Exclusive video: How Queen upped the authenticity in one key 'Bohemian Rhapsody' scene

Brian Truitt

Much care was taken in redoing the 1985 Live Aid set for the Oscar-nominated Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," but original members Brian May and Roger Taylor were integral in adding authenticity to another key scene.

In an exclusive video from the special features of “Rhapsody” (on digital HD platforms now, Blu-ray/DVD Feb. 12), production designer Aaron Haye takes viewers around the set of a re-created  Rockfield Studios, the converted Welsh farmhouse where Queen recorded its epic hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” in 1975.

Haye’s team researched the color of the wall panels and artwork that hung in the studio to match the space where Freddie Mercury (played by Rami Malek) and Queen recorded. They also borrowed effects pedals and amplifiers that the band used for the song, as well as a Taylor drum kit and May guitar.

Queen singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek, far left) futzes with the knobs of a studio mixing desk in "Bohemian Rhapsody."

“The fans will see some things which we couldn’t reproduce but there’s an awful lot of real faithful reproduction – more than you would possibly imagine,” says May, an executive music producer on the film (which scored five Oscar nods Tuesday, including best picture and best actor for Malek). 

There were some liberties taken, however. Haye reveals that the “very sci-fi” mixing desk in the movie was inspired by one Queen recorded on later, and filmmakers designed their control room around that desk, which was made from scratch.

And for those who want to record a little Queen themselves, the band is celebrating Mercury’s legacy on Wednesday with a "Day of Ay-Oh” and encouraging fans to share videos of themselves on social media singing the frontman’s famous audience callback. (Feeling a little Freddie and have an Amazon Alexa? Call out, “Alexa, play Ay-Oh live!” and she’ll mimic it back to you.)