Hollywood actors in Digital Hydra/Aaron’s TV pilot

Hamzah Jamjoon films Maher Zain’s “Ramadan” video

Digital Hydra, LLC  partners Patrick Wimp and Hamzah Jamjoon are currently shopping their spec TV show pilot, Dine and Dash, created and hosted by Chicago comedian Matthew Aaron, host of the LA-based podcast, The Matthew Aaron Show.

Shot at trendy Beverly Hills restaurant Scarpetta, in February, it features Hollywood name actors Joe Carnahan, Kate Walsh, Common, Lucy Lawless, and Dermot Mulroney.

“Matt developed the concept as a means to capture the intimacy of a dinner party in a talk show format,” says Wimp, who with Jamjoom started Digital Hydra in 2009 after they earned their MFAs at DePaul.

“The show aims to pull together groups of actors, directors, musicians and other creatives to look behind the scenes of their careers and lives over an evening of fine dining,” Wimp says.

Digital Hydra partners Patrick Wimp, Hamzah Jamjoom, and Jacquelyn ChengerChildhood friends and classmates in DePaul’s Digital Cinema program, Aaron approached Wimp to bring a cinematic feel to Dine and Dash.  “Matt’s goal was to create a talk show that felt like a Tony Scott movie,” Wimp says, “and he felt that our skillset would help achieve that end.”

Wimp directed, shot, and edited with Jamjoom. Producer was Jacquelyn Chenger, Jamjoom’s wife and fellow partner, formerly with One at Optimus, who joined the company in 2011. 

A crew of mostly fellow DePaul alums operated six Sony PMW-F3 cameras.

Expanding work in Middle Eastern markets

A Saudi native, Jamjoom starred in the 2011 IMAX film Arabia 3D, “which really helped increase Hamzah’s profile as a director and helped us reach out into Middle Eastern markets that were kind of starved for talented creatives who understand their culture,” Wimp says.

Digital Hydra in July released “Ramadan,” their second music video for Lebanese-Swedish Muslim-R&B singer Maher Zain, which won 6 million views in its first month.

Their 2011 video for Zain’s “Ya Nabi Salam Alayaka” has garnered some 30 million views for its Arabic, Turkish, and English-language versions from Zain’s international fan base.  Jamjoom directed, with Chenger producing and Wimp filming.

Since then, they produced other work for Middle Eastern markets: a 2012 documentary for the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission and an Arabic language YouTube series focusing on tech companies in the Silicon Valley, now in post-production.

Under the guidance of producer Steven A. Jones, they’re also adapting a feature-length version of their 2012 short, Factory of Lies, which will play this year’s Dubai and Gulf international film festivals. 

Sports part of their diverse portfolio

Wimp and Jamzoom also have been active in sports shoots. They shot three WGN/9 promos with WGN writer-director Ryan Johnson in the past 18 months and shot and lit a spot for 2012-13 Bulls season, featuring hometown commentators Stacy King and Neil Funk.

Wimp and freelancer Ross Heran worked on a promo for the 2013 White Sox season, and Jamjoom and Heran did another one promoting the Sox vs. Cubs “Crosstown Cup.”

Last month, Digital Hydra moved into a new office at Lacuna Artist Lofts at 2150 S. Canalport and is connecting with small to mid-size business and non-profits to increase the diversity of their portfolio.