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Sundance 2014: Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives stirring tribute to late brother at HitRECord event

Joseph Gordon-Levitt screened the first three episodes of his new Pivot television series, HitRECord on TV, at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday night. Gordon-Levitt has become a Sundance fixture, ever since he starred in Manic in 2001. His Internet production company, HitRECord—founded in 2005 to showcase videos Gordon-Levitt made in his free time—made its festival debut in 2009. “When we launched the third version of the site that my brother and I made together,” said Gordon-Levitt, whose older brother and creative partner, Dan, passed away in 2010, “we pushed the button here in the snow at Sundance 2009 on Jan. 20.”

Dan, better known as Burning Dan for his many appearances at the Burning Man arts festival in Nevada, was clearly on Gordon-Levitt’s mind as the little website grew into a formidable enterprise with a new TV show. On Friday night in Park City, when an audience member at the post-screening Q+A asked Gordon-Levitt about Dan’s impact and legacy at HitRECord, the 32-year-old choked back tears and gave a stirring tribute:

“So my brother is named Burning Dan and he helped me set up this first website, and he and I ran HitRECord together for the first several years before it became a professional anything. What Dan was all about was getting people to try something that they didn’t think they could do. His favorite book was Green Eggs and Ham. … HitRECord to him — and to me too, but really even more to him — was about somebody who was like, ‘I want to be a writer and I sometimes write but I don’t show it anybody.’ Or, ‘I want to be a singer but I’m too afraid to sing in front of anybody.’ And when he could get people … to do that, that was his… I’m sorry… that was his favorite. And it didn’t matter to him so much how it turned out. It didn’t matter to him so much how it turned out or what the finished product was. He just wanted people to do it and what you’ll find when you come to our site is, even though there’s all this professional production going on and we’re making a tevleision show, there’s a lot of stuff going on besides that. Stuff that won’t make it onto the show — because I’m too brutal a director — but nonetheless, is received with such warmth and encouragement, and that always makes me think of him because that’s what he did, more than I did. … He would be so f–king happy to see all of you guys here, so thanks so much.” READ FULL STORY

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's variety show 'HitRECord on TV': Watch the trailer -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Hit-Record

As if Joseph Gordon-Levitt hasn’t charmed you enough this year, the dimpled multi-hyphenate is bringing his talents — and those of dozens of regular people like you — back to television.

HITRECORD ON TV is JGL’s updated take on the variety show, extended from his popular online production community hitRECord, which features open collaboration among artists, writers, photographers, musicians, and basically any other creative type you can dream up. Each episode will feature standout segments created by the site’s everyday contributors — the pilot, for instance, is themed around “The Number One” and includes a short film, animation, music, live performances, and more, all of which were created by regular users.

EW has the exclusive first look at the trailer for the innovative new series, which premieres Saturday, Jan. 18, on Pivot at 10 p.m. ET. Also, scroll ahead for a look at the key art for the show.
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