The Wilhelm Scream is the Biggest in Horror.

Wilhelm Scream

The Wilhelm Scream is the Biggest in Horror. Fact!

We all know that any horror film would never be complete without the inclusion of the Wilhelm Scream, so where exactly does it stem from.

The History of the Wilhem Scream

The history of the Wilhelm Scream stems back to 1951 where a series of succinct, disturbing screams were recorded by an actor that were to be used in the Warner Brother’s film “Distant Drums,” to sync with the scene where a guy is killed by an alligator and dragged to death under the water. The scream would become one of the most widely adopted foley sounds in cinema history and used on blockbusters that included Star Wars after the historical archives were recovered by Star Wars sound designer Ben Burt who tracked down the audio.

The Wilhelm has now been dubbed the “Star Wars Scream” because it’s you hear it in George Lucas’s Star Wars: A New Hope, during Skywalker’s Death Star shootout when he hits the stormtroopers. You also hear it when Indiana Jones kills the Nazis soldier in Raiders of the Lost Ark in Toy Story when after Buzz plunges from the house window. For such a simplistic sound, it’s amazing that for sixty years, sound guys through the world  have been sampling the Wilhelm Scream in an homage to the sound.

Tarantino uses the Wilhelm in not one, but three of his films, namely  Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Volume 1 and Inglorious Bastards. Even the likes of Peter Jackson uses Wilhelm in every one of the Lord of the Rings Movies, so despite a world of technological advances in audio production, the use of the most basic of foley sounds are making their way onto the big screen.

 

Is this the face of the voice behind the Wilhelm Scream?

 

The voice behind the Wilhelm Scream remains a mystery, but rumours point the finger at Sheb Wooley , an actor and musician better known for his song ‘Purple People Eater’ and a small part actor who was actually in uncredited in Distant Drums, the very historical film where the Wilhelm was first heard.

After finishing the last “Star Wars”film, Burt  announced he would no longer bring out the Wilhelm again! Skywalker Sound houses one of the original Master Wilhelm copies, but with so many audio tracks containing the Wilhelm out in circulation, we all know it will be with us in film for many years to come…  Long live the scream.

The following comiplation is brought to you from CINExcellence and Youtube

Sound designer Steve Lee, who was responsible for placing the Wilhelm Scream in Looney Tunes, Gremlins 2, Batman Returns and Reservoir Dogs was such a huge Wilhelm fan, that he runs a website dedicated to the sound effect. Check out Steve’s site at Hollywood Lost & Found.

Distant Drums (Dec 25, 1951)
Three Indians are shot, one after the other. (4,5,6)
A man is bitten and dragged underwater by an alligator. (5)

Springfield Rifle (Oct 25, 1952)
Sgt. Snow (Guinn Williams) thrusts his sword into a horse rustler. (4)

The Charge at Feather River (Jul 11, 1953)
Wilhelm is struck in the leg by an arrow. (4)
A soldier is hit with a spear. (4)
Chief Thunder Hawk gets stabbed by Archer and rolls down a hill. (4)

The Command (Jan 15, 1954)
An Indian is shot off his horse during an attack on the wagon convoy.

Them! (Jun 16, 1954)
the Wilhelm Scream as giant ants attack the crew of a ship at sea. (1,6,4)
James Whitmore is throttled to death by a giant ant. (4,6)
A soldier is struck by falling debris in the sewer. (5)

A Star is Born (Sep 29, 1954)
While Judy Garland tries to find her way out of a theater during a screening, the Wilhelm Scream is heard in the movie that is playing there (actually Charge at Feather River.) (4)
Someone screams in the rehearsal record of “Somewhere There’s a Someone” that Judy Garland plays for James Mason. (4)

The Sea Chase (Jun 4, 1955)
Schlieter (James Arness) accidentally whacks Winkler (Claude Akins) with an axe. (1)

Land of the Pharaohs (Jun 24, 1955)
The Wilhelm Scream as victims are thrown to alligators. (4)

Helen of Troy (Jan 26, 1956)
During the siege of Troy, a pair of soldiers struggling with each other falls off the battlements. (3)
A couple of minutes later, a Trojan soldier gets stabbed and falls off a landing. (1 & 2)
During the ensuing retreat, a Greek soldier gets speared. (4)

Maverick, Season 2, Episode 6 “Escape to Tampico” (Oct 26, 1958)
the Wilhelm Scream when Maverick throws a Mexican knife wielder through a window.

Maverick, Season 3,  Episode 9  “The Ghost Soldiers” (Nov 8, 1959)
An indian is killed and falls off the walkway at the top of a fort’s pallisade.

Maverick,  Season 3,  Episode 10  “Easy Mark” (Nov 15, 1959)
A man falls from a train.

Maverick, Season 3  Episode 17  “The Cruise of the Cynthia B.” (Jan 10, 1960)
The villain is thrown over the side of a river boat.

Sergeant Rutledge (May 18, 1960)
A rider is speared in the back by an Indian. (4)

PT 109 (Jun 19, 1963)
A crew member of PT-109 screams as a Japanese destroyer smashes through the patrol boat. (4)

Harper  (Feb 23, 1966)
Harper (Paul Newman) strikes Puddler (Roy Jenson) in the head with a rasp. (1)

The Green Berets (Jun 17, 1968)
Enemy soldiers are hit by a launched grenade. “That’s what it’s all about, Mr. Beckworth!” (4)
Two more Wilhelms are heard later in the same night battle.

