Creative Cortex

Visual Storytelling Design & Production

Mind Probe

It is here where all the synaptic highways begin that form the neural network which powers The Creative Cortex. This is the sector that dictates, oversees and controls all creative and non-creative functions pertaining to spinning tales and manipulating reality across visual mediums.

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Filling A Gap

So you have an awesome idea for a project but it requires an illustrator, a videographer, a photographer or a graphic designer (or all of them) to help tell your story in a visual medium whether it is static or moving imagery. One problem, you cannot afford a huge fancy agency or production company and you don't have the time or desie to screen multiple freelancers who may or may not work out. What do you do?

You should call upon The Creative Cortex because not all great stories require a huge production nor huge price tag. With a little critical thinking, a project can still turn out great even when you are broke. Skip the search, TCC has everyone and everything you need to start telling your story.

TCC is was born from determination, persistence, patience and self-funded. Sound familiar?

Internal Structure

We are average people who just happen to know a few things about filmmaking, photography and art and design on a small budget without sacrificing quality or the story. We have the necessary equipment, tools, hardware and software to accomplish just about any project thrown at us. If we are missing anything, even a specific skill set, we will obtain it very quickly.

To keep overhead low which conversely keeps rates low, TCC does not reside in a fancy commercial space. It has teamed up with a variety of contractors who are specialists in their fields and work out of their own spaces. If we are to be a company that is here to serve the regular person with a great idea but is hindered by money and resources, then we need to perpetuate that image by operating in a manner that is relatable and similar to our client's reality.

Serving Up Options

While TCC is fully capable of producing a project from start to finish, you may not need all the kit and kaboodle. TCC offers an "a la carte" menu from which to select specific services and only pay for those specific services. If you only one service, great, no problem, that is the idea behind the a la carte option.

We offer Concept Art, Digital Illustration and Painting, Storyboards, Video and Photo Shoots, Video and Photo Editing, Motion Graphics, Post Effects and Styling with After Effects and Graphic Design. We also can provide original music to any project.

Wow!, What a list, and you probably think we can't possible do all of that.But we can! Our team is comprised of specialists in their field and are contributing their time on these projects.

Range of Capabilities

While producing large scale projects are undeniably good for the portfolio, smaller ones in greater numbers has a bigger impact. THe bigger the scale and budget, the less creative and personal they become.

Video projects can range from (but not limited to) interviews, video resumes, actor's reels, skits & shorts, scripted web series, documentaries, small events, corporate marketing, educational, instructional, commercials and infomercials.

Photography projects can range from (but not limited to) architecture, events, people, products, and landscapes.

Art and Design projects can range from (but not limited to) concept art, storyboards, digital illustrations, and graphic design.

Being More Accesible

To demonstrate our efforts to attract members of our communities, TTC offers sizeable discounts to High School and College Students (and up to 2 years after graduation), Disabled, and Seniors. It does not matter of you are young, old, or handicaped, everyone has a story to tell and we want to give it the opportunity to be seen and heard.

Another effort of ours to branch out further to more people is collaborating and working remotely. Thanks to the internet and the smart phone, we can now virtually cross state lines or even the ocean to work with clients. For now, though, we will stay within state lines for video and photography projects until we can financially expand further. Art and Design projects we can produce for individuals and companies that are outside of California.

Preporatory Take-Aways

What you will experience and learn while working with us will prepare you for the experience of working with a larger agency or production house one day. The onc difference is that we may not pamper with fancy food and beverage (though if you want to bring some to the meetings that would be awesome!). At times we will offer constructive criticism and suggestions for changes regarding certain decisions and processes in order to stay on schedule. But we are here to educate you in such aprocesses, and encourage you along the way, even if you trip and fall at times.

While we may have cut some corners we have not cut all corners. Production Schedules, Contractual Agreements, Payment Schedules, Releases, Copyright Filing, and Licensing will be adhered to the same as any other agency or production.

Network Architect

Matthew C. Hightshoe

Founder / Artist / Designer / Photographer / Videographer / Post Production

At the age of 7, I was caught watching Poltergeist on HBO at 3am in 1982. Who knew that such an awesome implosion would such an explosion of inquiries and imagination in my young impressionable mind. Ever since, my quest for knowledge, specifically on "how things are made", would begin.

I am self taught when it comes to film making. My youth was spent studying film and animation not from schooling but from magazines, TV specials, books, and eventually the internet. Additional interests and professions almost embarked on were film music composition or architecture. While in college, several courses for film production and theory were taken, however, they offered nothing additional to what was already had learned on my own up to that point.

Deciding to not pursue any additional courses in film, I chose to explore opera scene design. It would be these courses that harnessed my ability to tell a story on a purely visual level. I could fulfill the dream of being an architect, it feel like a film production and to have it marry to music. This set the stage (pun intended) for becoming a Concept and Storyboard Artist, but I wanted to do more. I wanted to tell my stories as well as others across a variety of visual mediums.

