Cutters Hempel, who’s cut a zillion spots, edits her second-ever doc ? about a grueling bike race

Cutters partner/editor Kathryn Hempel was in the audience at the 8th annual Bicycle Film Festival in New York last weekend for the premiere of a doc she wrote, edited and post-supervised.

The doc, “Road to Roubaix,” about the 110-year old Paris-Roubaix race, was produced by two biking enthusiasts located in the Washington, D.C. area.

This was only the second documentary that the Cutters spot specialist has edited in her career, although, she says, “I am cutting more and more webisodes, which are documentary in style, regardless of their length.”

Producers Dave Cooper and David Deal started on the “Road” seven months ago. When why were looking for an editor, a mutual friend recommended Hempel, who turned out to be a perfect fit.

“I told them I would love to edit a bike documentary,” she says. My husband has a bike shop, Bikefix in Oak Park, and I hope the film inspires people to ride their bikes more,” to save gas and improve their health.

The documentary presents a visual narrative of the cycling stars and riders, fans, mechanics and the unpredictable 160-mile course for the Paris-Roubaix race in Northern France.

Thirty cycling stars were interviewed, including Lance Armstrong. Cycling author Johnny Green (the road manager for the band, The Clash) narrates.

Like the race itself, the editing was challenging. Hempel had no script or transcriptions to work with, each moment was one take. She received footage shot in a multitude of formats – P2, Pal HD, SD, digibeta, 16mm and stills – amounting to nearly 100 hours of footage to sort through.

The story had to be written in the edit,” she says.

The Bicycle Film Festival screened at the Anthology Film Archives in New York’s East Village. The festival, which calls itself “a celebration of bicycles through film, art and music,” started in New York and is now held in 17 international cities. Its next stop is Toronto, June 18-21.

“There is a potential of 100,000 viewers on that circuit alone,” Hempel notes.

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