Dont’ mistake Chase’s lightheartedness as lackadaisical, because he’s toured the entirety of the amateur national circuit many times over, with a penchant for cutting edge of coverage and content with his YouTube channel, MotoChasin. His work is attached to nationally and internationally known names like Vurbmoto, Monster Energy, Leatt, and Race Tech. To top it off, MotoChasin alone has amassed over one million views since its inception in 2012.
Chase could choose to flaunt this in my face all he wants, but he doesn’t. He’d first rag on himself before speaking on success, or tell you about how he poked fun of some people at the races. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s introduced himself in public as Sally Slo Mo… he’s just that kind of guy.
Discussion includes: Life and times as a Vurbmoto contributor, ditching the homecoming game to film at Monster Mountain, and more…
World of Echo: You just got back from Freestone, how was that?
Chase Dunivant: It was good. Wait, is this part of the interview right now? Are we recording already?
[Laughs] Yeah! I mean, you know.
Ok! Gotcha! Yeah, Freestone was good. It’s always a long week there, you know. It was good to get some work and get to film again, I haven’t really filmed much dirt bike stuff this year. I went to GPF and the Carmichael Farm at the end of January, that was like the last time I actually filmed.
You were hooked up with Jake Jaynes for a little bit there [at Freestone].
Yeah, Jake actually hooked me up this year. I used to do all of my traveling with James Gingerich. You know James pretty well, right? James and I used to always do the nationals together. We’d meet each other at the airport and split the rental car/hotel pricing. This year, since James isn’t around, Jake offered to help me out with picking me up at the airport and pretty much being my chauffeur for the week; going back and forth to the hotel and everything. Big thanks to him for that.
James told me he retired!
Yeah! My dude James… I don’t know. It sucks, honestly. I miss James being around, like I said we always did all the nationals together. At the beginning of the week we were always so excited to see each other, but by the end of the week we were ready to be apart for a little while. (laughs)
Getting back to Freestone, you also met up with last week’s interviewee: Charles Bakke.
He actually came up to me and he goes, “Do you know a guy by the name of [World of Echo]?”
I said, “Yeah, he just texted me yesterday and he wants to do an interview with me. Did you get interviewed?”
He goes, “Yeah, I got interviewed last week!”
I was like, “Oh dang, bro we’re gonna be on the same page!”
Charlie’s sick, I’m glad he agreed to come on the blog. But anyway, let’s get to it – I wanted to thank you for getting sick in 2015, because that was the one and only time I ever got to work for Vurbmoto. You got sick and couldn’t film at the RedBud Regional.
You’re welcome on that one! RedBud for me is a twelve hour drive so I didn’t really feel like driving twelve hours while I had sinus issues. For me, I have really bad sinus problems and it always hits differently, not like how it hits regular people. So for me it’s always hardcore, and I was like, “I’m not driving twelve hours like this right now.”
I was so pumped, to actually be hired and be a tiny part of Vurb meant a lot to me.
I can understand that too, because I remember whenever I started MotoChasin my goal was to get a video posted on the Vurb website. It took so long, and it ended up being my first ever GPF video that got posted. Then half a year later I ended up working for them and I was thought, “Is this real right now? Am I really going to shoot somewhere for Vurb?”
That’s the kind of stuff I wanted to get into. I feel like you have quite the history with Vurbmoto, I wanted to know if you could expound on that. How it started, or maybe how you got involved with them?
My involvement with Vurb… hold on let me look up one quick video to remember what year Mini O’s this was, that it started.
So, the year was 2013 at Mini O’s. I got track access from Chronic MX because I was just a kid, no one knew who I was at the time. I went there for Chronic MX and the last night, it was Saturday night and the racing was over, Wes Williams was going around and telling everybody, “Hey, we’re gonna have a pit bike race where all the vendors were parked at. We’re just going to make our own track out of garbage cans.”
So my friend Zach Bishop and I went and I remember they were doing the pit bike race, Markolf and all them were, and then all the kids started to go to their campers and stuff. I stuck around, and at this time Chelsea Stratso was the main photographer for Vurb, and there was Danny Stu [Stuart], and then Wes along with some other people who were all sitting around the fire. Danny ends up saying, “Ok everybody, introduce yourself and talk a little bit about yourself as we go around the fire.”
It came to me and I said, “…I’m Chase Dunivant, and I film dirt bikes.”
Danny and Wes didn’t really know who I was or anything, so they were like, “Oh, you film? What do you have?”
I replied, “I just have a Canon 7D, but compared to what you guys have…” At that time Wes had just gotten his first RED I’m pretty sure, and Danny had just gotten the FS700 which at that time was the camera I wanted too. We talked for awhile and introduced ourselves and everything.
