Location Hertfordshire, England, November 10, 1975. On this date, the rock band Queen recorded the video for Bohemian Rhapsody, at Elstree Studios, in just under 4 hours.
Editor Barry Stevens then spent 5 hours working at the Trilion Studios in Soho, alongside director, Bruce Gowers, to create what is undoubtedly the most influential music video of the 20th century. Running 2 inch Quad tape machines in sync, through a vision mixer, Barry worked with tools primitive compared to today’s technology, and produced magnificent results in a very short amount of time.
In the words of Barry Stevens: “we had to get a move on ‘cause they were waiting to send it to Top of the Pops.”
This piece documents what went on in the editing room and provides insight into that moment in video history, when one music video promo changed filmmaking forever.
A huge thanks to Queen Management Limited, QPL, for making it possible for this film to be shown and thanks to Barry Stevens for telling his story. May this serve as a document of inspiration for independent filmmakers and Queen fans everywhere.
Barry Stevens Bio.
Barry edited, with a razorblades, the Monty Python Pilot in 1969. This was was used as the first episode.
Enticed into Soho, he established the reputations of TVi, Trillion, The Palace, Arena, and was featured in the top 10 London editors by Televisual Magazine. He edited “200 Motels” in 12 days with Frank Zappa on 2” Editec at Tvi in London. Also the Dr Who episodes “Dinosaurs in London” circa 1973, and many other BBC dramas and music programmes.
Barry has professionally operated every Post Production editing device that has been invented (apart from CMX).
In the mid 70’s he edited a major part of Top of the Pops independent video content, the most famous being Queens’ “Bohemian Rhapsody”, also promos for Cliff Richard, Leo Sayer,10CC,Yes,Mike Oldfield, David Essex, Boomtown Rats, Don Mclean, Sheena Easton, Susie Quattro, Siouxsie &the Banshees, the Clash’s first punk offering, Paul Mcartney,and the UK’s first VCR available in shops – “Electric Light Orchestra” at Wembley (now available on DVD).
1981 brought Royal patronage, in the form of Prince Charles & Princess Diana’s wedding album for ITN. (otherwise he does not do weddings!)
From 1982-85 Barry edited 22 hrs of Brent Walker “Gilbert & Sullivan “ operettas which the BBC wore out over the next decade.
In 1991 Avid Technology was anxious to extend the sales of Media Composers beyond the current 5 machines in the UK. From then (as Freelance Chief Editor Avid UK) to date, Barry has evangelised, demoed ,trained, and produced output fromAvid Post Production Software.
Barry continues to work as a freelance editor.