With high school in the rearview, five teenagers from small-town Oregon decide to embark on one last adventure. Piling into a van with a busted tail light, their mission is to make it to a place they’ve never been—the Pacific coast, five hundred miles away. Their plan, in full: “Fuck it.”

By van, boat, train, and foot, their improvised odyssey takes them through desert wilderness, industrial backwaters, and city streets. Along the way, they encounter outsiders from the fringes of the American West and discover that the contours of their lives will be set by trails they blaze themselves. They are forgotten kids from a forgotten town, but they have their freedom and they have each other, hurtling toward an unknowable future—and The Party at the End of the World.




THE ROSS BROTHERS are an American filmmaking team whose work has brought them renown as some of the most innovative independent filmmakers working today -- pushing the art of presenting uninhibited portraits of people and places with all the complicated, humanistic, and lyrical truth that that entails. Their work has been featured at museums and festivals throughout the world, including the Berlinale (Bloody Nose Empty Pockets) and Sundance, where they premiered Bloody Nose Empty Pockets in 2020, and received a Special Jury Prize for Western in 2015. They have been the recipients of an Independent Spirit Award as well as accolades from CPH:DOX, Full Frame, and South by Southwest.


According to Metacritic they are tied with Paul Thomas Anderson as the 6th best reviewed filmmakers of the 21st century. In 2023, their body of work was celebrated with a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. They are members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.


2023 Gasoline Rainbow
2020 Blood Nose, Empty Pockets
2017 Contemporary Color
2015 Western
2012 Tchoupitoulas
2009 45365

The impetus for the film came during lockdown. Facing the precipice of an unknown future, we imagined the cast of Streetwise navigating the wild roads of Easy Rider—restless youth guided by a spirit of freewheeling exploration, shot out of a cannon into the new frontier. A punk rock Wizard of Oz. With a folder of notes and ideas labeled “Episodes of Delinquency” and five first-time actors as our guides, we embarked on a grand adventure. Loosely composed scenarios provided the framework for serendipitous magic—an improvisational self-portrait of the new generation.




This is a unique production, can you explain your approach? When you’re plotting this out, what goes on the page? Since so much of what you’re filming was improvised and alive, what do your blueprints look like?

Turner Ross: We started with a whole lot of ideas and stories and one-liners, locations and images, which eventually whittled down to a shooting script that didn’t have dialogue, although it did have scenes, and suggestions of ways to interact. We broke down every day within the film into three days of shooting—morning, midday, and night. Each of those situations got its own focus and could be lived in, and we needed to get from one place to the next with this intention. So day-by-day it was—where are we starting, and where are we ending; how are we getting there physically and how are we getting there emotionally; what images need to occur, what story beats need to be hit in order to have continuity?

Was the shooting script only for your use, or was it for the kids as well?

TR: The kids never saw any of this. Each day they woke up and started where they left off. We would set intentions with them—sometimes separately, sometimes together. Like, here's the scenario we’re in, here's what your character is feeling and where you need to go. We let them embody their own motivations and intentions, with the knowledge that we need to get somewhere. This is not a documentary, but it is very sincere. We found if you give people a mask, then they actually share more than they would if we were just asking them to be themselves. Putting these kids into a slightly different paradigm, giving them the license to be actors in a movie, they were able to be super present and available.

Who are these kids? Where’d you find them? And how did you end up with these five in the end?

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BR: For the first time in our work we brought in casting directors, two of our friends, Jesy and Lauren who ran a casting company out of New Orleans. Since we couldn't physically be up in Washington and Oregon for all the time required to cast this whole thing, they went up there for around three months ahead of us.

Had you sketched out five characters that you were looking to cast, or just looking for kids that you wanted to place into these environments?

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TR: The casting was the same as the shooting. There was a general idea, and then improvisation. Initially we had wanted four kids, then it got down to one, then back up to three. There weren't slots to fill. The casting directors would send us things to look at every day—casting reels and photos and descriptions. Bill and I were at home mapping all this out on a wall—like, this could work with this, this person could work over here. This influences this idea, this changes that one, maybe we could do this instead. we would go up there to meet with people in person, then come home and do it again. A lot of the leads we considered along the way ended up in different roles. By the end, those three boys were thick as thieves. The two girls were the same. Once we spent time with those two groups, and put them together, it was the five.

BR: And then it was as if they had known each other forever.

