Rocket Surgery 2.5: Blank on Blank and Other Interviews for Inspiration

By:Antawn Salinas
Twitter: @Antawn_Salinas

If you are a creator, or even just a creative person, sometimes it might be hard to find inspiration. We all have had “writer’s block” or get in a creative rut even though we really want to finish that script, that painting, that song, that article, or whatever you want be good or even great at. In my opinion, I think the best way to get out of that is to watch interviews, documentaries, and behind the scenes type stuff. They usually give you more detail and insight on how their art works, and where it all comes from.

blankonblankFor example, there is a series that PBS Digital Studios created called Blank on Blank. What they do is take interviews from many famous artists, scientists, musicians, journalists, actors, historians, and comedians, and they animate them.

There are tons of them, and what’s good is that they are around 4-5 minutes. They not only show some of the creator’s work and thought process’, but also what they have learned over the course of their lives. Also, the art and animation they do for the series is really great. It’s simplistic, but still creative and great to look at.

You can check out the Blank on Blank website right here, or you can check it out on YouTube right here. Here is a list of some of my favorites: Rod Serling on Kamikazes, Carl Sagan on Extraterrestrials, Tupac Shakur on Life and Death, David Bowie on Ziggy Stardust, Gene Wilder on The Truth, Kurt Cobain on Identity, and Beastie Boys on Being Stupid. I highly recommend this series.

While I’m at it, I should talk about other types of interviews. For something a little more modern, there’s a YouTube channel ran by a guy named Evan Carmichael who does a series called “Top 10 Rules for Success” where he takes different people and forms a list of some of their best interview highlights.

While I don’t think these are as entertaining as the Blank on Blanks, they are still really cool to study and get advice on. My favorite ones are the ones with Tony Hawk, Dave Grohl(Nirvana, Foo Fighters), and Chester Bennington. Also, there are literally hundreds of them, so, there will probably be at least someone you look up to in there.

The last one I’m going to talk about is The Off Camera Show with Sam Jones. Some of these interviews were featured on the Evan Carmichael videos, but they are still worth checking out on their own. My favorites are the ones with Dave Grohl, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr.

One bonus thing I want to talk about is an interview with a guy named James Murphy, the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, LCD Soundsystem. In this he talks about failure and how he got out of feeling like a failure. Great band, great singer, intelligent guy, and fantastic interview.

Interviews are great to learn from, and these are the best I’ve ran into. Check them out, get inspired, and finish what you want to achieve. Good luck.