The original Bohemian Rhapsody video was directed by Bruce Gowers and was filmed by cameraman Barry Dodd and assistant director/floor manager Jim McCutcheon. The video took only four hours to film and cost between £40,000 and £45,000. The director says that the band was involved in the discussion of the video and the end result, and "was a co-operative to that extent, but there was only one leader."
The opening section. Brian May on top, John Deacon (left) and Roger Taylor (right) in middle, and Freddie Mercury at bottom. The video opens with a shot of the four band members in near darkness as they sing the a cappella part. The lights fade up, and the shots cross-fade into close-ups of Freddie. All of the special effects were achieved during the recording. The effect of the face zooming away was accomplished by pointing the camera at a monitor, giving visual feedback, a visual glare, analogous to audio feedback. The honeycomb effect was achieved by using a shaped lens.
Then it fades into them playing their instruments. In the opera section of the video, it goes back to them just standing there, then performing on the stage in the heavy metal part, and in the closing seconds of the video Roger Taylor is depicted stripped to the waist, striking the tam tam in the manner of the trademark of the Rank Organisation's Gongman, familiar in the UK as the opening of all Rank film productions.
The video was edited within five hours because it was due to be broadcast the same week in which it was filmed. It was shipped to the BBC as soon as it was completed and aired for the first time on Top of the Pops in November 1975.
The song enjoyed renewed popularity in 1992 as part of the soundtrack to the film Wayne's World. The film's director, Penelope Spheeris, was hesitant to use the song, as it did not entirely fit with the lead characters, who were fans of harder rock and heavy metal. However, Mike Myers insisted that the song fit the scene.
In connection with this, a new video was released, intercutting excerpts from the film with footage from the original Queen video, along with some live footage of the band. The Wayne's World video version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" won Queen its only MTV Video Music Award for "Best Video from a Film". When surviving members Brian May and Roger Taylor took the stage to accept the award, Brian May was overcome with emotion and said that "Freddie would be tickled".
Myers was horrified that the record company had mixed clips from Wayne's World with Queen's original video, fearing that this would upset the band. He said, "they've just whizzed on a Picasso." He asked the record company to tell Queen that the video was not his idea, and that he apologized to them. The band, though, sent a reply simply saying, "Thank you for using our song." This shocked Myers, who said it should be more like him telling Queen, "Thank you for even letting me touch the hem of your garments!"
The final scene of the video was notable, where a pose of the band from the video from the original "Bohemian Rhapsody" clip "morphs" into an identically-posed 1985 photo, first featured in the "One Vision" video.