About Our Irish Cousins

The key creative forces behind this film are Mike Houlihan and our cinematographer Joe Fitzgerald, our editor Roger Wolski, and composer Patrick Brennan. Their biographies are listed below.

We anticipate finishing the film in the next six months. We’ve had some experience on the film festival circuit with our independent feature “Tapioca” and we know that it’s the most economical route to the film being picked up for theatrical and DVD distribution.

Our audience for “Our Irish Cousins” is the 44 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry, as well as those of Irish blood all over the rest of the world and Ireland.

Cast and Crew:

About Mike Houlihan:

Mike Houlihan is a former features columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, where he penned the “Houli in ‘da Hood” column from 2002-2005. He has written the “Hooliganism” column in the Irish American News since 1996.  He began his career as an actor in 1973 with the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford Ct., and appeared onstage with regional theatres across the country as well as Off-Broadway, on Broadway, on television and in major motion pictures. While working in New York he met Malachy and Frank McCourt and together they developed A COUPLE OF BLAGUARDS, which Houlihan produced and directed at The Village Gate in New York City in 1984 and subsequently toured all over the world. BLAGUARDS was selected as a special promotional representative for Irish Distillers International and was the genesis of a series of books written by the McCourts including “Angela’s Ashes“, “Tis“, and “A Monk Swimming,” His experience as an actor, director, and producer, paved the way for his career as a playwright.  His play GOIN’ EAST ON ASHLAND ran for over six years in Chicago, and his play MICKEY FINN had its world premiere production at the Royal George Theatre. Mike contributed humorous essays to public radio in Chicago on WBEZ-FM for several years and also appears regularly onstage in Chicago as a stand-up comic and character actor. In 2006 he won the Illinois/Chicago Film Office Screenplay competition with his screenplay, “Ballhawk”. Vanguard Cinema has just released the DVD of Mike’s independent feature film, TAPIOCA starring Ben Vereen, Tim Kazurinsky, and several Second City comics. Tapioca premiered at the Park City Film Music Festival in Park City, Utah and played the film festival circuit through 2008, winning Best Feature Film at the Geneva Film Fest. He is the co-host of “The Skinny & Houli Show” with Skinny Sheahan on WCEV Radio, 1450 AM every Saturday afternoon. He is currently working with The Center for Independent Documentary in post-production on his latest film, a documentary, “Our Irish Cousins”, (ouririshcousins.com), just wrapped filming on “So Goes The World”-a documentary on Chicago’s 19th Ward Aldermanic Election, and WTTW Chicago Public Television aired his backstage peek at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen Contest with the documentary, “Her Majesty, ‘da Queen” in February of 2011.

For more info go to www.mikehoulihan.com.

 

Joseph R. Fitzgerald-Cinematographer

While studying cinematography at Southern Illinois University, Joe got an early start in the business working on music videos and commercials in Chicago during his summers away from school. After graduating in 2002, he began working in various departments in feature films, reality TV and commercials. In 2004 he moved to Los Angeles and began operating camera for reality TV, documentaries, and independent features. At the start of 2006, Joe moved back to Chicago where he worked as 2nd Unit DP on a feature called Tapioca, and got his first feature as cinematographer on Counting Backwards, in both cases utilized for his extensive handheld experience. He continued on to take the helm of flag ship docu-dramas such as TV Guide Channel’s “Making News,” and History Channel’s “Gangland,” among others. Currently he is prepping A&E’s new show “Paranormal Cops,” as Chief camera operator/Steadicam operator.

Roger Wolski – Editor & Sound Designer

Roger Wolski’s experience of twenty-three years in production includes working in both film and audio. As Production Executive of the feature film Madison, Wolski honed his independent filmmaking skills working with a multi-million dollar budget and such stars as Jim Cevezial (The Passion of the Christ), Bruce Dern (All The Pretty Horses) and Mary McCormack (Full Frontal, Deep Impact). Madison was released by MGM on April 22, 2005. Wolski produced and directed The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas hosted by Stacy Keach. With ninety episodes under his belt, he also directed, recorded, created sound effects, and mixed each episode. These translations of Rod Serling’s television scripts into radio dramas are distributed worldwide and include the participation of actors such as Jason Alexander, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ed Begley Jr., and Jane Seymour. Wolski now has his own production company, Wolski Productions, Inc. His company provides Video/Film editing and Audio Post Production services. He recently completed sound mixing for the feature film Tapioca starring Ben Vereen and Dog Jack starring Louis Gossett Jr. He also is an experienced editor, providing post-production for corporate presentations, documentaries and film. He provided editorial for the award-winning documentary, Beauty does Lie: The Untold Stories of Autoimmune Diseases distributed by Fanlight Productions. His client roster includes the U.S. Army, The History Channel, Chicago Carpenters Union and Lockheed Martin.

Patrick Brennan-Composer

Patrick Brennan is a Chicago-based musician, writer, and composer. Known for his long form work (he has written and produced the scores for more than 250 documentaries since 1996), Brennan has also produced hundred of jingles and ad-oriented music. He has been the member of countless bands, including Dick Holliday and the Bamboo Gang, Michael McDermott, Jon Langford and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, and Nashvillian Pat McLaughlin. Brennan has also written two major works on the Civil War: Secessionville–Assault on Charleston, and To Die Game–General Jeb Stuart. As associate editor of North & South Magazine, Pat has written 20 articles for various Civil War journals. But documentaries remain Brennan’s chosen form of expression. He has contributed scores for American Justice, History’s Mysteries, The Unexplained, Biography, Final Report, Cold Case, and a long running History Channel show on the underworld of street crime. His work for National Geographic’s four hour special on 9/11 helped earn that series an Emmy nomination, and he recently contributed to a Discovery Channel investigation into Cook County Jail. Among his performing credits, Brennan considers one that stands above the rest: under the auspices of the Steppenwolf Theater and playing Van Morrison’s Hammond organ, Pat accompanied Steve Earle and Tony Fitzpatrick’s two-man show at the 2002 Galway Arts Festival.