Boston, Massachusetts | Film Short

Romantic Comedy, Sci-Fi

Marc Morales

2 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $2,905 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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Devastated by a recent break-up, Jonathan downloads a popular dating app. Soon after making a profile, John is dragged into the virtual world of Matched. Narrowly escaping a flurry of dating profiles, John finds himself back home, only to realize he is trapped within his own profile.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
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  • The Team
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Mission Statement

Matched is a 15-minute short film chronicling the harsh realities of dating apps from the lens of its biggest demographic, college students. Using magical realism, Matched will cover how dating apps propagate objectification and toxic behavior.

The Story


Due to COVID-19, our team will be following strict protocols on-and-off set. By pledging to our fundraiser, you are not only helping us to create our dream, but you are also helping to keep us safe. To see an extended list of the rules and regulations we agree to follow, check out the Emerson College COVID-19 Protocols, on the Emerson College website.

Why Matched?

In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that 15% of adults in the United States have used dating apps. This figure doubles when looking at adults between the ages of 18-24. Since then, dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge have become the new standard of dating for millions worldwide. However, despite this dramatic change in the dating sphere, there has been little film coverage tackling dating apps' realities. Matched is a 15-minute short film chronicling the harsh realities of dating apps through the lens of its biggest demographic, college students. Styled in the Latin-American tradition of "magical realism," these realities include the normalized objection and the propagation of toxic expectations and mindsets.

Some modern examples of Magical Realism in film & Television include Birdman (2014) & FX’s Atlanta (2016-). Matched will have the tone of an episode of Atlanta and the fablesque structure of an episode of Black Mirror.

Furthermore, the film will delve into the harmful impact dating apps have on self-esteem and body image. It only felt natural to employ a magic realist filmmaking style to illustrate these concepts and dating apps' intersections with such abstract concepts. The film's magic realist style may remind viewers of Black Mirror, which often employs similar techniques to explore the many horrors of the social media age. Where Matched differs, however, is through the younger and more complementary perspective of its filmmakers on its subject matter. All in all, Matched is a perfect opportunity to add to the existing dialogue regarding social media and hook up culture from the people who are most impacted by it.

Narrative Arc

It's a dreary night out at a New England Pub. JONATHAN (21), a soon-to-be college graduate, sits with his roommate GEORGE (22). Jonathan is heartbroken after a recent breakup. George suggests that Jonathan go ask out the attractive bartender. After being convinced by George, Jonathan makes his way to the bar and waits for the bartender to notice him. While she fills up another customer's drink, Jonathan notices a man navigating a dating app called Matched. When the bartender finally turns towards Jonathan, he makes a weak attempt at a pick-up line and is harshly shot down.

Later that night, the two roommates return to their apartment, where George teaches Jonathan more about Matched. However, Jonathan only ends up with more questions than answers. After getting in bed, Jonathan opens up the Matched app, where he is prompted to make a profile. He then carefully crafts a profile with a witty bio and a series of photos, including one he took that night. Shortly after setting up his profile, an ad appears for Matched+, the app's premium membership. Uninterested, Jonathan closes out of the ad to begin the matching process.

The jarring nature of how Sorry to Bother You's protagonist is transported to different locations is a big inspiration for how Matched's profile sequences will be shot and edited.

At first, he goes through the profiles with a fine-tooth comb, nitpicking at any and all of their irregularities. However, after growing impatient with his lack of matches, Jonathan begins to swipe right without a second thought. Eventually, he finally finds a match, a woman named KAYLA (20). He immediately reviews the profile and decides to unmatch, thinking he can do better. However, after going through a couple more profiles, he runs out of swipes. Presented with another notification advertising Matched+, he purchases the membership.

Soon after getting a membership, Jonathan comes across the profile of a young woman named NINA (21). Nina's first photo is of her having a picnic at a park. While exploring her profile, Jonathan begins hearing ambient noises, one's he can't quite explain. He then carefully studies the photo and notices that the image is moving–it's not a photo at all. It's real.

When Jonathan is brought into Matched, the camera will seamlessly zoom into the phone screen until the first women’s photo makes up the frame in a manner similar to A$AP Rocky's music video, A$AP Forever. The same technique will be used in reverse for the film’s last shot when it is revealed that Jonathan is trapped in the app.

Upon his arrival, Jonathan frantically looks around until his eyes meet Nina's. She calls him over by name, and he has a flirtatious interaction with her. However, shortly into the conversation, Jonathan drops his phone and finds himself in a new location. Nina is now dressed differently and sports a brand new hairstyle. The new environment and clothes match a different photo from Nina's profile. After Nina explains to Jonathan what is going on, the setting and Nina's outfit change one more time. Making his way through Nina's profile Jonathan is presented with the option to swipe left or right on her. He swipes and is taken to a completely different profile; ARIANA (20). He swipes again.

