Monday, July 20, 2009

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Online: Shooting Off "Sparks"

Like every successful and talented young actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt wants to direct. He recently completed his first effort, a short film called Sparks starring Carla Gugino, Eric Stoltz, and Xander Berkeley, which Gordon-Levitt also produced and adapted from an Elmore Leonard story. Then, he invited his members of his on-line community to improve on the poster art. For five years, Gordon-Leavitt has been tinkering with his own web site,, which, as Jason Guerrasio explains in Filmmaker magazine, is conceived as "a site where artists and filmmakers can go to post their work and then collaborate with a community of users who can contribute to the work by adding their own tweaks, or as Gordon-Levitt puts it, remixing."

"This is my whole take on the Internet creative culture," Gordon-Levitt says, stressing that anything goes so long as people's users' attitudes towards others' work is encouraging rather than snarky. "Why would you take time out to be negative? Instead of posting something that’s negative I’d rather move on and look for something good. Everyone understands this and has built a positive community." He continues: "What is good about hitRECord is that you don’t have to confront that blank page. I see what’s getting a lot of hearts (the way works are rated on the site), I add something to it and reupload it. The idea is if lots of people do that we’ll get a collective refining of our records. It’s not about an individual author; it’s the desires of what I hope will be hundreds of refinements."

Gordon-Levitt, who labors at the site under the username "RegularJOE" ("The old media tends to call me Joseph Gordon-Levitt, that being my name and all."), created the site with his brother, "Burning" Dan, and now hopes "to take the site to the next level by making more user-friendly features and building awareness of the site’s existence. Currently Gordon-Levitt says there are about five to 10 dedicated registered users who put up their work or add their talents to others. But he’s shocked there are even that many, as up until now the site has only been a hobby of his." Hobby or not, he seems to feel that hitRECORD has the potential to be the vanguard of something. "The truth is the traditional forms of entertainment are outdated. This is how I would like to do my work in front of and behind the camera in the future. Soon the Internet is going to be the only platform.

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