$100,000 in 140 Seconds

I can’t help but think that somebody forgot to dot an i or cross a t somewhere, because yours truly has just been asked to give away $100,000 of somebody else’s money. Yep you read that correctly. 100. LARGE.

That somebody is Nikon, and I’m not alone in this endeavor. I’ve got some accomplices: Rainn Wilson (from ‘The Office’) and Justine Ezarik (iJustine). The three of us have been charged with choosing one winner in the Nikon Festival: a short form video contest that was the impetus for my creating the short film above – check it out! Love your feedback… But I’m not entered in the contest – that’s YOUR job. Create a 140 second video that simply shows a day through your lens.

Details about the contest, when you can pickup your 100 grand, more about my film, and a debut of Rainn Wilson’s short film after the jump… [click the ‘continue reading’ link below]

My Film: First of all, it was a blast making this little shortie. I hope you enjoyed. I never really named it, although the working title is Dancing with Bachzi. And it chronicles my day collaborating with 3 close friends: the amazing prodigy cellist, Joshua Roman; the slickest DJ producer I know, Sabzi, of Blue Scholars and Common Market; and the most elegant and arresting dancer I know, Ellie Sandstrom. We had a blast with this–I’ll show some behind the scenes stuff in a future post.

The Contest: I’m psyched that Nikon has stepped up like this and is legitimately backing us creatives! Props to them. They’re letting Rainn, Justine and me choose one filmmaker to hand 100 grand cash AND letting you pick a second winner who will receive $25,000–the people’s choice award. And both winners also get a Nikon camera kit.

What would you do with the winnings? Whatever you want, of course. Wouldn’t it be killer if the winner of either prize (but especially the biggie) would take a year off and do something creative with the money, something that they loved?

The basic guidelines for the contest are simple. Between now and December 15th you create and submit a 140 second film. Starting on December 16th, us judges begin sorting through all the submissions and announce a winner in January.

I shot my little flick on the Nikon D300s, but you can use ANY camera. That’s right. Nikon is cool enough to recognize that not everyone uses Nikon. In truth, it’s one of the reasons I’m psyched about this contest. Nikon has created an environment that supports ALL photographers and filmmakers, regardless of equipment or format.

The thought of getting to drop a huge pile of cash into the lap of someone from this community has me beside myself. I’ll be keeping tabs on the submissions and stuff through the course of the festival. You can do so via the contest site, @nikonfestival, or via it’s Facebook page.

In the meantime get out there at build a movie around YOUR DAY. Be it serious, funny, emotional or otherwise, just go for it. As a parting nod, I just had to embed my fellow judge funnyman Rainn Wilson’s vid. It’s simultaneously hysterical, bizarre and smart.

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Tim Jackson says:

Is the final video available to watch anywhere on the internet?

Anonymous says:

Nikon should have titled it… "US Day In 140 Seconds" So could anyone explain why the competition is only open to the US? Cheers. Great work Chase, an inspiration to us all! I will make my 140 second vid anyways!



Brian Carey says:

…………. looks like a lot of fun (with a lot of work behind the scenes. Enjoy the videos very much, thanks!

Brian Carey

MD says:

Does anyone know what song he is playing on the Cello?

Aaron says:

I haven't checked out the contest site yet, but I imagine the fairest option would be not have to include camera type ( other than verify it is a Dslr ). I will feel intimidated if I have to tell Nikon that I might be using a new 7D. Oh well, we'll see.

Chase Jarvis says:

@renan. any of that h.264 stuff is looking good…


Chase the whole thing worked well together, nobody stood out and stole the show. Nice job as usual.

Totally kick **s video chase. you never cease to amaze. wonderfully exectuded, fresh and fun.

Dan says:

I loved your video man, it was great. How long did it take to produce?

Anonymous says:

US residents only =(

Sabzi rules.

David says:

Too bad this is only open to US residents :(

renan says:

hey chase, any suggestions on the what compression setting to use? I'm guessing the Vimeo HD H.264 quicktime but not sure?

Thanks for sharing your day super inspiring on a number of levels!

Ernie Pena says:

How come Sabzi's wearing a gorilla mask?!? Doesn't he want people to see him in yo video? ;-)

Jen says:

So sad that this is US-only! :(

Steve Korn says:


I shot Ellie for Seattle Mag a few months back, she kicks ass!

I like the concept of the film, have fun with the give away.

B5 says:

Chase is becoming an institution :-) Who dares to wonder what's coming next on this blog?
Rock and Roll Chase!

