The award-winning documentary Brothers at War gives audiences a rare, candid view into life on the front lines of conflict. To help tell his story, and to withstand the rigors of shooting in Iraq, moviemaker Jake Rademacher chose Sony’s DigitalMaster professional videotape and HDV camcorders.
Released by Samuel Goldwyn Films, Brothers at War is currently playing at venues in Los Angeles and New York City.
The documentary follows Rademacher as he journeys to Iraq to embed with American combat units in an effort to better understand the mission of his two brothers, Capt. Isaac Rademacher, a decorated West Point graduate serving his third tour, and Sgt. Joe Rademacher, a Ranger, combat vet and sniper in the 82nd Airborne.
Filmmaker Jake Rademacher (top, right) and his cameraman sit with the flight crew as they fly into Iraq aboard a C-130.
The movie, which has received standing ovations and praise from military families across the country, also offers a close-up glimpse of war’s personal impact on the American family, from a brother’s point of view.
Shot in Iraq from 2005 - 2006, Rademacher led a three-person production crew each armed with a Sony HVR-Z1U HDV camcorder. Given unprecedented access to U.S. and Iraqi combat units, Rademacher takes the audience on reconnaissance patrols on the Syrian border, into sniper “hide sites” in the Sunni Triangle, and through raging machine gun battles with the Iraqi Army.
The filmmaker meets with his brother, Capt. Isaac Rademacher, in Iraq.
To ensure the quality and integrity of such rare footage, Rademacher elected to use DigitalMaster Tape, Sony’s highest-quality 6mm videotape, recommended for professional HDV recording applications.
“We were encouraged to use this tape stock and I’m glad we did,” Rademacher said. “We shot more than 400 hours of footage, much of it in unforgiving 120-degree desert heat. Even with the added vibrations of Humvees or quick movements in Cordon searches, it proved to be very reliable and stable with no errors or dropouts.”
Rademacher embedded with his brother's men during a forward-observation mission on the Syrian boarder.
Brothers at War has already opened in more than 41 cities this year, with a number of special screenings on military bases. The movie was produced by Norman S. Powell (24) and Jake Rademacher, and executive produced by Gary Sinise and David Scantling. It will open at additional locations in coming weeks, including White Plains, N.Y. and Springfield, Ill., near the Rademacher family home in Decatur, Ill.
“Jake’s movie is a great cinematic accomplishment that we’re proud to be associated with,” said Leslie Franklin, manager of Sony’s Professional Media business. “DigitalMaster tape was designed for this type of project, where the footage is captured is in a real-life situation and there is no second chance to re-shoot a scene.”