Clearing Barrel Productions is an independent, veteran-owned company focused on telling stories that challenge, inspire, and entertain audiences through the media arts.
Veterans of war carry home from the battlefield a unique insight into trauma, with storytelling the barrel used to “clear” their minds and alleviate their emotional burdens. Clearing Barrel Productions invites the audience to share in the healing camaraderie of narrative, which has been used by soldiers throughout history.
In May of 2003, 1st Lieutenants Brayden Yoder and Stephen Sotomayor were hand-picked by their battalion commander to lead an A-team across Baghdad on a critical mission to map logistical routes through the city. From an abandoned oil field across the Euphrates River, five Humvees set out at dawn, equipped with nothing more than .50 caliber machine guns, GPS equipment, and outdated military maps. After a week-long journey into the Sunni heartland, Lieutenants Yoder and Sotomayor returned from their reconnaissance, having laid the foundation for the thousands of later successful re-supply missions of the 30,000 soldiers of the 1st Armored Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Thirteen years later and 7,637 miles away from Baghdad, Sotomayor and Yoder have teamed up again to form Clearing Barrel Productions, a media arts company led with the same confidence, fortitude, and vision that accomplishes missions under fire, and brings soldiers home from war. We invite you to add your diverse life experiences to ours as part of a dynamic team dedicated to the craft of telling stories in the way every soldier knows how — from shared experiences.
President + CEO
A native of Honolulu, Hawai’i, and the son of an Indonesian immigrant, Brayden Yoder spent more than five years at the Film + Television Institute of India, where he first learned to practice his craft in film direction. His most recent short film, Breakdown, gained acceptance to several festivals in North America and around the world, winning the “audience award” at the 2014 HollyShorts Screening in Hollywood and an “emerging artist” award at the 2014 Taos Shortz Festival in New Mexico.
As a native Angeleno, and the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, Stephen F. Sotomayor grew up with a passion for narrative and a commitment to understanding a diverse world through the eyes of others. This journey has taken Stephen across the globe, from the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains to the campus of the University of Arizona, from the rivers of Germany to the desert sands of Iraq, from California’s Central Valley to the office of the Mayor in the iconic Los Angeles City Hall.
>> Sotomayor's Story