Thursday 25 April 2019

'Whenever I see it, I want to put a bag over my head' - Bohemian Rhapsody Oscar-winning editor responds to meme mocking editing

Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, and Gwilym Lee in Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, and Gwilym Lee in Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Among the four Oscars earned by Bohemian Rhapsody was Best Editing, but in the hours after the announcement a short, frantically-edited clip from the movie went viral as people mocked the win.

The clip shows the first meeting between the band and manager John Reid (Aidan Gillen) and it's fair to say the editing is a little jarring as it flits from one close up to another when the characters speak. 

Some people suggested it should have won for 'most editing' rather than 'best editing'.

Film editor John Ottman told The Washington Post that he had not realised the meme existed, but he understood why it does.

"Whenever I see it, I want to put a bag over my head," he said. "Because that's not my aesthetic."

The biopic had a troubled journey to the big screen with director Bryan Singer departing and being replaced by Dexter Fletcher during the shoot.

Ottman explained that Fletcher shot that particular scene.  When Fletcher took over, the storyline changed slightly, and the dialogue in the original scene did not make sense and had to be reshot.

Early test audiences wanted to see more of the band's origins so Ottman reveals he went back and extended some of those scenes, except this one, which he didn't have time to tackle.

"If there's ever an extended version of the film where I can put a couple scenes back, I will recut that scene!" he told the Washington Post.

Ottman also spoke about the challenge of cutting the Live Aid scenes at the end of the movie from 25 to 13 minutes.

"No matter how good the film was up to that point, if Live Aid didn't work, the entire film would collapse and be a downer," he said.

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