Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman are producing partners at Campbell-Grobman Films. Together they produced many horror films and the Netflix documentary, Winter on Fire; Here is a link to the company’s Facebook page:
Q: How did you make the transition from acting to production?
Cc: I was very lucky to have Lati as a friend before we started working together. So I was subconsciously learning without knowing it . .. it was a natural progression. It felt right.
Q: What attracted you to horror films?
Cc: I love exciting, thrilling films. They are fun to make . And if you do them right there is only an upside.
LG: Christa attracted me to horror films. i was never a fan and still am not.
Q: How did you two meet?
LG: we met throughout the years in Hollywood but never became friends until we were both in Miami. it was around New Years more than 15 year ago. i was stranded trying to get a visa to enter st. Bart’s and she was sick of the group she was vacationing with. so in my Israeli way, i offered to an almost stranger to stay with me in my hotel. It was a beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Q: What is the function of an executive producer as opposed to all the other kinds of producers?
Cc: Honestly nowadays it’s all about the deal you make an not really about the work. There are many films we have done that when we are making the deal they say only ep credits allowed. But you take it anyway because you want the movie to happen. So it’s all about the deal you make sadly
LG: An executive producer is usually the person who brings in the money to a project. at least in the independent world. but many times we would bring a lot of the elements if not all the elements and still get an executive producer credit. it all depends on the movie. basically any producer credit if its an ep or actual producer are people who the movie could not have been brought to screen without them. sometimes it would be the person who holds the rights who has negotiating power. there is on manager in town that doesn’t let his actor be in a movie if he (the manager) not get an ep credit. not sure what i think of it.
Q: What is Winter On Fire about?
LG: Its about the conflict in the Ukraine. about people taking the streets to protest and being beat up and shot at with live bullets.
Q: What made you interested in Ukraine?
LG: although i was born in Russia, i was not interested in the Ukraine conflict until i met the director Evgeny Afineevsky who shed a light at whats been happening there in the past few years. i never like to get into politic of a country i didn’t grow up in but the fact that people can not demonstrate can be very scary. So to me that was the main issue, the violence of the police against its own people.
Q: How did you get funding for the project?
LG: the director had the initial funding and we sold it to Netflix who brought it to the finish line. the majority amount of money in documentaries are on post and p&a.
Q: How do you think a Trump Presidency will effect Ukraine?
Lg: looks like Trump is taking a more of a separatist approach so im not sure this will help the Ukrainians. but they can’t expect America to help them, America cant be the cop of the whole world. they need to do it themselves.
Q: Do you think the US press has covered Ukraine fairly?
LG: they barley covered the story so NO.
Q: What is your weirdest on set story?
Cc: I have many. I remember my first acting job was a glorified extra on the wild Wild West . I worked 3 months in a corset. The best experience is to actually be on set so you can see how a film is done. The first AD was so mean an screamed at me all the time in front of everyone calling me names . I was on the verge of crying. It was humiliating. Then one day he saw the director come up to me and realized I was friends with him and the studio head who gave me the job. His face turned white. I thought wow this is hollywood… that guy is probably out of work now .. and that’s the mystery of life ….
LG: I was working on my first movie as a set dresser. at one point the director pulled me off my gear and gave me a part of a bank teller. i ended up being in the promotion trailer in the festivals.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.