The women behind Rambo: Last blood | Sunday Observer

The women behind Rambo: Last blood

When Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman, CEO and Founders of Campbell Grobman Films, visited the set of Rambo: Last Blood, they found Rambo himself, Sylvester Stallone, hauling around lighting equipment to change the mood of one particular scene. Then he went off to completely rewrite another scene, returning 20 minutes later, ready to shoot it.

None of it was planned, but they trusted the process. As executive producers of the latest installment in the action franchise and a string of other films, they navigate creative setbacks day in and day out.

"I did go to the Rambo set. I spent a couple weeks there and just being around Sly, you absorb so much because he'll go off and write a scene and come back and shoot it. He's brilliant," Grobman said. "He'll write it right there. It's amazing to see that happen. I've seen it a thousand times with him, he'll have an idea to move the cameras around, to completely change the lighting, which he also did. So to just to watch him, do his thing, his art, is quite fascinating."

But, Grobman adds, while she found Stallone to be a master filmmaker, not everyone is as collaborative.

"There are big, big personalities in the film business. A lot of egos walking around," she laughs.

Campbell, her producing partner of eight years, agrees, saying that's the hardest part of their job.

"Raising money is actually the easy part," Campbell says. "If you have something good, everyone wants it, right? If you have a piece of crap, obviously no one does. Money's everywhere. It's just about your product and what you have. I mean obviously if Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to a movie the studio is to call us and say, 'Hey, we want it.' It's just a matter of what you have and if it's valuable. If you don't have something that's valuable, then you're not going to raise any money."

The two raised enough on the latest "Rambo" to pay for all the re-shoots, they say, excitedly, and both expect a nice return on the film. But they didn't get into the action genre strictly for the paycheck. The duo actually love masculine action movies; they too also specialise in producing horror flicks, like Texas Chainsaw 3D.

"Rambo is awesome, Texas Chainsaw is bloody and violent and we love it," Grobman laughs.

They'll also throw in a comedy once in a while, like "She's Funny That Way," with Jennifer Aniston, or a documentary, which is Grobman's true passion.

"We've been lucky that we've gotten really, really great projects," Campbell says. "You know, when we're passionate about something, we're passionate about it. So it comes from a gut feeling. If other people don't believe in it, we're like, 'No, no, no, it's going to be great,' because you sort of get a vibe of what's current, what people want to see."

The two, who were friends before becoming business partners, formed Campbell Grobman Films in 2011, after Grobman helped raise money for a movie she was also in as a former actress and Campbell recognised she was a natural at getting film funding.

So, as producers what exactly do they do?

"Sometimes we bring the money. Other times we take a script from scratch and build it, get a director on it, get an actor attached, and get the financing and get everything going for that particular movie," Grobman says. "We never sit aside and see what happens. We're not silent investors. We're been in business for 20 years. We're very much involved and probably problems solve 150 times a day or more."

Problem solving that involves smoothing out conflicts between directors and actors, and getting more budget when it is needed. They take on any task that will get the movie from the page to the screen.

Both Campbell and Grobman love seeing the results of their hard work on screen and say the latest Rambo installment is a career highlight.

"We can bring ideas and with [Stallone], it's not a dictatorship. He loves to hear ideas. And we are open to listen," Grobman says.

Rambo: Last Blood in theaters.

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