Later on in January, I had Wes’ email at the time [and] the Mill Creek Spring Classic warm-up race was coming up. I decided to email him and ask him, “Hey, do you have anybody going to cover the warm-up race at Mill Creek? It’s only two hours away from me and I’d love to get some content for you guys.” I had just graduated high school, I graduated a semester early, and whenever I got my email back from Wes saying they’d love to have me go there I was probably like a kid under the tree on Christmas morning.
As time went on, did you go on any shoots with those guys? Wes? Danny? Jason Crane? Ashton Hammill?
At that time Ashton had gotten out of it a little bit, him filming moto wasn’t a big thing. Jason had moved to Cali, I think. They were doing that Good Times & Dirt Bikes tour. [Vurb] started sending me to regionals on my own at first, because they had no one to really cover it. That year, Wes was filming for War Machines. We were at the Vurb Classic at Silver Dollar and he was going to be filming the next day with Mitchell Harrison for his segment in War Machines but Mitchell ended up hurting his knee at Silver Dollar. Wes was super bummed out trying to figure out someone to ride [in the video], and I said, “Hey, Tristan Charboneau is driving down from Washington to GPF right now and I think he’ll be there tomorrow. Do you want to get him in it?”
And he was like, “Yeah, for sure!”
I didn’t think anything of it, I was just getting ready to go home and he asked me, “Are you gonna come with us to shoot for War Machines, since you got us the guy and everything?” I was super pumped about that, I have like two clips in the segment and that’s about it. It was Danny and Wes there and I will say their stuff blows mine out of the water, so I was fine with just my two shots.
Who gave you the Sally Slo Mo nickname?
The Sally Slo Mo nickname came from good ol’ Matt Burkeen. Front flippin’ Matt Burkeen of MX Simulator, as people know him.
Going back to some of the Vurb stuff for a minute, what was your last video to go on the site? At this time did you start to see signs that Vurb might be phasing out?
My last year was 2015. I did a video with for them called “Real Deal MXTF,” and that was my last video that I thought would go on the site, because [at this time] I was just going to start doing the MotoChasin thing and try to get regular contracts through James. Just going to the nationals and doing our own thing. Then [Eric] Shirk hit me up for Loretta’s 2016 and asked me if I would be able to help out Tom [Journet] at Loretta’s that year. We all knew around that time that Vurb was no longer going to be a thing at the beginning of the new year, so that was the last time I ever did anything with Vurb.
You’re from Nashville, right? Or do you live there now?
I’m close to Nashville, I’m forty minutes south of it. I go to Nashville probably twice a week when I am home for my Dad’s work.
What does your dad do?
My Dad owns a wholesale business where he sells motorcycles, UTV’s, and ATV’s. He’s been doing it for twenty-seven years.
So, street bikes?
Yeah, more like street bikes and stuff like that.
Not much in the way of motocross bikes.
We do get some. We’re strictly used [bikes], we can get anything new though because of the dealers we work with. We get a majority of used stuff that comes from trade-ins, we’ll usually get those, so if we need something new we can get it for any bike pretty much.
From Left: Chase and his brother outside of the family business, Ronald’s Cycle Center. Fun in Chattanooga, TN, and another shot of Chase alongside his brother and sister.
What do you do to help your Dad with the business?
When I’m home from traveling and filming dirt bikes I help out here and there. It’s a family owned business. It’s my Mom, my brother, my Dad, and I. Whenever I’m home and he has to go to Nashville, or anywhere in Tennessee or Alabama, I’ll go with him to help pick up and load the trailer. Or if it’s a day at the business I’ll have to clean the UTV’s, like today. I had a very stressful day of cleaning a Polaris Razor 900 that was filthy. It was not fun.
Being from Tennessee, what was it like being so close to Loretta Lynn’s? Did you ever visit or try to qualify?
I rode when I was younger but I quit riding when I was about thirteen. I was just like that kid that went to fair races, stuff like that. I had no idea what Loretta’s was until I was fifteen or sixteen. I was thinking, “I kind of want to get a bike again…” and one of my friends I went to school with was into riding [and we started talking about Loretta’s]. So that’s how I found out about it. I realized, “Holy crap, the biggest amateur national is only an hour and a half away from my house.”
So you rode as a kid, got out of it, then back into it through video. Where did cameras or filmmaking come into the picture? Were you ever set on being someone who filmed motocross?
Was this my plan? No, this was not my plan whatsoever. In high school I was in all honors classes. I was in student council, beta club, all that stuff. Your average nerd, you know? My plan was to go to college, I was going to go for computer engineering, and then my Junior year in 2012 was the first time I ever went to Loretta’s. My friend Ryan Whittle and I, we went one day to watch. I had a Canon T3i that I had been goofing off with making car videos with my friends back in the summer, and Ryan suggested, “Hey, we should go back [to Loretta’s] and you should bring your camera and make something.”
