On June 2, 2014 "super-stoked" Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL) announced via Facebook post that 1,104 hitRECord checks for a total of $715,495 were being signed by JGL. These checks would soon be going out to 1,104 hitRECord collaborating artists in 57 different countries. According to the post, the checks are a result of money earned from hitRECord's best year so far, 2013.
The post included the following:
"I know I say this every time we send out checks, but I think it's worth saying each time. The purpose of hitRECord is not to make money. The purpose of hitRECord is to create meaningful works of art together."
hitRECord is an online, collaborative production company founded in 2005 and owned by actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt. For those who don't know, hitRECord is an open forum company where basically all artists are invited to collaborate and/or contribute to the company's productions. According to the company's website at this article's press time, they have 13 staff including JGL.
From the perspective of
- having, actualizing and providing an innovative vision for creating productions,
- creating jobs,
- fostering a forum where artists can get paid for their talents, and
- actually paying collaborative artists:
Congratulations, hitRECord! Well done.
Then something about this announcement began nagging at this examiner: the math.
This examiner looked at the numbers and decided to do the math. The numbers, all added together and presented as they are on the Facebook post, appear impressive. Compared to nothing, they are impressive. Yet compared to the amount of artists that appear to upload art to hitRECord, suddenly 1,104 checks issued for 2013 in its entirety may not appear to be quite so impressive. And if you average the number of checks written into the total amount the checks were written for, this means on average each check recipient will receive $648.09.
Also when you do the math using the posted numbers, on average only 20 artists in each of the 57 countries will receive checks.
Sort of reminded this examiner of the H&R Block commercial where they had us thinking billions of dollars were being left on the tax refund table, which may or may not be true. Yet when you did the math and averaged the amount they mention with the amount of tax filers there are in the United States, that meant the average filer was leaving maybe $10 max on the tax refund table.
Again, congratulations to hitRECord for starting, continuing, being an innovator and for expanding its success every year. How great would it be to have this trend continue?
With that in mind, this art examiner would like to suggest the following contribution to hitRECord. She gets "super-stoked" when more outlets for artists to get paid for their talents are created (even if the artist would have created the art for free). Wouldn't it be wonderful if more artists could actually support themselves financially with their artistic talents, abilities and creations?
"The pursuit of wealth is a wonderful thing, but the thing is you have to be honest about it."
read Gordon-Levitt's statement:
"The purpose of hitRECord is not to make money. The purpose of hitRECord is to create meaningful works of art together."
Chances are Mr. Wonderful wold most likely have a remark or two about a company created with a purpose not to make money.
It's almost as if hitRECord is energetically at odds with itself. As if their perception is creating meaningful works of art together and making money are incapable of collaborating in a business created to, ironically, foster collaboration. It's as if the two purposes could be said to be walking the same path, yet moving in different directions.
This examiner wonders how great 2014 and beyond may be for hitRECord and how much more "super-stoked" JGL could be, IF hitRECord allowed meaningful artistic creation AND making money to collaborate together as the purpose of this company.
Just one of those things that makes your examiner go, "hmmmm!"