Local Color is based on real-life experience. “I wanted to write about the struggle that representational artists go through,” Gallo reveals. “They fell out of favor in the 1920s and 1930s, and America basically turned its back on some very talented artists and a very vibrant mode of expression. In 1974, when I was eighteen and I wanted to paint in this more traditional manner, very few of the instructors that I came across wanted to teach that, so I studied privately with several artists.”
For Gallo, the differences between painting and filmmaking are apparent. “Painting is so immediate, you can move at the speed of thought. When you’re painting outdoors, within a few seconds of having an idea you can have it in front of you on a canvas for better or for worse, but if you have an idea for a movie it can take three years to see it realized—if you’re lucky.”
Nevertheless, Gallo’s experience making Local Color was pure. “I’m incredibly proud of the movie,” he says. “Audiences have gone crazy for it. People come up to me and say they want to start painting again, or kids come up to me and say, ‘I have this dream, I want to chase it, but I’m scared.’”
Gallo looked to his friend Chris Boardman (Payback, The Color Purple), a talented composer/musician, for the original score for Local Color. Boardman describes his work as an artist as a solo journey, a restless hunt for “the next one,” as he strives to create “music in a movie that enhances and glues together the story, so it becomes a story element itself.”
As artists on a mission, Gallo and Boardman are devoted to connecting people with the good in the world around them. As Gallo details, “It’s a wonderful tale of how important it is to follow your dreams. You have got to follow your gut because, if you do, you can’t go wrong. Interestingly enough, that’s how the movie was made.”
Local Color was released in theatres November 7, 2008.