Chase Jarvis RAW: Nikon Festival BTS

Meet the stars of my Nikon Festival video: Joshua Roman (cellist), Saba Mohajerjasbi (Sabzi playing the Beat Gorilla), and Ellie Sandstrom (choregrapher/performer), and check out how we made my 140-second film in just a day and a half.

Reminder: there’s still 6 days for YOU to enter your 140 second film into the Nikon Festival and let yours truly–along with Rainn Wilson (from ‘The Office’) and Justine Ezarik (iJustine) decide if your vid should capture the $100,000 cash prize. I’d love to see your entry when submission period ends and my judging begins at midnight on December 15th.

For more deets visit, the festival’s Facebook page. To stay tuned in, you can also follow the festival on Twitter via @nikonfestival.

Get my every move: Follow Chase Jarvis on Twitter
Get exclusive content: Become a Fan on Facebook

56 Responses to Chase Jarvis RAW: Nikon Festival BTS

  1. Patrick Briscoe December 9, 2009 at 7:30 am #

    You pulled it off! The vid was great, and I enjoy looking forward to the behind-the-scenes footage. Thanks Chase!

    • Tim Jackson January 7, 2012 at 11:32 am #

      Is the final piece available anywhere to watch?

  2. greg December 9, 2009 at 7:36 am #

    Chase, I just want to clarify something.

    I've been working very hard on a video that I will most likely be done with and uploading on Sunday night.

    I have two questions…

    1. The rules say no brand names in the video. I have a few shots of a Nikon camera w/ a Nikon camera strap. I assume this is okay?

    2. Do you have any recommendations on what kind of file to upload to the Nikon site for the best quality? I'm editing 1080p video footage w/ some photos mixed in and I want to make sure I get the best quality file up there.

    thanks man, this contest has REALLY inspired me, and even if I don't win, I've had a ton of fun making my video and I've learned a TON in the past month.


  3. Aaron December 9, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    One minor gripe about the festival. There were not enough specifics on files and render settings, et al… I shot at 24fps and uploaded. They then compressed video to 30 or 60 and it sped up my video by 14 entire seconds and the audio was out of sync by as much as 8 seconds in spots. They fixed the problem, but unfortunately it was viewed for an entire 24 hours on the site while it was wrong and played terribly.

    I noticed this happen to many others, not just me. I'd say it's a simple fix in the future if they just clarify the render settings they will be using on our vids.

  4. Pat Morrissey December 9, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    Say, "Allah'u'abha" to Rainn from all his Bahá'í friends.

  5. Chris December 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    How come Sabzi didn't take off the mask the whole time? Was that his idea or yours? He's such a public figure around here that I am curious as to why he didn't want to be seen in the video.

  6. Andi Suryadi December 10, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    hi chase, a gear question
    what do you use to make the camera steady/ balance? i saw you hold on something like gyro – balancing tool & where i can get it ?

    thanks chase,

  7. Scott Rinckenberger December 11, 2009 at 1:57 pm #


    We're using the Steadicam Merlin attached to a D300s. It's a seemingly simple handheld balancing mechanism, but the results are great! You can pick them up at B&H; or any other major camera retailer.

  8. nintendo dsi r4 December 12, 2009 at 1:02 am #

    Well, I would like to know how Steadycam was used in the video please, by the way I've seen a dead pixel at 2:47 near glasses =/ poor sensor !

    Thanks for your videos !

  9. Dade F December 13, 2009 at 7:49 am #

    High Five in a dance hall stylie

  10. April Lena Rain December 14, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Love the video, Chase – thanks for the behind the scenes footage… and introducing me to Ellie. She's incredible!

    My Nikon Fest entry is my first project ever, created only a few days after receiving my first DSLR. So nervous…

    Question for you – was this the first self-portrait type of project you've done?



  11. Chase Jarvis December 14, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    @ april: there's a sorta portrait vid under the 'chase' page on my site, but nothing beyond that…

  12. Blair December 15, 2009 at 10:23 am #

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  13. Isaac December 16, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    Always enjoyable seeing the thought process and the behind-the-scenes info.

    Your work continues to inspire me to do more.


  14. 6p00d8341e735a53ef December 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    Thanks for pointing that video out. Very nice. I especially liked how you emphasized the storytelling behind pictures, visual impact, and your desire to do personal work. I'm so glad to be acquainted with your work now. I just wish I had an iPhone! :)

  15. April Lena Rain December 18, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    From: April Lena Rain

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  16. Jeremy Beasley January 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm #


    How do you pull focus using the merlin steadicam? Is it doable? Or does it ruin the shots?

  17. Scott Rinckenberger January 18, 2010 at 9:03 am #


    You have to sort of disable the steadicam with your fingers in order to pull foucs, otherwise the act of rotating the lens will spin the whole shot. You can pretty smoothly go from normal function, to gripped to change focus, then back. One other thing to consider is that you actually change the balance of the camera by moving the focus which will cause the Steadicam to tilt forward or backward.

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