Camille Cotteverte - Director

The Americana - Glendale, CA
House - Glassell Park, Los Angeles

Camille Cotteverte is always prepared, always humble as could be, and always 30 minutes late (except to work: she’s early). She is the kind of human who’s not okay with just being okay — once a perfectionist, always a perfectionist. At times she seems shy but lean in a little closer, and she’s feisty and loquacious. Originally from Paris, Camille sees Los Angeles with fresh French eyes, and she has a tremendous bullshit radar. Camille took us to The Americana on a rainy day. We drank white wine while making fun of 14-year-olds wearing fake Yeezies.

What brought you to LA?
Change of scenery and opportunity. It was now or never when it happened. I was at the end of one job, and I just decided that I wanted to see if there was something, not necessarily better but different, somewhere else. In terms of finding my way, I don’t think I have found it yet, but I am still pretty much looking. I have been in LA for three years, and I moved here from France. In September it will be four years. (Gasps)

How do you define yourself? 
Well, right now, when people ask me what the ultimate goal is, I say, “I want to be a director.” And, I just want to work, so I basically take anything that is going to be on set or related to production. But, yeah, when people ask me what the end goal is, it’s directing.

Do you say, “I am a director”?
No. I say, “I want to be a director.” I never say, “I am…” I think it’s left over of the French… I mean, until I win an Oscar, nobody in France wants me to call myself a director. So yeah, you really have to take some steps and get critical acclaim before you can call yourself anything, I guess.

Have you ever been called a hipster?
I don’t think so. Maybe I don’t talk to people enough. Maybe they call me that behind my back. It’s one of those trendy way to identify a group and make fun of them. Like any kind of little cultural group, there are good things and bad things. I don’t think I would care that much if people called me something. I’d be like, “Okay, cool. Good. That’s great!”

What does being a Millennial mean to you?
I have trouble actually associating myself with my generation even though more and more I’m like, “Oh, I do that too.” I have a problem with the Millennials who are too entitled. Like, thinking that things are supposed to happen to them. I’m not sure what that term means or who it refers to. I guess I am one somehow. I don’t know.

How do you feel connected to your generation?
That’s one of the things that has been really hard for me: to really connect with my generation and feel like I am part of it. It’s a me problem rather than my generation’s problem. For the longest time I can think of, I haven’t been participating in the things from my age group. I feel disconnected to an extent. Part of me wishes I could have been more... wait, let me work on my English… Parts of me wish that I could have been more conformed to what other people my age were going through, but that just never really happened until recently.
It was exactly the same back in France. Most of my late teens and early twenties, I was always hanging out with people older than me, like 10 or 20 years older. My first roommate was 20 years older than me, and we would just hang out and have dinner, like people. Like, I’ve never been through the phase, drink myself silly.

What do you love about living in Glassell Park?
I love that I’m living up a hill, and I have an amazing view. The sunset is amazing up there. I like that it’s close to all of my friends. It’s a really cool little place. I recently moved from across the street from The Grove. It was really central, but it took so long to get to the other side of the city.

What are your favorite spots in Glassell Park or around there?
I really like Gingergrass. It’s like my favorite thing in the world. Wok Tossed Noodles with Beef is amazing. Silverlake Ramen but that’s not original; it’s on my way back from work. I haven’t explored all of the spots yet. Habitat, a coffee shop, is just down the hill from me, and it’s pretty cool.

How do you get around the city?
I drive! I have a little Prius, which has been a life-saver. I vowed to never drive in Paris again. I learned to drive there with the sole purpose to be able to drive here. The difference is that in Paris people drive very aggressively - there’s pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles. Here, people are stupid. (Laughs) It’s like, “Oh my God, it’s raining!” But, it’s not that complicated; you don’t even have to shift gears! I’m trying to work on my road rage because sometimes… I get a little upset with people being assholes.

What have you been working on recently?
I have this short film I would really like to make happen called The Martins. I have everything ready; I just really need a producer right now. I need to branch out with people, maybe apply to some grants. I am working on a feature script that’s called Chiaroscuro. I’m doing research for it and started writing. It’s a family drama from the 1950’s until now with three generations of women. And, I am working in production.

Do you see yourself staying in LA?
For the foreseeable future, yeah. We will see if it’s a lifelong commitment. But, for now, I will stay here.

What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
My favorite thing in my closet right now… I think would be my new jacket. The pink one. I’ve had it a couple of weeks. It’s new-ish.

What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
It depends. There is no typical. If I don’t have anything to do, I am going to stay in bed really late because I am usually tired. Then I’ll watch something, a good movie that I haven't seen, and if the dogs are home they will be there cuddling with me. If I want to get myself out of the house, which I usually do, I go to a coffee shop and get some work done.

What’s your favorite film?
This is the hardest question ever. I really, really like Carol. I think it’s a perfect movie. I really like The Hours. I have my periods of this one and this one.

Who would you invite to dinner living or dead?
Sophie Calle.

Where do you want to travel to?
I want to go to Canada, the French part. Montreal. It looks so pretty.

What inspires you?
The works of others mostly. What other people do and put out in the world. People’s behaviors. What they do and why they do it.

What astrology sign are you? Does astrology play a part in your life?
Aries. It plays absolutely no part. It’s funny to think about. I remember in high school, we would have those free newspapers in the subway, and we would read them outloud and joke about it. But, I’m not mystical. That’s the last thing I would think about.


What is your Myer-Briggs personality type?

What are your favorite qualities in a human?
Kindness and honesty. It’s really cheesy, but it’s two things that you can’t overlook anymore. I encounter so many people who are just rude or who have no social manners. And, it really bugs me now to have to deal with those people. I don’t want to be talking to you if you do not have basic awareness of what is around you and what other people are doing or feeling. Kindness is often overlooked. How do you say…? You don’t celebrate someone for being kind, but I think we should. It can really make a difference.

What is your idea of happiness?
When I was studying acting, there was this class where I was supposed to print out pictures on what success and happiness feel like. And, it freaked me out so much, so I didn’t attend that class. I did have stuff ready, but I couldn’t share it. My idea of happiness: balance. Finding balance between all of the things. Not only being happy in work, but also being happy in your personal life. Finding time for both.

What’s your favorite color and flower?
When I was young, my favorite color was yellow. Like really. To the point that my grandma would point out yellow things, like yellow fields. It became a running joke; I hated it. Then I got dark and broody. I think I like a really dark shade of pink. Really nice, pretty, understated pink. My favorite flower? Sunflowers. I like sunflowers. I don’t think I really have a favorite flower, but that’s as close as it’s going to get. 

Who is your favorite artist?
Sophie Calle is my favorite artist in the conventional sense. I also really like Cate Blanchett because she’s really the whole thing. The consciousness of who she is and what she is doing, and the kind of impact she can have. That’s very rare to find someone so self-aware. I really like her choices so far. I wish I could give you the name of a favorite female director, but I’m blanking. (Laughs)

Do you have a motto?
I think Mark Twain said it… “They thought it was impossible, so they did it.” I really like that. [The quote is actually: "They did not know it was impossible so they did it.” But, SND likes the way Camille remembered it better.] 
There are two really cute dogs in front of us, and I wish I could just pet them. But, they are probably really wet.

For further Camille Cotteverte related discovery follow @caaaam
Check out her self-portraits series here at SunnynookDrive.

This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with Millennial Instinct.

Photography: Camille Cotteverte