Chase Jarvis RAW: Kung Fu (Featuring Superfad)

Move over Ninjas. Replace those swords, smoke machines and bikini-clad women with a new, fiercer battle featuring a Kung Fu master who uses his bare knuckles to fend off fire, earth, wind and water.

This behind the scenes vid highlights my recent great fortune of collaborating with the design and live action wizards over at Superfad. I’ve written about their amazing work before… Thanks again guys for bringing me on board to shoot the stills for this one along side your amazing motion work. Hats off to the whole Superfad crew. Credits on the Kung Fu piece: Will Hyde (Superfad Founder, CD); Dade Orgeron (Concept + Director); Rob Sanborn (Exec Prod); Stephen McGehee (DOP); David Viau and Luke Allen (Designers); Phiphat “P” Pinyosophon (Sim Artist); Ryan Haug (Editor); Nate Barr (Producer). And of course the Kung Fu Master: Paul Gutierrez.

In this Chase Jarvis RAW, I’ve attempted to detail the entire process, with an emphasis on the capture, the set building, styling, and the creative methodology for making this project come together.

I’m also hoping to highlight the increasing trend in the advertising world where broadcast TV campaigns unite with their print and online cousins to put forward one cohesive vision. The stills match the motion matches the stills… This trend is here to stay me thinks. To get more background on one of my favorite shoots of the year, plus some final still images from the day – even a before and after – hit the ‘continue reading’ link below.

Actually, before we jump to some of the final images – I gotta call out something: don’t forget to pay special attention in that vid to the magic behind The Phantom camera, featured here. It’s a mind blowing video camera that captures HD resolution at an astonishing 1000fps. We all love the Red Camera. Indeed. This is it’s big brother. Isn’t this sucker just amazing? I’m smitten.

Ok, so some photos that we eeked outta this thing:

Here’s our master fighting FIRE:

And here, he’s fighting WATER:

Here’s EARTH:

And not to forget, WIND:

You can see from the vid that there was a ton of compositing and post production on this stuff, which made it really fun and interesting to say the least. As a little nugget, below you’ll see an early peek at where we were playing with the water layer composites before we went to work on the backdrop and such… Crazy how far some of this commercial stuff goes sometimes, but in reality this is the tip of the iceberg compared to some of the ultra shiney campaigns. (And frankly, even THAT it’s a fraction of what motion folks like Superfad have to do in post for the their stuff…whew.)

Oh ya, on that note, a little horn tooting here: just Friday learned that this series landed International Photography Awards 1st Prize for the subcategory Special Effects. Woot! Scott logged some extra work on these shots to make em look nice and buttery – big ups. And I recall that, as we worked this suckers up, at least a couple of the files were pushing 2GB! Lordie. Big ups to the whole team on this one, in fact. It was a hell of a production.

(BTW, you should check out the award site for the other winners’ work. I’m blown away by so many images. Spend some time there… The quest for the Lucie is a tall one! )

Lastly, this video post wouldn’t be complete without a huge shoutout to the kickass music in this piece. Please join me in celebrating another one of my favorite bands, The Black Angels. This tune rocks, as does damn near every song in their repertoire. It’s like crack. Please support them and buy their music on iTunes.

Other Chase Jarvis: RAW behind the scenes vids you might enjoy:
[Chase Jarvis RAW: Advance Testing the Nikon D90]
[Chase Jarvis RAW: Ninjas]
[Chase Jarvis RAW: New Zealand Spring]

C’est un vrai plaisir de regarder ce poste

xxx cochonne says:

Quel hasard je pensais justement rédiger un poste similaire à celui-ci

Kay Suehs says:

Hope you had a joyful birthday yesterday Mrs. Morris!

Philip Kirk says:

Hi Chase,

Just wanted to say thanks, your awesome shoot gave me the idea for a series of Parkour photos. I’ve just put the first of the four shots up on my blog (I guess you can see the pingback above).


Hi Chase,

What a sensational set of images (and having The Black Angels as a soundtrack to the video was an added bonus – great band).

I'm currently researching a project for a musician client using fire. I'd love some more information about exactly what went into the fire shot – how many shots were involved in making the final image? It's spectacular.

Cheers, Richard

PS – pity you didn't make it to Melbourne when you were in Australia recently.

jake alvarez says:

It’s amazing. always amazing. well done. The kung Fu master fought earth, wind, fire and leaves. I mean air blowing the leaves.

