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Faith Granger and The Deuce Of Spades

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Faith Granger

FEATURED GUEST AT THE CAR SHOW

Faith Granger and The Deuce Of Spades

She hunted in down, she bought it, she wrenched on it, she drove the wheels off of it… Faith Granger was undeniably in love with her 32 Ford roadster. “Best relationship I’ve ever had! We’ve been together for seven years now and still in the honeymoon stage. This car has undoubtedly changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined.” Driving an old roadster is not for everyone. “It’s a hotrod, very period correct to the fifties era, and it looks just like they did back then: No fenders, no top, no windshield. It’s fast as hell, but has old 40’s drums brakes so you got to watch it, cause it just won’t stop. When the weather’s hot you bake, when it’s cold you freeze, and when it rains… Well… Let’s just say you get a little more than WET.” Says Granger, with a devilish smile. “To my knowledge I am the only female owner to drive one of those around, and probably the only roadster driver to run my Deuce without a windshield”.

About Faith

Having been much of a tomboy while growing up, Granger had plenty of opportunities to tinker on motorcycles and cars. She loves wrenching on her roadster: “It’s saved my fanny more than once: When you drive an old ‘jalopy’ you have to have what it takes to get yourself back on the road when it breaks down. And you know it will! So I carry my tools with me everywhere I go.” Born in France in the sixties, she then moved to Lebanon with her family and endured many years of civil war hardship while there. “Facing death every day is an eye opener. It has taught me to appreciate life and never take anything for granted. It has made me who I am today. Someone who strives to become a better person each day and to inspire those around me.” War was a catalyst for Faith’s creativity. She started writing songs at 11 and by age 14 was featured on National television in Beirut. At 15 she won the “Best new artist” award. “I really wanted to perfect my craft so I came to the USA with $400, a suitcase and a one way ticket. I had been in love with America for as long as I can remember: Its music and movies were a huge inspiration and influence on me growing up.”

Movie by Faith Granger - The Deuce of Spades - Do You Believe In Second Chances?“When I bought my roadster, I discovered yet a whole other side of American History I didn’t even know existed: The glamorous Fifties’ Hotrod era, a slice of Americana that had been ignored by the film industry for much too long. I looked at a lot of old photographs from the era, the guys and gals on the dry lakes, racing for top speed with their old homemade jalopies. There was something nostalgic, magnificent and fascinating about it. I fell in love with the whole thing and decided that somebody needed to bring it back to life through a movie. And since the pros weren’t stepping up to the plate, then maybe I should.”

A Dream That Wouldn't Die

As crazy as the thought initially sounded, it simply would not go away. Granger found herself diving head first into what seemed to be complete suicide. After all, she had neither the knowledge, nor the experience, nor the help, nor the finances to make a period feature film! Heck, she had never even helped on a set before! To pull off this “coup de force” she would have to become a writer, a producer, a director, a cinematographer, an editor, a composer, along with a dozen other crew positions, all of which necessary to make a film.

“I had to do everything myself. Because I was working on a zero budget, it was impossible to find help willing to commit for two years. This was not going to be a small project. No. I had set-out to make a two hour period drama, an epic. Nobody wanted to tackle that big of a job for free. So I taught myself how to do everything. First year I wrote the script, cast the actors, scouted the period correct locations, lined up the vintage cars, taught myself everything there was to know about the gear I would need to buy to make the film and learned how to use it. I put the whole thing on my credit card. I was going out on a limb for this film. I was going to make it, or die trying. The hardest part was learning how to become a cinematographer, dialing in the look, selecting the lenses, learning to do my own camera work and pull my own focus. Lighting was super challenging, especially since in some of the scenes I was also an actor and had to be on BOTH sides of the camera at the same time. And all I had to make a shot look good was two tiny lights! It was insane.” Word spread about her project and the film landed on the cover of a prominent magazine in New Zealand. It is at about that time that her phone rang and investors offered her half a million dollar to become partners in her film. “I had nothing. I really wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull it off and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. Their offer was tempting, but I knew that if I brought them in they would take over and disfigure the film. I wanted the film to remain true to the era, and to remain true to my vision. Besides, this was my journey and I knew that taking this short cut would ultimately not be fulfilling. Accepting money from someone always comes with a high price. So after thinking about it for three days, I called them back and declined. My fellow filmmakers thought I was crazy for turning down that money. But I knew it was the right thing to do.”