Matthew's Role

  • "I am the central cortex that ensures proper functionality across the entire Negro-network. The process from the ideation stage to final fruition is coordinated, managed and troubleshooted by me. In short, I am the stressed out, big fat meanie of a boss who whips his team members when they fall out of line."

Matthew's Technical Skills

  • Project Research & Development
  • Concept Art & Design
  • Storyboards & 2D Animatics
  • Motion Graphics, Compositing, Color Correction & Post Clean-Up
  • Motion Graphics, Compositing and Digital VFX
  • Graphic Design, Digital & Traditional Illustration

The Tools Matthew Uses

  • Adobe CC Suite 2015
  • Manga Studio (Now Clip Studio)
  • Sketch Book Pro 7
  • Storyboard Pro 4.2
  • Maya & 3D Studio Max Suite 2016
  • Anime Studio Pro 11
  • Final Draft 9

Video Sector

James Emanuel Stuart

Contributing Photographer / Videographer / Editor

The latest addition of contributing talent. While we write something more in depth we shall provide this brief overview. He one to school for his skill sets and he has produced some cool stuff on his own. He came as a referral fro a friend and has been working out quite well.

Jame's Role

  • "He is writing something clever and we will post it shortly."

Jame's Technical Skills

  • Photography / Videography
  • Lighting Design
  • Audio Recording
  • Editing

The Tools Andrew Uses

  • Adobe CC Suite 2016
  • Canon HD SLRs
  • Lighting Kits
  • Audio Recording Kits
  • Green Screen

Andrew Johnston

Contributing Photographer / Videographer / Editor

Caught reading an Aquaman comic at age 3, the image of Black Manta pleading for mercy has haunted him to this day.

Then seeing “Jaws” in the theater when it was released at the tender age of five, Andrew has been writing short stories, drawing comics and illustrating adventure stories ever since Elementary school.

In 1995, his short “Machines” was featured in the Taos Film Festival and he completed a feature-length, experimental narrative, produced at The College of Santa Fe, with Stan Breakage quoted as saying, “It caused me… physical pain.” Since moving to Los Angeles, he has written eight feature film screenplays.

His film heroes are John Carpenter, Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott and David Lynch. They have pioneered modern cinema as well as bringing unique visions into the mainstream. Actor, sculptor, screenwriter and conceptual artist, Andrew Johnston has worked in all areas of the entertainment industry.

Andrew's Role

  • "I pick up this thing called a camera. aim it annoyingly at people and click a couple of buttons and with any luck, it produces photos and video footage. I use digital tape to attach everything together in a sequence of moving images. Oh, and I bring my flashlight and tape recorder on site just in case we need additional lights and audio recorded."

Andrew's Technical Skills

  • Videography and Cinematography
  • Lighting Design
  • Audio Recording
  • Editing
  • Illustrator

The Tools Andrew Uses

  • Adobe CC Suite 2015
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Canon HD SLRs
  • Lighting Kits
  • Audio Recording Kits
  • Green Screen

Music and Editing Sector

Josh Burns

Contributing Composer, Editor and Copy Editor

Currently being written and will be posted soon.

Josh's Role

  • "He is writing a clever quote write now."

Josh's Technical Skills

  • Music Composition
  • MIDI Mock-Ups and Demos
  • Piano Player
  • Video Editing
  • Story and Copy Editing

The Tools Josh Uses

  • Garage Band
  • MIDI Synth Keyboards and Samplers
  • Final Draft
  • MS Word

Division Expansion

TCC for now will remain a service provider but it has plans for expansion. We are working on creating a whole production division that is dedicated to developing original content for the web. This would range from documentaries, dou-series, feature films, and a variety of shorts and skits whether they be live action, animated or both. We would also produce our own special effects for our projects. Everything we produce will be done so in-house.

Real-World Preparatory Internships

The idea of the traditional intern getting coffee, doing errands or filing would not exist as there is nothing to learn nor any practical application of any skills. The intern would work directly on a project in a specific skill set and get to use it for real-world portfolio work as well as school credit. Essentially, allowing for a student to come out of school with some real world portfolio work (not student work) with which to enter the job market.

Distribution and Ownership

We want to keep our intellectual property ours. If another studio or channel wants to use it they will have to license it from us. We are working on a new way of keeping the projects protected and controlled by us and its creato rs as well as all distribution whether physical media or streaming services.

Ownership of intellectual property is a huge issue for us. Too often creatives are forced to sign over all their ownership of a project they created for the sake of profit and success. The creator should be the one to dictate (under professional guidance) the terms of use, profit, licensing, etc. which will determine the life cycle and fate of their creation.