We were dead tired heading into our Ben Lee session. We’d been shooting non-stop since Sydney Festival, sometimes as many as four bands a week, so we were pretty drained.  We weren’t going to miss the chance to shoot Ben Lee, but we weren’t very prepared – instead of coming up with a great location, we’d made the easiest plan we could think of:  we’d walk through the park next door to Ben’s hotel.

Ben Lee: What’s So Bad from on Vimeo.

It’s an understatement to say that meeting Ben energised us. He was friendly, funny, and completely without pretension. As we strolled into the park, Ben greeted everyone he met with a friendly hello, and we began to suspect this wasn’t going to be just any shoot.

Ben Lee: Kids (By MGMT)

Then magic happened.  Ben suggested a sing-a-long with a group of schoolgirls sitting on the sidelines of a soccer game. After a quick debate about whether we’d get in trouble, we decided to go for it.  The girls recognised Ben immediately, and he soon had them doing a call-and-response version of his song Surrender. The girls were thrilled, Ben was having a blast, and we all left smiling.

Ben Lee: Surrender

We’d forgotten our tiredness, and the shoot just kept getting better. As we crossed a muddy field, a few other girls stopped their cricket game and ran over to tell Ben that he was their favourite musician.  Ben offered to play them a song, and the girls deliriously offered up three minutes of hilarious improvised dance moves as Ben sang.

Ben Lee: Ben Lee (by The Ataris)

There was no stopping him.  He was completely spontaneous, open to all possibilities, and his enthusiasm was infectious and put everyone at ease.  Ben sang a cover of Sebadoh’s Brand New Love to a dog; charmed a passing woman into letting him sing to her boyfriend over her mobile phone; and gave us a gorgeous version of MGMT’s Kids.  It was a real joy seeing how happy his music made people.

Ben Lee: Brand New Love (by Sebadoh)

Together we managed to capture five songs in 45 minutes – a record! – and we left Ben’s hotel on a total high, with the knowledge that, for an hour, Ben and his music had made the park a nicer place. This is exactly what Shoot the Player is all about.

– Jonathan & Amelia


  1. ben fan

    OMG. i love it!

  2. old fan

    you’re makin me homesick…

  3. brillianti! ;)*

    thanx so much you mob of joy bringers!

    luv mill xo

  4. That was absolutely spanking!
    Ben Lee –> Self-effacing and brilliant as ever.
    These vids have just made my day.. and made me very very homesick
    Thnx A&J and of course Ben.
    : )

  5. Nice to see sebadoh get’s a showing in Ben Lee’s world

  6. I love this man! His spirit his astoundingly beautiful!

  7. s

    ben lee is awesome.
    i saw him give a speech and perform at the ARIAS a few years back and his presence was by far the most uplifting – everyone jumped to their feet. i had never listened to his music much before that but he was so impressive and so positive. afterward i saw him and said i loved his speech. he gave me a hug. what a great guy!

  8. felicia Addison

    i go to vinnies and boy do i regret not doing soccer
    Ben Lee is awesome

  9. Christiane

    I’m a little embarrassed to say I didn’t know who Ben Lee was before this, but I love his music, the first video is adorable. I love what your are doing 🙂

  10. polly haley

    hi this is polly haley from st vincents college i think that your music is great / cool??
    and your cool

    and that day when you came down to rush cutters bay and filmed something was really cool as well too.

    and so doe’s my friends think too

    i just like to say the i like what your doing with your music and it’s cool
    and your awsome

  11. bella

    woooo. love you ben!!!
    i was so so so annoyed not being in that clip!!!
    I was in the background playing soccer… i so wish i was off singing with u!!!
    i also go 2 ur old piano teacher… 🙂
    anyway … the guy you called a pervet was Mr G… Haha
    Love you and ur music!!!

  12. Incredible, beautiful, and uplifting.

  13. Jodi

    I am so glad to have stumbled on this website… I have been a little intoxicated by Ben’s music for a while now and every time I hear him he gets better. I am so glad you got the opportunity to work with him, otherwise I wouldnt have found this site and had so much fun.

    Keep up all the good work!

  14. inspiring activities

  15. Iceblossom

    HI! I love your music Ben Lee. Your mum was my mum’s boss in work, so I know a few stories about you. Hahaha! Anyway, you’re SOOO AWESOME! YAY BEN LEE!

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