Blank on Blank is working to take hours of raw interview tapes and turn them into three to six minutes long audio pieces as well as in some cases animated video shorts. In the video below outlining the project, founder David Gerlach describes "the interviews by America's ultimate storytelliers, print journalists" as an "untapped trove of first person stories".
The project recently launched a crowdfunding page on Kickstarter to raise some financial support for the audio interview archive project, and is on a mission to collect 30 interviews within 30 days.
The aim is to find "the best unheard conversations gathering dust on journalists' tapes and hard drives" and bring them "to new audiences", the project's Kickstarter page says.
"When journalists write an article they typically have hours of recorded interviews, most of which never makes it to the page.
"What a waste. We're taking those unheard gems left on the cutting room floor and bringing them to the masses. Blank on Blank is a new non-profit curating, preserving, and broadcasting lost American interviews by the nation’s ultimate storytellers: print journalists, documentarians, and nonfiction authors.
"Now we want to inspire more of these journalists and everyone who loves storytelling to preserve these American voices in danger of being lost forever."
So far the project has produced 75 interviews between journalists and interviewees including Martin Scorsese, Ricky Gervais and President Obama.
"Our mission to build a living archive of journalists' lost interviews is part This American Life, part TED, and part Library of Congress. These 30 interviews are only the beginning ".
The only rule is that submitted interviews must include the subject "discussing something unexpected".
"It's easy. All you have to do is pass along your raw interview to us - whether it's on cassette, minidisc, digital recorder or your iPhone. You keep the rights. And we do all the heavy lifting to produce a piece polished with sounds and storytelling worthy of NPR."