How HitRecord Enables Creatives To Collaborate

Bryan Collins

Creatives can start a career or build a business from their homes, thanks to the proliferation of free or relatively affordable tools. The smartphone, for example, is a powerful media distribution engine. But what if you just want to share an idea with others or work with creatives from other disciplines? 

HitRECORD is a creative platform for hobbyists. Writers, illustrators, graphic designers and creative people with different skill-sets can collaborate on projects. Each participant contributes an element like a lyric, short-form video or script. The result could be a collection of poetry, an illustrated story or even a short film.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jared Geller founded HitRECORD in 2004. The company claims over 900,000 users and employs 40 people in Los Angeles. In 2014, HitRECORD won an Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media in the Social TV Experience category. 

“By breaking down the creative process into bite-sized pieces, it demystifies the whole idea of making things,” Geller says.

Successful creative projects of all sizes are typically collaborative. A TV show runner relies on a cast and production team to turn his vision into reality. An author relies on an editor, proofreader and designer to create and publish her book. And it’s all but impossible to start and build a profitable business without help. 

“Creativity is a human universal [experience]. So, anybody who has that inclination to want to express themselves can and does participate in the process,” Geller says.

Bite-sized Creative Work

Newer creatives often worry if their work is good enough to share with others. A 2019 WETransfer survey of 20,000 creatives found 52% want to know if their idea is original, while 40% consider whether it’s relevant. 

That’s something HitRECORD can address. It’s positioned as a platform for creatives who are more interested in working with others than completing and selling a finished project independently rather than going to Hollywood. 

For example, an aspiring scriptwriter doesn’t have to upload a screenplay they spent months working on alone. Instead, he or she could contribute a bite-sized element, like a scene, as a building block that forms a larger whole. That way they can learn from other creatives without necessarily finishing their project. That leaves just the question of ownership.

“We’re very upfront with our terms of service, which are when you upload any piece of content you provide us with the nonexclusive license to the content, and when you do that, you provide us with a license to monetise that content,” Geller says. “We will share any of the profits with the individual contributor.”

Creative projects often ship thanks only to the leadership of an individual. The TV show Breaking Bad is ultimately Vince Gilligan’s project, for example.

Although the 2018 remake A Star is Born leaned on the talents of Lady Gaga, it was Bradley Cooper’s vision.

“Collaboration requires some form of leadership. There’s usually an individual or a group of individuals who will take on a leadership role, whether that’s a story editor...or somebody helping to guide a project or song that will put the pieces together,” says Geller.

In 2019, HitRECORD completed a $6.4 million series A funding round, which it is using to improve its collaboration tools, particularly for project leaders.

“We’ve created tools for people who want to start projects, and we have all sorts of categories, whether you want to make a song, music video, documentary or a short-form documentary video,” says Geller. 
“We’re also developing simpler formats. For example, I couldn’t lead a project for animation because I’m not an animator, but I know how to tell a story...and I could probably identify different audio stories and put them together.”

All that’s left is the act of collaboration.

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Bryan Collins is an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work

Ireland, IN

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