Dave says:

Cool! thanks for posting Chase,
In the spirit of full disclosure people should be aware that Nikon and it's agency of record will own the full copyright on any submission. They also retain the right to change your video or produce other content based on your video. If you have a killer original idea or technique you may wish to hold off on using it for this contest.

From the contest rules…….

Uploading a Submission constitutes entrant’s agreement and consent, and grant to Sponsor and its affiliates, licensees, successors and assigns, of a royalty-free, fully paid-up, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, distribute, copy, edit, create derivative works from, and display the entrant’s name, city, state, likeness, photo and Submission(s) in whole or in part, on a worldwide basis, and to incorporate them with and/or into other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed including, without limitation, the Internet, for purposes of and/or in any way in connection with the Contest, including without limitation for promotional, advertising and/or marketing purposes, without further compensation, notification, permission or other consideration, except where prohibited by law.

Anonymous says:

video link is not working !! i keep getting a video connection warning message

Giles Angel says:

Common Nikon Europe! Get with the picture. There's plenty of film makers oustide the US :)

i wiil like to know

who is singing in this video!

Barrett Ross says:

Chase, you are always good at getting the word out. Thanks for that. Cool video for a cool contest. So many places that 100k could take a creative mind. By the way, hope you're knocking their freaking socks off in Toronto as I write this.


Good thing this is not in the contest – cuz if so you won!

David says:

Not available in Canada? Pity. :)

I'm loving these vids! Can't wait to see more

Love the first video!

MarkIV says:

So excited! and glad that they don't make you use Nikon gear for the challenge, way cool of them!

David Burke says:

I wish I had an ounce of your creativity Chase. Fantastic! Now to film something.

Anonymous says:


The eternal cynic in me just can't believe that Nikon can be that honest when it comes to potentially damaging their brand image. Of course, the more exposure filmmaking on DSLR's gets, the more cameras Nikon will sell. So that in and of itself is good advertising.

Anyways, I commend you on your courage and integrity for posting an opposing and critical viewpoint.

That means alot to the Internet community at large. So thanks!

michalfanta says:

Dear Chase,

your videos are better and better.

I am looking forward to see some independent movie, which I am sure you will make!


. : n i k k y : . says:

er, maybe this one's the original

haisfleur says:

Bach's music has been around for, oh about 300 years?, it has survived all sorts of bastardidationss, and it will survive this also.

As for the vid itself…. just convinces me that I love still photography even more.

TLH says:

that was ridiculous dude… effin' love it!!

fas says:

This is one hell of a competition. YOu need a Nikor lens to win this one?

Dominik says:

WOW! I saw Rainn's video first and thought it was pretty nice, but when I clicked on yours… Man, this is uber awesome! I have to confess I was a bit disappointed after the music video you've recently made. I disliked the cuts and didn't really understand the concept. This little quickie made me believe in your filmmaking skills again. Congrats!

Zodan says:

Stunning clip Chase. Love how you collaborated music [ of different genres], visual [ your media ] and dance / movement [ from Ellie].

Defintely given me inspiration to do the same, with a twist though.

Looking forward to see some submissions soon.

Theis says:

Nice video you did here.

Great from nikon or not really leaving most of the world on the side line :(

Make it worldwide not only us!!

I want that money! I'm in!

anthony says:

wow Chase! That was a great video! I'm looking forward to this!

CHiRS_LTS says:

Excellent video, Chase! I hope to see more like this!

Josh Baker says:

This might just prove that there is no such thing as fast cash. Though I'm sure it will be worth the time for two talented people. Here's hoping I'm one of them.

Awesome – now I just need to find something to film with.

double dee says:

Hmmm….I always knew you were different chase but now I understand how your different….I thought the classical was already sick…but then you laced it with the hard hip hop beat and you transformed the the media to a another atomosphere….that's creativity…

Nick Bicanic says:

Not to step on your shoes Chase but to take a stab at answering the steadicam question, is it the Merlin Steadicam rig by Tiffen?

jeff says:

fake chuck westfall will not like this.

altopod says:

I was surprised at how similar Chase and Rianns videos are. First you meet them in their world and then you get sucked into their brains. I love getting sucked into Chases head through the camera as he focuses on shooting and seeing the subject from his perspective (thanks again Chase). Riann just scares me.

This is brilliant. Also I edit Matador TV and we featured one of Chases videos and will be certainly adding this one to our photography section. http://matadortv.com/packing-photography-gear-with-chase-jarvis/

Chase Jarvis says:

@ john. sorry man. you're missing the boat on this one. i've been in the meetings. honestly. any format can win.

