Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I've heard that somewhere before

There is one sound effect in movies that is the most highly regarded of all. And you have surely heard it.

The Wilhelm scream was first introduced in 1951, for a Gary Cooper film called Distant Drums. Then in 1953 the same scream was used in another film, The Charge At Feather River. A character named Wilhelm is the one whose mouth the effect comes out of this time.

The sound editors at Warner Brothers liked this particular scream enough that they started inserting it into more films.

Ben Bert, sound effects designer, decided he liked the effect to the point he started putting it in all films he worked on. It became a sort of signature. Films Bert has inserted the scream into include every Star Wars film and every Indians Jones film.

Other editors started putting the scream into films, as an inside joke.

"This was always something so below the radar that no one noticed other than the people who already knew." -Director Joe Dante

Just some of the films that contain the scream include:

A Star Is Born (1954)

The Wild Bunch (1969)

Poltergeist (1982)

Spaceballs (1987)

Beauty And The Beast (1991)

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Toy Story (1995)

The Fifth Element (1997)

Spider-man (2002)

The Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003)

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgandy (2004)

King Kong (2005)

Juno (2007)

Tropic Thunder (2008)

(source: hollywoodlostandfound)

The verified list is now around 150 films.

Nobody knows the identity of the voice behind the Wilhelm Scream.

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