Philly filmmakers driven to launch fundraising campaign

A group of Philadelphia-based filmmakers are launching a Kickstarter campaign to finish their first feature film and get it on the festival circuit.

“Driving Not Knowing,” currently in postproduction, explores the boundaries between friends who are intimately close in work and friendship. Will, a volatile poet, and Lee, a musician with a drug habit, reunite after a year of estrangement and struggle to overcome and resolve the tension that threatens their friendship.

Benjamin R. Davis, the co-director and producer of the film, said the story pulls from his own experiences as well as those of the film’s co-creators.

“The story has a lot of autobiographical elements in so many ways, just in the conflicts and instances of not knowing where to go after college and of course the close, intimate working relationships and friendships that kind of fuse,” he said. “It was huge inspiration for the film itself. There are all the elements of the real world and fiction that bleed together so intensely. They kind of disconnect. When Lee abandons Will, it’s because of this misunderstanding of what their relationship is. They’re so close and intimate in their work and friendship that it kind of bleeds over into this romantic aspect that Will is confused about, and he is not sure if he wants to be in a romantic relationship because he values their working relationship so much more. They are both on very different pages. A year later when the characters do see each other again, it’s kind of wrapped up in the open-ended issues that weren’t resolved, and that is what fuels the story.”

While Davis said he has similarities with both of the main characters, one of them is closer to representing his life experiences.

“I’d say that it’s a hard split between the two main characters, Will and Lee, because they are based on aspects of myself and the three other co-creators of the film,” Davis said. “I’d say there are bits and pieces in each of them but perhaps more in the character of Will.”

Davis added that the blurring of lines between work and relationships among people who collaborate artistically is something the film’s creators have experienced, both as filmmakers and artists.

“Myself and the film’s co-creators were all poets ourselves,” he said. “The three of them are published poets. I’m an amateur. It’s a huge part of our lives and we wanted to reflect that fusion of things as well.”

Davis said while the film is almost finished, the Kickstarter campaign they are launching June 15 will help them complete the post-production on the project and possibly help cover the cost of submitting the film to a number of upcoming film festivals.

“We’re going to be trying to set a goal of $20,000-$25,000,” Davis said. “If we can get to $40,000, that is where we will really need to be going to be able to cover all the costs like legal fees and packaging.”

For more information about “Driving Not Knowing,” visit www.facebook.com/drivingnotknowing, www.xtwitter.com/DNKmovie or drivingnotknowing.tumblr.com.