TR: Just as we remembered from growing up. You've got different friends who hold different weight, but they all hold each other. Meanwhile we had like a hundred other people. How would they relate to these five? Where could they exist? How could they be a message along the way? Like those train riders—how do they enter the picture and how can they help them get to here? And we love these older people—how in the hell do they end up with them? We were writing because of the characters, and casting because of the writing.

How well did they grasp the totality of what you were doing? And was it something they were experiencing alongside their characters?

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BR: Oh yeah, for sure. A lot of the voiceover in the film came from our interviews with them.They are talking about where they were in their lives.

Were they looking at the script at all? Or were you just talking them through it, day-by-day?

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BR: We had a booklet with, like, “this is what you can expect each day.”

TR: Kinda like summer camp.

BR: It really was like summer camp. We were very honest with them about what it was going to look like. We set the table by saying, yes, it’s a weird thing that we're about to do, but it's gonna be really fun and we'll take care of you. If it ever seems too fucked up or scary or uncomfortable, we will stop and talk about it. Which never happened. But we made sure to set the table.

You began talking about this movie in 2020, how did the ideas come together and develop?

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TR: My first messages to Bill starting this conversation happened a month before the world shut down. We talked about revisiting this folder we started when we were like 18 called ‘Episodes of Delinquency’, a collection of ideas that has continued to grow over time. Pieces of it have found their way into everything we've ever made. Our inside working title for this film was that—Episodes of Delinquency. When we got into the pandemic we went back and forth about a couple of things. We thought about if we were still kids, in the town that we grew up in, dreaming of what was down the road and of another world, and trying to get out of there—during the pandemic it was not only feeling stuck, but you literally

couldn't leave. That was horrifying. The second thing was, if we were able to go back a hundred years to 1919, which was also a pandemic year with the Spanish flu, what would we want to see? It wasn't the news. It wasn't the big events. It was what it would look like if you looked out your window, if we didn't say it's The Pandemic, and you just were in the world, what would people's feelings be like?

BR: It was all very loose at the beginning. Like, how can we speak to these feelings, yet not speak to the time? I remember this kid on TikTok with 30 followers who was like “Hey, guys, let's socially distance on the beach,” and 20,000 people showed up because all these kids were stuck at home and wanted to do something—that would make a great movie. I would like to see it, honestly, but it’s too stuck in time—everything that we wanted to talk about is more universal than that.

TR: Initially the ideas were much more delinquent because, you know, that’s how we had been, but we’re working in a mode where the people within the film are the authors of their experience, and these kids interact with people in the world differently than we did as kids. There was hope, and there was a barter system of care. It ended up being this really beautiful, positive, loving and soulful thing, rather than something dark and delinquent. When we were growing up, if someone was different and walked up to you, you'd say, “fuck off”. Whereas with these kids, it was like, “Wow, you're different. Tell me all about it.”

BR: As the pandemic progressed, it felt like people needed their people, they needed release, and they wanted to venture out into the world. We slowly zeroed in on:what if we could catch the energy of all of us being shot back into the real world? And we prepared so that on the day that the lockdown lifted, we could start shooting.

To make that happen, were you quietly location scouting in the months preceding?

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TR: Yeah, we were over there on a scouting trip in September of 2020.

How did you wind up in Oregon?

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TR: I had planned a scouting trip to the Northwest that I didn't get to go on because the pandemic shut everything down. It’s an area I've traveled around quite a bit and really loved as a landscape. Also, in some of our references, like My Own Private Idaho and Stand By Me, that's the backdrop. We had most of the route planned by September 2020, then went back at least twice more and did it over again, walking through those landscapes, when we started shooting it was all location based. We shot for six weeks straight and it's linear every day.

BR: We started shooting the day that the mask mandate was lifted.

TR: It was a huge gamble because we didn't know, obviously, that the mask mandate was going to be lifted. We just started planning for a movie for a future tense that we had no idea was going to exist. It meant that the shoot was very alive. It was kind of like a summer of love for these kids and the people they encountered, because everybody was free all of a sudden.

Talk about the route you laid out. How did it come together, and why was it important to cover that much ground, to plan a road trip?

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TR: There were a lot of conversations about the Corps of Discovery. About frontiers, the American frontier, manifest Destiny, the frontier of self. What is the frontier for kids coming of age at this moment in time? What is the American dream anymore? As filmmakers we've always been place-based, but in

this film we wanted to stretch time and space. You go from desert to field to forest to river to the ocean, we knew it would be beautiful, but also that these kids would have to respond to different environments and to the people within those environments.

