In the past century, evolution has sprung up as the popular alternative to God himself. The belief that every living being is descended from a common ancestor – a single-celled organism – is now taught in schools across the nation. Even some Christians have begun to accept macro evolution (more on that later) as fact, and have tried to compromise the secular belief with their Christian faith.
However, there remains a strong group of Christians who hold fast to a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis. Organizations like Answers in Genesis, Creation Today, and Creation Ministries International continue to recognize that Christianity is entirely compatible with science.
Seven years ago, work began on a photorealistic animated documentary based on the six days of creation. The journey was long, but the film is now completed, and ready for distribution! Secondly Magazine got in touch with producer Eric Hovind to get the details. The full interview is below!
Tim Utekal: The movie is called Genesis: Paradise Lost, but that title was only decided a few weeks ago. What was the journey in naming the Genesis movie?
Eric Hovind: From the beginning of the project, we were calling this the Genesis Movie, and Genesis 3D. However, the director, Ralph Strean, always saw something deeper. He made the film to reflect the beauty of God’s original creation, a beauty that we don’t see today.
God originally created this world to be paradise, but as you and I know, it isn’t paradise anymore. We lost that perfect world and Ralph wanted people to understand this truth. So Ralph has chosen the name Genesis: Paradise Lost.
TU: Tell me about Genesis: Paradise Lost. What makes it so unprecedented?
EH: This is the most powerful film ever produced on the creation of the world and will set new standards in the industry. Genesis: Paradise Lost uses sensational 3D computer generated graphics to show, for the first time, God creating the heaven and the earth. It’s filled with stunning special effects, spectacular animation, riveting interviews, and, in my opinion, the most powerful Gospel message ever presented in a film.
Christians are begging for well-produced movies that portray a message they believe in. Genesis: Paradise Lost delivers exactly that in an unprecedented way.
TU: Where did the idea for the Genesis movie originate?
EH: Back in 2007, while speaking in Orlando, I met the man who would be the Genesis: Paradise Lost director and producer—Ralph Strean. Ralph had worked at Lockheed Martin, Disney, and EA sports but after becoming a Christian and seeing the truth of Genesis, he wanted to do more than entertain people. He wanted to make an eternal impact with his talent. As we ate breakfast, we talked about our desire to reach people for Christ and the reasons why we were losing the Millennials and Generation X. “How can we reach these, guys?” I asked Ralph.
Our journey together began when we decided to produce Creation Minute, a visually rich one-minute- teaching that focused on a single topic at a time. Realizing that it’s no longer books that serve as the biggest influence on culture today, we wanted to produce some media that could capture the minds of the youth and teach them the truth.
We realize that non-Christian sources such as Discovery Channel and Hollywood have a “corner on the market” when it comes to high-tech animation. But it is that animation that so strongly shapes young minds at their highest point of development. Their insane $200,000,000 budgets (yeah that’s 200 million dollar budgets!) to produce such high quality, anti-creation products leave Christian ministries almost without options to compete.
We also looked at the data on how many young people go to movie theaters vs go to church in any given week. Movie theaters won hands down. So could we take the Gospel to the theaters through a high-tech animated full-length feature film whose quality rivaled that of Discovery Channel?
Ralph and I both felt God was calling us to this big task. The question was, did we have the faith to start this journey? Sometimes there is a fine line between faith and foolishness. Most told us we were foolish to attempt such a monumental film, but you asked where the idea for Genesis: Paradise Lost came from, and now you know.
TU: Most creationist scientists believe in micro evolution – the process of organisms adapting to their environments within their kind or species. Will the Genesis movie portray animals as they would have appeared during the first days of creation, or will it show all the animal variants as they appear today?
EH: Great question! We are presenting Genesis chapter one, so the movie has to portray animals as they would have appeared during the first days of creation. What did THAT look like?!
We were blessed to partner with several apologetics and creation ministries including Answers in Genesis. Their amazing team of scientists has done extensive research into baraminology, the study of the created kinds. We relied heavily on their many years of diligent research to help us create our models for the movie. You may be surprised what happens to a lion, for example, when you acknowledge that all the varieties of cats came from God’s original cat. Yep! That drastically changed the look of our lion. He even has stripes!
TU: There’s currently a fundraiser going on. Can you tell me more about that?
Five years ago, we began working on this amazing project called Genesis. Then in September of 2013, we took our idea to the world to see if they were interested in helping produce this one-of-a-kind project. In 40 days we raised $275,000.00 of the production budget and have spent the last several years working on the project.
Now the project is complete and we are ready to distribute the film. God has blessed us with a unique opportunity to take the film to theaters nationwide on November 13th and we are once again offering Christians the opportunity to be involved with this outreach. Crowdfunding makes it easy for a lot of people to give a little and have a huge impact across our nation. We are so thankful for the thousands who funded the production of the project and would love for thousands more to be involved in putting Genesis on the big screen.
TU: Where are you in the distribution process?
EH: Wow! What a journey that has been as the entire way movies get into theaters has radically changed in the past seven years! We have partnered with Fathom Events, the same company that put Christian films such as Kirk Cameron’s Monumental, Exodus Patterns of Evidence, and Is Genesis History? in theaters across America. The Fathom one-night event with possible encore showings allows movies such as ours to get into theaters at a fraction of the cost of standard distribution. It is a great partnership for this film.
TU: What is your vision for the Genesis movie? How do you think it will impact Christians, atheists, and agnostics?
EH: Our vision all along for this one-of-a-kind animated documentary has been to strengthen the faith of believers and to reach the lost with the Gospel. This vision fulfills Creation Today’s mission—to impact individuals around the world to KNOW and DEFEND their creator GOD!
When we looked at the list of 3D movies available at the theater, there were ZERO Christian movies! We are praying that many non-Christians will experience Genesis: Paradise Lost just out of curiosity, or for its high-quality 3D element. God promised that His Word would not return void, and the clear Gospel presentation by speakers, including Ray Comfort of Living Waters, is full of God’s Word. The harvest, then, is up to God.
To support the Genesis movie, visit their fundraising page here!