Dad Man Walking

Chicago, Illinois | Series

Comedy, Drama

John T. O'Brien

1 Campaigns | Illinois, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $11,135 for pre-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

103 supporters | followers

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“Dad Man Walking” is a dark comedy about a single dad raising his young daughter in Chicago. The bills are mounting, he can't connect with other parents and his freelance career isn't making anything easier. But Dad's gotta keep walking...

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

The DAD MAN WALKING team believes diverse perspectives and casts tell the best stories and reach the widest audiences. We are committed to the inclusion of all identities on and off camera.

The Story

A note from the Writer and Lead Actor

John T. O'Brien


I'm a writer, an actor and most importantly, a father to the coolest daughter you can imagine.  All of these things converged in the creation of DAD MAN WALKING. It's a story that was inspired by my personal experiences and the obstacles I've faced balancing the life of an artist and a damn good dad. This story challenges traditional gender roles and biases while exploring parenthood from every angle. As parents everyone wants to be the perfect role model with all the right answers. We also want to be individuals with our own hopes and desires. We're gonna have some fun with that because we're all fallible beings and we do the best we can to raise great kids. 


DAD MAN WALKING is about a great father who is very capable of messing things up. I am very proud of this story and I cannot wait to bring it to life for you to enjoy. 


A note from the Director

Clare Cooney

I’m thrilled to be directing DAD MAN WALKING. Being a director and casting director, it should come as no surprise that I adore working with actors. Creating a dream-team cast, shaping the world of the series, and getting to collaborate and play with stellar actors is something that I love doing, and I feel lucky to be able to do so on this project. 

I just finished directing my first short film, RUNNER, a tense drama that is currently in the festival circuit. I was so excited to dive into the challenge of directing someone else’s work, particularly because the tone and topic of this piece is a change of pace from my first film. I found John’s story—juggling being an artist, a single guy trying to maintain a sense of self, and, most importantly, a full-time dad with sole custody of his daughter—to be really unique, funny, and moving. I like stories that turn expectations on their heads, and the fact that John—this attractive, charismatic, artist type—secretly has a very full, complicated, unexpected family life, immediately interested me in his story. We can’t wait to share it with you!


The Music

The Quin Kirchner Group will generously provide the soundtrack with music from the critically acclaimed album, THE OTHER SIDE OF TIME.  Quin has become a ubiquitous drumming force throughout the city's diverse music scene.  Peter Margasak of the Chicago Reader calls THE OTHER SIDE OF TIME “The first great jazz album of 2018.” Quin and John have been friends since playing music together in high school garage bands.




We couldn’t think of a better backdrop for this story, than our hometown, Chicago. With the city’s tumultuous history and vibrant arts community, Chicago is a character within itself.  It’s a city of extremes and multiple personalities, yet it’s the one place where the concrete grind converges with divine sky scrapers, where dingy tunnels serve as concert halls to brilliant musicians, and despite its fast pace and smog, you’ll find the most passionate, down-to-earth individuals.  We have major Chicago pride and we think audiences will fall in love with this city as much as its residents have.








Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Cast and Crew

Costs $5,000

We want to do right by everyone involved in the making of DAD MAN WALKING.


Costs $1,000

This is a unique Chicago story shot in unique Chicago locations.

Craft Services

Costs $800

We gotta eat or we'll get cranky!


Costs $1,000

There's no action without the lights and camera.

Post Production

Costs $1,700

Coloring, editing and sound mixing are critical!

Festival Submission

Costs $500

We want the world to see DAD MAN WALKING!

About This Team

John T. O'Brien - Writer/Actor

John T. O'Brien is an actor and writer living in Chicago. He is known for roles on ABC's "In An Instant", Lucy Hale's "Waiting on Roxie" and most recently the Untitled Katie Holmes FBI Pilot on FOX and Chicago Fire on NBC. He has appeared in many commercials as on-camera, spokesman and voiceover talent. Currently he is starring in and producing the original series, "Dad Man Walking", a script inspired by his experiences as a single dad raising a daughter in Chicago.  


Clare Cooney - Director

Clare Cooney a Chicago based director, actor, filmmaker, and casting director.  As a director and filmmaker, her short film RUNNER won Best USA Short Film at Fairhope Film Festival 2017, won the Audience Award at Chicago Critics Film Festival 2018, and World Premiered at Sidewalk Film Festival 2017. In addition, Clare was nominated for the "Filmmaker-to-Watch" Award at the Academy Award Qualifying Atlanta Film Festival 2018. You can watch the trailer for RUNNER here: 


RUNNER - Short Film Trailer from Clare Cooney on Vimeo


Recent film/TV credits: WIDOWS (Steve McQueen), HOT DATE (Pop TV), SHRINK (NBC), SOUL SESSIONS (Vincent Gaffney).  Recent stage credits include KING CHARLES III (Cardinal Stage) & PIRANDELLO'S HENRY IV (Remy Bumppo). In Chicago she has also worked with Chicago Dramatists, Northlight Theatre, Theater Wit, Redtwist Theatre, and the Backroom Shakespeare Project. Clare received an award for Outstanding Acting at Sidewalk Film Festival 2016 for her performance in the short film BIRD OF PREY.


Clare is also the casting director for Theater Wit, and does casting work for independent film projects and for the wonderful ladies of PR Casting. Clare is proud to be a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf, a graduate of The University of Notre Dame, and a Detroit native. She is represented by Gray Talent Group.


Bryce Haag - Director of Photography

Bryce Haag is a Chicago-based cinematographer who's been in the commercial industry since 2007. He has shot a broad range of projects from music videos to long form documentaries. 





Current Team