Sundance Journal: hitRECord.org Presentation

Not everything at Sundance is about watching movies. I made it a point to check out Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s hitRECord.org presentation too.

hitRECord.org is a group of artistic collaborators who work together to create and finish projects. Sometimes the projects are short films. Other times they come out in the form of a book. ‘The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories’ was released last year under the hitRECord.org label.

What happens is that one person could write a story and submit it. Then another person could film it. Then someone else would score the film, and maybe someone else would put in some animation. These people come from all over the world, which makes many of these projects multi-national undertakings.

The presentation started out great. A Sundance clip plays before each Sundance movie that has a friendly reminder to turn off all recording devices. When the lights went down, a reminder came up for everyone to turn ON all recording devices. The whole organization is about sharing art with one another and coming up with a finished product that couldn’t have been finished if not for people around the globe pitching in.

The auditorium had a concert-like feeling. Everyone was up and excited, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt bopped around on stage more excited than anyone. He introduced a few short films. One called ‘The Blue Dildo’ was especially funny. Many of the films had freedom of speech as their subtext, yet others were just fun to watch.

Gordon-Levitt began by calling a guy up on stage who had answered one of the Twitter questions that was asked before the presentation started. Up on the screen was a question: “What’s the difference between indie and independent?” The kid that was called up on stage said the difference between the two is that “Indie has more flannel.” Everyone laughed.

As the presentation went on, however, things began to devolve. Parker Posey was invited up on stage to read an excerpt from ‘Tom Sawyer’. The voiceovers will most likely appear in hitRECord.org short films later on. That’s where the presentation kind of lost me. It became redundant. The readings from ‘Tom Sawyer’ went on way too long. While most of the short films were really cool, the presentation steered toward boring after the first hour.

If you ever have a chance to see one of these shows, I’d still recommend it. It’s fun to see what groups of artists can come up with when they all work together. I’m still not sure what the ultimate goal of hitRECord.org is, but collaborators seem to enjoy it and love submitting their own work, so more power to them.

Have any of the readers here checked out hitRECord.org? What do you think of it?

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