You go to a movie theater to see a plain old 2D movie, and you’re looking at spending $15. Hold on though, you need that $15 for like ten hours of rent. You pirate a movie and then you’ll have to enter into a contentious moral debate that got boring when Napster was still a thing.
David Cross, known to most as Tobias Fünke, and to others as a ground-breaking sketch comedy performer, is about to release his first feature film Hits via BitTorrent Bundle this Friday, for a price of I dunno, whatever.
Hits is written and directed by Mr. Cross, and stars Amy Sedaris, Michael Cera and Matt Walsh among others. The film is a dark comedy (surprise!) about the inflation of fame and the decay of meritocracy in the YouTube generation.
Yes, in a move that echoes the experimental, intrepid and somewhat fuck-it-approach taken by Radiohead and Louis CK, Cross is releasing his film for pay-what-you-want. What is a piece of digital media worth to you? I distinctly remember paying $1.47 for Radiohead’s In Rainbows, I’d decided to pay whatever I happened to have in my pockets at the time. I gladly pay the $5 every time Louis CK releases a new special.
Of course, if you want to pay nothing, it’s your call. and a lot of people will likely go this route, but ten people paying $1.47 is better than ten people scoffing at paying $15. Math. The hope is that this will do well, so that more filmmakers and production companies will consider distributing their content this way, sparing you the diminishing enjoyment of shelling out whatever the theater wants you to pay.