Community//

Filmmakers Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman: “Diversify your portfolio and talents; Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”

Lati: If you can’t tolerate hearing the word NO, you should just quit now. It’s a business with the most amount of rejections, but at the same time, a herd society where if one (powerful) person believes in your idea, it becomes the hottest commodity around. Christa: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Lati: If you can’t tolerate hearing the word NO, you should just quit now. It’s a business with the most amount of rejections, but at the same time, a herd society where if one (powerful) person believes in your idea, it becomes the hottest commodity around.

Christa: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your portfolio and talents.


I had the distinct pleasure to interview Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman, CEO and Founders of Campbell Grobman Films. Their current film slate includes: Rambo: Last Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone; The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds; Angel Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler; War Pigs starring Mel Gibson; The Expendables 4 starring Sylvester Stallone; Tesla, starring Ethan Hawke as Nikola Tesla; as well as Red Sonja and Sheena: Queen Of The Jungle.

Some of their past successes include: the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise; The Iceman, starring Michael Shannon and Winona Ryder; Emmy-nominated (2014) documentary film Brave Miss World; horror/thriller Eliza Graves, starring Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, and Michael Caine; Criminal starring Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot; She’s Funny That Way, starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson; The Hitman’s Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds; and The Bleeder, starring Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts which premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. In 2016, Lati and Christa also produced Winter on Fire, the revolutionary documentary they sold to Netflix that premiered at the Venice, Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals. The film won the Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award that year!


Thank you so much for joining us Christa and Lati! Can you tell us how you two met and what brought you to this specific career path?

Lati: We met in the last century. We were both 20-year old girls running around Los Angeles knowing we could do more. Our paths led to each other. An unlikely match of 2 different worlds that were meant to take this ride together.

Christa: I think it was fate.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company Campbell Grobman Films?

Christa: Everyday is interesting! Most recently on The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Antonio Banderas kept talking about how he’s creating this character based on Avi Lerner. We all thought he was joking but he was not! Antonio came to set with the accent and this amazing character he created. I think it’s part Gianni Versace too, as Avi doesn’t dress as well!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting out as producers and what lesson you learned from that?

Lati: I can take this one. We invited a director to fly in a private plane with us and Richard Gere. It was the wrong director. Lesson learned: Always listen to ones name when introduced!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are currently working on?

Christa: Rambo 5: Last Blood is slated to hit theaters on September 20, 2019. Other films in post production include Angel Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman and Tesla starring Ethan Hawke as Nikola Tesla.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have had the pleasure to work with on your films and Why? Feel free to share a story!

Christa: We had the opportunity to work with Ethan Hawke on the upcoming film, Tesla. He couldn’t have been more of a dream as an actor. Many entertainers stay in the news cycle for the wrong reasons due to reputation or dramatic events. There aren’t enough mentions of true professionals and all around nice people. Mr. Hawke has had longevity because of his talent and his nature and in my opinion, doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

What tips would you give to colleagues or aspiring producers in your field to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Lati: If you can’t tolerate hearing the word NO, you should just quit now. It’s a business with the most amount of rejections, but at the same time, a herd society where if one (powerful) person believes in your idea, it becomes the hottest commodity around.

Christa: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your portfolio and talents.

We are strong supporters of purpose driven work. If your work could help start or inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the most amount of people, what would that be?

Lati: We really like the movement of highlighting women in film which has gained momentum, particularly women behind the camera. We belong to a small but mighty club. Our purpose is to be leaders in creating compelling content and show future generations that if you combine talent and hard work, there is no limit to what you can achieve.

What are your “5 things you wish someone told you when you first started” and why?

Lati:

A) Go to college to get an MBA

B) Start a job at a talent agency

Christa:

C) Men don’t rule the world

D) Breathe!

E) Don’t take everything personally

What is your favorite quote or life lesson? How does that inspire you?

Christa: Cream rises to the top

Lati: Cream doesn’t always rise to the top.

Is there a particular person or mentor who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? How were they instrumental in your career?

Lati: Avi Lerner. He taught us everything we know about independent filmmaking. He says it like it is. It’s not always easy to be his protégé, but there is no one person on Earth we owe more to than him.

Christa: Alan Mruvka. He had his feet in the entertainment world creating the E! channel, but he is a business man who always keeps me in check when we come up with crazy creative ideas.

Lastly, if there is one person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, who would it be and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

Lati: Jeff Bezos and to marry him.

Christa: I will fight you to take him for myself!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

When Things Don’t Go Your Way

by Jill Sylvester
Work Smarter//

The Decision That Made Sylvester Stallone an International Icon

by David Burros
Community//

Screenwriter Jordan Tate: “Work on several genres; Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”

by Yitzi Weiner

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.