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Finely Sliced: Delivering the Story with Kat Yi

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Filmmaker and video editor at Forager, Kat chats about getting fully involved, figuring out alternative plans and why her work for WeTransfer is her favourite so far

Finely Sliced: Delivering the Story with Kat Yi

Kat Yi is a New York-based filmmaker/video editor. Kat has edited numerous commercial works which got released on various digital and broadcast platforms which received an extensive amount of press and recognition. Her clients only to name a few, include Nike, Google, Nordstrom, NBA, Samsung, Tom Ford, La Mer, Beats, IBM etc. Her recent short film 'The Pitc was included as the No.1 Creative Campaign to know about on Adage, special categories Winner of 2021 Ciclope Festival. Her recent commercial project 'Billie - Think of A  Woman' got shortlisted in AICP Post Awards.

LBB> The first cut is the deepest: how do you like to start an editing project?

Kat> Before I start on the edit, I would talk to the director to fully understand the story and discuss his vision about the visual style. After establishing the fundamental part, to me, I always treat the first cut as the last cut, fully involved with my creativity and skill set.  

LBB> Rhythm and a sense of musicality seem to be intrinsic to good editing (even when it’s a film without actual music) – how do you think about the rhythm side of editing, how do you feel out the beats of a scene or a spot? And do you like to cut to music?

Kat> I think every shot in the spot is there to help deliver a story. The pace of the edit is always based on what emotion is needed. I think the sound is one of the most important parts to drive the flow of the edit. Both music and sound design can determine the pace of the cut. 

LBB> How important is your relationship with the director and how do you approach difficult conversations when there is a creative difference of opinion (with the director or with the agency/client)?

Kat> The conversation between the director and editor is definitely essential. Building a relationship with trust is very important. When we start on a project together, we always have a common goal, which is to make the final result emotionally engaging and visually appealing. If the direction contradicts my own vision, I try to understand the purpose behind the request instead of having unnecessary conflict with the director. With genuine discussions, we’ll have a consensus on choosing the right option to achieve the best result possible.  

LBB> What’s harder to cut around – too much material or not enough? 

Kat> I would say not having enough material is more difficult. Too much material causes more working hours and patience, but you can find what you need. With too little material, it requires a lot more creativity to figure out an alternative plan, and you might not be able to achieve the vision you and the creative team had in mind. 

LBB> Which commercial projects are you proudest of and why?

Kat> So far, ‘Pampara’ for WeTransfer, directed by Renell Medrano and Thuan Tran, is still my favourite project that I’ve worked on. Although it was for WeTransfer’s branding, it was more like an art piece to showcase the richness of the world within Dominican culture in a poetic and symbolic way. 

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Forager, Tue, 08 Feb 2022 11:41:27 GMT