Jens Pulver and Gregory Bayne: Driven

 

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A look inside of Little Evil's life has finally come to the homes of many MMA fans.

Jen's Pulver has been known as a groundbreaker for the sport of MMA and Director Gregory Bayne decided to capture that link between Jens and the success of MMA. Many months went into the development and filming of Driven and it has become a success.

Both Jens and Greg were kind enough to sit down with me regarding the movie and what the whole process was like from start to finish.

Jens Pulver

Jens, with the massive following you have not only throughout your MMA career but outside of it as well, what were your first initial thoughts when Gregory approached you on doing a movie?

My initial thought was here we go what's this, the fourth guy looking to do a movie about me.  The minute he and I spoke I knew who he was having watched "Out of the Blue: A Film About Life and Football". I also knew he was experienced in the movie area so I was excited to see what he had in mind.

Throughout the movie there were some scenes that really brought us into your personal life that not many get to see of an MMA fighter. How did you feel with the cameras being on you for a extensive period of time?

The cameras didn't bother me at all during the filming process.

As for seeing that side of me, well in the words of Popeye I am what I am. I have demons that scarred me so bad it left me with an everyday roller coaster i just want to hop the f*ck off.  So going inside of an MMA fighter that's ok, but inside the world of Little Evil? Hold on to your boots!

When you finally viewed the final product how did you feel the movie portrayed you and what it took to put it together?

I loved every part of it. I realized though I cry to damn much about sh*t, not that I care but beyond that it was cool to watch and even more fun getting to know Greg. The guy is a trip and I enjoy the hell out of him, in the world of Little Evil it's great to meet people who aren't completely full of sh*t.

With your family and fans being very important to you, how do you think they will feel while watching this movie?

I hope to god they all get a boost in their moral. Hopefully they take a moment of self empowerment so they can stand on their own two feet with confidence and pride.  So they better know the blue n brown eyed freak call Lil Evil.

How was the relationship with you and Greg regarding the input of what you wanted in the movie and what tweaks were made while in the editing process?

He was perfect and he read my mind when it came to his filming, and he blew my mind on every clip he let me see.  I am lucky to know Greg. Where all the other things driven, my gym. (Gone so are some friendships) the Driven Inc shirts gone (hopefully soon forgotten as well) Greg and Driven the documentary are my gifts that received and this is something we can pass on to all of you.

Gregory Bayne

With the extensive time it takes to develop a movie, can you walk us through how you got in contact with Jens and how the movie came about?

I met Jens in the fall of '09, soon after he had moved to Nampa, Idaho to open the Driven Training Center. An old friend of mine was involved with opening the center, and had mentioned that I should meet Jens, as I might find him and his story interesting. He set up a meet, and for me it was basically decided after that. I sat down with Jens, asked him two questions, and he talked for an hour. He was truly engaging. After that meet, I went off, did my research, began to develop my idea for the film, and search for financing.

I was a couple weeks into this process when we found out Jens would be fighting in WEC 47. All of a sudden time was of the essence, and I realized I had the perfect trifecta for a feature doc. truly compelling subject, with an incredible life story, in a time sensitive situation with a definitive end. I scrambled to get things rolling, and after several failed attempts to raise financing, shot and put together the first teaser trailer and posted it on YouTube. Based on the groundswell that created, I then launched the initial Kickstarter.com campaign that got us underway.

I knew from the beginning that I didn't want to do a traditional biography style film. I wasn't interested in conducting a number of "Tell me about Jens" style interviews with colleagues past and present, or tracking down old footage and photos to do a 'Ken Burns' number with this film. I wanted to capture this moment, meaning the lead up to WEC 47, as it happened, and concentrate solely on Jens, and Jens telling his story. To me, he was simply the best narrator for his story, so the direction of how the film would come together was locked in from day one. Luckily, a number of people from around the globe latched onto that vision, supported it, and we were off to the races.

You have directed other short movies, have you followed MMA well before the movie was being filmed, or was it something you had to learn about while filming?

I have one other feature PERSON OF INTEREST that I did prior to this film, and have worked as an editor, and cinematographer on several other features over the past 8-10 years.

I knew very little about MMA before this film, and am still educating myself on the sport. I think that part of the success of the film is the fact that I did not approach it from the angle of 'fan'; I was interested in Jens and his story. I've said it before, I'm driven by curiosity. I do this because I like to learn things in the process. So approaching this sport cold allowed me to portray in such a way that the viewer would not have to be already versed in the sport to enjoy the film. Jens's very universal human story drives the film, while the sport provides a very intriguing backdrop.

How much time did you interview Jens off camera before knowing that this was going to be the movie to be shot?

Literally, just in that first hour it was decided. It was so apparent in that first meeting that Jens was a compelling speaker, emotionally honest, and most important of all, not camera shy.

With the movie being completed only a few months ago, what are your thoughts looking back at the process and what has Jens shown you throughout the movie?

It's honestly been one of the highlights of my life thus far. Sometimes the best projects are the ones you fall into.  I couldn't be more grateful for having had the opportunity to meet Jens, and for his allowing me to capture what we did in the film. He's a truly courageous individual, and the very definition of what it means to be a fighter, all of which I think shines through in the film.

Additionally, I'm astounded by the community of support that has risen up behind this film. To have this film to date be 100% fan funded is an incredible feat, that neither I, nor Jens, take lightly. I'm very thankful for the support that we've received to ensure this film was made. It's not every day, as a filmmaker, that you get to connect with such a large cross-section of people that are anticipating your work, so again, one of the highlights of my life thus far.

For the fans that want more information on the movie can go to the facebook page or contact Greg directly. Driven is a movie that took many months of completition and with the DVD's finally being shipped out, Little Evil finally reveals his life to his fans. Many knew of his background through Jens himself, but not many get to see his life day by day on what it takes to be a father, husband, and MMA fighter.

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Filed under: MMA

Tags: driven, gregorybayne, jenspulver, mma, UFC, wec

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