Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Don’t chase Instagram likes and YouTube fans

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who introduced HitRecord 10 years back, states the myriad of online platforms today has its reasonable share of advantages, and likewise disadvantages.

Michael Muller

Thanks to tech, 2020 may be the very best time to be a developer, states star Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Countless resources are right at our fingertips — filmmakers can see and submit videos on YouTube, and professional photographers can publish and see myriad images on Instagram. 

But the hunt for likes and fans in the present social networks landscape comes at an expense, Gordon-Levitt states.

“When your desire for attention, as measured in likes and followers, is top of mind, it really does contaminate your creative process,” he informed me from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Sunday. “If you’re overly focused on what others think of you, that can really harm your unique and honest voice.”

At TechCrunch Disrupt in October, the star — who has actually starred in movies consisting of Snowden, Looper and The Dark Knight Rises — stated platforms like YouTube and Instagram are a “net negative” for human imagination due to the fact that their organisation designs require users to focus on getting more likes, fans and customers.

That does not indicate these platforms are all bad, he keeps in mind. They’re still a method to share gorgeous art and material. The issue, he states, is business design, which “ultimately is leading to anxiety, depression and an over-fixation on attention. We should be able to have a giant library of instantly accessible videos like YouTube, it just shouldn’t be monetized the way it’s being monetized.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

HitRecord has actually changed into a platform where anybody can spearhead an innovative task. 


Ten years back at Sundance, Gordon-Levitt introduced HitRecord, an online neighborhood where individuals team up on imaginative tasks varying from movie to music to composing. Someone who’s composed a script and is trying to find an animator, for instance, can utilize HitRecord to discover the best skill. The focus of the platform when it introduced was various. He and co-founder and Broadway manufacturer Jared Geller, in addition to buddies and associates, would begin tasks and utilize a site to welcome others to team up. But that structure was restricting, because there were just many individuals they might consist of. 

As an outcome, HitRecord changed into a platform where anybody might begin and lead their own tasks and discover partners online. Late in 2015, the group introduced a totally free HitRecord app for iOS and Android. And at this year’s Sundance, they altered things up. Instead of welcoming others to team up on brief movies they were making, the group showcased tasks being led by individuals in the online neighborhood and welcomed others to contribute. For example, one female from the UK sang a singing hook and put out a contact the platform to have somebody else compose a verse, which a Sundance participant did. He performed it in front of an audience, which sang along as the female enjoyed in genuine time.

“Being creative together with other people is just a really positive and meaningful experience, and quite different than a lot of the culture you find around creativity elsewhere on the internet,” Gordon-Levitt states. 

Geller, HitRecord’s co-founder, informed me the facility of utilizing the platform isn’t always to look for attention, however to team up and develop with others. Therefore, he states, it types a more favorable neighborhood than other platforms. 

Gordon-Levitt and Geller have actually never ever framed HitRecord as a ticket to a profession in the imaginative market, or as a method to get into Hollywood. Money isn’t completely out of the concern, however, as the group states it’s paid different factors over $3 million. But Gordon-Levitt keeps that imagination should not constantly be corresponded with expert or financial success. 

“Oftentimes, if you spend your time and capacity trying to pursue a career, you’re at risk for having a less meaningful and joy-filled creative life than you would if you didn’t try to make your creativity your livelihood,” he states. “People ask me all the time, ‘How do I break into the industry?’ and I say the industry has mostly to do with luck. But if you want to be happy as a creative person, that’s not luck. That’s under your control.”

Still, the star consults with energetic optimism and palpable interest when he reviews the tools and resources now readily available to developers. 

“When I was a little kid, I remember making little videos on my family’s camcorder and just dying to be able to edit them, but that just wasn’t a possibility,” he states. “Nowadays, the same 10-year-old can absolutely shoot and edit and everything. It’s wonderful.”

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