With Leatherface, the Texas Chain Saw Massacre prequel, on the way, we thought we would catch up with two of the film’s executive producers.
Lati Grobman, pictured left, and Christa Campbell, right, make up Campbell Grobman Films, the company responsible for the resurrection of Leatherface in Lionsgate and Millenium’s 2013 Texas Chainsaw 3D. And while they work on the prequel, as well as a remake of George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead, they’ve executive produced Stonehearst Asylum, The Taking of Deborah Morgan and even Embrace of the Vampire.
“We have been very lucky,” Campbell tells Bloody Disgusting when asked about their lucky streak, “although we don’t believe in luck, we believe in hard work. We are big believers in the saying, ‘You snooze you lose!’ ”
“Luck comes to a lot of people, the question is what you do with this luck,” adds Grobman. “We have the tendency to become obsessed with something we believe in – in the good connotation of the word – call it extreme passion. It is also important to not give up and capitulate to the word ‘no’, which we heard a lot while trying to revive [Texas Chain Saw Massacre]. “Then, when it came alive, all the ‘no’ people came upfront to claim their prize. That’s just life: success has a lot of fathers, failure is orphaned.”
How did Campbell Grobman Films come to be?
“Lati had been producing films for Millenium for many years,” explains Campbell. “I was acting in a film called Finding Bliss. I helped the production lock in one of their lead actors, got them product placement, and post-production money. Lati came to me and said, ‘Christa you just helped produce that film, you should get a credit.’ I said, ‘No, I just wanted to act in it.’ We went back and forth, but that experience planted the seed.
“Then when Texas Chainsaw came along it was a natural transition for us to finally come together to create Campbell Grobman Films.”
“Christa is a natural born producer,” added Grobman. “We don’t work in the film business, we live the film business, we enjoy what we do.”
Campbell was an actress before turning to producing, we wondered if she would ever return to acting, and maybe even star in one of her own films.
“I work as a producer every single day of my life, it’s difficult and challenging in a way different from acting, which is why I love it,” she explains. “I’m still acting, I’m just not out there actively looking for jobs. If someone calls and asks me to do something in their film, I’ll be there with bells on. I’ve always believed in this business, and I believe in this day and age you have to be able to do everything and not limit yourself.
“I would never cast myself in my own film,” she added. “It feels weird….unless the director came to me and asked if I would play a role, then I would say, ‘Sure, why not?’, but I would never tell a director, ‘Oh, by the way, I’m playing the lead in this film.’ ”
While their resume is all horror, the duo won’t limit themselves to one genre.
“I love horror, Lati loves documentaries, so of course we are going to want to make things we are passionate about,” said Campbell. “That being said, it is a business, and we make a lot of other films that are big blow-em-up box office hits.”
“I’m not into horror like Christa is,” adds Grobman. “I like dramas, romantic comedies, and sure, absolutely passionate about documentaries. I can sit and watch them and talk about them all day long. Unfortunately, I can’t say it’s a lucrative business and so we are not making many of them.”
Getting into the new Chain Saw prequel, Leatherface, Campbell explains where the concept came from.
“When you’re working with a big company, it’s a process of people coming in to pitch their ideas. At the end of the day, its a group decision: Mark Gill, Boaz Davidson , Beth Bruckner are part of team Millennium.”
She also said that it’s “not likely” that Leatherface will be in 3-D, while also revealing to Bloody Disgusting exclusively that they have the rights to five Texas Chain Saw films! But she warns…
“We have the rights for 5 films,” said Campbell, “but it always depends on the success of the last one whether or not you move forward.”
You hear that fans, go see the movie if you want more. Your dollars count.
As for the upcoming Day of the Dead remake, Campbell tells us that, “It’s been a long road with this film but it’s because we want to get it right,” while adding that they “are still working on the script.”
Campbell Grobman films have also produced the Bryan Singer presented fan favorite The Taking of Deborah Logan and the new Steven Schneider film Shut In.
“The Taking was shot out in North Carolina where you have a lot of heart and passion, but hardly any money for an ambitious script,” Campbell tells us. “We all worked very hard on this film and I love reading on twitter about all the fans that go crazy for it. People write to us that they have watched it 10 to 15 times! Its insane! We love it!”
“Shut In is next to come out,” she adds. “Adam Schlindler directed the film. We first met Adam and Brian when they came in to pitch for Day of the Dead. I went home and watched Delivery and was so impressed that Lati and I decided we were on a mission to make a film with these guys. Four months later we were making Shut In.”
In the film, Beth Riesgraf plays Anna, who suffers from agoraphobia so crippling that when a trio of criminals break into her house, she cannot bring herself to flee. But what the intruders don’t realize is that agoraphobia is not her only psychosis.
Watch this spot for plenty more from Campbell Grobman Films as they announce and release their next projects.