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Wall Street Journal/WSJ Live on ‘HITRECORD ON TV’

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Ushers In Crowd-Sourced TV The actor is taking his web project “hitRECord” to cable


January 11, 2014

H-E-E-E-R-E’S JOE! Joseph Gordon-Levitt acts as emcee for a new TV show which builds on his crowdsourced Web enterprise. For the first episode of the new cable series “HitRecord on TV,” producers had to squeeze 426 names into the closing credits, about four times the amount that scrolls through a typical half-hour TV show.

In conventional terms, you could describe “HitRecord on TV” as a variety show. The host, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, introduces segments that explore different themes and showcase the participants’ talents. However, its production process is alien to the traditional methods of making television. Almost everything on screen, from the stories to the videos, artwork and music, is created by online contributors, and Mr. Gordon-Levitt is the Dr. Frankenstein who coordinates their efforts.

The show evolved out of an online experiment in group creativity launched by the actor and his brother in 2005, right before Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s film career hit high gear with roles in “(500) Days of Summer,” “Inception” and “Don Jon,” which he also wrote and directed. The collaborative web project, called hitRECord (pronounced reCORD), has yielded hundreds of digital shorts, as well as books, DVDs and vinyl LPs. 

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