Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Wilhelm Scream

I've been aware of this for a long time but never managed to actually pin-point one. Nobody has ever said "There it is. Thats a Wilhem scream". Until today.

Okay. Some basic history. The Wilhelm scream is a stock sound effect first used in 1951 for the movie 'Distant Drums'. It's been featured in shed loads of hollwood movies since and was rediscovered by Ben Burtt for the Star Wars movies and who tracked down the original recording. Although
'Distant Drums' was the first known use of the sound, Burtt named it after "Pvt. Wilhelm", a minor character who emitted the same scream in the 1953 pic 'The Charge at Feather River'. Andy (now Anna) Robinson put me on to this back in my college days. FoxyTallChick put me on to this YouTube special today while we should have been working.

Now I know it, I guess I'll hear it all over the place and it's as ubiquitous as the likes of anything on 'BBC Sound Effects 1', the 'Universal Telephone Ring' or looking for Alan Smithee and fake shemps.

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