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.