CLASS - Wednesdays November 2, 9, 16 and 30 from 3:30 - 5pm PT / 6:30 - 8pm ET

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How to Get Killer Tape and What To Do When It's Dead on Arrival

We all love “great talkers” — but what if your interviewee doesn’t deliver? Veteran radio journalist and Longest Shortest Time host Hillary Frank will share tips for getting memorable tape from all kinds of talkers, and for crafting a dynamic story when your tape falls flat.
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About this class

  • Wednesdays, November 2, 9, 16, and 30, 2022.
  • 3:30 - 5pm PT / 6:30 - 8pm ET 
  • 4 x 90 minute classes
  • $435 AIR members 
    $500 non-members
  • Small group class 
  • Deadline to Enroll is October 24, 2022.  
In this class, students will learn how to structure interviews, create a rapport with guests, and ask follow-ups designed to yield the most compelling tape possible. Through interviews both in and out of class, we’ll practice drawing a cohesive story and memorable details from a guest, as well as managing roadblocks. 
We’ll talk about how to evaluate your tape once you get back to your desk, and why you needn’t despair if it all feels like a snorefest. Hint: writing is your secret weapon. We’ll practice that too.

Key Takeaways

  • Get great tape, whether or not your guest is naturally a great talker
  • Capitalize on unexpected moments in an interview
  • Use writing to craft a dynamic story with boring tape
Meet the instructor

Hillary Frank

Hillary Frank is the award-winning creator of The Longest Shortest Time, a podcast about the surprises and absurdities of raising other humans, and Here Lies Me, an audio drama about middle school. She has worked as a story editor on many projects, including Why Oh Why, Everything Is Alive, Rough Translation, The Truth, and 30 for 30’s Six Who Sat. Hillary is also the author and illustrator of Weird Parenting Wins and three young adult novels. Her first radio story was an unsolicited pitch to This American Life that she made using a microcassette answering machine and a shiny red boombox — which she hopes is proof to aspiring producers that with a little creativity, getting your foot in the door really is possible. (Yes, it is also proof that she’s been doing this stuff since olden times.)
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Who is this class for? 

This class is most useful for anyone who combines interview tape and writing in their work, particularly short or long-form narrative journalism. Early career students will gain new skills and confidence; intermediate students will refine their craft. Students are welcome to bring problematic tape from existing projects to troubleshoot.

Course Lessons