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‘Paranormal Activity’ Director Launches Meet-Up App for Totally Normal Activities

”Spot“ app is a way to ”get out of the house and do fun stuff,“ Oren Peli says

Ten years ago, while Oren Peli was rising in Hollywood as the director of “Paranormal Activity,” he was also getting through a breakup — an experience that would ultimately be the genesis for his new networking app “Spot.

At the time, the Israeli-born filmmaker was frustrated with the formulaic nature of online dating, and also upset he’d lost a number of friends as his relationship dissolved. He was simply looking to meet fresh faces.

“It kind of got old. You do the same thing — coffee, dinner, and tell your life story,” Peli, whose app launches today, told TheWrap. “More than meeting someone new, I ultimately just wanted to meet new friends, so I kind of just wanted to get out of the house and do fun stuff.”

Spot lets users create an event or join another user’s plans. It’s not a hookup app, but rather a meet-up app for people with similar interests — though you can check off meeting “singles” as one of your options.

“Spot” wants to be your go-to app if you need a new tennis partner or a group to go hiking with. And for users worried about creeps crashing their fun, Spot has a verification option through Facebook and Twitter, where users can accept or extend invitations to approved-only accounts.

Peli’s turn towards the tech world was actually a return to his roots, rather than a deviation from his movie career. He started as a programmer at 16, dropping out of high school to write code. The filmmaker now points to his tech roots as a useful foundation for his transition to Hollywood.

“When I was making ‘Paranormal Activity,’ my background in video games helped a lot because I was already familiar with the concept of working with actors from motion capture,” said Peli. “I was just very comfortable with computers in general… I think there’s a lot of synergy between those worlds.”

Spot is now available on the App Store and Google Play.