A BALLINTEMPLE man will have a chance to see the film he penned, directed and starred in on cable television following its theatrical release in the US.
Owen Dara, who now lives in LA with his partner and co-star Jessica Lancaster, was so keen to have his film, Choosing Signs, produced he wrote and performed the 13 songs for its soundtrack.
He also edited the film while Jessica served as its social media manager.
Owen is now reaping the rewards of their success, as Choosing Signs gains traction on platforms such as iTunes, Google Play and Vudu.
The romantic comedy about an American woman following signs from the Universe all the way to Ireland has also been picked up by cable television networks.
The pair are no strangers to the spotlight.
Jessica has guest starred in shows such as Crime Scene Investigations (CSI), Medium, The Forgotten, and Law and Order, while Owen once landed a guest spot on neighbours.
The pair are back on Irish soil this week to mark the premiere of their film the Holy Fail which screened at the Gate Cinema as part of the Indie Cork Film Festival.
Owen was glad to be able to film Choosing Signs in his hometown.
“My first taste of film was when I was an extra on Good Morning Vietnam,” he recalled.
“I played a marine but you can barely see me,” he laughed.
“I always joke that my left ear made the cut but my right ear didn’t. It was here that I met Robin Williams. He was constantly ‘on’ and I can remember feeling really entertained.
“Before that, I had never even seen a comedian live before. It was a really eye-opening experience.”
Owen later travelled to Australia where he began work as a stand-up comedian, which landed him a guest spot on the soap Neighbours.
“I dove into comedy head first and made it my life. Getting to the level where I was being hired to perform on cruise ships was incredible.
“All these years later it has helped me with my script writing. I know what will get a laugh and what will appeal to a wider audience.”
The now film-maker subsequently moved to LA where he met his partner and co-star Jessica. The pair has been together for 15 years.
“Jessica is a trained actress. She knows the language of acting.
“We don’t have kids so in a way these films are like our children. We do the best we can for them before releasing them into the world and hoping for the best.
“We’re not just life partners, we’re producing partners too. This takes the pressure off a little as we can both bear the brunt of each project.”
Owen always values his partner’s opinion.
“Jessica has both an eye and an ear for acting. If she says that something doesn’t work she’s generally right. We’re alike in that we both have a ‘can do’ attitude. Neither of us has ever looked back.”
The artist and musician’s main objective is to enjoy the filmmaking process.
“When I first went to LA I hadn’t set out to become the next Steven Spielberg. That’s never been something that drives me and it doesn’t look like that’s ever going to happen. What I did set out to do was make the best piece of art I can make.”
Owen’s family back in Cork remain unfazed by the couple’s success.
“When you’re in Cork these things don’t set you apart. I’m not sure if my family have even seen programmes like Law and Order that Jessica has acted in. To them, she’s just Jessica.”