One of the best documentaries from 2009's South by Southwest Film Festival was Aron Gaudet's The Way We Get By. It tells the story of a group of senior citizens who make a regular habit of being the greeters and well-wishers of our troops headed off to (and returning home from) the Middle East. Bill Knight, Joan Gaudet and Jerry Mundy are amongst those shaking the hands of our brave soldiers and reminding them that someone is thinking of them as they head in and out of danger. More than that, though, Gaudet's film is a tribute to the old folks as well, a group of citizens that, like our protectors, occasionally exist as a faceless void on the radar of the decision makers. The DVD is available to own as we speak (and via iTunes as well), but the filmmakers are asking for your help to make this special film even better.
They want to bulk up the available package and produce a 2-disc Collector's Edition of the film. But without an official distributor that can be rather difficult. Therefore, a donation of as little as $20 will help make this a reality. With that you get a theatrical-sized poster. Nice, but for $40 you can get a copy of the eventual deluxe version. Provided of course that the filmmakers are able to reach the $5,000 goal they need to make it happen. If they don't reach it by May 1, all funding will be lost. Forty bucks might be double what you normally pay for any standard DVD, but this is hardly the kind of 2-disc Special Edition where all you get is an extra digital copy for your dollars...
- Commentary track with the filmmakers and all three troop greeters-- Bill, Joan, and Jerry-- from "The Way We Get By"
- "The Way Maine Gets By" - A short film behind-the-scenes of the Maine red carpet premiere of "The Way We Get By" featuring all three troop greeters
- "Making the Music" - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the music for the film featuring composer Zack Martin
- Filmmaker interviews with director Aron Gaudet and producer Gita Pullapilly from the PBS Veterans Day premiere on POV
- "The Way We Get By: On The Festival Circuit" - A featurette with footage of the troop greeters at several film festivals including Q&As
- Paley Center for Media Event - A special New York City Q&A with the filmmakers and Bill and Jerry from "The Way We Get By"
- AARP Awards Hollywood Gala - See all three troop greeters accept the Best Documentary award at the star-studded event in Los Angeles
- "The Way We Get Married" - A look at the wedding of "The Way We Get By" filmmakers and the team behind the event-- Real Weddings Maine
- Bonus footage of Joan's granddaughter Amy returning home from Iraq and being greeted by the Maine Troop Greeters
- Several deleted scenes from "The Way We Get By"
Have you pledged yet? You will be doing your country a great service in any number of ways by supporting films as wonderful as The Way We Get By.