Dave Hackney - The Digital Cortex


Dave Hackney has 20 years' experience in the advertising industry, originally for Saatchi & Saatchi - Sydney. Building on his technology background, this is where he first developed an interest in photography, video, animation and post production.

When he returned to the UK he worked for Gratterpalm (now CreativeRace) for just over 10 years, setting up their in-house edit suite and internal video production department.

From there he became Head of Digital which is where his fused the technology background with video and animation to spearhead the digital signage/digital content production offering, finally assuming the role of Head of Digital Insight and closing the loop with the addition of audience measurement and customer behaviour analytics.

In late 2015 Dave left CreativeRace to set up The Digital Cortex - which now offers a full range of services and consultancy in:

  • Cinematography
  • Video Production
  • Time-lapse Videography
  • Motion Graphics Animation
  • App Development
  • VR / AR Development
  • Digital Retail Experiences
  • Stills Photography
  • Retail Audience Analytics
  • Visual Saliency Analysis
  • Vox Pops Research
  • Focus Group Research


We offer a full spectrum of digital services to Agencies, Brands and Retailers

Content Creation

Video Production

Motion Graphics

Time-lapse Videography


Anonymous Audience Measurement

Digital Insight Analytics

Visual Saliency Analysis

Retail Innovation

Retail Digital Signage

Digital Out of Home

Interactive Content


Having worked with Dave for a number of years I can confidently say that he is a respected, highly skilled and creative complement to my video production team.

My client base is varied and their projects can be challenging and often need an additional application of technical ability and creative thinking, skills that Dave can call upon and apply with ease.

His ability to think outside my initial thoughts and help me secure new projects is a very valuable asset. Involving him at the initial stage of a project and throughout the production process guarantees consistent continuity and results in an excellent final outcome.

Dave thrives on a challenge and I know when confronted with either a creative or technical issue, he has the patience and experience to offer and action a solution.

I enjoy Dave’s conversation and intellect and always look forward to working alongside him.

A great complement to any project that requires fresh thinking, technical ability and personal skills. Dave is a true professional that I would not hesitate to highly recommend.
Andy Green - Video Producer, Video Production Explained
Dave provided me with some one-to-one, face-to-face tuition in using FCPX - it is evident that he has a deep knowledge of it. Dave is professional, friendly, caring and relaxed. He listens and communicates clearly and is excellent at assessing understanding. He is patient and clear at putting essential knowledge into place. Dave's support has been ongoing; when I was floundering with an urgent issue at a later date he was available to support me over the phone with an immediate resolution. The time spent with him has been of tremendous value.
Jo Parker - Editor, Independent filmmaker
I have worked with Dave on projects over a significant number of years.
I am a film maker myself, and if I ever have a project of significance I immediately contact Dave to see if he can help. Dave has helped me to deliver projects for several Yorkshire food producers, and more recently for a project in conjunction with the Royal Armouries and Leeds University. I know that Dave will always add another level of professionalism to whatever I do.
He has an unbridled passion for detail, and has the ability to deliver both beautiful art based films and functional corporate films. I would not hesitate to recommend him to ANY company.
Russ Jeanes - Director, Artisan Films
Dave’s one of those rare individuals who has a genuine grasp of both the artistic and technical elements of film-making. He is a tenacious problem-solver and a cool, calm voice of reason. If you’ve got an important project and you really need a safe pair of hands - Dave’s your man!
Paul Renhard - Creative Director, Tadah Media
The nature of our work (corporate film production) means that our small film production team often find ourselves in unusual locations, working for demanding clients to deliver challenging projects and Dave is always the first call we'll make when we're putting a crew together.

His technical expertise coupled with a real can-do approach makes him a perfect team player. Whatever the project, wherever the location, Dave brings a level of professionalism, quality focus and a positive outlook that makes him a real pleasure to work with and results in films that are great to watch.
Morgan Wilson - Business Development Director, Juice Learning
One of the key reasons we use David is that not only are we getting high-end videography but he adds a further dimension by assisting with the art direction during the shoot as well as excellent post production skills, something we have found the run-of-the-mill video companies fail to grasp.
We can also be confident on shoots that David represents our company and brand in the highest professional manner.
Neil Worthington - Managing Director, WorthingtonBrown Creative Agency
Dave is the Swiss army knife of suppliers, with a solution for any challenge, be it technical or tactical. He has worked with us across a number of projects in recent years for a range of clients with wildly different needs and is often the first name on our team sheet.

