The company behind a major film production which saw the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin closed for almost 24 hours on Sunday has claimed it was making a video for “an up and coming band” by the name of Summer Nights.
For much of yesterday afternoon large articulated lorries carrying lighting equipment and rigging lined the south quays - and some of the smaller roads leading to the bridge. A marquee was also erected on the bridge itself, while a significant private security presence, watched over by at least two Garda patrol cars, pointed to a large scale operation taking place.
Even the Dublin City Council traffic camera on the bridge was shut off for the duration of the filming. It was the only one of more than 50 such cameras which was not working yesterday, suggesting a degree of secrecy which was somewhat unusual.
Pull The Trigger, a video production company based in Dublin's Portobello was responsible for the shoot but a tight-lipped spokeswoman refused to give any details about what might have been happening on the bridge yesterday.
"All I can tell you is that it was a music video for an up and coming band called Summer Nights," she said. Subsequent Google searches for Summer Nights returned no matches other than links to the Olivia Newton John and John Travolta duet from the 1970s film Grease.
Pull The Trigger is used to working with more established acts and has some experience making music videos in Dublin. The company was heavily involved in shooting The Sweetest Thing video for U2 in Fitzwilliam Square in 1998.
A portion of the Summer Nights shoot also took place near the Pepper Canister Church in Dublin 2. A clapboard seen at that location identified the director of the music video as Mark Romanek, who wrote and directed the 2002 film One Hour Photo starring Robin Williams.
Some of his most notable music videos include Johnny Cash's Hurt, Michael And Janet Jackson's Scream and Madonna's Bedtime Story.
More recently he shot a video for the U2 song Invisible.
Dublin City Council was almost as taciturn as Pull The Trigger this afternoon and did not shed any light on the mysterious ways in which a major bridge across the city came to be shut down on a busy All-Ireland Sunday
All it would say was that it had agreed to the closure of the bridge “following a request from a film production company”. A spokesman said the production company required a confidential set and Dublin City Council agreed to this. He said the Council had a “policy of facilitating filming requests as part of its strategy to promote the city”.
The council spokesman also told the Irish Times that the company had paid €8,241 to have the bridge shut.
Even the Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke was stumped. “I tried to cross the bridge myself on the way back from a Bonnie Baby competition on Sherriff Street when I was blocked. I thought it was for maintenance or something, but then I heard a rumour that it was a video for Bono or something. But I don’t know – no official has told me anything and I am the Lord Mayor.”
Rumours that the video was actually being shot for U2 - and not the mysterious Summer Nights - remain unconfirmed although sources close to the band, who are about to release their 13th studio album, said none of them were in the country yesterday.