Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Dramatic finish to Belfast's Killing Bono movie

Killing time: Ben Barnes, star of Killing Bono, on set last night in Belfast's Library Street as shooting of the rock comedy draws to an end around the city centre
Caitlin McCormack, who works in Frames Bar, looks at the poster for Killing Bono
SAN FRANCISCO - : (UK NEWSPAPERS OUT WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT FROM DAVE HOGAN. PLEASE CONTACT SALES TEAM WITH ENQUIRIES) Singer Liam Gallagher (L) and brother Noel Gallagher of band Oasis perform on stage in San Francisco supporting U2. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Noel Gallagher;Liam Gallagher

The sounds of car crashing and classic U2 tunes reverberated around Belfast city centre last night — as the final scenes of the movie Killing Bono were shot in Belfast.

With Joshua Tree LP adverts, retro wear and vintage cars, Royal Avenue, Library Street and Little Donegall Street were made over to look like 1980s Dublin.

During almost six hours of filming, the Belfast crew captured what one insider described as “the biggest scene in the film”.

Filming of the story, set around the formative school years of the Dublin supergroup, whose hits include I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, has been taking place across Belfast for weeks.

It tells the story from the point of view of the less successful rival band which a classmate of Bono’s, Neil McCormick and his brother, set up in the late 1970s.

At around 11pm last night the film's main character McCormick, played by Ben Barnes, was filmed racing to the Frames Complex in search of Bono.

Unfortunately he doesn't make it, instead smashing into a parked car outside the venue.

Location manager Andrew Wilson described last night's filming as “action-packed”.

He said: “These scenes make up the penultimate scenes of the film.

“They are crucial to the overall theme and are very exciting. We are, as you can see, taking over much of Royal Avenue.”

The Bono character was sadly nowhere to be seen, but that didn't discourage onlookers who lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the actors.

Described as a low budget film, Killing Bono is the latest in an increasingly long line of film productions to hit the streets of the Belfast.

Mr Wilson described the film industry here as “booming”.

He said: “Northern Ireland is popular because crews can be within pretty much anywhere within an hour. That means they can move from a city to the country in that short space of time.

“When time is money — as it is within the film industry — that becomes hugely important. Film crews can fly into Belfast and be on the Antrim Coast in under an hour. There is a huge amount of money to be made in the industry here — thankfully the Northern Ireland film industry has never been stronger.”

Killing Bono wraps on Saturday morning and its expected release date is later in the summer.

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