A native of Indiana, O'Haver began making Super-8 films as a teenager. Originally harboring intentions of becoming a film critic, he studied journalism at Indiana University before moving to L.A. where he had been promised a production job. His experience on "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare" (1991) led to work at New Line, where he rose from the mailroom to video publicity. By then, O'Haver had begun to take screenwriting classes at UCLA and was making his own short films. "The Pitch," about proposing screenplays to executives, was sold to Showtime and on its strength, he was accepted into the film school at USC. Several of his student shorts (including "Heidi and I," "Catalina," "Home Movies" and "Two") found their way into film festivals creating a buzz around the filmmaker. "Two," a stylized featurette about three friends sitting around a swimming pool who ultimately engage in an orgy climaxed in a musical dream montage, won special notice at its Sundance screening and led to producer David Moseley coming on board for O'Haver feature debut. "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss" was a throwback to 50s melodramas and 60s romantic comedies also employed a mixture of styles, including several black-and-white dream sequences. Despite its setting amid a gay milieu. O'Haver strove to find the universality of the situation of a romantic who falls for the wrong people. After a screening at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, the film was acquired by Trimark and released in the summer to mostly positive reviews. O'Haver was signed by Universal to script and direct a live-action film based on the "Archie" comics.