How large was your crew?

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BR: Seven. It was like this traveling circus. We had a great group dynamic, and it was very sad when it was all over.

Considering how important real people and real interactions have been to your work, I’m curious about how you balanced all of this planning without taking away the spontaneity, without making it feel rehearsed.

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TR: There was never an “action” or “cut.” We kept it so that they were surprised and received things as they happened.

BR: They were always arriving at things that were already in motion.

TR: The onus was on us and our team to make sure that everything was set up without them having to consider any of it. They really were walking into these worlds, and it's them improvising based on stimuli and situation. Every new character also had their own intentions, had their own reasons why they were there, and brought pieces of themselves to it. And so those kids are encountering these people who are suddenly a part of this.

BR: I love working like this. Every step of the way is extremely alive and active, and you're writing in real time. We want it to be as hands-off as possible. But we would see something happening and be like, “Guys, why don't you take this conversation over there and really explore that idea?”

TR: But it couldn’t happen again. There's no do-overs.

BR: I still feel tired from it. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. The most exhausting thing I've ever done. Because there's no sitting behind the camera in a chair and yelling “Action.” If you don't show up to work at a hundred percent, then it sucks. The thing sucks and you ruin it for everybody.

TR: It's winning time all the time.

How did you avoid falling into any grooves in terms of how you were shooting, anticipating what comes next in a dishonest way?

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TR: The most choreographed thing that we did was the opening. We rehearsed it and rehearsed it.

BR: Originally it was like six minutes long. It totally set the wrong tone.

TR: We were learning what the film wants to be while we were doing it. We learned that on the ground and then we learned it in the edit. And with the opening it was that it needs to be a lot freer.

The kids get up to some pretty crazy things, hopping trains, hitching rides on boats - can you tell me about the safety apparatus you had in place for this one to look out for everyone?

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TR: It’s much more produced than it looks. Every night we had a real roof over our heads and everybody ate three times a day. It wasn't on the fly. This stuff was booked months in advance. The structure was there, and we couldn't deviate from it. There was no more money. There was no room for fucking it up. Some days we'd shoot for 15 hours, other days we shot for four so that we could move on and get the gear and other people in place, or so that Bill and I could do a rewrite.

Any shenanigans befitting an 18 year old?

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TR: We had one bad day where they snuck off. We had an off day in Portland, and the boys decided to sneak out and go back home three hours away and visit their girlfriends and party.

BR: But they made it back just in time!

TR: Their hearts were still in it, but they were also like, “yeah, we're out.”

Sounds like something you would've done at that age.

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BR: Oh, of course. It's also why they were cast. They were kids that do stuff like that. But they're such good hearted kids. They were going to be back on time, they just weren’t going to miss other fun stuff going on.

TR: Life first. I mean, it's our mantra as well.

How did they come down from this experience? Was it a true catharsis at the end? I'm just curious about where your end point left them.

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TR: The party really is a catharsis. They really are all crying at the end. They've come to the end of this fictional journey, but it's also been a real physical and emotional journey. So that day we all just lost it. Everyone was excited, happy, elated, dancing, screaming, exhausted, crying. When we all woke up from it, we went as a cast and crew and watched Goonies, and then had a party. Then we took them all to their hometowns and had parties with their friends or families or whoever was important to them, and then said our goodbyes.

They know what they went through. But still, it's hard to conceive of what a movie is, especially when it's not shot like a regular movie. We captured a moment in their lives that was genuine. They were 18, either getting out of school, or figuring out jobs and maybe getting out of mom's house, and what do you do about their high school girlfriend. Now it’s been two years since we wrapped, and life has moved on for all of them. They’re all roughly 20 and they work and they live on their own, they have bills, new

relationships and friendships have come and gone. I just can't imagine what it’s like to go online and see an announcement about the Venice Film Festival. How do you even conceive of that? I don't know. I think we made a really beautiful film with them, and that they were very present and beautiful and alive in their moment, but also that moment is now in the past.

Can we talk a little about the music in the film? A lot of the choices, most, even, aren’t contemporary. What prompted these selections?

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BR: When we were thinking about casting Nat and Nicole, they were driving around listening to Cypress Hill, and we were rapping along and they were like, “Y'all know all the lyrics to this?” It’s like how in the late nineties I was listening to Jimi Hendrix. For them it’s listening to Ice Cube, you know? We initially bonded on liking the same music, which was really weird. So the songs are all the shit that they were listening to. Like in the beginning of the film when they're listening to Guns ‘n Roses, They knew every word to it.