A Road Less Traveled

Crazy or not, Granger took the less travelled road and let nothing stand in her way. She learned her craft while doing pre-production work and juggling a 9 to 5 day job. Within a year she was ready and started principal photography. “I filmed all the flashback portions of the film the second year. Then the third year I filmed all the present day scenes. I worked all week at my day job, so I could only film on the week-ends. Believe me when I say this: I filmed EVERY SINGLE WEEK-END FOR TWO YEARS STRAIGHT. It didn’t matter if it was hot or cold, or a storm was raging or if I was sick, or if it was a National Holiday such as Christmas or New Years. I was filming. I had no life outside of my film. I knew it was going to take that kind of passion, dedication, resilience and commitment to pull it off and I was willing to sacrifice everything for DEUCE OF SPADES.

“I had no budget so unless something was donated, it wasn’t going to be in the film. Cars, locations, props, actors… It was really hard lining up all of that for free. My wonderful cast believed in me and my vision and they stood by me through thick and thin, till the end. They oftentimes helped me as crew members, too.”

Many Hats – Learning As She Went

On set, Granger filled out all the functions, from hauling gear to setting up, doing hair and make-up, wardrobe, set decoration (sometimes even building them), blocking the scenes, lighting, doing the camera work, monitoring the sound, directing, and then cleaning up and hauling the gear back home.

“I was exhausted, working on my set for 18 to 20 hours straight with no time to eat, sit down or even drink. I was going on adrenaline, with very little sleep. After a year or so I became so sleep deprived I started having short term memory problems, my hand eye coordination started suffering, I would fall asleep at the wheel coming back from shoots (scary!!). It was rough. Real rough. It took a lot of Faith and Passion to keep going.” Some scenes called for special effect make-up and Granger had to tackle that herself as well: “On a good day I would have one or two people helping me to hold the boom, carry lights etc. On a bad day… It was just me and my actors. Some of the most beautiful scenes in the film were shot that way. Just me and my actors.”

Perserverance and Inspiration

As the film progressed and Granger’s reputation grew, some help finally arrived: “Towards the end, my story inspired a few people to step forward and provide a little help with some CGI shots and a sound mix. The sound mix was a big deal, because it was Patrick Cyconne , Hollywood’s top sound mixer, who offered his help. I was truly honored. I mean, he mixes for Tarantino and all the big studios! I was elated. We mixed it in the same studio the block Buster “Independence Day” was mixed. Can you imagine? I felt like I was living a fairy tale.”

The fourth year was spent on the post production work, primarily editing and sound mix. Granger did her own Foleys and ADR to assist Cyccone and she then composed the score of DEUCE OF SPADES. She learned how to program subtitles and with the help of her fans around the globe, managed to create subtitles for the film in 8 languages. She then tackled the director’s commentaries, DVD menus, film poster art, website design etc.

“I wanted my DVD to look every bit as professional as any big studio DVD you grab on a store shelf. This was a homemade film, but it had all the features and the quality of a big studio film. I definitely wanted to include on the DVD the director’s commentaries, because I knew I had an inspiring story to tell. “

Faith Granger and The Deuce of SpadesAfter Four Years of Hard Work, the Film Was Done

“It had been an incredible journey, fueled solely by Passion and Faith. Even in times of deepest struggle I remained hopeful that Providence would provide me daily with what I needed to complete each scene. So many “unexplained” events occurred, such as hot rods pulling onto my set at the very last second to help me complete a racing scene, or even a magnificent storm materializing out of nowhere, in the middle of an otherwise sunny June... Because I needed a dramatic storm for the scene… We started to call this phenomena “the DEUCE OF SPADES miracles”. It was so inspiring! To this day I get goose bumps when I talk about this. Finally the film premiered and the theater was packed. At the end, the audience stood up and gave it a six minute long standing ovation. I was ecstatic. All the years of hard work had paid off. I had done it. ”

Independent Filmaking – A Whole New Level of Excellence

Granger had every reason to be happy. She had just pulled off what was deemed “impossible” and by so doing, redefined the boundaries of independent filmmaking. The critics have embraced her film, SONY gave her an endorsement, fan mail is flocking from all over the world, she has been featured on the cover of many magazines and on television, she broke record DVD sales and she has somehow managed to remain fiercely independent until the end, distributing her film herself via her website and a select network of nostalgia Mom and Pops stores in foreign countries. This is the spirit of independent filmmaking, at its best. DEUCE OF SPADES, and the story behind its making, as shared in the brand new mini-series documentary AGAINST ALL ODDS, THE MAKING OF DEUCE OF SPADES, continues to touch and inspire people every day.

“If I can touch and inspire people with this film, I will have already been blessed ten times over. This is the true reward and I could not hope for anything more.” - FAITH GRANGER, filmmaker.

http://www.deuceofspadesmovie.com

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