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Hollywood, will you PLEASE retire the Wilhelm scream!?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by John_Berger, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Jim Barg

    Jim Barg Second Unit

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    Seeing as how Family Guy's humor is built on the random use of pop culture, this instance is fine. (Got a huge chuckle out of me when I heard it.)
     
  2. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    That compilation is absolutely hysterical! It reminds me of an old gag about the British tv production company ITC (run by Lew Grade). They had a bunch of stock shots that productions could use. They included an owl (for night-time atmospheric shots) and best of all two sequences of cars going over a cliff into a quarry. One was a white Jaguar that somersaulted and disintegrated, and the other a red Jag that folded itself neatly in two on impact. Writers on the shows (like The Champions, The Saint, The Persuaders, My Partner The Ghost etc.) used to compete to see who could write the cars into their stories, and they used to double vehicles of any make (including, allegedly, a van).

    Maybe Wilhelm is a bit overused, but I'd miss him. There are a lot more recognisable sound effects used in movies, and to be honest I'd be worried if the inclusion of a specific sound effect spoiled my enjoyment of a movie.
     
  3. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

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    I'm trying to figure out how you'd phoeneticize the Wilhelm.

    "ahAHHum!" maybe?
     
  4. Jason Walstrom

    Jason Walstrom Supporting Actor

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    I love the scream. Now for a sound effect that needs to go away forever? it would have to be the - - "Car horn coming then going" - - sound effect that is almost in every modern day movie that takes place in a city. Is it a sound we hear everyday in a big city? yes and no. we hear honks yes but to hear a car speeding by holding it's horn down all the time. this sound effect annoys me to no end lol.
     
  5. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I think it was used in CSI:Miami last night or at least in the promo for it.
     
  6. Ian_H

    Ian_H Supporting Actor

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    Well the whole episode of Family Guy was referencing many movies so it was kind of appropriate.

    --Ian
     
  7. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    It does annoy me that they slapped this scream unto a falling elf in TTT - thus robbing these baddasses of some of their kewlness.

    I love the scream though.

    --
    H
     
  8. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Aw to hell with all this, LONG LIVE WILHELM!!!!![​IMG] [​IMG]

    ...anyway...one of the links (of the ones that still work after three years that is) states that Wilhelm came from:

    ...but I swear that is was used in the original 1933 King Kong, I haven't seen KK for many years (purposefully anticipating the DVD release....and still going....) but even back in the 80's when I first noticed old Willy thanks to VHS I still remember it being in KK.....if anyone has a copy of KK I suggest you watch it and keep an ear out for it.

    Now I admit that in all likelihood I am probably wrong and it is just a similar scream but until the DVD comes out I will not be able to confirm nor contract this notion.
     
  9. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Cinematographer

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    That "KING KONG" scream isn't the Wilhelm, but it did become a stock sound effect in several subsequent RKO films (possibly into the 1940s). I'm not sure if it ever had a special name (like "Wilhelm").

    Fay Wray's screaming in KING KONG was also used several times in later RKO films (for when other actresses needed to scream, but didn't have the pipes for it).

    I'm for the continued use of the Wilhelm. Long may it shriek! [​IMG]
     
  10. JoshB

    JoshB Supporting Actor

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    I just saw Kingdom of Heaven, and wouldn't you know it, it was used during the Seige of Jerusalem when

    a Muslim seige tower is hit by a catapult projectile
     
  11. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    I thought you were all talking about a certain scream, then when I watched the video I find out its not what I was thinking of at all! I think the one I was thinking of comes at the end of Broken Arrow when Howie Long falls. Its used a lot.

    There's also a door opening sound that is ubiquitous. It sort of sounds like an airlock or something.
     
  12. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Far more persistent than the Wilhelm cries of today were the studio-specific sound effects of classic films... you could always tell, with your eyes closed, that it was a 30's Universal Film the moment you heard the wind blowing outside (which sounded not even remotely like any real wind you've ever heard). Other studios had thunderclaps that were different from any others, etc. etc. I enjoy them as all part of the fun. Wilhelm doesn't bother me, other than when I muse how unlikely it is that anyone would have the time or inclination to emit one in the split second before death.
     
  13. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Screenwriter

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    Re: Doom sound

    It's been awhile since I played it but the one I hear is the scream / growl from the creatures that shoot fireballs from the midsection. At least I think that is what it is because that is the first image that pops into my head every time I hear it.

    Chuck Anstey
     
  14. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    1) I have read several interviews with Burtt where he referred to this scream as his personal "calling card" - one he specifically tries to work into any film he works on as a designer or supervisor.

    As a result it has become a bit of an "in joke" with several FX editors and is reused in other films as well. To be honest, on several occassions I have wished the places I work had a licensed copy of it, so I could slip it into one of the shows I work on.

    2) The Hydrolic door noise mentioned from Doom actually comes from a commercial sound FX collection, I believe it is from one of the Hollywood Edge discs- and it certainly predates Doom2. I also remember hearing it on X-com and several other games of that era. It, of course, is still used in commericals to this day--- as well as countless DVD menus like the original X-men disc.

    3) The term "foley" referrs to a specific kind of sound effect: Sync sounds recorded to picture, usually consisting of feet and cloth (called "rustle on the East coast). By definition, if you hear a sound being reused in multiple pictures, it is not foley as it was not recorded to picture. Instead this is referred to as simply FX or "hard fx."


    I think you'd be surprised at how few "good" sound FX there are in the world. Despite having access to a library with about 4 million files, I find myself reusing the same hundred or so, as they are the only ones which consistantly "work." You start to notice how much some subtle issues in a particular sound effect simply don't work for the majority of situations... it's actually an interesting issue you discover when you start having to cut FX everyday!

    -v
     
  15. doug zdanivsky

    doug zdanivsky Supporting Actor

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    Can sombody post a site with the soundbit so I can download it and see if it's the one I'm thinking of?

    I don't recall hearing it in any of the Lord of the Ring movies, but the others mentioned I do..
     
  16. Dave Kalloch

    Dave Kalloch Stunt Coordinator

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  17. doug zdanivsky

    doug zdanivsky Supporting Actor

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    Yup.. That's the one..

    Definately needs to be retired..

    But I'd not so far as to say it takes me out of a movie, having heard it..
     
  18. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  19. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Has anyone ID'd the Wilhelm in ROTS yet?
     
  20. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Lately I've been hearing that stupid "hawk/bird screech" a shitload. I bet I heard it 5-6 different times in the last 2 days. THAT'S the sound FX I would love to never hear again.

    I've spent lots of time in the woods/wilderness and have NEVER heard that freaking sound. Crickets, general birds chirping, fine. But when I heard it while watching Hoosiers the other day I felt pretty certain that in all my time spent on an Indiana farm I'd never heard it.

    It actually kinda made me mad.
     

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