Gernhardt | Endeavour

My video Endeavour has been out in the world since March, but was updated in July and gifed in August. This project is one of my favorites for a few reasons. One, it’s about space and NASA, so obviously it goes on the favs list. Two, I got to team up with my former roommate, Erin Stepp. She composed the music and asked me to make a video to accompany it during her senior recital at TCU. Three, it was a personal challenge in every way possible. The music is over nine minutes long – I had previously only done videos under four minutes. That’s a big jump in terms of editing. I also had to dust off my Photoshop skills for this new technique I wanted to check out.

Now that I haven’t looked at in awhile, I wanted to share my thoughts about this piece, what my goals were and some of my decision-making process. This is mostly for me to be able to look back on in the future, but also to give you, the viewer, some background information. A little behind-the-scenes of my brain.

White and McDivitt

When Erin first came to me with this idea, she told me about what inspired her while she composed this piece. The music is also called Endeavour, which was taken from the space shuttle Endeavour. This piece seeks to represent all the emotions astronauts may go through when they travel through space. I definitely hear that every time I listen to the piece.


But I also saw how this piece mirrors how the nation felt during the Space Race and the history of NASA. Those emotions that astronauts experience – excitement, fear, awe, loneliness, joy – can be traced throughout the America’s space exploration history.

Apollo 8

With these thoughts in mind, I decided that my video would follow not just the astronauts, but everyone who worked to get us into space. Visually, the photos explore NASA’s history, beginning with NACA and following through the journey of developing a space agency, including training astronauts, expanding science and technology, experiencing disaster and looking to the future of what we can achieve.

Moon Set and Rise

But, I also had to respect the music. I did not want to take away from the live performance and distract the audience at Erin’s recital, but also wanted to make sure that the video could stand on it’s own when not shown live. So, I decided to animate a third of the photos and keep the rest still. I love this effect of creating a 3d space from a 2d photo, and I think it worked well for this project.


Since I had all of these animated images and was already dusting off my Photoshop skills, I decided to gif some of them. I’ve done nine gifs with Endeavour animations so far. (Click on the photos above to see them in action!) Hopefully will get into making more soon!

Explorer Orb

Endeavour and more of my video art pieces can be seen on my Vimeo page. If you also love space and NASA and art, come find me on Twitter and Instagram! I love to chat with fellow space and art nerds.


By Alexandra

art + space