He is the man behind Tudo Que Voce Ama Lhe Será Arrebatado Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Leonardo Granado: Hi, my name is Leonardo Granado and I am a fillmaker. I studied to became a producer and try to work in TV, but life got in the way and I use to say that I became a filmmaker almost as an accident: My first job after graduated was as Stagehand in a TV series’s pilot back in 2010. This first experience as a professional was not doing what I wanted, but opened several doors for me : every single person at that project came to add in my life in so many ways, some of them became personal friends and we have been working together since then. Today I can say that I have worked at 4 movies and 21 short movies. As a producer I have worked in 12 of them. And I am proud of each one of them.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Leonardo Granado: Well, my first wish was to became a soup opera producer, because here in Brazil soup operas are very popular, more than our own movies. This happens because it is TV, for free and here in Brazil going to a movie theater is very expansive. But after college I found opportunities to work only at movies and since then I am love for this industry.
SKSM: When did you make Tudo que voce ama lhe será arrebatado? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Leonardo Granado: Since I was a twelve year old kid I have been a fan of Stephen King’s work. I have dozens of books and DVDS. I grew up reading then. At college I remember that I found out about dollar babies and since then the idea of producing a short movie based upon a short story of my favorite author became almost an obsession. So, in 2014 I found the right crew, the right director and did it. Lucas Tomaz Neves is a friend of mine and I invited him to direct. But since he realized that this was such a personal project to me, he asked me to direct it with him. So we directed it together, the same way we wrote the script together. And I have so many good memories about the process: choosing the right actor, rehearse with him, seeing him getting better and better. And the shooting days too, 2 days that will be at my memory forever and ever. It was not such an expensive project, I think it was around $ 1.000,00. We only paid the actors since everyone else was there believing in the project, doing that with love and respect to Stephen King’s story. A bunch of friends, really, some of them crazy enough to be there giving their best along with me. And I do love them for that.
SKSM: How come you picked All that you love will be carried away to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Leonardo Granado: Well, since we did not have much money to work with, I knew I could not work with one of the horror stories. I was afraid that if I would try to produce a horror movie with no money it could look like an “student movie in the wrong way”: the wrong color of blood, monsters that would make people laugh, this kind of things. This could happen if had I tried with the wrong person to make it with no money. And I did not know anyone to do that the right way with no money. So I kept my mind open to other stories at the dollar baby list and that was the best thing that happened for this project. Of course, when you talk about Stephen King you automatically think about horror movies, too much blood and monsters, because this is what he is most known for. But the other stories, dramas like “The Green Mile” and “Stand By Me” are as good stories as “It” or “The Stand”. And there was a story that I have never forget it since I read it the first time: All That You Love Will Be Carried Away. A beautiful story about this guy that has a dream: this book he wants to write. But he thinks that nobody would read it. And his life sucks. And he thinks maybe death would be better. Well, this feeling is something I can relate with. Not the death part, but having a dream and doubts about it. Working with movies is really hard here in Brazil, soup operas too if you don’t know the right person. Every single day I have doubts about it. Will I ever gonna make it? And in 2015 this felling was ever worst. Today I am still in the fight, but now with a much great curriculum, thanks to that short movie and others that came along.
SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1? Was it just a wild guess or did you know it before you sent him the check?
Leonardo Granado: Since I am a fan and speak a little English, sometimes I access his official website. I found out about it in there.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Leonardo Granado: Rehearses, this was the best of times. I use to say that actors should be studied, when they die the family should give their brains to science. There were an rehearse when Eduardo Tocha was working at the scene where his character was almost decided to kill himself. The suicide doesn’t happen at the story or the short movie, neither Stephen King neither us wrote that at the script. But in this particularly rehearse the actor pretended to kill himself right in front of us with our fake gun. He “lived” that moment. He died that moment. This was really intense, I could not believe what my eyes were seeing. Of course there are a lot of funny moments that I could share with you guys, but this one is very special to me. Eduardo really lived this character and that is why he had won 2 awards for this movie so far.
SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe a internet/dvd release would be possible?
Leonardo Granado: Well, I wish it could be different. I wish other fans and my family and friends could have access to the movie at any time. But I do understand why it is the way it is, the legal rights and the money it could make at YouTube with the views, etc etc. But I think maybe a good way to change that would be a special place for all the dollar babies at Stephen King’s official home page. At his own channel on Youtube. Of course, he would make it clear that he had no evolvement with the movies and it is not his fault if it is a bad movie (LOL). But by doing this he would share with his fans, all around the world, different visions of his work. And there would be no one harming his copyright. But things are the way things are and I am very grateful that at least I had the chance to do what I did.
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Leonardo Granado: We had good impressions of friends and family (they had to say that, right? LoL). But the most important review we had for this job was a Dutch online Magazine that talks only about Stephen King’s work: King Things. It is a magazine made by a local fan club and they also has a dollar baby festival which they invited the movie too. But, the review was important to me because it was from a true fan of the author and at a magazine for true fans. “Constant Readers” as Stephen King calls us. And this review had good things and bad things to say about the movie, but most good things (most of them for the lead actor). They gave us an “8” , a great grade. This was one of the best things this short movie gave it to me, even more then awards.
SKSM: Do you plan to screen the movie at a particular festival?
Leonardo Granado: I did have a private exhibition at a real cool place in São Paulo, only for friends and family. But before that this short movie was at 9 festivals. 2 after this event. I will try to screen it at my home town, but I don’t know if I will find out a really good place to do it.
SKSM: Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, which are your favorite works and adaptations?
Leonardo Granado: I am a big fan. My favorite book is “The Stand”, but “It” is almost as good. And, of course “The Dark Tower” is his best story, all the seven books together. At the big screen my favorite works are: “Green Mile”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “The Mist” (movie) , “IT” ( 2017) , “1408” and of course “The Shinning” (Kubrick).
SKSM: Did you have any personal contact with King during the making of the movie? Has he seen it (and if so, what did he think about it)?
Leonardo Granado: No, I didn’t. I wish I did, but there were only some email talk with his office. I sent the short movie to him after it was done, but have I never got any feedback. But I understand he is a very busy man, he writes a lot (thank God for that) and when I sent it to him it was close to a month when he was releasing a new book, so I think it was it.
SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick -at least- one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?
Leonardo Granado: Yes, I do intend to produce another short movie based on his work. I am working on it, rewriting and waiting for his authorization. It will be based on the short story called “In The Death Room”. I have already sent the dollar to Mr. King.
SKSM: What are you working nowadays?
Leonardo Granado: I am writing a lot, short movies and long ones. I am about to shoot 2 short movies where I will be producer and director. I am also rewriting a script for a long movie. And of course, I am rewriting the dollar baby while I am waiting for Mr. King authorization.
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Leonardo Granado: That I am about to be a father. My first kid is about to be born, I have no money in the bank, but I WILL produce 3 more short movies next year, 2 of them as a director. I really love what I do.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Leonardo Granado: Don’t you ever give up on your dreams. No matter how hard it seems to be, if it is your destiny so you will see it coming true. And believe me, when it happens it will be the best of times.
SKSM: Would you like to add something?
Leonardo Granado: No, nothing more than a “thank you for the interview”. I hope my English was not so hard to make any sense LOL.