We had the good fortune of connecting with Cai O’Leary and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cai, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I am from Wales and have always been surrounded by nature. I spent a lot of my youth hiking in the mountains and windsurfing on the local lakes with my father. I like to bring this slower pace and natural feel to my movies. I also own a company with my wife, separate from the Film world, which is designed around bringing people together and reaching far away from the stresses of day to day modern life. Back to how I once knew it, if you will.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I originally trained as an Actor at one of the UK’s leading Drama schools. I then went on and worked across the board in Theater, TV, Film and Voice work. When I moved to the States I decided that enough was enough and that I wanted to concentrate on work behind the camera.
My movies are very naturalistic in style. I have many influences, Yasujirō Ozu, Jia Zhangke, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Jean-Pierre Jenuet to name but a few. But generally speaking my influences come from Asia and Europe. So my style is not typical of a Hollywood Director. I also like to mix cultures in my storytelling, but with the characters at the core and driving the story along. Language is another passion of mine. I speak Welsh, English, Mandarin Chinese and am on my way to mastering Japanese, Spanish and Korean. I love to bring languages into my movies as I personally find it more interesting. Thankfully subtitles are slowly becoming less of a ‘no-no’ over here!
I recently wrapped on a Feature Film which I wrote and Directed. It is bilingual, English and Zomi (a minority ethnic group from Myanmar). It was a truly wonderful experience on many levels. Firstly, it took me many years of adapting this script to finally have what we ended up filming. And secondly, getting to experience such generosity from the Zomi community in Tulsa, where we filmed.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have a few favorites. My all time favorite eatery is Sage Bistro in Old Town Pasadena. For coffee it’s either CAR artisan chocolate in Pasadena or coffee JPG up in Sierra Madre. Further afield it would be coffee at The Old Place in Cornell (Malibu). And my all time favorite is Santa Barbara. Handlebar cafe for coffee, the funk zone for a glass of Vino and then Olivers in Montecito to finish up. The perfect beach day would be Manhattan beach, and for the perfect hike I would again say Sierra Madre where you can escape the bustling crowds of the more well known spots in West Hollywood.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Adam Gibson. He is a local entrepreneur and owner of Penny & Pound Productions.