bohemian rhapsody editing

By now you’ve likely seen the viral Bohemian Rhapsody clip that’s been making the rounds. The one in which Queen meets with future manager John Reid for the first time, and the camera angles keep cutting wildly for no apparent reason. When Bohemian Rhapsody picked up an Oscar for Best Editing, the scene in question exploded across the internet, as proof there was no way in hell a movie edited like this should’ve won such an accolade. It turns out the film’s editor, John Ottman, isn’t happy about the scene, either. So much so that seeing it makes him want to put a bag over his head (a direct quote, folks).

If you haven’t seen the clip in question, have a gander:

And if, for some reason, you’re not sure why this is a badly edited clip, this video does a good job of breaking it all down.

John Ottman has been editing films for years, and he is generally excellent at his job. But Bohemian Rhapsody is a mess, and while Ottman doesn’t seem ready to blow off the entire film that won him an Oscar, he is willing to admit this one particular scene looks terrible. While speaking with Ottman, an interviewer with The The Washington Post brought up the viral clip, and asked Ottman if he was aware if its notoriety. “Oh, my God! Wow,” Ottman responded. “I didn’t know about that, but I know why that’s out there.” The Post then went on to provide some background into the scene:

It was one of the scenes shot by [Dexter] Fletcher in the post-[Bryan] Singer home stretch. Fletcher mostly picked up Freddie’s relationship moments, along with the origination of “We Will Rock You” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” But the story line also got reordered a bit, and dialogue in the original meeting between the band and manager John Reid no longer made sense.

So Fletcher shot the one that takes place outside a London pub.

Ottman was under pressure to make the film’s first act move swiftly, but test audiences never got bored and actually wanted more of the band’s early days. So he went back and slowed those scenes down and let them breathe more — but he didn’t have time to do so with that meeting.

“Whenever I see it, I want to put a bag over my head,” Ottman said of the scene. “Because that’s not my aesthetic. If there’s ever an extended version of the film where I can put a couple scenes back, I will recut that scene!”

I sympathize with Ottman here, but please, don’t give anyone any ideas about releasing an extended cut of Bohemian Rhapsody. There’s enough of it already.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: