Joseph Gordon-Levitt at Sundance: 'I Can Work with Anybody Who Wants to Work with Me'
When Movieline met up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt yesterday at Sundance's New Frontier area, he taped a video for Movieline readers to convey just how much he wants to work with you at his site hitRECord.org. As you'll be able to tell from our extended talk, he really means it! Gordon-Levitt is evangelical about discovering new artists online and collaborating with them, regardless of whether they're a first-timer. (Hey, it certainly worked for Marc Webb!) Here are some of the highlights from our conversation:
First of all, it's pronounced "hit ree-cord," not "hit reck-ord," right?
It is, although it's both. [Laughs] I usually say "hit ree-cord," but we call everything "records," whether it's video, a photo, a piece of writing. Now, in new media, everything's just ones and zeroes. The distinction between the different types of media is less and less important. A photo is recorded light. A song is recorded sound. A novel is recorded words. They're all records.
You were touting hitRECord at Sundance last year. How has it changed since then?
It's changed a lot, actually. Last year it was something that I was really just doing informally, for fun. In 2010, we've really started a full-fledged professional production company. Here at Sundance, we're producing all sorts of short-form media, and we're going to screen the results of our collaborations next door in the micro-cinema. Right now, anybody can come and collaborate with us on these projects. I've decided that because we want to do more and more ambitious projects -- like this room, for example -- I decided that we should turn it into a for-profit company.
And what progress have you made on that front?
We're actually going to make money doing this because we got sponsored by G-Technology, who makes hard drives by Hitachi. They've been kind enough to sponsor us and be a patron to this artistic endeavor. The people that come onto the site and collaborate with us on these projects can make money -- there's $10,000 up for grabs. Once we screen everything, we'll go through and see who did what and who deserves what share of that $10,000. That's our basic business model of how we're going to be a for-profit production company.
I see some influences on hitRECord...there's definitely a Tumblr vibe to it, for example. What does it have in common with other sites, and in what ways does it take that internet language and apply it differently?
That's a really good question. I don't really consider hitRECord to be so much a web company. Tumblr is a really great site and I use it all the time to connect with friends, to show people things I like on the internet, but hitRECord, the website, isn't really about the website. It's about the art we're making. We use our website to come and collaborate together, whereas on Facebook or Tumblr or Twitter, those are more facilities. This is a production company, it's my production company, and it's a tool I'm using to make the art I want to make. I want to open up my collaborative opportunities so that I can work with anybody who wants to work with me.
[Photo Credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images]