Killing Bono

Killing Bono : Behind the Scenes Photographs

3 mins read
3 mins read

It isn’t every day you get to take photographs of famous actors on a real life film set but in a unique twist of fate I had the opportunity to take photos on the set of music comedy Killing Bono. This chance occurrence didn’t arrive due to my photographic ability but the fact we were approached to be used as a set for a number of scenes.

The production company hope the film will be in cinemas later this year and it promises to be brilliant. Killing Bono is the american title of the book “I was Bono’s Doppleganger” by Neil McCormick currently the Daily Telegraphs rock critic. The tagline of the book says it all Some are born great. Some achieve greatness. Some have greatness thrust upon them. And some have the misfortune to go to school with Bono.

Robert Sheehan

Killing Bono

Killing Bono tells the story of the author, (Neil McCormick) a young punk in Dublin in the 1970s, whose ambitions went way beyond mere pop stardom. It was his destiny to be a veritable Rock God. He had it all worked out: the albums, the concerts, the quest for world peace. There was only one thing he hadn’t counted on. The boy sitting on the other side of the classroom had plans of his own. The problem he faced was sharing the same class as Bono.

As Bono and his band U2 ascended to global superstardom, his school friend Neil scorched a burning path in quite the opposite direction.

Featuring guest appearances by the Pope, Bob Dylan, and a galaxy of stars, Killing Bono offers an extremely funny, startlingly candid, and strangely moving account of a life lived in the shadows of superstardom.

Being on the set of Killing Bono was a phenomenal experience and the hours of preparation and set up where an education at the very least. It was weird to meet some the biggest names in the film industry over the course of a weekend.

Local, film legend Mark Huffam (he produced Saving Private Ryan) is producing the film with Nick Hamm (Godsend) directing what promises to be one of the best musical comedies of this decade. Nick has a palpable dedication to this film and he is clearly determined to making it into an epic. His thoroughness to every second is stunning, he is focused and speaks his mind to the value of the film.

I, like many of the extras we were looking after gained a newfound and worthy respect for those who work in the film industry and it can only been considered a privilege to have been involved in the Killing Bono film even in such a small way.

Killing Bono

This is the only photo I can post at this stage but I have a number of photos of Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan the Young U2 etc in the pipeline once the production company has granted permission to post them.

A cold Saturday at 5am and the final scenes of Killing Bono were captured in Belfast. I certainly didn’t have any official photography role and I am indebted to the various production companies for letting me shoot the scenes in which we were involved.

This is the last photo of the shoot I am putting on site until the film is release sometime early 2011. I haven’t included any of the Young U2 and they are under embargo but I can assure you as a U2 fan in the early days the characters are utterly convincing.

Neil McCormick

Based on Neil McCormick’s cult book I Was Bono’s Doppelganger and written by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais (The Commitments), ‘Killing Bono‘ is a rock n’ roll comedy about two Irish brothers struggling to forge their path through the 1980’s music scene…

Whilst the meteoric rise to fame of their old school pals U2 only serves to cast them deeper into the shadows. The film is directed by Nick Hamm whose credits include Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel & Lawrence, as well as The Hole and Godsend.

Killing Bono promises to be a rival to The Commitments and High Fidelity, a comedy biopic that every self respecting music fan has to at least see once.

A massive thanks to Nick, Mark and the production team for giving me permission to explore film photography.

Killing Bono The Release

Over a year later Killing Bono having been shot in possibly the coldest January on record hits the big screen. It was a unique experience seeing Wallace transformed into a film set, scores of crew and hundreds of extras filled the prep hall on day one of filming.

Now the film is out I thought I would publish a few of the behind the scene photos I managed to grab between takes. Over 150 pupils took part in the filming process and many have spotted themselves in the final film.

Killing Bono – The Movie


David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.


  1. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the pics on the set. Please post them as soon as you had the go signal from the production team. I haven’t read the book but I’m gonna grab one now. The tagline you mentioned in the book was hilarious!

  2. Thanks for this little peek! I have been following this production for a while now and am excited to see it finally taking shape. Neil McCormick’s book is a funny and sometimes heart-breaking story. Can’t wait to see how it plays out on film (and whether or not it will still be recognizable as his book Killing Bono.)

  3. Thanks for sharing, David. Very interesting. They have been filming more and more movies in the Portland (OR) area – it can be very surreal when you see your hometown pretending to be somewhere else on the big screen. For me, it was the opening of Twilight. When Bella and her father are driving through downtown Forks, WA … they are really driving through Vernonia, OR.

    All the best,


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