Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar: Filming ‘The Lock Keeper’

Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar: Filming ‘The Lock Keeper’

As is the case with most of my projects, the ‘Lock Keeper’ video started its life via a conversation on messenger.

I was already on board with Greg and Ciaran’s Utopia And Wasteland project when Greg contacted me about the kickstarter campaign they were running to support the new album.  We’d talked about potential dates for doing some promo photography and making a video; Greg wondered if we could offer pledgers the opportunity to be involved in the making of the video.

“What about actually putting them in the video?” I suggested.

We kicked around a couple of ideas.  Initially our thinking was just to have people in the audience during a performance, but then we came up with the idea of them doing some kind of ‘judging’.  That led onto the idea of the village talent show auditions…from therein the story-board was pretty much locked in.

It took us a while to find the right venue but we lucked out in the end with a quaint-but-slightly-tacky village hall that looked pretty much exactly as Ciaran and I had visualised that the room should look.  The video was supposed to start with someone performing who was enthusiastic but not very good, however Ciaran’s dad Chris stepped into that role and was actually really good!  Nonetheless he hammed it up a bit and took the fall as the ‘opening act’.

We spared no expense on props for this video, purchasing three clip-boards for the judges at a cost of £3.75.  As well as making them looking like they were making notes, the clip-boards were quite useful for writing their lines on!  The panel (Rob, Michelle and Angie) were completely ace…we did all their parts in one take and we honestly couldn’t have cast better judges!  Helen and John did a great job too as our slightly disengaged audience members.


I wanted the video to ‘look’ different once Greg and Ciaran started performing, so we did that by reducing the ambient light (basically closing curtains) and lighting Greg and Ciaran with three 1K Hedlers.  I needed to leave enough ambient in the room however so that the judges were still visible in the shots looking back from the stage.

As for Greg and Ciaran…well the song and their interpretation of it just sells itself really.  My immediate reaction when I first heard that track was ‘that’s beautiful fellas’ and I’m still enjoying the track now months on from when I first heard it.  The Utopia And Wasteland album is something special…I think it’s the best thing Greg and Ciaran have done so far and I just constantly feel privileged to be able to work with such talented people.  You can buy the album here.

When we’d finished the Lock Keeper recording, Ciaran asked if they could quickly record another song.  We found another corner for them to set up in and I left a single camera recording them while I packed everything from the main shoot away.  The track they were recording turned out to be ‘Seven Hills’…the best track on the album.  A couple of months later I cut in a bunch of their home movies and we had ourselves another video:

This was such a lovely little project to be involved with; I got to spend time with lovely people and I have a real soft spot for the videos that resulted…

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