TR: It’s one of the cool things about their generation that we had to learn. They don't have to tune into the radio, they have the internet, everything, all of time is present for them. They can talk about things that are only happening in, you know, Snapchat or TikTok, but they can also reference Bob Ross and Guns N Roses. It's all a part of their experience. It's not like they're fetishizing. It's all really there all the time.

Also, in terms of audio, you were probably working without orchestrated booms or lav mics, and there’s constant crosstalk—were you reliant on a lot of post-production work to make things discernible for the audience?

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TR: We made it twice as difficult because we did what we usually do and captured a lot of messy audio. Then had an edit that incorporated a lot of audio pieces that weren't from where they were shot. Then we decided to mix it with a team in Mexico City, for whom English is not even their first language, which made it really creative. It was a gamble that paid off because though it’s an American movie, it's a universal story. By mixing it outside of the states our collaborators could bring a lot of themselves to it. It

became much more about the emotional journey, stripping it down to what it really needed to be.

BR: We always keep a sound library of just lines that we like that don't really make any sense. But in a moment we can go, “What if Micah said that at that moment… hold on, let me pull that up.” And if it got a reaction in the room, we'd keep it. For the first couple days of us doing that they were like, “Guys, this is not usually how we work.” And we're like, well, are you cool with it? And they're like, this is very, very strange, but sure.

TR: You're building worlds mostly from audio that wasn't recorded in that moment. We’re reconstructing and reconsidering to make things more alive. Like the whole train sequence needed to be a living thing. It was a long process, but I think we ended up someplace sonically awesome. Like, it’s just vibrant. It's vibrating.

Visually the film is also vibrating, though you’ve also made a landscape-rich film that doesn’t draw attention to how you’re shooting, it doesn’t fetishize the image capturing. Even when there is an astonishing frame, you cut much quicker than other filmmakers would.

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BR: We were very concerned with that because Oregon is so beautiful. There's something funny about cutting a beautiful shot short. We needed the movie to have the spirit of the kids, which was scatterbrained and all over the place.

TR: We did talk about this at the beginning. We didn't want to become overly enamored with the landscapes and have that affecting the information we’re sending across. We had to remind ourselves that we had chosen these landscapes because they're inherently beautiful. So no matter what we shoot, some of it is going to be beautiful. Instead we focused on the kids within these spaces.

Lastly, I know you both love reference points, jumping off points, images and sounds and phrases of inspiration. What was swirling around in your heads as you moved through this project?

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TR: I mean, My Own Private Idaho, Stand by Me, “The Wasteland,” Easy Rider.

BR: Streetwise, always Streetwise

TR: “Up in the Old Hotel.” We looked at a lot of photography, like Todd Hido and Walker Evans.

BR: Wild Boys on the Road from 1933, which is an early William Wellman film. It's astonishing.

TR: Sam Shepherd and Edward Hopper and “Heart of Darkness” and so many essays. “Let America be America Again.” “Winesburg, Ohio.” “Frog and Toad are Friends,” The Wizard of Oz.

BR: Poem is a Naked Person. Just the freedom of that film that anything can happen at any time.

TR: We combed through so much music from when we were that age and tried to figure out why, tried to make sure that we came back to what those feelings were, how we felt them, why we felt them.

I like how you just inhale all this stuff. The film comes out the way you want it, but all of this is somehow in the air.

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TR: There was so much that went into this that isn't necessarily overtly on the screen. But it was so much of it for us. These last few years have been so complicated for everyone. Finishing this feels a bit confusing because it's the end of an unbelievably daunting chapter of our lives. It's the most difficult thing that we've ever done.

Your experiences are specific to you, yet you’ve made something that a lot of people are going to be able relate to. Who isn’t standing at a crossroads right now?

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TR: It's like when, towards the end of the film, Tony puts his head in his hands and Micah says, “What are we gonna do now?” And Tony says, “I don't know.” I feel just like Tony right now.

BR: We showed it to our mom. She wanted to see it and we're like, mom, I don't think this teenage stoner movie is for you. But she saw it, and the next day and was like, “This is by far your best film. I related to it more than anything you've ever done.” And we're like, wait, what?

TR: She says, yeah, I was a kid once too, you know, going through my own shit.

BR: Wow. Mom. Cool.


Makai Garza

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Makai Garza, an outstanding talent, is always looking for new adventures and new horizons.

