Patrick Wimp has been named Program Lead of the Second City Film School. A cinematographer, director, writer and producer whose credits range from TV series to shorts and feature films, he brings a mother lode of industry knowledge to the legendary institution.
“I want to help students get where they’re going faster,” he says. “I want to teach them some of the things that I only learned through working in the industry.”
The Second City Film School is an evolution of the Harold Ramis Film School, a yearlong program launched by the improvisational comedy theatre in 2016.
Here’s a quick and colorful video intro to the school:
As Program Lead, Wimp will guide students through a curriculum that emphasizes comedy while allowing them to learn filmmaking at Second City’s legendary theater in Old Town and frequently partners with DePaul University to offer instruction in comedic storytelling.
“I want to continue to evolve Second City’s ability to help students become great storytellers by training on a one-to-one level in the ‘high-touch’ educational style where the student-to-teacher ratio is very small.” he says. “Second City educates students who I could see becoming successful directors, show runners, staff writers and late night comedy contributors.”
Wimp’s teaching resume dates back to 2010 and includes schools like DePaul, Northwestern, University of Chicago, College of DuPage and the Harold Ramis Film School. Outside of the classroom, he has developed a body of work that spans genres and continents…
Public Housing Unit is a realistic 2017 TV pilot about life in the Chicago projects. Brothers from the Suburbs is a stoner-rific 2019 short about three young African American men navigating teenage protocols in a mostly white high school. WaMahyaya is a hit Middle Eastern show about science and philosophy hosted by Saudi media personality Dr. Walid Fitaihi.
Wimp is also writing a 30-minute pilot based on Brothers from the Suburbs for HBO and he DP’d on Chance the Rapper’s 2019 We Go High music video. Still, he considers the new position at Second City to be among his finest accomplishments.
“The greatness of Second City’s legacy is kind of hard to understate,” he says. “In the lobby, when you see face after face after face of portraits of grads who are now comedic legends, it is really special to be an educator who is helping to carry on that tradition. One of my top three favorite movies, if not my top favorite, is Ghostbusters. The joy of gut-busting laughter never goes away.”
Wimp’s record of success on the screen is matched by a commitment to filmmakers behind the scenes. He has contributed to Free Spirit Media’s Industry Pathways Cohort, a 12-week intensive training program that prepares young people for film-related careers; and he was a committee member for CMA Digital Studio’s Content Initiative, which funded a number of Illinois-made webseries.
He is also an avid student of his own pupils. “Teaching keeps me current with what people are into and where the industry’s going,” he says.
Wimp earned a Master of Fine Arts from DePaul University. He currently lives in the suburbs with his wife Kristin and soon-to-be fifth child.
“Pat first joined The Second City a few years back to teach at HRFS and has always impressed us with his thoughtful and effective leadership and ability to collaborate as seen in his personal work,” Second City Film School’s Jack Newell shared with SCREEN. “The beginning of the film school project at The Second City was building – faculty, curriculum, facilities, partnerships, etc. and we’ve done that. So, it’s a good time for someone new to come on board and bring SCFS to a whole new level and audience.”