Roadmap had a chance to chat with Rebecca Cammarata, Director of Development at Stay Gold Features (HONEY BOY, HARRIET, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE, PATTI CAKE$). She shares her insights on the importance of authenticity, integrity, and her favorite part about working with writers.
What drew you to the entertainment industry?
I've always been fascinated by the art of good storytelling and how, on the one hand, there's a sort of formula and science to it, but that the best art tends to be unconventional. The best art understands the rules well enough to break them. I wanted to be a part of figuring out how to tell stories that are important and that provoke thought, conversation, and hopefully change. I also love that film can be cathartic - a form of therapy that is accessible to millions. By digging deep into our characters' lives, it can inspire the audience to dig into their own experiences and look at them in a new light. Art as teacher. Art at illuminator. Art as therapy.
What's your favorite part about working with writers?
One of my favorite parts of my job is being on hours-long workshop calls with writers. I love getting to meet all different types of people with varied perspectives and seeing how their minds work as they form a story and characters. The verbal ping pong match that ensues when trying to crack a script is incredibly inspiring and rewarding. There's nothing quite like the feeling of pride that comes when months or years of work that have been poured into a script is realized on screen.
What gets you most excited about a writer's pitch?
Authenticity and originality. A fresh perspective. That's really it. Even if the story is not something that necessarily excites me, if it's presented with passion and truth, I'm interested.
What's one bit of advice that helps you the most in this industry?
Don't get caught up in it. Play the game, but be aware that it's a game. It's definitely an industry where it's easy to get caught up in the glamour and recognition, but no level of success is worth sacrificing your integrity. I think more and more people in this industry are recognizing that and I'm a firm believer that success earned through hard work and honesty is the only type worth achieving.
What's your favorite non-industry-related hobby or activity?
It's a toss up between working out and baking, as ironic as that is. My job requires a lot of mental energy and both creative ideas and problem-solving skills, so challenging myself physically or working with my hands is a good release for me. I love a good project - whether it's fixing the washing machine or refinishing a counter or finishing a workout program, an intense physical activity is a form of meditation for me.