Game-Changing Gear Demo: Chase Jarvis Test Drives MIMIC

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We have a winner, folks! Congrats goes out to Mr. Dylan Fairbairn, the lucky winner of all this swag — Dylan, my team will be in touch to get you your loot! 

Today I’m excited to be the first to share with you a piece of game-changing technology that will help new AND established cinema / video camera operators capture world class moving pictures in the most intuitive, simple way that I’ve ever imagined.  And if you read to the bottom of this post, you’ll see I’m giving you a chance to win this gear valued at ~$5000.

Over my career in the photo and film industries, I’ve had the good fortune to collaborate behind-the-scenes with many of the brightest minds, top brands, and most innovative products. Among those I count experiences with Apple on iPhone and other products, with Nikon on the world’s very first video DSLR (D90), Ustream and now Meerkat and Periscope on live internet broadcasting and…well…drones, software, computers, etc…game changers that completely re-defined entire industries and — most importantly from my perspective — they share the common thread of having led to the democratization of creativity.

Today marks the public debut of yet another one of those ‘pinch yourself’ highlights…the opportunity to collaborate on MIMIC.  What — pray tell — is MIMIC, you ask?  Well, I’ll give you this tidbit first, and then let you watch for yourself…

MIMIC represents a completely intuitive and organic way to control a cinema / video camera remotely…  NOT the camera settings…but what the camera actually sees and records.  You’re familiar with the concept of a steady cam, right? Consider that, with this product, you can now operate a stabilized camera remotely, right from your director’s chair with a simple-to-use device that track your movements and translate them into smooth, precise camera moves.   

MIMIC with Chase Jarvis from Freefly on Vimeo.

The genius minds behind MIMIC are Freefly Systems… the same minds that more than 6 years ago I was hiring to fly custom, camera-carrying drone helicopters. The same people who 2 years ago created the MOVI system — a handheld digital stabilized camera gimbal, so advanced, it completely redefined camera stabilization.

MIMIC is their newest breakthrough product and it’s launching tomorrow at NAB.  But you got to see it here first.

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So why is MIMIC so revolutionary? In short: MIMIC fills in a previously-huge gap in cinema. Where the MOVI brought camera stabilization out of Hollywood and delivered it to the masses…MIMIC now allows people with even the most limited camera experience to “drive” the camera in the very most intuitive way imaginable. See for yourself what these 5 year olds can do on their first time using this device…

MIMIC with Jett and Kaia from Freefly on Vimeo.

SO.. If you are a newbie and combine MIMIC with MOVI, you will get better shots than with any other camera system on the planet the first day you use it. If you are an intermediate operator or director you will get insanely high quality shots within minutes of first use. And if you’re an expert operator you will be catapulted into the stratosphere and the only thing holding you back will be your DNA’s urge to hold onto the past ways of thinking about camera movement and stabilization. [Win this amazing combo below…]

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The MIMIC configuration pictured here in these videos is just but one configuration…. the sort of “steering wheel” style where the pilot remotely drives the camera gimbal like a video driving- or flying-game…  But imagine if you will another configuration I also was able to use in preparation for this launch… one where I was able to pilot the camera with a set of VR-like glasses. YES, I’M DEAD SERIOUS. Just sitting there in my director’s chair I was able to control the camera with being held by my operating counterpart simply by moving my head in space left, right, up and down in space. I could see exactly what the camera was seeing and was able to steer the camera with nearly flawless precision by simply looking at the feature in the scene I wanted to see. Anywhere I looked, the remote camera (held by my camera op counterpart) would track exactly to that framing. Wow. This truly is the future.

SSSOOOOOOOOOO…. yours truly + CreativeLive and Freefly Systems are making it possible for one winner to take home an insane gear package.. That winner could be you.


  1. MIMIC controller system.  This is the new hotness – the device that represents a completely intuitive and organic way to control the camera.  Sophisticated sensors track your movements and translate them into smooth, precise camera moves. (Link coming – its so new it’s not yet on the Freefly systems website!)
  2. MOVI m5.  This is the digital 3-axis, gyro stabilized handheld camera stabilizer that transformed camera movement over the past 2 years  We are including the M5 in a bundle with a bunch of other tasty gear, pelican case etc etc.  Check it here.
  3. Personal lesson from Yours Truly and the gurus at Freefly Systems. If the winner is close-ish to us here in the USA, we’ll come to your place.  And if you live far away, we’ll do a 60 minute Skype, Google Hangout or phone call with you. We can talk about whatever you want to discuss about the MIMIC and MOVI – whatever would be helpful, be it tricks and tips or just inspirational ideation for how to get some insane shots with your new toy


To help wrangle this giveaway, we’re going back to our favorite widget below. It does a few things really well:

  1. Manages all entries into a secure database and properly randomizes a winner
  2. Gives you info about how much time is left in the giveaway / how many entries there are etc
  3. Allows you to earn extra entries by participating more deeply in the community (tweeting, sharing, reading posts etc)

To enter just fill in your info below and follow along. And note: this giveaway is live TODAY all the way through the 12th of May. Winner will be announced on May 13th via the @CreativeLive @ChaseJarvis + @FreeflyCinema social feeds.  Good luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Chase Jarvis is the co-founder and CEO of CreativeLive, a world-renowned photographer and director, and lifelong student.