Sundance 2010: The final product from HitRecord’s collaborative film effort

James Wallace

by: James Wallace
February 5th, 2010

Many of you may know of by now. You know, the website started by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 DAYS OF SUMMER) as an experiment in collaborative community art? Yeah, the one in which people can upload their own "record" - whether it be film, music, graphic art, etc. - and allow other artists to download said record, remix it and in turn re-upload it so that others may further the art's shelf life. In other words, rinse, recycle, repeat!

What you may not know, is that has recently made the transition into a full-blown, official production company who just released their first collaborative film last week at Sundance.

It is called MORGAN M. MORGANSEN'S DATE WITH DESTINY, and it is the beautiful result of a week's worth of hard work by 180 collaborators who either submitted their own touches on the film via online, or stopped by the affectionately titled REC Room at the New Frontier installation art house in Park City during Sundance.

You can check out the very awe-inspiring and very succesful experiment, along with Joe's own personal statement about the experience, after the jump.

"This is the version of Morgan M. Morganson's Date with Destiny that screened at Sundance 2010. Throughout the festival, this is the one we'd show as our example. Whenever anybody asked, 'what is hitRECord?' this was my answer: 'Here, watch this short film we're making; you'll never believe who did it and how!'

Albert proposed an off-kilter writing exercise, and then Metaphorest's beautifully strange, short story inspired it all. I read the story aloud, Jenyffer.Maria started drawing the characters, Tori animated Jen's drawings, Lula and I did a live-action rendition, Lawrie Brewster took the project to soaring heights with his gorgeous visuals, and along the way there was the help, encouragement and roughly 180 contributions from throughout our community. We brought it to Sundance, and Nathan coaxed the lush and vast music out of the newly coined hitRECorchestra. (Good_Girl_Indie has written out a fabulously detailed timeline documenting what happened and when along this RECord's progression.)

Not only did we close our (two) official hitRECord screening(s) in the New Frontier Microcinema with this piece, but the next day, Sundance added it as a short film to play before the award-winning feature HOMEWRECKER on a much bigger screen.

I actually watched the thing again just now. And I can whole-heartedly say that, besides the progressive methodology with which it was made, and besides the warm reception it received at Sundance, just purely as a little piece of art, as a short film, as a RECord -- I'm as proud of Morgan M. Morgansen's Date with Destiny as I am of any work I've ever done.

Thank you, everyone, for making it all happen!
and thanks again..." - Joseph Gordon-Levitt


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