Today's special Halloween episode of The Brink of Midnight Podcast is with Oren Peli, the creator, director, and producer of one of the most successful franchises in Hollywood History: "Paranormal Activity". Almost 10 years to the day, Oren had the world premiere of "Paranormal Activity" at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival and, in this conversation, we get to hear his fascinating tale and life-changing moments he experienced along the way.
Oren grew up near Tel Aviv, Israel, and, from a young age, he's lived his life from a place of deep curiosity, wonder, and personal belief. While being a high school drop-out, he is a true self-starter. At 17, inspired by Atari, he became a self-taught programmer and developed the computer program Photon Paint that earned him three times his father's salary in just a year. The simple act of starting with an idea, going for it, and figuring out how to execute developed Oren's "why not" attitude toward trying and developing his goals and vision. A move to the USA, being a talented Sony video game developer and movie connoisseur, and experiencing peculiar incidents in his house all collided, and he decided to make "Paranormal Activity" in his spare time with a camera he bought with an employee discount. Oren has since gone on to make several successful films and now is back in the world of technology, having launched his brand new event creation and discovery app, SPOT.
His story is remarkable by all standards. However, it was all up to Oren to realize and he did so because of his ability to have a growth mindset and willingness to try anything while being resourceful and having fun at every step. He reminds us of the sheer importance of starting - wherever we are and with whatever we have at our fingertips.