'Bohemian Rhapsody' editor reacts to backlash over Oscar win

Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody (Credit: Fox)
Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody (Credit: Fox)

In some corners of the editing world, the fact that Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody won the Oscar for Best Editing raised a few eye-brows.

Since that fateful evening, videos have popped up online ripping the film’s editing to shreds, notably one scene in particular.

The first meeting in a pub by the Thames between Aidan Gillen’s manager John Reid and the band has come under particular scrutiny for its frenetic cuts.

However, it’s since emerged that the film’s editor, John Ottman, was dealing with some difficult decisions at the time, not least being that original director Bryan Singer was fired three weeks from the movie’s completion.

According to The Washington Post, the scene was one of the few filmed by Dexter Fletcher, but thanks to other re-ordering of the storyline, dialogue in the scene no longer made sense as part of the greater film.

Ottman was also said to have been stuck between having a fast-paced first act, and also being asked to show more of the early days of band, thanks to feedback from early test audiences.

Aiden Gillen as John Reid (Credit: Fox)
Aiden Gillen as John Reid (Credit: Fox)

As such, he says that he did not have time left to slow the pub scene down.

“Oh my God! Wow. I didn’t know about that, but I know why that’s out there,” Ottman told The Washington Post.

“Whenever I see [the scene], I want to put a bag over my head. 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!”

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Other editors have since come out in defence of Ottman, after the take-down videos were posted online.

Paul Hirsch, who edited the first Star Wars movie, told The Post that he believes Bohemian Rhapsody to have been ‘beautifully edited’.

Editor Russ Fischer added on Twitter: