It’s a strange thing when someone asks you to write the bio for their website. You start to ask yourself some really deep questions. Questions like, who is Kathy Gatto? What drives her? What inspires her? What is her essence? And, why have I been asked to do this? Unfortunately, I can’t answer those questions. It would take too long, it would be too boring and frankly, I don’t want to know what makes her mind think the way it does, I just want it to stay the same.
So I’ll speak from personal experience. I met Kathy when we were both working at The History Channel. I had just started writing and producing promos, and she was the hot new editor on the scene. She was gaining a reputation as a stand out talent, but I had yet to work with her, as she was always booked. Once we finally were able to cut something together (The Making of the Crusades, I believe) it was like a breath of fresh air. Here was someone that truly cared about the work that was going to have her name on it. Beyond her obvious talent and passion for editing there was a quality that you rarely see these days, commitment. Kathy puts the same level of effort and devotion into a 20 second promo for Modern Marvels that she does into our personal projects.
Since then we’ve worked on countless commercials, music videos and documentaries. She has welcomed me into her family and into her life. She’s a hard working, Mexican food eating, Johnnie Walker drinking, U2 listening, karaoke singing, interior designing, well-oiled editing machine. And if that machine ever starts to malfunction she has her amazing family to pick her back up. They rule.
To say her work speaks for itself would be an understatement. If you’re reading this, then you are on her website already, and it’s clear that her work is second to none. Her editorial choices not only bring the footage to life but the images end up emoting more than you could have ever fathomed when conceiving the idea.
And that right there is the true genius of Kathy Gatto -- give her a tiny spec of a good idea, a crumb, a little morsel – and she’ll elevate it beyond your wildest dreams. Kathy is a collaborator in the purest sense. She gets it.
There was this moment when we were cutting the last scene in American Juggalo. I had the scene in my head, and I knew how I wanted it to feel, but I was having a hard time articulating it appropriately. I started to mumble incoherently about how I wanted this film to end. Half way through my thought Kathy turned back around and started furiously editing. Seemingly distracted by her flood of thoughts she simply told me, “I got it.” Ten minutes later she played for me what would become the closing scene of the film. I was frozen, it was perfect. I could feel the blood flowing through my veins, it was the physical manifestation of creative fulfillment. I must have made her play it down a hundred times. It was pitch perfect, exactly what I wanted.
I know that I’ll be chasing that feeling for the rest of my career, and I hope Kathy will be there, surprising and inspiring me at each step along the way and making me eat goddamn Mexican food everyday.
Kathy Fucking Gatto. Badass editor. Even more badass human being. You can borrow her for your projects, but don’t break her, we have lots of work left to do.