The Blank on Blank animated interview series actually started as a podcast — and a later was heard on public radio stations nationwide. Audio is at the heart of what we do. We tell engaging stories that start with rich interviews. Our team of seasoned, creative audio producers and journalists can help you create a podcast that cuts through the clutter.
So where did Blank on Blank come from? It was born from an idea David Gerlach had in the early 2000s when he was a journalist writing about culture and politics. He would record interviews while reporting a story, but only a few lines would make it into print and then the tape — or minidisc or digital file — would be stashed and largely forgotten. But it always seemed like there was cultural gold going to waste. There were journalists and archives across the country sitting on new and vintage interviews that could be remixed and reborn, and discovered by new audiences.
The podcast brought listeners inside the interview, in a sound-rich, wisdom-filled, voyeurist excursion when there were just two people talking with a tape recorder between them. There was a special challenge in working with interviews that weren’t recorded in a studio or with public radio-worthy equipment. But we took this potential liability and made it the heart of a gritty, real opportunity to hear unexpected things from iconic individuals.
Here’s an early episode from the Blank on Blank podcast featuring Bono of U2, taking a routine interview with Anthony Bozza in a very personal direction–how he dealt with his father’s death.
Tapes were filled with great ambient sounds from a location — glasses clinking in a bar, traffic outside, birds chirping nearby — and random asides made during the interview that offered a listening experience that was just real. We are eternally grateful to Amy Drozdowska and the other great audio producers we worked with along the way who helped bring these lost tapes to life.
One of the most satisfying achievements of the podcast was the traction it gained on public radio. PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, supported Blank on Blank for a number of years and helped programming directors at stations across the country discover the unorthodox podcast we were producing.
Soon they began licensing episodes to play during news and culture shows, and as interstitials between nationally syndicated NPR Shows like Morning Edition. There is limited airtime and a ton of competition on public radio, so we take it as a badge of honor that dozens of stations across the country started airing Blank on Blank episodes.
Here’s an episode from our Experimenters series that features lost interviews with Oliver Sacks, Jacques Cousteau, and George Washington Carver.