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February 2nd, 2012

The Wilhelm Scream

The Wilhelm Scream is a sound that has been used in myriad movies since the 1950s… including some you’ve almost certainly seen.

Like you, perhaps, I hadn’t heard of the thing before a few days ago. But then I came across this video.

Amazing, right?

There’s also this 2005 WWW page which goes into further detail.

A few years later, when Ben Burtt was hired to create sound effects for Star Wars (1977), he had an opportunity to do research at the sound departments of several movie studios. While at Warner Bros. looking for sound elements to use in the space adventure, he found the original “Distant Drums” scream – which he called “Wilhelm” after the character that let out the scream in “Charge at Feather River.”

Ben adopted the scream as a kind of personal sound signature, and included it in all the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” films, and many of the other films he has worked on including “More American Graffiti” (1979) and “Willow” (1988).

Fascinating stuff! AAAAAAH!

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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