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life in your hands showing you actual video footage of the clues and interviews with suspects, presented the real life historical documents and artifacts, and played you recordings of crucial pieces of evidence.”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

NASA is building an inflatable space robot named King Louie

NASA is funding an inflatable robot called King Louie which could travel to the stars in deflated form and then be blown up when and where required. Here is why that's so exciting.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Gaming

Google Stadia is the upcoming Netflix for games that will hurt game creators

Google Stadia promises a world where gaming is more convenient than ever, but it’s a future that will damage the way people make games.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

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's fun to gawk!
Social Media

Facebook’s tributes section serves as an online memorial for deceased users

Death doesn't stop Facebook users from sharing memories, and now those memorialized posts have a dedicated spot on the network. Facebook Tribute is a section on memorialized profiles for users to write posts and share memories.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Social Media

Your Facebook newsfeed is getting a spring cleaning, and so is Messenger

Hows that newsfeed looking? Facebook has shared an update on efforts to clean up the newsfeed, as well as what tools are coming next. Facebook has new Trust Indicators, while Messenger gains badges for verified accounts.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.