Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt turned to YouTube to announce a new type of television variety show -- one that draws from a group of online collaborators.
Levitt wants to take this same style of creative collaboration he has cultivated online and, through his production company HitRecord, bring it to television in the form of a half-hour show, which the actor will host. "HitRecord on TV" will showcase short films, live performances, animation and more -- all organized around a central theme.
The variety show will appear on the new cable network Pivot, announced earlier this week by Participant Media. The company, which backed such films as "Lincoln" and "The Help," plans to launch the channel Aug. 1 with about 40 million pay television subscribers. It also plans to make the programming accessible via broadband.
"These guys are doing things a little bit differently," Levitt said in the YouTube video, "And I think they have a lot of smart ideas."
Levitt used the ultimate collaborative community, YouTube, to put out the call to action, urging writers, musicians, illustrators, video editors and others to get busy -- because the show is entering pre-production soon.
"This is not a joke, this is not a marketing gimmick," Levitt said. "This is an invitation."
Levitt launched "HitRecord" online in 2010, and invited writers, musicians, illustrators, photographers and other artists from around the world to submit their work. HitRecord's online collaborative community builds upon these submissions, to create songs, animation, short films -- you get the idea.
"HitRecord" has brought these collaborations to broader audiences -- screening films at the Sundance Film Festival, publishing books, producing records and even touring. If it makes a profit from any of these creative endeavors, the books, live shows or vinyl records, it splits the proceeds 50/50 with artists.