspective. Solomon has directed 2 award-winning films made with Unreal Engine and has worked as an art director and creative for several VR gaming studios. Solomon is passionate about creating art that makes a difference in people’s lives and strives to make the world a better place to live in.
He directed and starred in the episode Belonging: FICTION.
Webb Pickersgill is the Motion Capture Director at Deck Nine Games. Webb was the performance director for Deck Nine’s most recent release Life is Strange: True Colors, which earned 4 BAFTA nominations including the performances for Actor in a Lead Role for Erika Mori and Actor in a Supporting Role for Han Soto. Prior to that Webb worked as the co-game director for Life is Strange: Before the Storm, which was nominated for a BAFTA for Games Beyond Entertainment. Previous experience includes 10 years as an independent film cinematographer, editor and director, 10 years as a systems engineer and software engineer, and a few years as a professional bassist.
He directed the episode Belonging: TRUST.
Performance Capture Actors
Babak Beheshti • Carol Hickey • Catarina Rodrigues • Debi Derryberry • Deborah Hay • Demian Gordon • Gwendolyn Kelso • Jackie Luke • James McKay • Janna Bear • Jason Phelps • Jon Fitzgerald • Jordan Price • Josh Baer • Justin Giddings • Katie Jo Turk • Kim Jackson Davis • Kris Maric • Marsha Gould • Nick Romick • Pema Bear • Richard Gould • Serdal Yeter • Shazzy Gustafson–Angulo • Steven Bear • Tracy Middendorf • Victoria Atkin