At the time I was watching the Vurb videos, and I just loved watching those, so he said I should try and make a video. If you link stuff in this, or anything like that, don’t. No one should watch that video. It is on the MotoChasin YouTube channel but it’s very, very cringeworthy. If you have epilepsy, don’t watch it, for sure!
It’s interesting to hear that this is not at all what you imagined you’d be doing. I feel like for certain people their art is so engrained in them, they have such a passion for their work, that this path is etched in stone in front of them. You’re telling me it wasn’t even close?
My parents have always been super supportive of whatever I’ve wanted to do, and whenever I told them I wasn’t going to go to college they were a little skeptical about it. We thought about maybe going to an art school for film because they had some filming programs at art schools. I actually applied to Nossi College of Art and got accepted, but I talked to some people that [were into] film and they said that you’ll learn more in the industry than you will being in school. So that’s what I decided to do. My parents asked, “Are you sure this is what you want to try to do?” I said, “Absolutely.”
From the beginning, has it always been “MotoChasin?” Was that something you had knocking around in your head from the moment you started making videos?
The very first time I ever posted a picture or video that was moto-related, it was MotoChasin. The name came about that day at Loretta’s [in 2012]. I had my camera in my hand and I was trying to think of names that didn’t have “film,” or “cinematography,” or “production” in them. Nothing like that. I wanted it to be like what Vurb was.
Did the logo come about in a similar fashion? Did you draw the “MC” logo?
I didn’t have a logo until about five months into it, I was just doing some ugly text, that was it. I contacted Brandon Biro at the time, somebody who used to film moto, and asked him if he knew how to design. He said, “Yeah.”
I asked him, “How much for a logo for MotoChasin?” So the MC that you see on YouTube was designed by him, but the lower-third on the videos was made by Gustavo Diniz.
Gustavo! An MX Simulator alum.
Gustavo is my go-to guy for anything design related. That Sally Slo Mo thing? He made that. The Nathan Hall butt patch that went around, the one with the heart and the wings, he made that as well. Gustavo does awesome work, it’s crazy to know that I’m really good friends with a guy I’ve never met who’s from Brazil. (laughs)
I’m curious as to when you started expanding beyond the Tennessee scene? What was your first big trip?
My first big trip was going to Monster Mountain, that was a big ordeal. Trevor Tate found me after I made a video with Austin Pearson that he saw on Facebook, so he messaged me and said, “Hey, we should make a video.”
We went to Deer Run MX in Alabama and made, “450, In For The Kill.” I really don’t want to watch that video either because I know the soundtrack is awful. Then a couple weeks later he hit me up and was like, “Hey, do you want to go with us to Monster Mountain to film and do a video on me?”
And I was nervous, I thought, “Oh my gosh… This is going to be the first time I’ve ever stayed in a toy hauler. What do I bring with me? Do I overpack? Do I pack [at all]? What do I do?” And Trevor was also somebody I barely knew, I had only met him once.
But right before this I actually had to go to my high school for homecoming, because I had gotten picked to walk somebody out during the ceremony. I didn’t even stay for the game, I had to be driven to the nearest exit with my bags and stuff. My parents dropped me off. Now, I’m very close with my Mom, I always have been. Even when I’m gone to this day, I talk to her on the phone at least once a day, no matter what. I’ve been a Mama’s Boy my entire life. So when I finally told her, “Hey, I want to go with this guy to Alabama” which is four hours away, to film him ride, she was a little skeptical about it. Mama Tracy wasn’t too sure about what to do on that.
They ended up letting me do it and honestly, it was [awesome]. I give a big thanks to Trevor Tate and Harrison West, because that’s where it really started out for me, was filming with them in Tennessee. At the time they were two of the top guys in Tennessee trying to qualify for Loretta’s, so we made a series together called “The Outcome,” which is supposed to be like a copy of the RedBull “Road to Loretta’s.” I went with them to their Area and Regional Qualifiers and then we went to Loretta’s. So within my first year of filming I ended up going to Texas, Michigan, all over. I was very blessed within my first year of filming to be able to travel to all those types of places.
You’ve mentioned before that your “Week at Mammoth” video is one of your top five favorites. Talk about traveling out there for that. That wasn’t the first time you went out there, right?
No, the first time I went out there was with Mitchell Harrison and his Dad, Brian. He was going out there to do some suspension testing with Pro Circuit when he was on Team Green and I was doing this whole “life video” about Mitchell. That was the first time I went. The second time I went was for Mammoth.
Since this is one of your favorite videos I was wondering if you could expound on the process of making it?