Lastly, Jonathan is taken to the profile of a woman named KAYLA (20). Upon arriving in Kayla's profile, she confronts him, and Jonathan realizes that she is the woman he unmatched with earlier. The confrontation comes to a head when Kayla lurches at him, prompting the application to go haywire and begin dragging him through various other profiles without him swiping. During this, Jonathan sees only flashes of the women in their various environments before they are replaced. Eventually, Jonathan gets the app under control and is abruptly brought back to his apartment.

When Jonathan is overwhelmed by the various profiles and the shifting locations Matched will shift to a more horrific tone inspired by the stargate scene from 2001.

Hyperventilating, Jonathan closes out of the app and throws his phone aside. However, after calming down a bit, he realizes that his clothes have inexplicably changed. Noticing his outfit's familiarity, John retrieves his phone and realizes that his new outfit matches the photo he took earlier that night. There's a long pause as he tries to grasp the situation. Jonathan then runs over to the door and opens it, only to be met with a dark void. He then realizes that he is trapped in his own Matched profile.

Meanwhile, at the real apartment, George frantically knocks on Jonathan's door. Panicked, he calls out to Jonathan but gets no response. Soon after, George forces the door open only to realize that Jonathan is nowhere to be found. 

Elsewhere, a young woman, ALLISON (22), swipes through Matched. Coming across Jonathan's profile, she swipes him away.

Our Cast:

Ryan Watts is a Theatre and Performance Major graduating in 2023. His dedication and liveliness instantly earned him the lead role in our film. Ryan is a hard working and well trained actor and artist. 
Ian Hamilton is in his second year at Emerson College. He is studying Theatre and Performance and were super excited to have him aboard. Entertaining and thought-provoking in style, Ian and his character will be major components in Matched ensemble and narrative arc.
Keaton McLachlan is a Theatre and Performance Major at Emerson College. A freshman, Keaton blew us away with her ability to bring Nina to life.

Annalise Englert is a Theatre and Performance Major at Emerson College. A Junior, Annalise is a well versed and well practiced actor, and brings incredible value to the project.
Sarah Schmidt is studying Theatre and Performance Major at Emerson College. A sophomore, graduating in Spring of 2022, Sarah brings with her an envied balance of experience with fresh outlook.
Alexa Poplawski is a freshman with incredible knack for onstage emotion. As a first year Theatre and Performance Major, Alexa has worked incredibly hard to become part of the Matched team.
Seema is a Visual and Media Arts Major at Emerson College. She is also working as the Sound Recordist. It is her final semester at Emerson College.
Vincente is a Visual and Media Arts Major at Emerson College. Graduating in the Spring of 2023, Vincente will make a meaningful impact on our film in the role of Isaiah.


With our wonderful community's help, the Matched Team will be on set during the first two weekends of April. As soon as we get the green-light, our team will fervently work until our project is complete. Currently, in the Pre-Production Phase, we look forward to sharing Behind-The-Scenes exclusives with all of our fans. Once we begin production, we will be sharing exclusive looks at rehearsals, shoots, and on-set shenanigans. Make sure to follow @matched.bfa on Instagram for weekly content! Once Post-Production is complete, we will be sharing our film with our audience! With your support, we will also be submitting it to film festivals.

We look forward to entertaining you in the next coming months. Thank you for allowing us to leave an impact on the film industry. We could not ask for a better opportunity than Matched.


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Locations Costs

Costs $750

The Matched Team plans to rent locations through AirBnB.


Costs $200

Permits for shooting.

Equipment Transport

Costs $400

UHAUL rental.

Food and Drink

Costs $400

Help us feed our cast and crew.

Film Festival Submissions

Costs $200

Help us get our movie on the big screen!

COVID-19 Supplies

Costs $200

Masks, Gloves, Sanitizer, Wipes, and Face-Shields.

Production Design

Costs $500

Props and Set Design.


Costs $250

Clothe our talent.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Executive Producers: Marc Morales and Josey Finn

Directed by: Marc Morales

Screenplay by: Marc Morales

Director of Photography: Austin Beatty

Associate Producer: Dylan Scott, Jack Mullen, and Thomas Bloxham

1st AD: Kendall Deutsch

1st AC: Joshua DeGuzman

Gaffer: Josey Finn

Production Design by: Oliver Schaffer

Costume Design by: Carasanta Woodard

Sound Design by: Seema Grewal

Key Grip: Ethan Schlesinger

Color Correction by: Avery Niles

Edited by: Dillan Lincoln and Max Bessar

Digital Imaging Technician: Daniel Mullen

Current Team