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bridge brothers movie

This is a story about brotherhood and the ties that bind. These dauntless bridge painters may not be related by blood, but they’re brothers nonetheless, working side by side to save massive structures from decay. Risk and danger define their 12-hour days as they sandblast through layers of hazardous coatings destructive corrosion, operating at dizzying heights.

In this feature-length documentary, the crew works together to preserve two of Philadelphia’s most important bridges, racing against the clock under the exacting eye of their foreman and company bosses. As skilled members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, these guys manage to tackle their jobs with grit and a wild sense of humor while battling Mother Nature and, sometimes, each other.

Watch the Bridge Brothers Trailer

Risk. Danger. Heights. All in a Day’s Work


A Rare Opportunity. The filmmakers were granted unusual access to film on the Walt Whitman and Commodore Barry bridges near Philadelphia. They spent more than a year documenting the industrial painting crews who restore these bridges.

Rising to the Challenge. The doc opens with a view of Philadelphia from atop the Walt Whitman Bridge Tower, 400 feet in the air where painters work. Before the crew can sandblast and paint, riggers must set up chain-link scaffolding on the bridge and build a platform on which to work.

Fighting the Elements. Tarps used for containment can become death traps when aggressive winds make them tough to control. Only after crew members master the challenges presented by stormy weather, can they focus on removing existing paint and rust from the bridge. But bosses are on their case to move faster.

Connecting with the Crew. Get to know the colorful personalities of these daring bridge workers, who come from every part of the world. Watch them cope with demands large and small — from the harrowing task of closing a busy bridge lane to blasting at extreme heights to dealing with family issues back home. (Spoiler: There’s even a kitten rescue from the superstructure of the bridge!)

The Total Package

The Bridge Brothers documentary package contains a Blu-Ray disc, a DVD and a
24-page book filled with beautiful photos of the bridge painters and their stunning iron canvas.

Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes 
Released: 2017
Created & Produced by: Matthew White and Louis G. Lyras
Copyright: © 2017, Painters of Steel, LLC

About the director

Matthew White (left) is an award-winning director, producer and cinematographer and wore all of these hats to create Bridge Brothers. His past credits include documentary filmmaking and broadcast news.

About the executive producer

Louis Lyras is CEO and co-founder of industrial painting contractor Corcon, Inc. He has been very active at The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC), serving on the Standards Review Committee and as chairman of the SSPC PCCP Advisory Committee. In addition to other publications, he has authored articles for the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL), and he has been a contributing speaker at the International Bridge Conference and the SSPC annual conference, among others. He is Chairman of the Ohio Bridge Painting Contractors, serving from 1991 to the present.

support provided by

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Finishing Trades Institute, Carboline Company, The Sherwin-Williams Company, Safespan Scaffolding & Platforms, Eagle Industries, SMS Engineering 



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