Innovative Story Research: Michael Jackson on Godliness | Blank on Blank

The innovative news feature story I chose is an animated interview with Michael Jackson on Godliness. The discussion is part of PBS web series’ Blank On Blank that animates unheard interviews with celebrities. Published on Blank On Blank’s website in 2014, the program restores Michael Jackson’s 1980 interview with music journalist John Pidgeon and offers a candid look at the singer before fame forced him to become more reclusive.

The interview takes place a few months after the release of Off the Wall; the conversation captures Jackson just as he emerged into a solo career. The 21-year-old star saw him and his music as “godly,” was obsessed with perfectionism, his feelings about being labelled “disco,”,  not wanting to be overexposed and the time he says he recorded “Ben” in one take.

The video gives a great sense of what it might have been like to be in that room, for example how Jackson was uncomfortable with interviews but forced to do them by his record company decided that he was most comfortable having the questions filtered to him by sister Janet. In the meeting, journalist John Pidgeon sat across from Michael; he was instructed to ask his questions to Janet who then repeated the questions to her older brother before he would answer.

Easy to watch on a computer, tablet and mobile, the Blank On Blank episode is an engaging and well-made animation from beginning to end.  Music lovers and fans of Jackson will find the video fascinating as the audio interview comes to life with imaginative imagery and giving a glimpse at Jackson’s thoughts on what the future might hold for him. It’s an effective way to tell a story.



Work Experience Diary 3

On my second day of work experience, the editor sent me a written interview with the director and cast of Tom of Finland. My task was to format the discussion, so the question is in black and then the answers as per the beginning of the transcript. Edit the questions and answers so that it is more readable. Come up with a title and a 1-sentence intro following by a 1 paragraph intro that would open the Q&A.

For Example:Tom of Finland

Work Experience Diary 2

My first day of work experience was not too bad. I got work from home transcribing an audio interview Warwick Thornton. He recently made a movie called Sweet Country starring Bryan Brown and Sam Neil which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. He did a film years ago called Samson and Delilah.

It took ages then the editor asked me to write a story based on the interview. I sent the story, and the editor said thank you.

Here’s a link to the story:

Work Experience Diary 1

I applied for work experience from various places such as FilmInk, Mamamia, Newscorp and Daily Mail.

I had hoped to land work experience with one of my dream companies Newscorp, but sadly my dream was crushed by rejection. Newscorp, rejected me because they only accepting University students where completing placement is compulsory to their degree.

With my teacher Verity’s help, I emailed another dream company The Daily Mail, but once again I disappointed when they said they couldn’t offer work experience. There is a training program, but the applications have closed.

Eventually, I applied to FilmInk, and the publisher got back to me. He was happy to take me in, but he let me know FilmInk had downsized substantially and no longer publishes a print version. In downsizing, we closed our office and all work from home.

They continue custom publishing the program for the Supanova Pop Culture Expo and a few other bits and bobs, along with maintaining the FilmInk website.

I told the publisher I was okay with it. Now I’m happy I found a place to do work experience and best of all it’s a movie publication which the best place for me if I want to be a movie reviewer.

Cover Letter

Hard News Reflection

My hard news story is about illegal movie downloading focusing on what’s been having in recent years. I chose the topic because I have a passion for films and against illegal downloading. It’s an important issue as it affects jobs in Film and TV and how we (Australians) get our content as licensees who buy content to distribute but can’t because it’s going to service a small audience and have to work out how many people are watching it before they purchase.

I managed to interview Lori Fleker, Creative Content Australia Executive Director because her organisation is passionate about privacy. After my interview, it was clear my angle was privacy is ruining the entertainment industry.

My only regret with the story was I didn’t get to interview Graham Burke. I tried to get in contact, and all I got was a press release with a five-step plan for privacy which I used some quotes.

Video Story Evaluation

My video story is Q and A style video asking people “What’s the shortest time you’ve kept a job and why?” My idea based on a tweet about Anthony Scaramucci’s temporary job at the white house. The production was extended but was fun making it.
I spent a week editing the video trying to make it perfect as it could be. Caz pointed out to me the audio issues and camera shots. At the time, I didn’t realise it was a problem until she mentioned it. I took her advice, and it helps make the video better. I hope people enjoy the video.

Now I’m glad it’s over and move on with a new project.