Marvin says:

Wow! Simply amazing. Very inspiring.

I am officially a Chase Jarvis fan.

-Linus says:

Oh my…

The water and fire photos are seriously the most impressive photos I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing this. You made my day.

Chase, I’m a fan of your work, you always inspire me.

THANK’S fom Mexico!!!!

gutierpd says:

Awesome!That was fun!Chase,kudos to you and the crew for a SUPER SUPERB job.

Really a great and good work! If you search for an european agent, I am your man!

Wilfrid says:

Wow I am inspired! Thanks for showing what’s behind the scene. It is very interesting. Keep up the great work!

PS. I found your site via YouTube as I am researching on the new Nikon D90.

ganzaak says:

wow amazing i really liked

Jenny Hill says:

A little late to the party…

Wow! Great work! Inspiring stuff as always…

Mark says:

Just wondering if you or any of your guru’s would ever illustrate some of your photoshop processing techniques


amodela says:

OK. a)Bought the album. b)Want both of those cameras. c)Will have Chase’s baby.

Anonymous says:

That material is sooo tight.

Cody H. says:

@ weareadventures,
Bummer! Check out our friends at Light in the Attic Records and Im sure they can get you a copy!

Thank you so much!
That song isnt available in the UK itunes, i downloaded every black angel song to find it but no luck! Just found a great new band tho:)

Cody H. says:

@ Anon,
The name of the song is “Young Men Dead” by The Black Angels. Check the post, Chase has the iTunes link!

Anonymous says:

Thanks for explaining Scott, I’m always watching other people and look how they do it, so I can maybe learn something to improve my own workflow,


Anonymous says:

whats the name of this song? it rocks!

Chase Jarvis says:

@ jeff: I’m guessing that no fan that big can run on any normal battery – it would require a generator to get any reasonable length of time out of it…

Scott R. says:

@Anon: We start by building an Aperture Library that we use to organize and edit the files. When building complicated final images we use Aperture to establish the initial aesthetic in terms of exposure, contrast, color, etc. We also matched all of the pieces that made up the composites in the Aperture RAW processor. We then export 16bit PSDs at full resolution to complete the images in Photoshop.

Wyld Willy says:


Hi chase,

Great vid again!

Hey, look at this and read the description… Wasn't it a phantom HD ??!;=related

Skunkabilly says:

Hi Chase & crew,

You know that big fan you have…is there something like that, but self-contained (i.e. battery powered) for shooting on location?


Anonymous says:

Very nice!,
but I was wondering how your RAW workflow goes from import to delivery, I saw you were using aperture, can you explain how you use that in combination with ps?


Saxi says:

awesome video with some great results! love those earth&fire; thingies – amazing ideas!

congrats in the well deserved award.
And thanks for another great video

So badass! Thanks for sharing, Chase…

1000fps?! Are you kidding?! All that slow-mo action was delicious, I think I’m going to die of insane videography overload. Fire and water were my favorites fo sho.

How many exposers did you blend to get that look in the stills?

Geez…. Now I want to be a video guy when I grow up. Love the whole slo-mo video spliced with stills.

Cody H. says:

@ Eric
After final color correction I export as a quicktime movie from final cut pro. I then take that .mov and Import it into compressor and use the H.264 for Apple TV. I usually bump the contrast and set the bit rate to 1500kbps.


Can you please tell us how you prep your video before uploading to YouTube? Which codec, other settings? Etc. It looks great. Thanks

Brian says:

I just thought I would let you know you were mention on Scott Kelby’s (NAPP) blog. It seems he is worried about asking you to be a guest blogger. I think it would be great as I’m a fan of your work.

Anyway here’s the link:

Also when can we expect a Chase Jarvis book? I’m sorry I just need another killer book to drool over and be inspired.

I agree, that is a great video.

Cody H. says:

@ Dabigun,
Thank you, my thoughts exactly :)


Anonymous says:

Amazing! You’re so great, love you man!!

DaBigUn says:

Great stuff, chaser. I personally love the editing… No to disparage Robert above, we’re all allowed our opinions. It’s just that this matches reality…in this environment. It’s fast paced, shows a lot of variety. I mean, how deep and boring to you want to go and how much can you really delve into in a 4 min piece that’s trying to illustrate everything that goes down in a multi day, multi hundred k shoot?

