The Eddies have a long track record of predicting the Best Editing winner at the Academy Awards. Twenty-one of the past 28 ACE winners for best edited dramatic film and 10 of the past 14 have gone on to score the Oscar, including last year, when Lee Smith won for Dunkirk.
Who gets the credit? Mom and Dad. Ottman waved to his 85-year-old mother in the audience from the stage, and said his Oscar would go on his parents’ mantel “because they encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do as a kid.”
And as a shout-out to Freddie Mercury, he quoted Eddie’s parents from the film: “Good thoughts, good words, good deeds.”
Ottman holds dual distinctions as film composer and film editor. He often has served in both roles on the same movie. He performed double duty on such films as The Usual Suspects, X-Men 2, Superman Returns, Valkyrie and Jack the Giant Killer. He has also held producer roles on several of these films, as well as directing, editing and scoring Urban Legends 2.
Backstage, Ottman said the Wembly Stadium Live Aid finale was the first part of the movie shot and it was a section of the film that Ottman calls “The Death Star sequence. If it didn’t work, the whole film would collapse. I tinkered on that for a year, it kept me up at night,” said the editor, who has worked with director Bryan Singer from the beginning of their careers.
No vintage footage was used from the real concert, rather there were 1,000 Oscars on their biggest day of shooting. Ottman explained there scanned “people doing different gyrations of each song. It was all original footage.”
Following Singer’s firing, Ottman worked with the producers to hammer an impressive first cut, before Dexter Fletcher stepped in to finish a handful of scenes. Fox was so blown away with Ottman’s first cut they moved Bohemian Rhapsody from its Christmas Day opening to the first weekend of November.
The spoils have been through the roof: $860 million-plus at the worldwide box office.
Here is Ottman backstage:
Anthony D’Alessandro contributed to this report.