Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 'HitRECord on TV' reflects his own diverse interests
"The people who are on the site and recommend the things that they like, that's enormously important for us," Gordon-Levitt tells reporters at the TCA winter press tour. "I often like to say even if you're not an animator who's going to contribute an animation or you're not a singer who's going to sing one of the parts, just being on the site and contributing your taste and your opinions is indispensable."
In fact, Gordon-Levitt says, that critical skill is just as valid an art form as actually creating the art. "I think it is genuine artistry as much as an animator -- the art of the DJ or the curator, whatever you want to call it. What we are confronted with today more than ever before is a real, super abundance [of content]. We can look at, watch, listen to or read anything -- so, so much -- and the art of picking out those things and having an opinion and having taste is an art form like any other. There's lots of great people with great taste who I've come to trust in our community, and that's a huge part of that. There's no way I myself could go through everything that comes in."
Each episode of the show revolves around a specific theme, as varied as "One" in the premiere to "Trash" in episode 3. The half-hour program features animations, songs, dances, short films, and pieces performed in front of a live audience.
"The format of the show is really different for each episode," says Gordon-Levitt. "I like television shows that do that, for example, obviously a very different show but one of my favorites, is 'Louie.' You never know how that show is going to be formatted. Sometimes he has a cold open, sometimes he doesn't have a cold open. Sometimes he spends the whole episode on one plot, sometimes there's three different plots that he tackles."
The eclectic nature of the show aligns with Gordon-Levitt's own varied interests. "I have a really eclectic taste in what I like to watch," he says. "With movies I don't only like to watch romantic comedies or action movies, I like all kinds of movies. With music I don't only like to listen to De La Soul or only like listen to Johnny Cash, I like to listen to all different kinds of music. HitRECord is a way I can work on a variety of eclectic things. That diversity makes me happy. And I think it's conducive to our process where we have hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world contributing to our collaborations -- we're going to get a diverse range of material, and a variety show is the perfect way to fit all of that into a television show."
But just because Gordon-Levitt has managed to engage (and employ) young people from all around the world -- each person who contributes to an episode gets paid -- don't think he considers himself a spokesperson for the Millenial generation. "Honestly, I don't really think about that. I don't like to categorize people so much based on age or anything else. We haven't spent any time really thinking about 'What do the kids want?' We've just been trying to make a show that I think is great and that the community that's making it thinks is great."
Watch the premiere episode below.