Everyone wants to have their 15 minutes of fame, their name in lights, their moment in the sun. In our world of internet celebrity and fast fame it seems more and more likely that it is possible to get your name in lights, but in today’s sound-byte, micro-clip world, 15 minutes might be too much to hope for, maybe 30 seconds of fame is a little more realistic.
Enter HitRecord. Founded by actor Joseph Gordon Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun, Inception, 50/50), Hit Record is a Web 2.0 communal production company. The company has a television show, has produced numerous short films and a feature length movie that had limited run in theatres (Don Jon) and everything they do is created by their various users. Much like Gehl discusses in his article “The Archive and the Processor” (2011), HitRecord banks on the crowdsourcing it runs on. Their business model is that 50% of everything their products make in revenue goes back to the artists who make it (http://screenertv.com/news-features/how-do-hitrecord-on-tv-contributors-make-money-from-their-art).
But is there more worth than the money? I would argue there is. HitRecord offers something to their contributers that Digg, and Amazon Turk (Discussed in Gehl’s article) do not and that NASA does to a limited extent. It offers the ability to contribute to a project that highlights your work. If you sing vocals for a croudsourced song, you can be on their album. If write a comedy sketch, poem, section of dialogue, you might end up on their television show. And in that way, beyond simply being paid for your contribution, you are recognized. You have a chance at your 30 seconds of fame.
I’m not trying to say that Joseph Gordon Levitt and his HitRecord project are exploiting people, it is a great way for those of us who are artistic in a small way, but not quite enough to make a living out of it, to get to try our hand at being musicians, artists, actors and so on. But while we benefit from these small moments of fame, the Hit Record team is re-writing how media gets made, side-steping the big studios and creating something new.