As a native of Los Angeles, California, Cameron spent most of her life immersed in the entertainment industry. Upon graduating from Cornell University, majoring in Communications with a minor in film, she arrived back in Los Angeles, and began making strides within the industry. She began her career working in sales, where an epiphany 6 months in, solidified that she was creative. The next few years she worked closely with Melanie Sharee, head of the American Black Film Festival in Los Angeles, as her assistant. In 2009, she was asked by the Sundance Institute to move to Park City, Utah, as their coordinator, overseeing the Spectrum category, a collection of 22 films. Included in that category, was Spike Lee’s Passing Strange, Benjamin Bratt’s La Mission, and Ashley Judd’s Helen.
In February of 2009 she joined the FOX Casting department in Los Angles. She is now a Manager of Casting and oversees the casting of The Mindy Project, Brooklyn 99, JJ Abrams’s newest show Almost Human, Gang Related and Glee.
Speaker Series: July 2013
Cameron shared her personal journey with the African Artists’ Association. She gave advice and encouragement on how to navigate the casting process from general meetings, to auditions, good resumes, and securing the role. She believes in self-actualization, vision boards, creating your own content and utilizing social media to market and promote projects.
When asked why she likes working in this business Cameron responded:
“I like to work at film festivals. I love working with actors…it takes tough skin to be creative. It’s difficult to be open and vulnerable and asking do you like me or not.”
She also pointed out that casting managers/directors/agents are always on the lookout for talent whether it is at the grocery store, the café, or shopping mall, plays, comedy shows and especially at film festivals, such as the LA film festival, or ABFF, which she strongly urges all to attend, saying “You never know who you are going to meet and where”.
She emphasized that it’s imperative to read the trades such as The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, study the craft and know who the casting directors are by doing your homework and verbalizing your vision. She believes it’s important to have a team or agent who works hard and believes in you.
Cameron encourages directors/writers in the group to submit work and projects to film festivals such as Sundance and Cannes or ABFF because she believes “film festivals provide a platform for the voices that cannot be heard among the masses….it’s so important to create your own content…put it on YouTube if you have to. Sundance has Labs and Producer Intensives during the summer that provide money and mentorship to take your work to the next level.”
She repeatedly emphasized artists coming together to pool their talent to create a work of art. She says, “We are not floating islands. We all need each other.” An example she mentioned was Fruitvale Station, the Grand Jury Prize winner at Sundance directed by Ryan Coogler, Produced by Forest Whitaker and starring Michael B. Jordan; as an example of a “trifecta of powerful men coming together on a independent film.”
She strongly urges collaboration among artists to create web series that entice casting directors to watch and continue watching. She placed lots of emphasis on writer’s breaking the mold cultivating their stories and doing something that hasn’t been done. She says Fox wants “character driven material. We are in bed with smart comedy. We want intellectualized stories.. Write something smart. Do something unexpected.”
She summarized by reminding the membership that producers are looking for “shiny and fresh” projects that look great with new ideas.