By Ben Brock | The Playlist January 7, 2014 at 11:22AM
Back in March of that far-off year, 2013, we reported on the next stage of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's ongoing collaborative media community project thingummy, HitRECord (which also acted as the production comedy for Gordon-Levitt's “Don Jon”). He was planning on drawing on the site's highly active community of writers, photographers, animators, musicians, knowledge-havers and JGL-fans to put out a kind of hyper-modern variety show, “HitRECord on TV!” Now, two weeks in advance of its TV debut on Pivot, the show has been posted online by Gordon-Levitt for your perusing joy.
And... it's pretty good. It takes the form of a live show during which Gordon-Levitt introduces a number of clips, skits and bits drawn from the community, all of them put together collaboratively: for instance, a person writes a story, another person dramatizes it, more people animate the dramatization, and so on. On top of that, and perhaps a little over the top, everyone in the audience at the live show is recording everyone else, including Gordon-Levitt, wildly waving a camera as he works a dark suit like no one else on earth can. The result is, inevitably, choppy and chaotic, but that was surely the aim, and you can feel the community's passion radiating out of it all, as well as the endlessly refreshing energy of JGL himself, whose old-school showman style makes the call-back to old-style variety shows. Even more impressive than the show is that the show actually happened, given the unconventional idea, and even more impressive than that is that every single one of the 426 contributors whose work ended up being used got paid (though we don't know how much).
But JGL also brings with him some Hollywood flavor, enlisting Elle Fanning to star in the short "First Stars I See Tonight," a lovely little partly animated tale. You can see it in the episode, or all on its own below.
The entire effort is short, a little disconnected, perhaps a little heavy on filler for something that only runs 22 minutes, but this is only episode 1 (and it's themed around the number 1 in a number of creative ways). And between this and the recent news that JGL is to be at the center of the forthcoming “Sandman” movie, we for one welcome our new Gordon-Levitt overlord. [The Wrap/Indiewire]