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Bohemian Rhapsody Screening and Sound Mixing Panel


Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in Twentieth Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody. (Photo by Alex Bailey).
Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in Twentieth Century Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody. (Photo by Alex Bailey).
Fox Studios showed Bohemian Rhapsody at the Blakely Theater on Saturday, Dec. 15. The Golden Globe Awards have short-listed the film for the best motion picture – drama.

A panel moderated by Below the Line senior writer, Mary Ann Skweres, followed the screening. The discussion with Award-winning re-recording mixer, Paul Massey (Walk the Line, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) explored the challenges posed by recreating the life of music legend, Freddie Mercury and the rise of iconic British band, Queen.

Massey shared his techniques to authentically build the soundscape for the film’s musical sequences and concerts, such as the Wimbley Stadium Live Aid performance with its crowd of over 100,000, an undertaking of massive scope.

Because the music and singing needed to be perfect to engage Queen fans, the music, and in particular the recreation of Freddy Mercury’s voice, were areas that needed particular finesse in the re-recording of the audio. Massey explained how the voices of three different singers were used to achieve that goal.

Also covered was the decision to forgo score, instead using the band’s songs as underscore in the majority of the film. Technical aspects of the mix that allowed the film to be screened in IMAX and Dolby Atmos were discussed.

Screening audience members, largely from the sound community, participated in a Q & A after the panel, delving even deeper into the methods used to craft the audio, an important element in achieving the film’s the box office success as the highest grossing biopic in global history.

Visit Below the Line later this week for an in-depth contender article on re-recording mixer, Paul Massey, and his contributions to the soundtrack of Bohemian Rhapsody.

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