Friday Five – Collaborative Edition

All right. Sorry for the long break. Things have been a bit off around here the last couple of months. But I’m slowly pulling myself together and getting things moving again, and one of the ways I’m doing that is the subject of this week’s Friday Five.

1. hitRECord is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s personal project that brings together artists across a variety of media to create and collaborate together. Some of the work goes into the show, which starts its second season on Pivot in June. Some of it goes to other projects (books, albums, and a radio project). Some of it just is, and it’s a lot of fun. If you want a welcoming space to practice a craft or learn a new one, hitREcord isn’t a bad way to go.

What I want to highlight, though, are the four weekly collaboration projects designed to help get people creating. Each project is run by a curator (who changes every four weeks), who provides a weekly prompt or challenge, and then shares some of the responses in a weekly video.

2. Play Along is for musicians, vocalists, and anyone else who likes to make sound. Each week, the curator posts a sound record, and participants remix or respond to it. (This is the only one I haven’t participated in.)

3. Weekly Writing Challenge is, strangely enough, for writers. The prompts have covered everything from poems to memories to dialogue to genre pieces. One week, we were even challenged to respond to a music record. (I’ve used some of these challenges to help shake out personal projects I was working.)

4. The Lens Project is a new project aimed at photographers and video producers. So far, the curator has posted prompts centering around ideas or techniques, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing future prompts. (I’ve been wanting to improve my photography and learn about video production, so I was excited when this one began.)

5. The Comic Collective just started, and it’s exactly what you expect. Writers and illustrators are challenged to create a comic strip. For the first challenge, we were given a topic and a restriction on the number of panels. It’ll be interesting to see how this one develops. (One of my goals is learning to write/script for sequential art, so this is a cool stress-free opportunity!)

The curators do a pretty good job of featuring work from site veterans, newbies, and undiscovered talent in their weekly video, so it’s pretty cool to see people being pulled in. Plus, it’s interesting to see how other people interpreted prompts. And it’s a great way to create without too much pressure, which is definitely what I need at the moment.

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