The Mammoth video is in my top five favorite edits, for sure. A lot of people won’t like the song because one, it’s rap, and two, it’s $uicideboy$. I didn’t make that edit until about two or three weeks after [Mammoth] happened. Nowadays if I don’t have my full edit out within the first week I’m freaking out inside; it’s going to be irrelevant by that time. I had so much other work to do at the time with Leatt, but I had a bunch of random footage at the time that I was using for Instagram. I thought to myself, “I think I have enough to make a full edit.”
So it came out of nowhere, the making of that video, and I didn’t know if people were going to like it because of the song. And that Jordan Bailey stuff, the jump cut there, and the Gage Schehr jump cut… I don’t plan that stuff. Only when I go back and look at the footage do I find that it works out really well. So a lot of the shots I get, sometimes they’re planned, but sometimes your best shots are totally unplanned.
Motocross in itself is incredibly hectic without adding on the equipment and ground to cover when filming at some events, running ragged to capture it all. In my experience I’ve found a lot of my best shots “after the fact,” ones that I didn’t even know I had.
On Instagram this week, I posted my favorite shot from Freestone and I had no idea I had that shot. It’s so sick because it has the rider in focus and I’m probably 10 yards away pulled in on the zoom, and it has the crowd and the fences going [in the foreground].
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’ve filmed events and at first things don’t really click. You’re out there thinking that you’re blowing it, but then you get that one shot that you know is going to be great and it can turn your whole day around.
One hundred percent. [To add to that], I think a lot of people don’t listen to music while they film, but I always do because certain songs can just click in my head and… I just get some kind of inspiration. If I’m not with people or talking, I’m always listening to music, no matter what.
I saw last year that you were at Chillitown for their Area Qualifier, you also did the documentary about the track as well. You were at Eastfork, Monster Mountain. I feel that with the amount of coverage you’ve been able to get over the years, this is a sort of “passing of the torch” moment in terms of MotoChasin being the place for amateur coverage. Is that starting to become your goal, to have MotoChasin be the place for amateur coverage?
First of all, thank you for saying that. That does mean a lot that you said my place is the main place to go for amateur content. My goal [with MotoChasin] is that I just want to enjoy it, really. I just want to enjoy the time I have with what I do. The traveling, the friends I’ve met. I hardly have any friends from home right now, but the majority of my friends are from elsewhere. But the goal with my YouTube is to be… me, I guess? I do post the vlogs on there too, [but] I do want it to be the main place people go for amateur content. I also want it to be a place for people to see funny videos too.
Do you want to dial that back a little bit and present MotoChasin as something less of an entity, and more of you as a person?
Things could change, but right now I want it to be where certain people can send me stuff they want to have posted, that’s fine. But it’s mainly just my videos and my stuff, including the vlogging and things. The reason I do the vlogs is because later on in life I want to be able to go back and look at my videos and all of the stuff I did.
To wrap up, did you ever think you’d make it this far? Five thousand subscribers, over one point two million total video views, traveling across the country. Did it ever occur this was what was going to happen?
If two years ago you told me that I wouldn’t be working for Vurb and that my own YouTube would be growing and have five thousand subs, I’d say your crazy. If you told me back in high school, “Chase, in four years you’re going to be traveling all over the place. You’ll have already been to every corner of the United States,” I would say there’s no way. You’re nuts. I’ll be stuck in Tennessee.
The one point two million views on my own videos? That’s nuts to know that one point two million people have watched videos exclusively on MotoChasin, that’s nuts to me. That’s crazy. I’m very appreciative and I thank everybody that does go to MotoChasin to watch my stuff and support what I do. The families that have helped me over the years, the families that help me today that let me travel with them or let me film. Anyone who’s out there just helping me out, thank you.
If you want to ever want to see any of my stuff, you can go to MotoChasin. My Instagram is @chasedunivant and my Snapchat is chasedunivant25, I’m on there all the time. I’d like to thank Monster Energy, Vurbmoto, Race Tech, Leatt, 6D Helmets. I’m sure there’s others I’m forgetting, but thank you.
I’d also like to thank Ryan Whittle. Thank you for telling me to take my camera to Loretta Lynn’s, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if you didn’t tell me that. Thanks to Trevor Tate and Harrison West for getting me started with traveling. Mitchell Harrison and Brian Harrison, thanks for everything. It’s been a count, I’ll say that for Brian. The Charboneau family, thank you. They were a big part in getting me to a lot of places, like Washougal. That was an awesome trip. The Guffey family, thank you guys a lot, you guys are like my second family to me. You guys mean a lot to me and you guys have helped me out a ton over the past two years. I can’t thank them enough for practically treating me like I’m their own kid.
Last but not least my friends and my family. My parents are pretty much my backbone, I think of them no matter what. I know that no matter where I’m at in the world, if I needed them they would be there in a heartbeat. My brother, my sister, my niece, my nephew, my sister-in-law, just thanks everyone.
Thanks to Chase for taking the time to chat.