Founded by David Gerlach and collaborators with PBS and Digital Studios, the YouTube channel Blank on Blank makes animated videos for long-lost interviews of music, cinema, and pop culture icons. On April 28, 2015 Blank on Blank released an animated dialogue with literary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy late-legend, Ray Bradbury. Blank on Blank reports in the video’s description that college student interviewer Lisa Potts rediscovered a cassette tape of Bradbury’s voice behind her dresser in 2012. It continues by saying,
“The recording was made in a car plying the Los Angeles freeways between Bradbury’s home in West L.A. and Chapman College in Orange County. Potts and a fellow student named Chadd Coates were taking Bradbury to present a lecture. Bradbury had a lot of advice for Lisa and Chadd. On tape we get to hear Bradbury telling the students about the keys to friendship, why he was afraid of himself and would never drive, his keys to writing and telling a story, why Mars was the center of his fascination, what’s the secret to love, and why he called himself ‘a madman’.”
The 5 minute 16 second long video is colored in simplistic black and white, takes Bradbury to the top of a crash dummy landfill, and gives interesting insight into the fact that Bradbury had never driven a car because he could never “trust himself” to be careful enough not to harm himself or others. Bradbury continues by giving amazing life advice such as, “You find a few other nuts like yourself, and they’re you friends for a lifetime”, “You either feel a story and need to write it, or you better not write it”, and (this writer’s personal favorite), “If you have to ask yourself whether or not you love a girl or love a boy, forget it. You don’t”.
Bradbury compares his typewriter to candy, and because of that, he is madman that must write—it gives him the most joy in the world. He states, “You write to please yourself . . . and then your public begins to read you, and then it begins to gather, then you’re selling a potato peeler in an alley, you know.” He makes the claim that this idea of joy for what you do for a living can be related to any field or passion.
Blank on Blank has created animated interviews for the likes of Robin Williams, Maya Angelou, B.B. King, Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, and Jimi Hendrix. The Fahrenheit 451 author, at least in this author’s mind, would be proud to see his legacy live on through Blank on Blank. Check them out on YouTube and give them your subscription.