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Shoot The Player

Written by Jesse Hayward on May 20, 2009

Amelia Tovey and Jonathan Wald have hit upon the best musical scam since Milli Vanilli decided to fake being a musician. They don’t need to pay for tickets to gigs anymore, they get to meet their favourite musicians and they don’t need to give blowjobs backstage to pull it off either.

It’s so simple I wish I’d thought of it. Get a video camera with a sweet mike for quality sound recording then just ask your favourite bands to play in public! For you alone! Isn’t that just the niftiest little idea you’ve heard in yonks? Wouldn’t you love to do it? Well you can’t, because then you’d be a big copycat.

Based in Sydney, Jonathan and Amelia have been shooting their tasty shorts for almost two years now. “We’ve always been keen to show typical and iconic Australian locations – from a terrace in Petersham or a park in Glebe, to Hyde Park and the Harbour Bridge. We like turning the camera on the city. And we love unplugged, intimate performances.”

Apparently artists think it’s a great idea too, so scoring a recording session isn’t as difficult as you might think. “Mostly we contact bands we really like and sometimes people recommend music to us. Beach House and The Tallest Man on Earth were both recommended to us and we’d never heard of them, and they’re amongst our favourite videos. Most bands are pretty reachable. The internet rules.”

Shoot The Player have shot films on three different continents but most are shot in Sydney. “We also travel a fair bit and have both lived in lots of different cities. Being connected to an international project and filming international musicians kinda keeps us connected to the outside world in a nice way too.”

Over thirty of these videos have been cooked up in under two years and all are available on the website. At the moment Ben Lee’s gormless face is displayed prominently on the front page, but we’ll forgive them that for the treasure trove of tidbits they have in their archive. We are also told to keep an eye out for Soko in a graveyard, Sarah Blasko in a tattoo parlour, Jolie Holland, Reggie Watts, Port O’Brien and a bunch more.

Asked of her dream shoot, Amelia has bright ideas. “PJ Harvey would be great, I’d film her anywhere. Maybe Patti Smith in Dollywood?” I would definitely watch that.

“If I had heaps of money I’d get Gary Jules out here to do his cover of Mad World,” says Jonathan. “Maybe Tears for Fears will read this and come and do a shoot themselves. I’m hoping the Flaming Lips will let us film them when they’re here.”

“If anyone reading this wants to do a tears for fears cover go to our website and get in touch,” Amelia suggests. “May the best pitch win.”

Check out Jonathan and Amelia’s work at

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