Karena Evans has taken her directorial skills to Tinder. The 23-year-old creative force behind Drake’s “Nice for What” and “God’s Plan” music videos has linked up with the digital dating platform to create Swipe Night, an interactive micro-series.
“I think Tinder has tapped into something really special,” Karena tells Teen Vogue. “They created a scripted show that, above all else, allows its audience to start deeper conversations with who they have matched with. And that’s brilliant.”
Sunday nights — during the most popular swiping hours — Tinder users will have the option of experiencing an apocalyptic adventure where at key turning points major and minor decisions are made. Based on the users’ critical choices throughout the choose-your-own-destiny experience, they’re paired with real-life Tinder members who have made similar choices.
“We’re constantly working on ways to not just give our users better matches, but also more context to build from,” says Kyle Miller a product lead at Tinder. “Think of each part of the adventure as an opportunity to match with people you may have never matched with before.”
Geared toward Generation Z — who make 50 percent of Tinder’s members — Swipe Night recruited a fresh roster of talent. Writing was done by Nicole Delaney (Big Mouth) and Brandon Zuck (Five Points), and there are cameos from Rico Nasty and Riverdale‘s Hart Denton.
The show began last Sunday with a house party hosted by, Molly played by newcomer Shea Vaughan-Gabor. As she escorts you through the home, different decisions need to be made (via a swipe left or right) — from being the party’s impromptu DJ to breaking up a fight. For the next three weeks, the sequence of events change but always lead to a real-life match.
In a round-about way, it’s another form of matchmaking that makes entertainment a common denominator.
“The way we form relationships is always evolving but is often driven by the newest generation and their changing needs,” Kyle says. “They no longer feel pressure to fit within the traditional confines of what it means to ‘date’ or ‘flirt’ – they are paving their own way, so we are changing along with them.”
The unconventional is something Karena brought to this project, which was shot on a single camera.
“I wanted to make sure that every step of the way what users were being asked, the characters they were meeting and what at the heart of the story was being communicated allowed audiences to explore who they are and what they’re into,” Karena says about the overall direction of shooting the series. “It’s not just about inventive storytelling – it goes deeper than that. There’s a sense of meaning here, and in order to tap into that visually it was about making the episodes equal parts authentic and connected, yet also heightened and exciting.”
Tinder will release four episodes, each about 5 minutes long, of Swipe Night, one every Sunday in October from 6 p.m. to midnight local time, only on Tinder.