Laura Imbruglia has returned with season two of Amature Hour! There are seven 30 minute episodes featuring musician performances from a range of artists, as well as other musicians doing less musician things. Tomatrax caught up with Laura to talk about her latest series.
You’ve just completed your second season of Amateur Hour, how does it feel to have part two of your brainchild complete?
It feels great to finally finish the birthing process! It was a 1.5 yr labour! We worked really hard to make the show and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and of the platform and spotlight we’ve been able to offer to some of Australia’s best musicians, creatives and funny people.
Given the success of the first season did you feel any pressure working on the sequel?
I just wanted to build on our existing audience. I felt that we had established a strong brand and that Australian audiences agree that we need a home for locally produced music/art/comedy.
It’s hard to feel pressure when we have literally NO competition – we are filling such an obvious hole in Aussie tv programming. I felt personal pressure as a creative person – I just wanted to make a show that I would want to watch.
Was there anything you did differently compared to the first season?
We planned out our filming a little better – making sure we filmed multiple things in a day and got the most use out of our time and crew, rather than dragging the filming out over longer than necessary. In Season 1 I would get an idea for a skit and then film it, whereas this time, I’d save up my ideas til I had enough for a solid day of filming. This time we also got a microphone sponsorship from Rode which helped lift our audio quality and provide consistency in sound.
Our roll-out of the content was handled differently this time as well. Instead of filming, editing and sequencing over the course of a year and then releasing a half hour episode every 2 weeks and trying to convince people to press play on a 30 min youtube video of a show they’ve never heard of, this time we released small portions of the show weekly. A music performance one week, a comedy skit the next. We compiled them all into 7 x half hour episodes at the end. It was a way to get the word of the show out on a weekly basis and build our audience steadily whilst keeping the content fresh and relevant.
In the first season you had a collection of artists doing things they are less known for, what kind of segments do you have this time round?
We’re still rocking this format – I find that the audience really enjoy watching musicians act. This is how each episode starts – you’ll see people like me, Dan Kelly, Adalita, Jen Cloher, Kira Puru and more in comedic acting roles. We also have musicians writing cartoon concepts (Peter Black – The Hard-Ons) and scoring them as well (Red Ghost, Alex MacRae – Sons of Rico). We have Laura Jean performing the role of a lifestyle tv host this time, providing surprisingly useful and insightful thoughts and advice.
The show also has interviews and performances from some of your favourite bands, can you shed some light on who will be featured?
Sure can! You’ll see excellent performances and entertainingly awkward interviews with bands including Camp Cope, Mere Women, Witch Hats, The Laurels, GL, Pikelet and more. Check the list of guests here!
Was it hard to round all the guests up for the shows?
It wasn’t hard to find people willing to be on the show, people are really enthusiastic about the show. However, we did most of our music filming on Mondays and Tuesdays as that was when venues are closed during the day. Most musos have day jobs, so we ran into a few situations where bands were super keen to be on the show but just couldn’t make it work with the timing. My dream would be to have our own dedicated studio decked out with backline equipment so we could offer a bit more flexibility, consistency of sound and painlessness for bands.
Are there any plans to release a compilation album of the music featured on the show?
Nah, it’d probably be a nightmare to get all the bands to sign off on it and no doubt would be expensive as a few of them have publishing deals. Enjoy it online in visual form as it was intended to be seen/heard!
Will there be a third season of Amateur Hour?
This is to be determined. Unless we get picked up by a broadcaster, it’s unlikely. It’s a full-time job and is not sustainable at this point. I was paid a self-assigned producer wage of about $2,500 of a $50,000 budget for this season which is kind of insane even for someone as enthusiastic as myself.
Do you have any musical releases in the works at the moment?
Not yet but I have a songwriting residency lined up for September/October at Bundanon, NSW and some recording $$ waiting to be cashed in so hopefully next year I will release another album.
Now that the second season is complete, what do you plan on doing next?
Having a bit of a rest before I stage my next “You’re Lookin’ At Country” gender bender drag show (Sept 3 at The Gaso – more info to come) and then writing my next album 🙂
All seven episodes can be viewed at the Amature Hour website!