By Bradford Hornsby

(CBS SF) — Comedian David Cross’ directorial debut “HITS” is set to become the first feature film released using BitTorrent’s pay-what-you-want (PWYW) Bundle.

BitTorrent’s Bundle allows content creator to place their content behind a pay gate while still using the companies 170 million user peer-to-peer sharing network. For digital distribution it allows the content maker to keep almost all of the money collected minus service fees and BitTorrent’s 10% commission.

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At the end of 2014, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke used the network to release a surprise solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, and reportedly garnered 4.4 million downloads. Because of the pay-what-you-want model it is unclear how much Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes actually made from those millions of downloads, but the main point is to eschew the tradition of distribution middle-men.

Written and directed by Cross, “HITS” is the story of internet fame gone awry starring Meredith Hagner, Matt Walsh, Wyatt Cenac and Cross’s Arrested Development costar Michael Cera.

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Cross is also using a Kickstarter campaign to bring the movie to theaters. For that campaign he is also using a pay-what-you-want model.

“This is an experiment, a first of its kind to see if we can make it more sustainable for both fans, and filmmakers. In order to do this in theaters as widely as possible we need your help to raise $100K. We are distributing ourselves and there are costs associated with making all of this happen.” Cross wrote on his Kickstarter page, “In addition to theater rental fees, we need to cover our marketing and publicity efforts. We ideally want to be in 50 markets, but the more money we raise the more theaters we can be in, so if we go over $100k, we’ll just expand our plans, which would be great!”

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