He is known for his latest work Gasoline Rainbow (2023) as an actor.

Makai would like to thank the earth and all that it’s given us - the opportunities to make life happen. He would like to thank all the producers and people in the background you don’t see, the people who truly made this work. The ones making sure shit gets done. Those who dealt with everyone's energy, and the family members who supported the cast during their journey. He would also like to  thank Turner and Bill for making his dreams come true and for being great friends.

Nichole Dukes

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Nichole grew up in a small town called Yakima. When she was a child, she would often travel to Mexico with her family. She always strived in school (at least up until senior year, lol, when she would mainly spend her time in the library burying her nose in any mystery/romance novel she could find). She enjoyed art class the most and still paints from time to time. Most of her junior/senior year was spent at the park skating, making memories and eating shit (constantly). She graduated from West Valley HS in 2021. After graduating, attempting to do more school just felt wrong. There simply wasn’t anything she was passionate enough to pursue. So, she would work at random jobs here and there up until she got booked for the film. Now she works at UPS and a Mexican restaurant in hopes of saving enough to start school in the spring. She’s curious about majoring in interior design and has always loved art. She’s currently living in Yakima with her mom, little brother and 4 cats (Mei Mei, Frankie, Pepper and Shadow).

Nathaly Garcia

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Nathaly Garcia grew up jumping from school to school in Yakima, Washington. She’s lived there her whole life, besides visiting her dad in San Diego /Mexico. She hated school, except for one teacher who would show her cool music (even though he’d get her in trouble for being late…). She also enjoyed English because of the freedom she got and the poetry. Hated chemistry. Though she was grateful for getting the chance to take photography throughout high school in hopes of pursuing it in the future. After high school she moved out of her mom’s house. Luckily her boyfriend Shawn and his family took her in, along with her cat Luna. She recently got a new kitten Ozzy. And as of now has been working at a Mexican restaurant, hustling as much as she can till she can settle down in a home of her own.

Tony Aburto

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Tony Aburto grew up in Tri-Cities, located in Washington state. After COVID derailed a rather lackluster high school experience, Tony dropped out. One morning after crashing in the back of Makai’s truck after a party, Tony told him about the dream he’d had, where Makai was a famous movie actor and Tony swore to him that it was gonna happen. A few months later, Tony and Makai saw a poster at a skate park calling for auditions and after a whirlwind couple of weeks, Tony was cast along side Makai and Micah.  After the filming wrapped, Tony decided to go back to school, this time even bigger and better than he was before. He gave it all he had because he thought, “I’ve made it this far in my high school career just to give up? No.” So he stayed after school to do work, had impeccable attendance, and all the hard work paid off. He is now a high school graduate who spends his time skating with friends and hanging out with his family. Tony would like to thank his mother,  Mayra Garcia, and his two younger brothers, Oscar Tobon and Adan Tobon.

Micah Bunch

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Micah Bunch is a talented and passionate actor hailing from Tri-Cities, Washington. With a deep-rooted love for the craft, he discovered his passion for acting after being enthralled by "The Sandlot" and engaging in impromptu movie scenes. As he grew older, he delved into the world of theater, showcasing his skills through riveting musical performances. However, it was his transformative role in the film "Gasoline Rainbow" that truly changed his life. Through this remarkable journey, he had the privilege of connecting with fellow creatives, immersing himself in captivating narratives, and solidifying his unwavering dedication to the art of acting. Micah extends heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved in the film, as their contributions have left an indelible mark on his artistic journey.


Micah Bunch as Micah
Nathaly Garcia as Nathaly
Nichole Dukes as Nichole
Tony Aburto as Tony
Makai Garza as Makai


Producer: Michael Gottwald, Carlos Zozaya
Executive Producer: Matt Sargeant, Josh Penn
Co-Producer / Casting Director: Lauren Cargo, Jesy Rae Buhl
Co-Producer: Claire Haley, Joanne Feinberg
Production Designer: Erin Staub
Art Director: Alex Ross
Mr. Everything: Thomas McGovern
Picture Car Wrangler: Tony Rieker
Cinematographer: Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross
Sound Mix: Cesar Gonzalez, Hasan Studio
Music: Casey McAllister


Original title: Gasoline Rainbow
International title: Gasoline Rainbow
Duration: 108 min
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Format: DCP
Sound: 5.1
Year: 2023
Original language: English
Country of production: United States
Production Companies: Department of Motion Pictures,


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