March 27, 2013 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (previously) and his collaborative production company, hitRECord (previously), are making a television show and they want your help.
posted by nadawi (12 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This could be really interesting... crowdsourcing a TV show....
posted by gen at 10:42 PM on March 27, 2013

My body is ready.
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 PM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

In which a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Teen Celebrity Jeopardy... poorly. (A comprehensive account here.)

This is by way of saying I'm hoping part of that clip finds its way into the first episode.

Also, an interesting premise... who couldn't love JGL's infectious enthusiasm?
posted by disillusioned at 11:28 PM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sounds potentially anarchist to me. Exciting.
posted by anarch at 11:42 PM on March 27, 2013

By the power of dimples! JGL became a mighty battle-cat.
posted by Mizu at 1:30 AM on March 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is not enough squee in the world right now to cover how I feel.

posted by Faintdreams at 2:27 AM on March 28, 2013

I've noticed anything named "____TV" is doomed to fail. I mean, the cable station boom ended in the 90s, folks. Nothing exists for TV exclusively, anymore.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 4:01 AM on March 28, 2013

This is really cool, but why is he talking like that?
posted by theuninvitedguest at 6:00 AM on March 28, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure TeeVee! I love the idea!
posted by jph at 7:19 AM on March 28, 2013

I really like old JGL, but I have really mixed feelings about this kind of thing.

For one thing, moving towards TV strikes me as backwards. The inevitable shift is away from broadcast and all its trappings.

For another thing, I am deeply suspicious of anything that smacks of spec work, even (or perhaps particularly) when it's tarted up as crowdsourcing. I appreciate that the exhortations to create content for his TV show were immediately followed up by mentions of money, but how much money, and when? The site says "we'll split the profits 50/50." What constitutes "profit," and for how long will it be shared? Will contributing artists get residual royalties for ads sold against their content a year from now? Do they retain any rights to their work? Or is this just work-for-hire?

That's to say nothing about the large majority of people who spend time creating content that does not get used. Upward pressure is inevitable in situations like this, where the content that does get used is pro-level, which means people work harder to get their pieces viewed, but as the average time & skill investment of contributions rises, the number of available minutes in the show does not. Which means the more successful hitRECord TV is, the more skilled work is being done on spec, with unused artists never compensated for their time and effort despite the bar being pushed ever upwards by the successful few. This has the net effect of pushing down the effective value of that work.

Also, while Joe is a very hip kid who I'm sure believes what he's saying, I just can't help but be suspicious of any arrangement that involves telling people to do work for free, with promises of a) good exposure and b) maybe some money eventually.

Finally, Joe is not coming, at all, from the same place as his contributors. I might be wrong, but I'd be very surprised if he's ever been asked to ply his trade for free. Even if he deigned to sign on to a buddy's project at something less than movie-star rates, I assume he has be paid scale, otherwise the SAG would have a fit.

His background is 100% old-media establishment, starting with a career as a child actor on a network sitcom, and (admirably) transitioning to being a huge movie star. He did not come up through the system he is proposing other artists use, and I can't help but find his implicit positioning of himself as a peer to hitRECord contributors slightly disingenuous—although I'm honestly not sure to what extent the reguloarJOE schtick is supposed to be ironic or tongue-in-cheek.

Anyway, blah blah, all that said, I genuinely like the guy's work and I think his heart is in the right place. I'll be interested to see a) if this is any good and b) how it winds up using the assets provided it by its phalanx of unpaid artists.

As a possibly relevant footnote, the only time I have ever received more than one check for a piece of creative work I contributed to something was for the webcomic Homestuck.
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:23 AM on March 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Sokka shot first - you might read into hitRECord a bit - it's been going for a long time and they've made some products already, so how the community deals with money is a known quantity.
posted by nadawi at 9:22 AM on March 28, 2013

reading reading reading the the TOS......
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on March 28, 2013

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