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<nettime> THE WAR TAPES
Geert Lovink on Sun, 7 May 2006 11:56:52 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> THE WAR TAPES

(is this where tactical media is, right now, giving camcorders to US
soldiers, in the hope they will shoot interesting footage? i bet they
will. hard not to, i would say. anyone seen this film yet? /geert)


In March 2004, just as the insurgent movement strengthened, several
members of one National Guard unit arrived in Iraq, carrying digital
video cameras.

THE WAR TAPES is the movie they made with Director Deborah Scranton and
a team of award-winning filmmakers. It?s the first war movie filmed by
soldiers themselves on the front lines in Iraq.

THE WAR TAPES follows three men: Sergeant Steve Pink, Sergeant Zack
Bazzi, and Specialist Mike Moriarty. Steve is a young carpenter with a
dark, irreverent sense of humor who joined the Guard for college money.
Zack is an inquisitive, ironic traveler and university student. Mike is
a husband and father of two, driven to fight by honor and redemption.
You will see Operation Iraqi Freedom through their eyes.

The soldiers were not picked by casting agents or movie producers. They
selected themselves. 10 soldiers from Charlie Company carried cameras
on IED-riddled roads and into combat?and into their own internal
conversations. They learned how to choose and tell their stories in
constant instant message conversations with Director Scranton. They
filmed under unbelievable conditions. The unit was based at LSA
Anaconda in the deadly Sunni Triangle, under constant threat of ambush
and IED attacks. They traveled, as a unit, 1.4 million miles during
their tour, and lived through over 1,200 combat operations and 250
direct enemy engagements.

Because it?s filmed by citizen soldiers telling their own stories, THE
WAR TAPES is funnier, spicier, and more wrenching than stories other
people might tell about them.

All three men leave women at home ? a mother, a girlfriend, and a wife.
THE WAR TAPES ? like any true story about war ? engages the hard,
tense, passionate, always difficult and sometimes beautiful way these
relationships develop and change.

Director Deborah Scranton is a single mom with a journalism background
and a passion for the infantry (her last documentary was about WWII
vets). With Deborah?s guidance, the soldiers shot over 900 hours of
videotape during their yearlong deployment. Another 200 hours of
footage was shot back home by Deborah and her crew ? all distilled into
a 94 minute film. Deborah worked closely with Producer Robert May who
executive produced the Academy Award winning FOG OF WAR; Producer and
Editor Steve James, best known for the documentary HOOP DREAMS; and
Executive Producer Chuck Lacy.

The unseen collaborator on the film is the internet. This is a Web 2.0
outside the wire ? the intimate power of the internet exploding on the
movie screen. Without instant messaging, the soldiers could never have
become filmmakers ? without email and cheap video, they soldiers could
never have told their stories as they happened.

The soldiers? unfailing candor and honesty defines the heart of this
film. THE WAR TAPES is not afraid to show soldiers as fully complicated
human beings ?this is not reality TV, and it?s certainly not mainstream
media coverage of the war. This is real war. These soldiers got the
story the 2,700 embedded reporters never could.


Frequently Asked Questions


It?s an amazing, must-see, real, rude, rough, rip at your heart and
absolutely humbling 94 minute movie that is coming out this year.

It is the first war movie ever made by soldiers filming all the war
footage themselves.

When can I see it?

This summer. If you're in New York, come to the premiere at the Tribeca
Film Festival on April 29th!

What is this THE WAR TAPES site? Is it a movie site or something else?

It?s both a movie site and something else.

It?s a blog and a place for citizen soldier video, audio, and words. If
you have citizen-soldier video (or photo or words) that you?ve taken or
that you like, please send us a copy or a link. So long as it?s not
pornographic, we?ll put it up or link to it.

We believe that the internet can change the way we experience
everything, but especially war.

I believe in that too ? what can I do to help get it off the ground?

The most important thing you can do is sign up on our website, so we
can tell you when TWT is coming to your town.

If you are interested in doing research or collecting video, please
email deborah {AT} thewartapes.com with the subject line: I WANT TO GET

If you have video or audio, email deborah {AT} thewartapes.com with the
subject line: VIDEO/AUDIO.

If you are a soldier or family member, and would like to guest blog,
we?d love to hear your thoughts ? email deborah {AT} thewartapes.com and
introduce yourself.

If you have a blog, blogroll us ? if you have ideas, let us know!

What are the politics of TWT?

TWT believes in empowering citizens to tell their own stories ? and
believes citizen journalism can make amazing film. We are completely
committed to opening up mainstream media and getting more human voices

If you?re asking whether TWT is pro- or anti- war, it?s neither. The
soldiers with cameras have different beliefs about whether we should
still be in Iraq. The filmmakers all respect those differences and this
movie is not afraid to show them. You?ll see one soldier joining
because of 9/11, and another saying its all about money and oil.

This film is not an objective or partisan film ? it?s not trying to
answer, ?is this the right war?? Instead, TWT is trying to answer:
?what is war for the soldiers who live it??

Who are ?we??

We are the filmmakers and the soldiers with cameras.

When can I see the movie?

This summer! Sign up here and we'll let you know when its coming near

I have a different question.

Ask it -- email deborah {AT} thewartapes.com. And we'll add to the FAQ as we

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