Keep rockin

Robert says:

The stills are incredible, but the video… well, I just despise the editing, “jumping around.” It’s trite. If you want to say something, say it. The subject itself is fascinating with no need for “tricks.” I only wish you showed more how you got the shots. You guys are really good, editor excepted.

Yanik says:

My God Chase! Let me know if you need an assistant! :-D

I’m drooling here!

Thanks for that bloody great.
Also thanks for the introduction to the Black Angels.

Anonymous says:

Once again thats for showing us photo geeks the making along with the final work. As always GREAT work. Love those final shots.

This photos and composite are sick…!!!!! Way sick…!!!!!

Bach says:

The Black Angels rule. Just bought two albums…

Jonathan says:

Awesome work. I just discovered Chase Jarvis via the D90 video. I love how marketing works, and you guys played your card right on that one. The d90 has everybody all giddy and watching your video about it, so everyone knows who chase jarvis is now, and everyone’s listening to The Blakes, I’m sure. I know I am.

Anyways, the fireball scott was playing with was awesome. hot potato anyone?

~John says:

seriously? you have to stop doing work this amazing. I’m just gonna hang up my cameras now, cause there’s just no point to competing with the MASTER.

Very cool. Thanks for the behind the scenes!

Incredible! I would give anything to come and assist you on one of those shoots! Nice work!

ocnusmaxica says:

that first image of the fire looks like it went past my DIY “dave hill” action :)

Awesome images though. So much planning and thought behind each picture.

Dean says:

great to see partially how its done, but an eye opener of how much further i have to go!


Congrats on the award. There are so many good photographers to explore on that website, there goes my free time.

Ken says:

Great stuff! Thanks Chase!

Chaz Boyd says:

Chase, your videos are amazing. As common, very inspiring and artistic. The music is awesome as always.

Anonymous says:

Ever since I saw the Ninja shoot a couple years ago, I’ve been on the lookout for the next Chase Jarvis video.

He seems like an awesome guy. What an inspiring bad ass. I love him.

Great stuff there Chase & lad's… If you don't mind me asking what price would a production like this cost????? Wow real creative….

Geoff says:

Great to see what goes on behind a shoot. Fantastic as always!

I agree the Phantom cameras are something special, I was fortunate enough to score some time on a few of the VR Phantoms back in March to do some high speed myself (not bad for a 16 year old to get use out of two $100,000 cameras?).

Scott R. says:

@Anon: There are two photo backgrounds in the video. One is called a cyc wall, which is a concave wall at the back of the set, in this case painted with a sky. These are built in. The second backdrop is a blue 12′ piece seamless background paper. These can be bought at professional camera and video stores in a broad range of colors.

Arellus says:

Wow ! Just amazing !

Chase Jarvis says:

@ anon: His name is Paul Gutierrez and he is a great guy. Total badass.

Scott R. says:

@Alvaro: We shot with the 35mm, 50-110mm, and the 80mm Hasselblad lenses for this shoot.

Anonymous says:

Very cool… Stupid question: Where do you get those big photo backgrounds from?

Mads Alexander says:

What an awsome project, i trult envy you!

Alvaro MAM says:


Another amazing work and what a good mix of talents, this crossover work is really interesting and enlightening.

Which lenses you used during the shoot on the Hasselblad?


Anonymous says:

Who is the kung fu performer?

Shelby White says:

Totally awesome Post

allan z. says:

superfad??…nahhh…super badass stuff!

Bert says:

Incredible! excellent! Chase the master!!

Rob says:

You noobs are completely missing the takeaway here.
Quality photographers =
1) Fast as lightning
2) Expert timing
3) A little bit frightening

_ri3s says:

awesome!!! – great work!!!
WOW – World of wonders…etc.

bizior says:

……. but how ?? ….. !!

speechless… you left me speechless, again :)

Tyson says:

Very, Very Nice! I got to work with the Phantom on a parkour shoot in Seattle as well and it is truly ridiculous! I still do something cool actually with the master footage I got from it…

Wes says:

Absolutely Amazing.

Andy says:

Amazing stuff! Funny coincidence, though, I had just begun the process of contacting a local kung fu school to plan a shoot when I saw this. Definitely lights a fire under me to do the best I can with it. Pun intended.

