Kickstarter project reaches its target, thanks to $25,000 from Russell Crowe

kickstarter project reaches its target early thanks to 25000 from russell crowe russellcroweHey, creative types who’re thinking about crowdfunding your latest project on a site like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter! Here’s a question that you might want to ask yourself before signing up to your crowdfunding website of choice: “Do I have any celebrity friends who can serve the dual purpose of not only bringing attention to my campaign, but also contribute wildly extravagant amounts to help it reach the necessary total amount before the deadline?” True, some people might consider such questions mercenary or something that could put unnecessary pressure on their relationship with their friends, but that’s only because you don’t have any friends like Russell Crowe.

Ask screenwriter Mark Staufer, if you need some proof. Staufer is the creator of The Numinous Place, something that he describes as “a bold new way of storytelling… where technology and imagination come together to form a unique entertainment experience” that was trying to raise $75,000 via Kickstarter. Approaching the topic with the appropriate mix of humility and self-promotion, Staufer called the project a “historic publishing event” that would merge multimedia app with e-book for an augmented storytelling experience that would be “like if THE DA VINCI CODE came to life in your hands showing you actual video footage of the clues and interviews with suspects, presented the real life historical documents and artifacts, and played you recordings of crucial pieces of evidence.” Sounds pretty great, right? There was only one problem: It looked as ifThe Numinous Place wasn’t going to make its total in time for the fast-approaching deadline.

Enter Russell Crowe. Staufer and Crowe have known each other for some time; both grew up in New Zealand, and have gone on to collaborate on a biopic about the comedian Bill Hicks that Staufer has written the screenplay for and Crowe will direct. As might be expected of friends, Crowe promoted The Numinous Place Kickstarter campaign on his Twitter account, driving his many followers to the site and to pledging amounts in order to fund the project. But Crowe’s involvement went far deeper, as he also pledged a full third of the required amount – $25,000 – to the campaign to ensure that it met its cut-off point before the deadline passed. For those curious, that earns him the pledge level reward for “$10,000 or more,” which is defined like this:

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT or A MAJOR CHARACTER NAMED AFTER YOU (one who will live through all four books!) + personal “live” Numinous Dreaming flotation tank instruction with Dr. Rory MacSweeney (you’ll have to get yourself to London for this) and/or personal consultation via phone/skype from start to lucidity lift-off in the dreamspace guaranteed + your LIKENESS included in the comic “The First & Last Terton” in TNP I and the original artwork yours to keep and signed by our artist Larry Soileau + a signed copy of the blueprint manuscript + a GUIDED TOUR of LA visiting the locations in the book with creator Mark Staufer who’ll also discuss your project/script/book (you’ll have to come to LA for this) + ALL downloads and paper-books before release + you’re welcome to come ON SET and be an extra when we SHOOT in LA.

Something tells me that being an extra – or, for that matter, an executive producer – on the project will have held that much lure for the star of such films as A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator, but you never know. Still, the whole affair should teach all aspiring crowd funders one worthwhile lesson: Before launching your Kickstarter campaign, make sure that you’re on good terms with Russell Crowe. Just in case.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

From 'GLOW' to 'Haunting of Hill House,' these are the best Netflix Originals

Netflix's stable of content has grown quickly, and the streaming service now boasts dozens of shows produced in-house. Looking for the cream of the crop? These are our picks for the best Netflix Original series.
Social Media

Survey of teens says social media lets them connect with friends and get support

A survey of teenagers shows the ways that social media sites can be beneficial to them, like feeling more connected to their friends, the ability to interact with different people, and as a venue to get support when they are struggling.
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Social Media

Hangouts isn’t being hung out to dry in 2020, Google says

According to a report, Google may shut down Google Hangouts by 2020. While Hangouts was once Google's top-tier messaging app, the app has since been neglected in favor of Android Messages.
Social Media

Tumblr bans nudity to create ‘a safe place for creative expression’

Tumblr will soon no longer allow images with adult content. The company says the change is one that's designed to help more creators feel comfortable sharing on the platform, but admits the change won't happen overnight.
Social Media

Members can share the same Story with Facebook’s new Group Stories

Facebook Group members can now view and share Group Stories. Unlike the Stories for an individual user, the new tool allows members to contribute to the same Group Story, if the feature isn't turned off by an admin.
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."