After raising funds on Kickstarter, David Cross is embarking on the second part of his cinematic experiment and directorial debut, Hits. The actor’s new comedy is now available for download on BitTorrent and the model is pay-what-you-can. It also launched in 52 theaters following the same pay model.
Cross’s film was more or less panned at Sundance, but what drove him to pursue a Kickstarter campaign was that distributors had plans “with the film were a little lackluster.”
He followed the steps of Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari, both of whom have released new material directly online to consumers. He told CBS via email that he wanted to find “a way to try get as many people as possible to see it.”
“I’d rather trade a hundred grand for a million people getting to see the movie,” Cross told CBS said via email.”This was very much inspired by what Thom Yorke and Radiohead did and how Louis CK went direct to fans and you can do that now.” Yorke released an album on the peer-to-peer sharing site in September and has reportedly made $20 million without the Hollywood middle-men.
But producer Andrew Giles is just hoping they can make back at least the $1 million, and get a little bit closer to their fans:
“We want to use this as a way of getting close to the audience and to have more touch points with the audience,” he said. “Our next film is with the standup comedian Dimitri Martin, and when we go to sell that movie, if we have 200,000 fans of David Cross, we can say we have the ability to activate our own audience.”
The budget for “Hits” was about $1 million, and Andrew said the company will know in a month or two whether it has been successful in recouping the costs.
He added: “David’s movie asks what is talent worth, and we are asking the same thing about what our film is worth.”
(Photo: Adrianne Behning Photography)