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An Interview with Campbell Grobman Films' Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman

by Mike Haberfelner

January 2017

Quick Links

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Your company Campbell Grobman Films - what can you tell us about it, and what's the philosophy behind it?

 

LG: I want to say there is a big philosophy behind it but honestly, we just make movies, we donít operate on brains. So like everyone, we want to make good movies and we have made good movies but at the same time it can't all be perfect. You can have a lot of great elements but once you put them together it can become just an okay movie. Sometimes there are budget restraints that prevent the movie from being what it was supposed to be. But overall we are proud of our product.

 

Do talk about some current productions of yours for a bit!

 

CC: We are currently in post on Pablo Escobar, Hitman's Bodyguard, Hunter Killer.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

CC: We are really excited The Bleeder in theaters this year.

 

What do you look for in projects you think about producing? And what would be a good pitch from a filmmaker wanting his project to be produced by you?

 

LG: We must look at its business plan, does it make sense financially. Losing money for an investor is a terrible feeling so it comes before art. We are familiar with the market, we know what sells, we know which actors get the audience's attention, so basically any good action thriller with a big star is a go. The dramas/comedies/horror are much harder to make and it only makes sense if they are made within a certain budget. Unless you are a big studio that can take bigger risks. 

 

How did Campbell Grobman Films come into being, and how did the two of you first meet even?

 

CC: Lati and I met many years ago when she was an assistant editor for a friend of mine. I have amnesia and don't remember any of this but if you ask her I wasn't very friendly... I remember meeting her through a friend and we hung out during nye in Miami one year. She was stranded there awaiting her visa and I was just there for some reason. That amnesia again ... so we became close friends. We started Campbell Grobman Films 10 years later. And here we are.

 

Some past productions of yours you'd like to share?

 

CC: All of them. I'm proud of all the films we have made. I've learned so much on each and every one of them.

 

How would you describe yourselves as producers, how hands-on or hands-off are you on any given project?

 

CC: Each film we are involved in has its own story. Sometimes we are just selling, other times we are attaching certain elements, or we are bringing the money, on some we are doing it all. Each film is unique.

 

How did each of you enter the filmworld in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?

 

CC: I'm not sure you need a formal education on filmaking in an industry where there are no rules. You make your own. I've always believed that. I started as an actress, that was challenging. And being in a business where you have zero control isn't good for a control freak like me. So now I'm a producer, it's perfect.

 

LG: I have always been in the film world, I donít know any better. I agree with Christa, you donít need any education to enter this business. It wouldn't hurt to get an MBA, would make things much easier in the beginning, but film school is completly useless unless you need to know how to operate machinery, how to be a cinematographer, editor etc.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to the formation Campbell Grobman Films?

 

CC: Lati was producing films for many years before I was. So when it was time for me to make that transition I was lucky to have her.

 

LG: I donít want to sound like we are a married couple (we kind of are except there is no sex) but the day she entered my producing life was a lucky day for me. She elevates me to places I might not have gone without her.

 

Producers, filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?

 

Feeling lucky ?
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CC: I'm inspired everyday by the people around me. Filmmakers who are making films that I admire. The young and hungry inspire me everyday. When I see a film that's made for 2 dollars and it's brilliant. That inspires me. Talent can't be taught, you have it or you donít.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

photos courtesy of Ian Fisher

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
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A Killer Conversation

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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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