The video: good as usual, but that music… totally made my day. PLEASE tell us where it can be purchased, downloaded, whatever – just need to get it on my computer!

John says:


Nikon will never give 200k to someone who makes the best film ifthat film is made with Canon gear. This is a marketing campaign for their cameras that shoot motion.

If the superior short is made on anything other than a Nikon, they will simply choose the next best movie that was made with their product.

Anyone who pursues this without Nikon equipment isn't necessarily wasting their time, because we can all use the practice as artists. And sure many people will have really cool films to show for it. But it is a shame that Nikon is manipulating people into beleving that've got a shot with their Mino HD.

Lame, lame, lame. Shame on you for posting this

I'm sure this won't make it post the guardian of this blog, but if it does, cheers for at least having the sack to show my opinion.

Chase Jarvis says:

@ non-US friends. I know. Major bummer. it's a legal/give money internationally/technical thing that kept this from being broader… I'll put the love on 'em to get it straightened out and follow this with an international version!

In the meantime, love to have you stay tuned! I'm banking you could still vote maybe?

mhjerde says:

Hey, you say 'Nikon', but it seems to be a 'Nikon USA' thing limited to USA residents only.

Great for you US types… Sniff…

Ranjith says:

why not eligibility for Europe?
I would love to put my efford in it.
Is there in the future maybe a possibility for Europe or especially the Netherlands?

Ian says:

Count me in as another Cdn who just bought a D300s and was gonna embrace this.

Everything coolonline that involves $$ always excludes the rest of the world.

clinch says:

From the contest terms and conditions:

"1. Eligibility: A Day Through Your Lens (the “Contest”) is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia"

Chase, what sort of strings can you pull to allow Canadians to enter videos for this contest? Pretty please!

I'd really like to be able to submit my video.

Wow, now I have to buy meself a D300s so that I can win another cam. Too bad neither my old D70, nor my new D700, can film.

Maybe I can stopmo…

Oh, only US…

So, that means I just saved myself the D300s AND 140s worth of filming. :)

Jeff Shaw says:

Definitely exciting. I'm all in! Thanks for pushing the envelop and being part of the group that creates opportunities likes this.

Jesse Rosten says:

Great video, Chase. Love the rolling shutter artifact on the cello strings. Looks like it was shot at 1000fps :)

I'll definitely be submitting something.

Benjamin says:

x2 on the steadicam question!

Matt Beaty says:

Both awesome vids… although I do have to say Chase, yours is better.
LOVE the light on the Joshua.

Serious props to Nikon for this… if only I had a camera that did video…

TranceMist says:

Video seems broken… "connectionError" when trying to play. :(

Bummer its only open to the U.S.

If I get some free time I think I'll still post something. 100 g's would be nice to have.

If someone needs and editor/sound I can help.

Chase, what steadycam are you holding in the last shot?

Andrei says:

Get the camera, get the camera… Where's my camera…?

auroran says:

I just checked and the contest is only good in the States. I may just send something to be shared anyway though.

Matt Bostock says:

I too was excited until I saw 'US-only'. Looks like I'll have to find another way to fund my D700 :-D

Nikon are amazing :)

Chase, really really cool video (life)!


US only again….bummer. The true north strong and left out again…

Barbu M says:

I see some .uk and other netizens here… Well, sorry but there is a fly in the soup: "open only to legal residents of the 50 states and the district of Columbia". Their rules, pretty fair ones if the target market is USA; that's the place where a camera is made… or broken.

C.C. Chapman says:

Kudos to Nikon for once again "doing it right." I wish every company would embrace being creative as much as they have.

Tony says:

I actually did one of these almost a year ago for a group on flickr called "My Day, Yesterday." It was a lot of fun to make. Check it out!


I will be making a new one for this competition!

Benson says:

Whoa! I'm definitely tempted to pick up my D90 and join. :D

But just to clarify, is it 140 seconds or 1 minute and 40 seconds? Your friend Justine's video is 1:40 long.

mooreclick says:

I'm already brainstorming for this one, was really hyped to see that you're one of the judges.

Unless I misunderstand the rules, you don't have to have a camera that shoots video, necessarily. You can make stop-motion films with any old still camera.

dom bower says:

this sounds exciting, enticing and potentially awesome, not of the video that the winner has made but of what they potentially will do creatively after they win the money!
I shall get to work thinking of an idea.


Dom Bower

That is sick! Means I have to pick up a D90 now :) haha

Balint says:

Quite an amazing opportunity :)

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