DePaul MFA’s digital feature goes big screen

Digital feature “Four,” the 40-minute, ambitious MFA thesis film of writer/director Patrick Wimp, the first-ever MFA graduate of DePaul University’s Digital Cinema program, will premiere June 10 at the Music Box.

The four separate stories were partly inspired by C.S. Lewis’ book “The Four Loves” and together create a “bittersweet” emotional arc that explores the notion that “every choice has a consequence.”

Wimp filmed in Chicago, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin to form the backdrop to thematically-connected and interwoven stories about different types of love in “Four.”

“I wanted to use the cities to accent what was happening between the characters,” Wimp says. “So we get a romance in Paris, a darker, creepy world in Amsterdam, and a banter between friends in Dublin.”

Wimp raised the $20,000 budget for the film over a year and cast actors from each city via the internet before taking a small crew and a 1080p Sony XDCAM borrowed from DePaul to Europe for three weeks of “guerrilla filmmaking” last November.

Traveling with Wimp were fellow DePaul DC students DP Noah Christofer, production designers Jay Pepitone and Mattie Vendersteen, and sound recorder Conor O’Donnell.

“We were in each city for a week, pretty much shooting the whole time, before coming back to Chicago to re-boot and edit, and then we shot the Chicago scenes in February,” says Wimp.

“A lot of the time it felt like it was us against the world,” says Wimp. “We were often just walking into bars and asking people if we could shoot there. It was fun to go out there not quite fully ready and just make stuff happen.”

Wimp took stylistic inspiration from Claude Lelouch’s classic 1966 romance “A Man and A Woman,” working with DP Christofer to create a look that was “visually gripping at all times.”

“We wanted to give it a feeling that you were observing real people as opposed to watching a movie,” says Wimp.

A promotional campaign for the film has launched on Facebook and the “Four” website, with crewmembers giving video testimonials about their experiences on the project.

“Four” will be entered into the festival circuit this year before Wimp’s team looks for distribution through U.S. and European television.

Wimp, who is from Downers Grove and worked freelance while at DePaul, intends to stay in Chicago after graduating and is committed to promoting the local film industry.

“I want to be part of Chicago becoming a hub of independent cinema,” he says. “With the resources and connections I have here, I wouldn’t want to leave. Here, I know where to begin if I want to make a movie, I know exactly who to call and how to get it done.”