Too often the movies you see about small-town life in Middle America seem like they're the product of people who've only flown over the territory, but the makers of 45365 have an intimate knowledge of their Sidney, Ohio, location.

Too often the movies you see about small-town life in Middle America seem like they're the product of people who've only flown over the territory, but the makers of 45365 have an intimate knowledge of their Sidney, Ohio, location.

Brothers Bill and Turner Ross grew up in the community about 100 miles west of Columbus. After leaving to pursue production work out west, they returned to craft a lovely tone poem about their hometown, with assistance from younger brother Alex.

"The whole intent was to go back because we have a real place in our hearts for those people and that place. It's like a love song," Turner told me on a beautiful afternoon in Austin last March, shortly after the film's world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival.

The Ross brothers would walk away from SXSW with the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries. On Friday they'll introduce a screening of 45365 at the Wexner Center. Here's more of my conversation with the filmmakers.

How did the project start?

Bill: We wanted to speak about growing up in Ohio.

Turner: For a long time it was Bill and I sitting down, figuring out how you might illustrate that nostalgic thing that we carry with us, that's maybe better than the experience itself. We came to the conclusion that the best way to do it was not to reproduce our experience but find that experience with other people.

Did you know your subjects?

Turner: We know some, but when we knew we wanted to do a feature-length documentary, we came up with a list of locations, of people.

Who would make this a true mosaic, how do we cover all of the ground? If we cover a cop, we've got to cover a criminal; if you do a white person, we need to demonstrate there are other people than white folks in Sidney, Ohio. Then we went to find them.

Bill: A lot of it was random. Those little kids that are in the movie, we were shooting at the fair and they came up to us and said, "Hey, what are you doing?" We said, "Shooting a movie." And they said, "Aw, cool, can we be in it?" And from that night on I rode a bunch of rides with them and hung out for the next nine months.

Did anyone have issues with sharing really personal information?

Bill: I was pretty surprised. Pretty much everybody right off the bat was cool with it. We had made some short documentaries before, and some people previously weren't real cool around the camera.

Turner: And those who aren't, we just can't film them. In the end, it was about establishing genuine relationships. It wasn't, Hey, can we sit down and do an interview with you? It was, Hey, can we just sort of exist in your space? And once you've done that for a while, they just forget about it.

Bill: Yeah, they just forget you're there sometimes. Some people were really into it. And we hung out with these people even when we weren't filming.

Turner: Some people approached us. We filmed at the Rainbow Bar in downtown Sidney, and Lee, who's in the film, looked at me and said, "What are you doing?" because I had a camera.

I said this is what I'm up to, and he said, "S---, you should come with me. You can film my life. It's interesting."

Bill: And it was. I still hang out with him a lot, actually.

Turner: He wanted us to hang out with him.

Bill: We always had to buy the beer, though.

Turner: It was a small price.