We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathrin Asmus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathrin, what matters most to you?
Gratefulness, respect and kindness. Sets can get hectic and messy sometimes – that’s when you need to practice these three the most in my opinion. It took me a while to get out of my comfort zone and pursue filmmaking. I studied media and communications in Austria, Europe before coming to Los Angeles. I tried really hard to make it work but it just wasn’t for me. Of course, you can’t be grateful 24/7 but I make sure that every set I step on I remind myself that I’m doing what I’ve been wanting to do for years – that is a very peaceful and relaxing thought to me. It grounds me and makes me ready to be the best version of myself. Respect and kindness speak for itself in my opinion. The beauty about filmmaking to me is that every position on set – no matter if it’s cast or crew, is its own important role. Since I’ve worked in all kinds of crew positions before specializing in the camera department, I’m very aware of that and therefore have a good understanding of how hard everyone works. Without those two a set won’t work and a lot of people will feel poorly and mistreated very soon.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
How did I get to where I am today? That’s a question I ask myself a lot as well honestly. I still can’t believe that I’m finally here, doing what I love and that I’m even getting paid for it. I can happily say I am proud of my journey so far. I grew up in a small town in Lower Austria and I’ve been wanting to do film since I was a teenager. It seemed impossible back then. I didn’t know what to do, so I kept on living, doing all the things that people expect you to do like getting a bachelor’s degree. At some point I just couldn’t resist anymore and I was thankfully brave enough to leave my home country to study film here in Los Angeles. It for sure wasn’t easy and it still isn’t. There are challenges on a weekly basis. Adding to that I miss my family and friends of course – but also little things like the fresh Austrian water, the smell of the Austrian air, rainy days or our very crispy freshly-baked bread.
Especially this year has been a big year of growth for me – not just because of the pandemic which I’m sure has changed a lot of people, but also because I had some great opportunities to show who I am and what I can do. Adding to that, I’ve met some amazing new people, who have taught me a lot about filmmaking but also about life and self-worth. All of these were big lessons for me. In the end these lessons helped me with making the big step of committing to working mostly in the camera department. I am an aspiring cinematographer after all and therefore it was important to make it clear that this is where I want to go. I have to admit, it has been working pretty well so far and everyone has been very supportive. I’m excited to see what the rest of this year will bring!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a sucker for places that aren’t too touristy. Therefore, I’d probably skip spots like the walk of fame – unless they really want to go see it of course. I love nature and the ocean. A must for me would be Malibu – “Broad Beach” most likely because I adore this beach. It’s just perfect for walking around and looking for beautiful shells/rocks. There’s this tiny café – I’d say close by but let’s be honest nothing in LA is really close by, it’s called “Topanga Living Café” and I’d for sure take my visitor there. I’ve been there a couple of times and everything I tried tasted amazing. Afterwards, I’d probably grab some iced coffee from the “Malibu Farm Pier Café.” It’s just a spot everyone should see, especially if you’re already around that area.
Furthermore, I’d probably take my guest on a hike – well if they are up for it at least. One of my favorites is probably “Fern Canyon” at Griffith Park. A friend of mine introduced me to it – thank you Dan, and I absolutely love it. The view is amazing and it’s just the right amount of everything. After that I’d probably stop at either “Something Vegan” or “Veggie Grill”. I love their food and order from them frequently. For something sweet also in this area I’d recommend “Deja Vu Cakes”. Probably the best and most beautiful looking cupcakes I’ve ever had.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I believe everyone that decides to go into the creative field to become an artist will get a bit of backlash. Not everyone will understand why you quit your possible future and move across the world to take on your dream of becoming a cinematographer. And that’s okay. I’ve never asked anyone to understand my decision, I’ve only asked for people to accept and respect it. Thankfully, I have a small circle of family and friends in my life who have supported me from across the ocean – adding to that all the amazing people I have met here in Los Angeles along the way. If I had to point out one person of all of these, it would probably be my older sister who I can always count on for emotional support. She just always has my back. My key moment of realizing that was when I visited my home country for a few weeks. She asked me one afternoon what time I’d be flying back home again – referring to Los Angeles as my home. It’s such a little detail and I’m sure she might not even remember it, but I sure do.
Fatima Alshamsi Seda Anbarci Ligia Fagundez Michael Van Waas