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Crowe has stumped up $US25K to help Mark Staufer publish his ground breaking supernatural thriller. THE NUMINOUS PLACE is a world first, an interactive ebook which tells the story using video, audio and images, and teaches the reader a revolutionary new dream technique.
Staufer, a former Aucklander and alumni of Mt Roskill Grammar School like Crowe, began his career on radio station 89FM in the 1980s as one of the "Top Marks," he also worked on TVNZ evening news show "Newsnight" with Marcus Lush and Alison Mau, before moving to Australia to present on Channel 10's controversial "Sex/Life" magazine show.
Staufer's been in LA for 8 years where he has worked with numerous Hollywood heavyweights including Oscar winners Akiva Goldsman ("A Beautiful Mind") and Mark Gordon ("Saving Private Ryan") and horror-meister Eli Roth ("Hostel.")
He and Crowe have been working together on the biopic of legendary American comedian Bill Hicks.
"Bill Hicks' life is tragically short, but spectacularly interesting. The screenplay has gone through a number of drafts and we'll go into production early next year," said Staufer. "What makes the biopic extra exciting is the fact that it's Russell's directorial debut."
There's no word yet on who's going to play Hicks, whose career was tragically cut short in 1994 when he died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 32.
"We're looking at a number of options," says Staufer. "It really is a huge role for someone, made all the more special, or downright scary, by the fact the director is an Oscar winning actor like Russell."
For the past several years Staufer's focus has also been on his book THE NUMINOUS PLACE, and Crowe, who described Staufer in Hollywood industry bible VARIETY as "a talented writer" has not only supported the project financially, but has been using Twitter to push it to his half a million followers as well.
"The Numinous Place is going to change the way you experience books," claims Staufer. "And much of the narrative takes place in New Zealand where Russell and I both grew up. I think that's one of the reasons he's been so supportive. He and I both get homesick, and the book with its audio and video components answers a call of the heart when we can't get back to our country of birth."
"Also weaved into the plot is something that's never been attempted before. Lucid dreaming is the art of waking-up inside your dreamworld and taking control of it. We have developed a revolutionary new method of lucid dreaming and while the characters in the book learn it, so will the reader," says Staufer.
"What's really exciting is that once you learn how to lucid dream, anything is possible. We're literally going to teach you how to fly through the sky like Superman!"
You can follow @MarkStaufer on Twitter where @RussellCrowe has urged his followers to support Staufer's project. And you can support Mark Staufer's new project, THE NUMINOUS PLACE on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2028397497/the-numinous-place
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