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Bloviating Zeppelin: The Wilhelm Scream

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Wilhelm Scream

The so-called "Wilhelm Scream" is, these days, a recorded scream that started in Hollywood and is now heard literally 'round the world.

First used in the 1951 film "Distant Drums," it has been applied so much as a stock effect that it has its own Cult Following by Hollywood sound designers. It is the most "inside" of inside jokes, if you're a director, producer or "in the industry."

From Wikipedia:

The sound is named for Private Wilhelm, a character in The Charge at Feather River, a 1953 western in which the character is shot with an arrow. This was believed to be the third movie to use the sound effect and its first use from the Warner Brothers stock sound library.[3]

This video should shed some light on the Wilhelm Scream, its application and results. Listen closely: sometimes the sound effect is fleeting (but still present). Homage, indeed:

As you can see from the above video, the Wilhelm Scream has been immured and honored by some of the finest filmmakers of our time, from the 50s to today. A bit more of its history:

Unfortunately, because the Wilhelm Scream was discovered and is no longer quite the total "Inside Joke," it's not so much fun anymore for various sound designers.

And now you know: "the rest of the story."


Thanks to Erotavius for the "heads-up."


Blogger Well Seasoned Fool said...

can we hope to hear the Obama scream as the votes come in?

Sat Oct 22, 07:37:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

WSF: would that not be fabulous?

On the other hand, I really enjoy being "inside baseball" on any number of topics -- things that other people don't cover. . . !


Sat Oct 22, 07:41:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Old NFO said...

LOL, interesting piece of history :-)

Sun Oct 23, 04:30:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Thanks NFO!


Sun Oct 23, 06:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Tom King said...

One of my favorites is the one that crops up in Disney cartoons - often Goofy does it, but it also appears elsewhere. It's a kind of comedy scream. I'd be curious where that one came from.

Wed Oct 26, 02:58:00 PM PDT  

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