Brothers Lee and Greg Bivens conceptualized Evolution Creek in 2009 when they were on a boating trip on the beautiful Lake Lanier in north Georgia. It quickly became apparent that the crystal clear bluish green waters are a perfect backdrop for a feature film. With a little investigation, Lee located the proper Army Corps of Engineers person that explained the process of acquiring the proper permit and the guidelines to shooting a film on the waters of that spectacular place. The seed of motivation was planted and the rest is history. Nothing besides death was going to stop Lee. That statement is a little overkill, but when you consider Lee's motorcycle racing success and fighter jet experience-it's not terribly far from the truth.
At first, the Bivens brothers initial concept was to write a story that had a 'Loch Ness monster' feel to it. But, as the creative process of bouncing ideas back and forth intensified, that idea hit the road and was replaced by a story that squarely pitted Darwin's theory of Evolution against the powers of Creationism. A story that the brothers hoped would simply pose the question "is there any competition between the two?" Worth noting is that neither Lee nor Greg are taking sides in this film, their goal was simply to present the idea for others to decide.
The movies tag line was developed, "Kids go on an exotic island vacation and get caught up in a war between the power of Evolution and the powers of Creation."
There were several elements that Lee and Greg wanted in the film to make it entertaining and marketable, especially considering the fact that they were working with a semi-starving artist's (Lee's) funds. A budget of that rather low level needs all the 'keys' it could muster to have much chance at competing with the big studios. First of which they needed sexy actors and actresses, face it sexiness sells. They achieved that goal in spectacular fashion with a super impressive cast! They also wanted a complex story that would not be literal. The goal was a story that was almost cerebral but placed in the texture of violence but since Lee has two young daughters he was not going to allow excessively heavy language or slash and gore type filming.
Since Evolution Creek is a true science fiction film, there needed to be action and danger but that is near impossible to acquire without huge funding. Lastly, it had to be scary and intense which was delivered by the talents of the incredible cast.
After four months of massaging, the story and script was ready. Casting came together extremely well and after a number of rehearsals. It was almost time to film but pre-producing the film was serious work. First Lee had to acquire the huge number of boats. Luckily, the Bivens family had a large pontoon boat for transporting cast, crew and tons of equipment back and forth to the islands. Unfortunately, they literally killed the poor pontoon boat and must buy a new motor before it's used again. Ultimately the pontoon died one day, leaving several brave actors stranded on an island overnight. Then there was the four canoes, three kayaks, a ski boat, a jet ski and a 120 foot house boat that had to be contracted and scheduled.
After paying for National Forest service permits, cast and crew were ready to shoot at several incredible waterfalls in the North Georgia mountains which certainly complemented the extraordinary landscape that this film was positioned to achieve.
Once production was underway, it was a non stop ten month shoot. From the Relapse theater in downtown Atlanta, to incredible lake front mansions and finally to the islands where most of the filming took place. Lee and Greg did the entire thing themselves. It was beyond exhausting for the two brothers, but the motivated Producers were NOT going to be defeated. They only had help by one powerful little ninja Production coordinator for 7 out of the 120 filming days. The rest of the time, they were on their own. Lee admitted once half way through production that he thought he may have bitten off more than he could chew. But since he had all the talented people counting on him, he could NOT stop no matter how difficult.
During filming there were a number of magical times. One of the lead actresses actually became a nature magnet and was surrounded by butterflies and fish. Another time the villains were so intense that they scared everyone including the Director, Lee. "People were screaming and yelling so loud that I was worried home owners many miles across the water would call the cops to report a real murder!"
All in all the actors really had a good time being on the islands for days on end. Since so many of the actresses are literal supermodels, gracing the front covers of many magazines, they were a bit hesitant about being on an island for so long. But after a day or two most took a liking to Mother Nature and some commented that they never wanted to leave.
However, not everyone 'drank the cool aide' of Lee and Greg's project. Which is understandable since the brothers did not have all of the massive funding, huge props, excessive equipment and wasted man power those few were use to. Lee admitted that one of his greatest sources of motivation was to prove those few nay-sayer's wrong and worked relentlessly to make the others proud.
Lee and Greg worked full time, seven days a week for over a year editing the film. Lee created over 300 VFX clips in After Effects combined with Blender software. The goal was to create a film that had as much grandiose vista as possible and they feel they succeeded in that area. During this interview, the brothers continually complemented the actors for their talent and unstoppable motivation.
PRODUCERS BACKGROUND: Lee Bivens has been a professional artist from the age of 18 and has over 28 official titles. He has painted for: Mohammed Ali, Evander Holyfield, Dale Earnhardt, the Atlanta Braves, Lockheed Martin Aerospace, Jane Fonda, Ted Turner, Legendary Pictures, Petit LeMans, Corvette, BMW north America and is a life time member of the Air Force art program only to mention a few. He has also been in numerous movies including Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase and has been featured on Good Day Atlanta and other TV shows. One of which built a full one hour program around he and his art (Chet Burkes productions). There have been many magazine and newspaper articles including the front page of the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. Lee has donated artwork to several hundred major charities generating over $250,000 plus and still climbing. Please visit WWW.ARTLEE.COM for more.
Greg Bivens has seven years of college art and film training from the University of East Carolina and CPCC and has been a professional model photographer since 1996. His experience has spanned all of the major cities in the USA and most of Europe. Greg has also managed fashion stores (Superior Feet in Charlotte, NC) and been Lee's art manager for over a decade. His eye for composition, color and style in superb and serves him well in the film business. Years of formal training in film editing makes him an essential part of their Indie film studio and extremely effective in producing great film.