It can be easy to involve a supplier towards the delivery stage of a project, where Dave’s unique range of skills and experience sees us involving him from the off, where he can add infinite value from the scoping and helping to form the brief, to flagging potential challenges and solutions through to the final delivery.
Ben Norman - Account Director, Principals Agency
These days the world of professional videographers and cinematographers is absurdly competitive. And yet, amidst this maelstrom of wannabes, journeymen and the odd sprinkling of genuine talent, Dave Hackney stands out. His keen eye, technical knowhow and experience offer clients like me a guaranteed high level of product. His work on my feature film Polterheist enhanced its award-winning quality. Highly recommended.
Dave Gilbank - Director, Tadah Media
[Dave/Digital Cortex] have always delivered excellent quality video content for Cutting Edge Knives. We appreciate not only [Dave’s/Digital Cortex’s] speed of delivery but also the direction and advice that’s given when we need video content. Always happy to recommend.
James Young - Creative Director, Cutting Edge Knives / Offroadcode Ltd
The Digital Cortex are well used within the creative community. David's creativity, organisation and passion for delivering standout AV means he is in high demand by both agencies and clients. He is also one of the quickest thinkers on a shoot getting me out of trouble on many occasions!
Chris McCash - Director, Breadwinner Agencies
I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Dave on many shoots over the last couple of years. His technical prowess is only matched by his steady and calm nature even after 4 hours' sleep with a 12-hour day ahead. A keen editor as well as camera operator, he has the knowledge and foresight to shoot everything you need on the day for the edit.
Rob Wingfield - Sound Recordist / Sound Designer, Starchild Audio Ltd.
Dave has been a pleasure to work with. He is very professional and adaptable to our ever-changing demands. He has produced some excellent videography for us; his knowledge, experience and client service levels are superb.
Juliette White - Group Account Director, Live & Breathe
Dave's engineering background and his eye for composition have been the ideal combination when assisting my time-lapse and live-action filming work on construction projects. He is creative with a continuous stream of ideas through all stages of production. He is methodical with preparation and forethought. He is a technician when analysing shooting conditions and edits. Since Dave went freelance I've seen him bring these qualities to projects of all sizes from small corporate videos to feature-length films.

Together Dave and I have worked and experimented on video projects for nearly ten years, and we've supported each other's fledgling video businesses through the last six. He remains the first person I call for quick advice or to assist on any stage of a production.
Anthony Elliott - Director, Construct Films
We have had the pleasure of working with Dave on a number of digital communication projects. Dave is one of those people you meet who is full of great ideas, positivity and enthusiasm..... but more than that, he actually delivers. The main challenge in this sector is considering all of the aspects, not just the current trendy and mainly unproven technologies. From a client perspective, it is essential to consider the commercial aspects, where the value is and how best to build on this. This is Dave's real strength. He takes a wider perspective on all aspects of projects and builds excellent relationships.
Louise Richley - Managing Director, Beyond Digital Solutions
Dave Hackney is a master of his craft. His diversity within the digital discipline is seen in any of the projects he has worked on. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside Dave on projects and he has also worked for me because, quite frankly he is the best at what he does! It is like having a marketing mindreader at your disposal who knows what your clients specifically want. David is able to create high-end, visual images that engage with your clients, he is now also able to use scientific and psychological principals to get the most commercial value.
Barrington Powell - Owner & Producer, CopperPear Productions
I have known and worked with David Hackney for around eight years. I first met him when I was Creative Director at Gratterpalm (now CreativeRace).

Dave was head of IT and certainly knew his stuff, managing IT for a company of around 100 people, two thirds of whom were producing digital design and artwork.

Dave was also a talented film-maker and over the five years my creative partner and I were there, along with Dave, we established a small video production facility, with a fully functioning digital edit suite, to produce video content for clients and new business pitches.

Since leaving CreativeRace, he was the first person we thought of for IT support even though he moved on from this. He has recently designed and installed a new server system for my company with cloud back-up; we are persuasive types and he sorted it out for us.

Dave is hard-working and conscientious and a thoroughly nice chap to boot! I would have no hesitation in recommending him.
Pete Camponi - Creative Director, Us & Them Ideas Ltd.
During the many years I have known Dave, he has always been totally professional, hard-working and loyal.
He has demonstrated great technical knowledge with regard to IT generally and more recently his talent and knowledge within the video and motion graphics arena are a credit to him and his passion for what he excels at.
In addition to his technical abilities, Dave is intelligent, has a quick wit and is an astute observer of people, making him great fun to work with too.
Dave has always brought commerciality and creativity to any project he has worked on and I would have no hesitation in recommending him for work.
Helen Saunders - Head of HR, Clarion Solicitors
We have worked with David on various challenging projects over the last several years, all of which required a deep understanding off different technologies and the interactivity between each. David provides an in-depth knowledge covering many disciplines which is invaluable when dealing with challenging client requirements, but more importantly it is done with an enthusiastic and pragmatic approach and has always been delivered on time and in budget. We continue to work closely with David on many projects and would not hesitate to recommend him as a partner to other companies.
Alan Hopkins - Director / Owner, Visionpoint Technologies Limited


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