Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt created a collaborative community online in 2004 called HitRecord, where artists are encouraged to post their talents online. The website helps promote local artists as well, and artists are often given challenges or creative ideas to help promote their talents, and the current challenge right now is called “Play Along.”
According to the website, each week on Monday, a guest curator selects a simple beat, melody, or sound to start the session. Musicians and vocalists are encouraged to add to it, remix it, or play along with it, however they want. Each session lasts a week and participants have until Saturday to contribute to the project. Joseph tweets about his website regularly, as shown below.
Gordon-Levitt, who is also a musician, is known to many as the youngest alien on Third Rock From the Sun, but he has proved to be a very versatile actor since he shot to stardom on the TV series that ran in the late 1990’s, ending in 2001. The 35-year-old actor has also become a film-maker and his HitRecord project was created as an online production company. Gordon-Levitt stopped acting to attend Columbia University, but dropped out in 2004 to pursue acting again. He produced his first film in 2013, Don Jon, a comedy in which he also starred. The Third Rock alumni also directed two short films that were released in 2010 – Morgan M Morgansen’s Date with Destiny and Morgan and Destiny’s Eleventeenth Date: The Zeppelin Zoo.
HitRecord was also a TV series that Gordon-Levitt directed from 2014 to 2015. The TV series highlighted contributions from the online website community. The actor also posts information about his HitRecord projects on his Facebook page. The post below is his most recent Facebook post, where he talks about a “Workplace Showcase.”
Gordon-Levitt recently starred in The Walk, a true story about the man who walked a tightrope between the World Trade Centers, Philippe Petit. Petit walked back and forth between the Twin Towers six times in 1974, before he was arrested by police. After The Walk, the actor starred in the comedy, The Night Before, with Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie. Gordon-Levitt’s newest movie is Oliver Stone’s Snowden, due out next month, where he plays the “most wanted man in America,” Edward Snowden.
The Snowden actor’s HitRecord website is called an “open-collaborative production company,” which means that everyone can collaborate on a project and add their own personal touch. Not only can musicians and vocalists participate, but painters and photographers are encouraged to add their talents as well. As seen in the featured video above, as well as the tweeted video below, Gordon-Levitt explains a prior project, “Are you there, Democracy? It’s me, the Internet,” which connects technology and democracy. The project got a lot of interesting videos uploaded to Youtube.
The list of collaborations on HitRecord are endless – for example there is also a new challenge to create a recipe with just three given ingredients, you just have to film yourself cooking your creation. Along with collaborative jam sessions for musicians and vocalists like in the current “Play Along” project, prospective film-makers, graphic designers, writers and many more are challenged to make their mark on the innovative website.
If you are an aspiring artist in whatever genre you aspire in, then you owe it to yourself to check out this great website. Who knows, maybe you will be discovered as the next great musician, director, writer, singer, or whatever else you want to be. Play along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the Internet and you might just find yourself becoming the next big thing!
What are your thoughts on the “Play Along” project and Gordon-Levitt’s innovative collaboration website? Please share your opinions below.
[Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for National Park Service]