Tom Janz says:

Loven this video… Absolutely amazing!!!

Mark R says:

amazing work chase, inspiring me to push myself more and more. i cant thank you enough for this blog and video series. it is a truly insightful and beneficial to up and comers to see inside the mindset of one of the greats. Thanks, keep up the amazing work!


Dave Martin says:

Shots look great, the one I saw on the video has a rich, graphic novel type feel too it, well that’s what I thought anyway. Looks like everyone was having fun, and Scott managed not to burn your studio down which, is always a bonus.
If you’re ever in Cape Town, First round is on me!

Adi says:

Awesome!!! I’m still starring with an open mouth on my screen :)

Pixyst says:

Hi Chase, I remember this from your class in Dubai. I am so glad it is now available to see again and again and ….

Keep up the excellent work and thanks for sharing.

David Apeji

MarquiMarc says:

dude…how can we catch up with you…if you’re going at this rate…wow

keep inspiring us by continuing to share your work! thanks chase!

Pieter says:

To stay in the same spirit: the force is strong in you Chase.

Chase Jarvis says:

@ anon. Yes. Got to holler at the whole crew for effort on this. Kate, Scott, Dartanyon, Cody, Rebekah!

Anonymous says:

PS Props to your photo edit-guy; who’s that, Scott? Also, whoever does your videos.

Anonymous says:

love it, Aaron!

Adam Swords says:

I loved this when I saw it in Dubai and funnily enough Julian Love and I were only talking last week about when you’d release it, as we were both keen to see it again.

I have to say that of all of your behind the scenes videos, this one is your strongest yet, both in the quality of the final work and the overall feel of the vid.

This one is really setting you guys apart from the rest and I think any uncertainties a future potential client may have would be put at ease after watching this.

Fantastic work – I can see this one being another classic like your Ninjas shoot.

(Kinda funny how your two most E-popular shoots have (will) be martial arts productions!)

Props to the team at CJ inc. and Superfad for this one – helluva show guys.


Would love to get my hands on that 1000 frames per second video camera.

Looks like that photo shoot was tons of fun.

Anonymous says:

Gotta say, Chase, as an art buyer, sure I always love how much fun you guys have on set in the vids. And the community stuff. Nice. That is cool, all fun and good. But in total honesty, what now strikes me is that these kind of things here that your doing just reek of talent. Congrats.

waaaay beyond awesome, superb work!

earth doesnt seem to be loading, though…

Aberazzi says:

wow, I have always wanted to use a Phantom HD. It looks like you had a lot of fun on that shoot. I really love the concept and the stills looked great.

Are you friggin kidding???? The shots are fantastic and the music makes me want to pick a fight!

steve walsh says:

What can I say…… dam you and your trickery…. your a real pro….

webab says:

Chase the best!!

Martin Wolf says:

What could I say… AMAZING, STUNNING!

What a great project to use the Phantom HD cam on. I am so glad some one besides mythbusters are using these things. I know i would if i could afford 10 grand a day just to rent the camera the worlds brightest studio lights. Keep up the good work. Great Job!

Skunkabilly says:

And on another note: OMG Canon G10!!!

Skunkabilly says:

holy crap that is cool!!

You and Your team are the BEST SHIT ever… damn… speechless…

Duane says:

WOW – that was freaking amazing! I am REALLY appreciate that you do these videos

wmiami says:

I’ve got a “we’re sorry, this video is no longer available.” message… :((

Ryan says:

Again Chase…thanks a lot.

I definately loved the water fight scenes the most!

Daren says:

Just amazing!! That was so cool!

nuts muc says:

I love the water scenes – and I want to do something similar! Now! But I dont know who, how, where. Damn. And I need to go to the office. Its so sad.

Thanks Chase!

Kevin says:

The Phantom is ridiculous! I’ll take 2 please? Can’t wait to see more of the print ads.

Chase….you the man! That was one of the coolest things I think I have ever seen. Wow.

Very nicely put together video, as are all of the videos on your site – I always look forward to new ones! Lots of things to learn from or be inspired by!


Anonymous says:

wow, very very nice. Inspiring video also makes you want to run out and take photos.

Snorri Gunnarsson

Tyke says:

ohhh myyyy God.

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