Greatest Hits

Radical pay-what-you-want film Hits stops in Austin on Thursday

Radical pay-what-you-want film Hits stops in Austin on Thursday

Hits movie by David Cross
Comedian and filmmaker David Cross (right) is trying a nontraditional route to distribute his film. Photo courtesy of Hits Film, LLC
Hits_movie_David Cross_poster CROPPED_2015
To see Hits, the first feature film by comedian David Cross, you can pay whatever you want. Courtesy of Hits Film, LLC
Texas Theatre
There's a one-day, pay-what-you-want screening at Texas Theatre on February 12. Photo courtesy of Texas Theatre
Hits movie by David Cross
Hits_movie_David Cross_poster CROPPED_2015
Texas Theatre

Austin will be part of an experimental film tour by comedian David Cross, whose first feature film, Hits, will screen for one day at Violet Crown Cinema. The unusual part is the payment structure: You pay whatever you want.

It's the first feature film to be released on BitTorrent, with pay-what-you-want theatrical screenings in 50 cities across the U.S. and Canada — including Austin, Dallas and Houston — on February 12. The film also has Texas ties in producers Ryan Brooks, who's from Houston, and Jessica Latham, who's from Amarillo.

Hits, a dark comedy exploring the nature of fame, debuted at Sundance in 2014. It stars an ensemble cast, including Michael Cera, Matt Walsh, David Koechner, Meredith Hagner, Jason Ritter, Amy Sedaris, Wyatt Cenac, James Adomian, Amy Carlson, Kurt Braunohler, Erinn Hayes, Jessie Ennis and Jake Cherry.

Cross says that the atypical release of the film is an experiment to see if filmmaking can become more "sustainable." He's also simultaneously releasing Hits as a BitTorrent bundle, a publishing project that connects artists directly with fans.

Cross says he was inspired by similar ventures executed by musician Thom Yorke, Radiohead and comedian Louis CK. Radiohead was first to try pay-what-you-want with their 2007 release In Rainbows, and Thom Yorke sold his 2014 album Tomorrow's Modern Boxes on BitTorrent. Louis CK has sold comedy specials directly to customers, including his successful January 2015 release Live at the Comedy Store.

Hits will screen at Violet Crown Cinema on February 12 at 6 pm. Tickets will be available at the box office that day beginning at 11 am are are limited to four per person. Cash only.