Spotlight On – hitRECord

Since the dawn of YouTube anyone and everyone has had the chance to become an internet star or moviemaker. Amongst the noise some work of quality has risen to the surface and brought success for their creators; Felicia Day’s The Guild web series is a prime example. A more collaborative effort was born three years ago from actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s blog at hitrecord.org and recently developed into a production company complete with a Sundance screening. The best thing about it? You can join in.

hitRECord works on the principle of its collaborators sharing and remixing each others “records”, a record being an image, some audio, a video or text. The idea being that one record can be remixed and added to by any number of other users until a finished product is produced. You may write a poem, someone could edit that poem, another could record a reading of that poem and others could make a video set to that reading; over time a cohesive video is born. Users from all over the globe can work together in this way, pooling their individual talents to produce something greater than a single person could produce. A recent record from Gordon-Levitt himself details the work ethos of the site.

This collaborative nature bucks the current trends of the media industry, both as an industry that seems near impossible to gain entry to and as an area where people fiercely guard their creations and issue copyright lawsuits at the drop of a trademarked hat. At hitRECord all content is given over to the community pool, no one person can claim ownership to the finished product as it is a true team effort.

At this year’s Sundance Film Festival hitRECord set up a REC room for people to come and collaborate, with users still collaborating over the internet. This event culminated in two screenings as part of Sundance that showcased the achievements of hitRECord. Two pieces that stand out for me is Nebulullaby and Morgan M. Morgansen’s Date With Destiny, which is embedded below. Nebulullaby moved from a song recorded by Sean Lennon at Sundance into an impressive music video with a global production team. Another record details how Morgan M. Morgansen’s Date With Destiny came to be, starting as a simple suggestion and over time snowballing into a short film so good that Gordon-Levitt (or RegularJOE) wrote, “I’m as proud of Morgan M. Morgansen’s Date with Destiny as I am of any work I’ve ever done.” Sundance was a big success that brought profit for hitRECord, half of which went back into the business and half was split among contributors whose work was show at Sundance.

hitRECord is a great opportunity for anyone with an idea or creative spirit. If you have a photo, video, audio recording or piece of writing why not upload it and see if it sparks the next big thing? Or have a browse and see if another record grabs your attention, download it and add to it. Go on, hit record.

Morgan M. Morgansen’s Date with Destiny: