Danielle Wietrzychowski is a hardworking IMM student with a minor in project management. Originally working alone, she knew her thesis would involve two of her passions: video editing, and visual design. In February 2020, she met musician Mistee Branchek, another IMM student within her class, who, like Danielle, had a project idea, but no clear goal. Realizing their combined skills were the final push they needed, they joined forces and created a partnered passion project, AudioScapes: A series of visual harmonies.
AudioScapes: A series of visual harmonies is a nine and a half audiovisual sensory experience that stimulates, hypnotizes, and relaxes the senses. Taking form as a video, created by Danielle Wietrzychowski, the project uses dynamic timing to match every visual aspect with the song, Shifting Moods, composed by Mistee Branchek. Together, the audiovisual components of this project create a mesmerizing experience that engages viewers.
The most difficult part of this project was being able to complete it without having the proper tool I needed. My computer constantly crashed for nearly a week straight, preventing me from working as efficiently as I’d like. It would also take nearly 12-18 hours to render each project version, so progress was extremely slow for a while. However, I overcame this issue through pure patience, and lowering the quality of the final video, which helped in the long run as I continued working on it.
Development Process and Tools
The development of AudioScapes consisted of creating and rendering videos of each individual arrangement, to fix any errors as necessary. Then, once one of the arrangements were complete, I would continue on with whatever effect best fit the musical direction. I primarily used Adobe After Effects for the bulk of the video, and then rendered out the final copy, along with additional graphics, in Adobe Premiere.
I was ultimately drawn to my interest of video editing for my thesis. My original idea was an interactive video program before everyone was required to stay home. After meeting with Mistee and talking to professor Warren, the two of us came up with the idea of creating a sensory music video. This way, we could make something engaging in many different levels, and audiovisual projects have always interested me.
My passion for video editing allowed me to experiment and create something that I’m proud of. I wanted to test my limits creatively, and physically with my personal equipment, as the virus limited my resources. The more I played around with the effects, the more I enjoyed working on my project, and learning about how I could make it even better. This continued for several months, until I finally completed the nine and a half minute video, which I am proud of making with my own two hands.
Work Beyond TCNJ
I want to continue making audiovisual creations and editing videos after graduation, since those are my passions. I don’t know where my expertise can take me, but I know wherever it does, I will enjoy it. Working hard is something I’ve always done, so I’m positive I’ll keep doing so even after my college career.
Adapting to the COVID Situation
I’m lucky as the COVID situation hasn’t affected me much personally. Although, working on this project was much harder than I thought, due to personal computer limitations. I needed to continue working diligently and understand that everyone is going through this together. Knowing that helped me get through this process.
Collaboration was a huge part of this project, as it literally couldn’t have been done without it. I worked with Mistee throughout the last few months and shaped my visuals with her music. We constantly gave each other feedback on every aspect of the project throughout the semester. Many changes were made for the better, video wise, and music wise, to create something truly engaging to everyone.