In 2005, the 500 Days of Summer star Joseph Gordon Levitt started a website with his brother to post self-made videos and receive feedback from his audience. But by 2010, the website had evolved into a collaborative platform for his audiences to join the actor in the making of artistic projects that range from short films to full-length DVDs. Now the website is in operation under the title HitRecord for anyone to contribute to and collaborate on various multimedia works. The hitREC●rd logo features the red circle to symbolize audio/video record, which Levitt has described as “a metaphor for taking things into my own hands and doing it.” The site now hosts over 80,000 members with as many as 1,000 videos, songs and text pieces pouring into to the website on a daily basis.
I learned of Levitt’s project through one of his talk show appearances (Jimmy Kimmel Live) where he presented RE: Number One, the first short-film episode of the first HitRecord season. I was entranced by the film that was comprised of different styles of video footage, visual effects, animations, music and voices, cohered by 426 individual artists. Due to its motley nature, the overall ambience of the film comes across as rather surreal – seemingly random in structure but so tightly knit by the level of creativity that each artist endeavoured to exhibit in one segment of the episode. The fact that your art can align with the creation of anyone else in the world is something that is perhaps obvious in such a globally wired community, yet the potential of humankind is further extended when you see it in action.