With his new movie, Kevin Spacey is combining his longtime love of theatre with the latest trend in distributing entertainment content.
Spacey's documentary NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage, which charts his globe-trotting tour starring in William Shakespeare's Richard III, gets a limited release in cinemas on Thursday, but is also available online at Kevinspacey.com.
The project is a labour of love for the Oscar-winning actor, House of Cards lead and Old Vic artistic director. Not only did he star in the original stage production (which played more than 200 performances across three continents and was helmed by theatre and film director Sam Mendes), Spacey funded, produced and is self-distributing this subsequent doc.
The movie offers a behind-the-scenes look at the conception of the border-crossing Richard III tour and the experiences of its British and American cast as they travelled to stages around the world.
In recent years, entertainers (from little known acts to major names) have increasingly been exploring how to distribute their own work. Prominent examples have included Radiohead releasing an album as a pay-what-you-like digital download and comedian Louis C.K. selling tickets to his stand-up shows and downloads of his comedy specials via his own website.
"I have never self-distributed before. It's a massive amount to learn in a very quick period of time. It’s very exciting. It is kind of nice to be in control," Spacey said during a recent preview screening of NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage.
"If you look at what's happening in entertainment — particularly in terms of the way lots of emerging talents are finding ways to get their material out and audiences who are finding all kinds of new platforms to discover content — it makes sense."
In the attached video, Spacey talks to CBC News about NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage and contrasts the world of theatre and that of film and television.