Exclusive: Ross Brothers on what makes their coming-of-age drama, Gasoline Rainbow, different from the mainstream

We speak to the duo about their inspiration behind this drama and lots more!
Exclusive: Ross Brothers on what makes their coming-of-age drama, Gasoline Rainbow, different from the mainstream

Every once in a while, a high school drama makes its way to the theatres and streaming platforms. And each time, it is the same old tale of self-discovery and friendship against the uncertainty of what college life holds in store. However, every time we watch movies from the genre, it instils us with a sense of ambition to achieve our long-lost high school dreams. 

This pretty much sums up our experience of watching Gasoline Rainbow, a coming-of-age American drama about five teenagers from Oregon. While it seems like a simple tale of the teens finding their truest selves, at the “end of the world”,  500 miles away from their hometown, it is so much more. 

Directed by independent director duo and brothers Turner Ross and Bill Ross, the film urges you to explore the unexplored and brings you up-and-close to the reality that there is no right age to dream.

With a running time of 1 hour and 51 minutes, the Ross Brothers provide the audience a peek into “one last adventure” of the teens and how they find their truest selves. We speak to the duo about their inspiration behind this drama and lots more!

Excerpts:

What strengths do you two bring to this partnership? 

Bill: We often talk about this. But I have to say that our strengths have changed over the years. In the beginning, I was doing most of the editing and it was mostly on the technical bit. We did our separate things initially and now, with our films we are creating a language signature to us. 

Turner: I agree with Ross. It has changed over the years and since we know each other so well, there has been a project-by-project evolution. Plus, we identified our shared interest in movies in our early 20s and we did all kinds of projects together. We were in the industry in LA and we realised somewhat together that we both have the skills that we can put together and it might result in something beautiful. 

Bill Ross, Turner Ross (L-R)
Bill Ross, Turner Ross (L-R)

What is your approach to films as independent directors and how is it different from the mainstream?

Turner: I guess how we approach making the films, that is different from the mainstream. We don't work in opposition of the system. We just have a whole different system. We have a way of working that works for us. It's a way of work we have developed and we enjoy. It stays much more alive for us that way and we and the people we work with have authorship of that.

How would you say your approach of Gasoline Rainbow was different from the commercial high school films that we have seen previously?

Bill: I think in the way Gasoline Rainbow is made, we are leaving it on people to be inspired to express who they are. We are not making some sort of comment as older folks about this generation. They are speaking for themselves. The film is of the moment. We weren't setting out to make a road trip movie or a coming-of-age movie. We were setting out to hear the voice of this generation. We decided to go on a journey.

We understand you wanted to make a film for the current generation that feels their own. To achieve that, what practices did you put in place?

Turner: We created opportunities for our cast where they interacted differently each time and we observed them to understand how they view the world. Not to sound poetic, but we gave them the opportunity to colour and we just created the colouring book. In the voice overs, the lines are the ones said by us and also them. We did Facetime with the cast after the shoots to check upon them and we just talked and that's where the vo came from. We wanted them to feel as real as possible.

Before we wrap the conversation, tell us where the inspiration for the title, Gasoline Rainbow, came from.

Bill: That was also a long process. We zeroed down on the name right before we sent it for film festivals. We had 500 titles, we sat with our friends, and asked them about their thoughts and the idea was that the film needs to tell us what it wants to be called. That took a long time. Gasoline Rainbow spoke to the experiences the kids in the movie were having and also to the content of the film.

Gasoline Rainbow is streaming on MUBI.

Exclusive: Ross Brothers on what makes their coming-of-age drama, Gasoline Rainbow, different from the mainstream
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