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Actor and CEO of HitRecord Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Today at the Upfront Summit I'll be interviewing actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Not because he recently played Edward Snowden in a film — or Robin, for that matter — but because he's CEO of a startup called HitRecord that today will announce $6.4 million in Series A funding.

Driving the news: The company has actually been around since 2010, but this is its first round of outside funding.

Details: It's basically an online artist collaboration platform, whereby users contribute/edit/etc. on projects that range from songs to video games to short films. If the project ends up being sold (or was originally contracted, like was recently done with a Ubisoft game), then the creators get pro-rated payments based on their contributions (which can range from a dollar to over $1,000).

  • Gordon-Levitt, who serves as CEO of the 24-person team, says the funding should help HitRecord expand into "a platform." In pragmatic terms, that means it won't be coming up with all the project ideas, instead allowing proposals to be fed directly into the system by others.
  • Javelin Venture Partners led the round and was joined by Crosslink Capital and Advancit Capital. Gordon-Levitt explains that he intentionally sought money from Silicon Valley tech investors instead of from Hollywood entertainment investors, because he knows the part of the business he doesn't know.

Go deeper: Netflix takes on the movie industry

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.