I consider Katharine to be an outstanding artist in her field…
Shelley Niro, director
Over the past few decades I’ve worked primarily in documentary, and have had the good fortune to cut a number of award-winning documentary films, including Kevin McMahon’s Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii (Gemini Award for Best History Doc), Min Sook Lee’s El Contrato (nominated for Best Social / Political Gemini), Laura Paglin’s Facing Forward (Crystal Heart Award), Sara Roque’s Six Feet Deep (Honourable Mention, DOXA), and many other outstanding films.
Katharine Asals is an editor who carries a deep understanding of the human story. She has an exquisite appreciation for the balance of voice, and is a passionate artist who works alongside you to discover the story and spirit of your film.
Min Sook Lee, director
Given my extensive experience in documentary, I’ve also worked on many factual television series, most recently on CBC’s We Are Canada, and was lead editor on Food Network’s popular show The Opener, a complex verite-based doc series with a large shooting ratio –
The Opener…required an editor with great judgement, patience, experience, and…the ability to find story in disparate material. Katharine always rose to this challenge with grace.
Daniel Gelfant, producer
Sometimes when people ask me about what I do, I talk about the “cutting out the bad bits” as Walter Murch put it, or about the distilling process of making 150 hours of footage into a 45 minute television program. Or about story and structure, narrative and the dramatic arc.
But sometimes I tell people about what it feels like – it feels a lot like interpreting people’s dreams.
I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated working with Katharine Asals. Her musical sensibilities as an editor were superb. I especially appreciated her ‘divining’ techniques at helping me to figure out what I wanted or was trying to say with the piece.
David Acomba, director
Not always, of course – the television series are more of a process of wrangling stray fragments of footage into a satisfying format, of carving story and stylistic coherence out of disparate miscellaneous fragments.
But occasionally there is the intimate moment of a director whispering a diaphanous vision into my ear, and the process of working together to bring that dream as close to alive as possible with the footage they’ve shot.
Years ago I worked with the actual tangible film stuff, 16mm and magnetic tape on a Steenbeck, as assistant-everything to the late legendary Peter Wintonick on the documentary Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky and the Media, and I cut my first documentary, Tierra Madre, for director Mary Ellen Davis on a Steenbeck – a film that won the Medianet award at the Munich Film Festival.
Moving into the world of digital filmmaking and AVID editing, I cut the feature documentary Deep Inside Clint Star, described as a “bright, free-wheeling personal documentary”, a “genuine and memorable portrait”, which went on to win the Gemini Award for Best Social / Political documentary.
Fiction training began in the Quebec film industry as assistant editor on feature films with editor André Corriveau, and continued with a residency at the Canadian Film Centre’s Editor’s Lab. Over the years I’ve cut numerous short fictions, as well as dance and music videos.
In recent years I’ve done some teaching in various different situations – I’ve conducted lecture and hands-on classes at both Humber and Sheridan College and York University, and was twice invited to be an Editor-Mentor in the National Film Board’s Momentum Program. For several years I served as the Editor in Residence at the the Canadian Film Centre, and as a mentor in various other workshop situations –
I learned so much from working with Katharine that I invited her to be a guest lecturer in my editing workshop. My students really benefited from her sensitive and thoughtful critiques as well as her insights into the documentary editing process. I would love to work with her again!
Laura Paglin, director
The hazards of fate made me fluent in Spanish and functional in French, so I’ve been able to offer some proficiency in films shot in these languages, and I’ve had the great good luck to work on a large number of aboriginal projects.