» “Cortex” sci-fi movie production

“Cortex” sci-fi movie production

On June 5, 2016

Taking a break from the production of the M4 headset for the OpenBCI Kickstarter, I spent a month working with an amazing cast and crew on my first major movie production. Cortex is the brain-child of writer director Ralph Soll. I created custom headsets to match the plot, which involved scientists researching magnetic stimulation combined with EEG. The story gets pretty fantastic and was a lot of fun. Despite being a small production in Brooklyn, they were able to stir up some fairly major star power. I got to Work closely with Janina Gavankar of True Blood and Far Cry series. It also starred Rene Auberjonois of Deep Space Nine.

On set in the “Print Lab”. Photo by Serena Xuning.

 Over 2 months of pre-production, I produced a lot of renderings as the design evolved.

In the final rush to assemble all three headsets, even Janina joined in on assembly.

The whole production was shot on Red 6K. The guy who managed the giant stack of output hard drives would always grimace when the director would say “just keep it rolling” as the shot was discussed between takes.

We know Janina’s character is a scientist because she is wearing glasses.

Serena, the set photographer, had a case to silence here DSLR, making it look like some seriously heavy equipment.

Tight quarters, with a crew of 50 packed into this little fake bio-research lab.


I really enjoyed diving into this new creative medium. I had only expected to be making the headsets, but it turned out I was on set nearly everyday, as I was the only person capable of operating the headsets. They were very simple devices (all analog) with ‘performative gloves to activate LED’s, but it turned out I was the only one willing to do it.¬† It was a blast to witness the process though, so the experience was well worth it.

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