Help us share Learning to Drive with the world!!

You can be a part of this wildly entertaining road movie that sneaks in some life lessons.

Learning to Drive A Project of Shorts


Hello there fans of Film and Social Change!!

I'd like to share with you a bit about our short film, Learning to Drive! LTD is inspired by my ever persistent brother Andy. While he didn't quite reach that familiar goal of obtaining a driver's license, his tenacity and the life lessons I learned because of it did inspire me to tell his story. In 1998 I copyrighted the first draft of that screenplay. Over the next 15 years I would re-visit, re-write and reconsider how best to tell this story until finally in August of 2013 I settled on a short film version.

Inspired by the true story of a feisty young man with Down syndrome determined to convince his scatterbrained brother to teach him how to drive, LTD is a classically entertaining road movie full of heart, humor and style.

Michael, who has Down syndrome and his older brother Red travail the desert to deliver their mother's ashes to the Grand Canyon as promised, but along the way they stumble upon an opportunity that suddenly propels Red on an alternative, questionable mission. Michael strives to keep them on the right path until he eventually takes matters into his own hands, leading to an adventure with a thrilling conclusion.


We've FINISHED the film!!!! At last, after three years the film is done, but we need help getting across the finish line! Following is a summary of the expenses still facing us.

$ 900 - Estimated film festival submission fees, including insurance.
$ 600 - DCP Mastering and QC expense
$ 500 - DVD/Blu-Ray duplication
$ 400 - Shipping and misc office expenses
$ 600 - Addl promotion expenses for film festivals
$ 3,000 - Initial film festival attendance expenses.

$6,000 - Total

ALL contributions will be listed in the thank you credits at the end of the film! Contributions of $2,500 or more will receive an Associate Producer credit, including an official listing on . For everything in between, we've got promotional materials from the film as well as artwork from award winning artist and filmmaker, Roderick E. Stevens II

You can read more about the film and the filmmakers below.

Check out our official website at,

Our busy Facebook page is at

Watch exciting teasers and behind-the-scenes videos on our YouTube page at

If you're in the mood for award winning, internationally collected art, you can see what's being leveraged as incentives for this fund-raiser at !

PLEASE check out our exciting, entertaining and enlightening project and help us get it out into the world!


My name is Roderick E. Stevens!

After years directing the photography of over 25 feature films as well as countless short films, music videos, commercials, etc. I took a step back from the film industry to concentrate on fine art and my own personal growth. I believe I needed this time to reconnect with my passion as a storyteller and when I found myself re-engaging with this particular film project, I had a far clearer vision of what I wanted to say and how to best say it. I don't like when a film 'preaches' to me and I've long remained determined that our primary mission is to entertain people, but there were crucial life lessons I had learned through my interactions with my brother that I felt an audience could relate to and might also learn from.

While I very much look forward to future projects on which I can collaborate with passionate professionals of the myriad disciplines necessary to complete such a massive undertaking as a feature motion picture; I found myself having to fill a great many roles on this project. Because we filmed in southeastern Arizona, professional craftsmen were not readily available, so I was forced to rely heavily on skills I've acquired over the past 25 years of creating, including having designed and built my own house here in the desert.

In addition to Writing the screenplay (which has now won two awards - see below), I spent months in Producer mode, setting up our crowd-funding campaigns as well as reaching out to many vendors to secure donations of meals for the cast and crew (sometimes up to 36 people on a given day), lodging, an incredible camera package generously provided by Clairmont Camera, an extensive grip & lighting package from Monsoon Production Services in Tucson, Az, etc. and of course to seeking out experienced, professional crew to help us (for free) get the film in the can. I also spent several weeks scouting and securing locations. As Art Director, I gathered together a small army of people to help me build the sets for our only interior location, including building two specialty camera rigs for unique shots my cinemagography, Danny Gonzalez and I came up with. As the Special Effects Supervisor, I oversaw numerous plate shots as well as the green screen photography that constitutes over 1/3 of our running time. Once in post-production I have acted as Editor, Compositor, Sound Effects Editor and Mixer and Colorist.

None of this is meant to be boastful; again I truly long for the days when I can work with professionals dedicate to their specific craft to realize a common vision. This is just to say that I have devoted nearly every waking moment for the past three years to seeing this project through with the attention and professionalism that it deserves. A common precept in filmmaking is "Good, Fast, Cheap; Pick two!". I have always felt this project was worthy of being done with the utmost quality, and I've known that we would have to work within an incredibly low budget, so I went into this project determined to invest whatever time is necessary to DO IT RIGHT! Thus far, I feel that patience and tenacity is paying off.


While developing the script, we focused on two key elements to create a unique experience for our worldwide audience.

Firstly, everything from dialogue to art direction to cinematography was orchestrated specifically to emphasize Michael's point of view. This is his story, not Red's; something we just don't see very often in films that feature characters with developmental disabilities. Secondly, while many movies with diff-abled characters dwell on the drama of their struggle, we wanted to emphasize the humor and entertainment that is part of being with a person with Down syndrome. While there are important themes of personal growth incorporated into the story, we feel those messages are far more apt to resonate with audiences if they grow organically from a place of entertainment rather than a message being taught. In other words - this is just a fun movie with fun characters! :-D

Check out some of the exciting script coverage the screenplay received!


While I set out to raise the funds to shoot this ambitious 30 minute road movie, the screenplay won two awards and helped us earn an incredible amount of industry support including thousands of dollars in donated equipment and an incredibly talented, professional crew who all volunteered their time to get this project in the can. We spent numerous days from January 2015 through January 2016 shooting the bulk of our footage on mixed mediums including 35mm, Super8 film and 4K Raw digital and released two teasers and then finally our first official 'trailer' for the film on 03/21 (World Down Syndrome Day).


The first third of 2016 has been spent editing the film, working on the extensive amount of compositing and effects work, and honing in on just a few final inserts and cutaways we still need to complete the film.

$5,079 Raised
56% towards $9,000 Goal

Supported by 60 Donations: