Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s HitRecord to Put Focus on Nation’s National Parks

Hitrecord, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s production company-cum-freeform open collaborative art community, has produced one feature film as well as a number of short films, a TV show, story collections and albums, and now it’s taking the show to an appropriately fertile new environment: a national park.

Or rather, all the country’s national parks. To mark the National Park Service’s 2016 centennial campaign, dubbed “Find Your Park,” the multihyphenate is partnering with the org to create a number of crowdsourced art projects celebrating the country’s protected wild regions. Gordon-Levitt will put the pitch to his fellow collaborators in a video prompt, and from there, the HitRecord community will be let loose to throw out ideas, create content, and freely edit one another until they’ve produced enough art for the foundation to display next year.

Dan Doperalski for Variety

“I always find that the best direction I give comes from participation,” Gordon-Levitt says. So if someone writes a story about a national park, I might rewrite it, or I might make a request video — ‘I think this is great, but it needs more of this, or let’s think of alternate endings.’ Or it may be that someone will write a great piece, I’ll record it as a voiceover, and it’ll be the spine of a short film that someone else makes. It can take any number of shapes.”

Gordon-Levitt says that the NPS has left the project open to experimentation.

“I like that our community makes short films and music, writing, books, photography, animation, documentaries — all approaches are welcome.”

This is HitRecord’s second partnership with a nonprofit — in 2012, the group produced a voting-rights cartoon for the American Civil Liberties Union — but it’s certainly the widest-ranging collaboration HitRecord has entered into. For the actor, who notes that he grew up frequenting Yosemite National Park and Big Sur on family camping trips, the project has personal appeal as well.

“I think it’s wonderful that for 100 years, these places have been preserved. Without it, they’d probably be apartment complexes and shopping malls,” Gordon-Levitt says. “Why not celebrate it by making great art?”

More Biz

  • Hong Kong Disneyland Reduces Losses

    Hong Kong Disneyland Reduces Losses

    The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort theme park remained in loss for the fourth year. But signs of improvement continued. For the financial year to end of September 2018, HKDL reported $769 million (HK$6 billion) of revenue, from 6.7 million visitors, an increase of 8%. Net losses fell from $32 million (HK$291 million) to $6.92 million [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Colin Kaepernick Kneel

    Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Settlement With NFL

    Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Could Be in ‘Big Trouble’ Over Alleged New Sex Tape, Attorney Says

    Strong allegations of sexual misconduct have followed R. Kelly for 25 years, but the singer has always managed to slip free. Yet reports that a videotape of him sexually assaulting an underage girl, combined with the outcry surrounding the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” means that public sentiment, at the very least, is definitely not [...]

  • Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in

    New Media Residuals and Feature Films Contribute to Spike in Writers' Pay

    The outlook for members of the Writers Guild of America has brightened — even amid pervasive uncertainty in the entertainment industry. According to the most recent report to WGA West members, earnings surged 2.8% to $1.41 billion in 2017, thanks mostly to gains in feature films and new-media residuals. Total covered earnings for WGA West [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content