I could have never predicted telling a story about the war in Afghanistan. I’m not a combat photographer, a journalist or news reporter. I am a forty-something year-old woman, raised in America, 100% civilian, with zero prior exposure to the military or an Islamic culture. Since the tragic events of September 11th, mainstream media has educated me as well as a majority of our country about the war on terrorism and the enemy in hiding in Afghanistan, and all over the world. Like so many others, I questioned what The United States was doing so deeply involved in this seemingly endless war. Thanks to an unusual turn of events, I was given the incredible, yet formidable opportunity to view firsthand the “theatre of war” in Afghanistan. I spent nearly a year traveling with the 101st Airborne, 4th Brigade out of Fort Campbell Kentucky to a Forward Operating Base in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. It was from this vantage point that my curiosity was fed with a sudden influx of new and amazing insights and information rarely disseminated to the American public. “Outside the Wire” became a story I had to tell.
Once downrange, I began to question anyone and everyone I could. Soldiers shared their feelings of both pride and frustration about their deployments, and Afghan villagers shared their hopes and dreams, while surrounded by violence and bloodshed. The more time I spent in Afghanistan, the more I learned about the duties of the soldiers and the goals of the villagers. I saw them living and fighting and dying in conditions that few Americans back home could imagine, and for reasons that few Americans would ever conceive. The realities I witnessed will hopefully impart important knowledge regardless of ones partisan beliefs about war or politics. This trip was an unbelievable experience. I could have never imagined myself meeting and filming Taliban leaders, sitting in remote villages at elevations over 9,000 feet or following in the footsteps of the U.S. Army’s 506th Infantry Regiment soldiers on security operations near the boarder of Pakistan to villages that are known insurgent safe havens. Once I got over the amazing reality that I was there, the question became “What can I learn?” Although the war in Afghanistan has become highly politicized soldiers and villagers seldom take part in that discussion. This documentary is my attempt to share what I’ve learned through them, which is an unfortunate truth that concerned people worldwide just aren’t given an opportunity to easily see or hear the whole story. Although, what I witnessed is just a glimpse into a small part of this war, I have felt the onus of responsibility fell squarely on my shoulders from the first moment my eyes saw, and the lens of my cameras captured the realities before me.
Although the war in Afghanistan has been highly politicized; soldiers and villagers seldom participate in these discussions or have their opinions shared. This documentary is my attempt to share what I’ve learned through them. It is an unfortunate truth that concerned people worldwide just aren’t given an opportunity to easily see or hear the information they need to in order to develop an opinion of their own. What I witnessed is just a glimpse into a small part of this war. I felt the onus fall squarely on my shoulders from the first moment my eyes and cameras lens captured all that was before me. This is truly a story I never imagined I would be the one to tell.
Outside the wire, seeing is believing!
Siobhan Prior is a native Californian, born and raised in Los Angeles. She is a third generational vet in the film industry following in her father’s and grandfather footsteps. Her grandfather, Peck Prior Sr., began his career as a commercial producer, and ultimately finished his career as the President of Technicolor. Under the steady tutelage of her father, acclaimed film editor Peck Prior, Siobhan quickly gained the knowledge, training and creative tools necessary in the art of editing and visual story.
Siobhan’s skill set is expansive, ranging from physical production, to managing dailies, to film-outs and digital outputs for theatrical release – her editorial sensibilities have been sculpted by the finest editors in Hollywood. Her career seamlessly spanned the 35mm to digital revolution, working in the VFX departments on films such as “Pleasantville”, “Disaster Movie”, and Sky Captain, World of Tomorrow”
After 10 years working on large scale feature films, Siobhan took her talents to Bandito Brothers – A full service independent media studio. In addition to editing commercials projects, she was given the opportunity to be an Additional Editor, VFX Supervisor and Co-Post Production Supervisor on the film "Act of Valor". The movie was revolutionary in many ways, one of the most radical was that it was the first film that combined DSLR and 35mm film in a feature environment. The film opened #1 at the Box Office, and changed the way mainstream Hollywood approached feature film making, helping to solidify Siobhan’s standing as an innovator in the world of filmmaking and digital media.
Using her background on "Act of Valor" (which used real Navy SEALs and accessed actual military assets), she joined her step-mom Meg Prior as an Editor and Post Producer on "Outside the Wire", a documentary film about Meg’s civilian deployment to Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army.