Impasse (May 7, 1969)
Morrison (Burt Reynolds) and a thug fall to the bottom of some stairs during a fight in a warehouse. (1)
A moment later, Morrison and another thug come crashing down from a balcony. (4)

The Wild Bunch (Jun 18, 1969)
After the opening bank robbery, Buck is shot in the face as he rounds a corner. (4)
A little later, Pike puts Buck out of his misery. (4)

Chisum (Jul 29, 1970)
In the middle of the film, at the river ambush, Jess shoots a wagon driver (1), then shoots Billy the Kid as Billy tries to take the reins of the wagon. (3)

The Scarlet Blade (1974)
The Leader of the Tax Collectors Three gets caught in a tree during a swordfight.

Hollywood Boulevard (Apr 25, 1976)
During the filming of the battle scene, two Wilhelms can be heard as enemy soldiers are shot. (4)

Star Wars (May 25, 1977)
A stormtrooper falls into the chasm before Luke and Leia swing across. (3,4)

The Star Wars Holiday Special (TV, Nov 17, 1978)
A stormtrooper falls over the edge of Chewbacca’s family treehouse. (4)

More American Graffiti (Aug 3, 1979)
the Wilhelm Scream as a man gets tossed over the bar during a barfight. (4)

The Empire Strikes Back (May 21, 1980)
A rebel soldier screams when his laser gun dish is hit and explodes during the Hoth battle. (1)
Chewie knocks a stormtrooper off the platform of the carbon freezing chamber. (4, barely audible)

SP FX: The Empire Strikes Back (Sep 22, 1980)
A film clip from The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms shows a policeman getting chomped by the creature (although it is not in the original film). (4)

The Big Brawl (1980)
Jerry (Jackie Chan) feints toward a thug, who falls off the upstairs railing. (4)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (Jun 12, 1981)
A Nazi soldier is thrown from the back of a truck into the windshield of a jeep. (4)
Another soldier falls from the left side of the truck, ripping the canvas as he falls. (1)

History of the World, Part I (Jun 12, 1981)
Count de Monet (Harvey Korman) treads upon peasants trapped under a red carpet. (2,1)

Swamp Thing (Mar 1982)
The Swamp Thing grabs a thug and tosses him out of his speedboat.

Poltergeist (Jun 4, 1982)
Little Carol Ann watches a soldier killed in a war movie after her mom has changed the channel from just static. (4)

Return of the Jedi (May 25, 1983)
A victim is slashed by Luke’s lightsaber falls and into the Sarlacc pit. Another follows shortly after (less audible). (4)
(ALSO: Ben Burtt imitates a Wilhelm during his cameo in the film when he is knocked over a ledge by Han Solo.)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (May 23, 1984)
While trying to get the vial of antidote, Indy crashes into the nightclub band, and a musician screams. (4)
Indy shoots the driver of Lao-Che’s car. (5)
Mola Ram is eaten by alligators. (4)

From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga (Direct-to-Video, Jun 1, 1985)
A Wilhelm is used in a speeder bike chase animatic. (1)

Explorers (Jul 12, 1985)
Someone is heard screaming during an explosion in the drive-in movie “Starkiller.” (4)

Howard the Duck (Aug 1, 1986)
Howard knocks a duck hunter out of his boat (yelling “Banzai!” just after the Wilhelm). (4)

Nutcracker: The Motion Picture (Nov 26, 1986)

Spaceballs (Jun 24, 1987)
Barf (John Candy) uses a section of tubes to reflect several laser bolts back at guards. The last victim (far right side, hit in the rear) lets out a Wilhelm. (4)

Willow (May 20, 1988)
Soldiers crash their carriage after chasing the heroes. (4)
An soldier is knocked off his horse. (4)
The Brownies manage to trigger a huge spear shooter that hits several enemy soldiers. (4)

The Star Trek Adventure (Universal Studios, CA, 1988)
A crew member on the bridge of the Enterprise falls during the obligatory bridge tilt shot. (4)

Three Fugitives (Jan 27, 1989)
Lucas (Nick Nolte) smashes his van into a bar, sending Charlie (Bruce McGill) flying into a bathroom stall. (4)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (May 24, 1989)
Two Nazis throw grenades at the attacking soldiers, one right after another. (4,3)

Always (Nov 22, 1989)

Legion of Iron (1990)
A guard takes a throwing star right in the eye. (4)

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Jun 15, 1990)
A victim covered with gremlins falls off a ledge. (4)

Beauty and the Beast (Nov 13, 1991)
Someone screams on an exterior shot of the castle during the battle (just after Chip says “You guys gotta try this thing!”). (4)

Young Indiana Jones: The Trenches of Hell (TV, 1992)
During a charge on the trenches, a German soldier gets bayonetted. (5)

Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert (TV, 1992)
A mortar round sends a British soldier flying. (4)

Batman Returns (Jun 19, 1992)
Batman punches and throws a clown out of his way. (4)

Mom and Dad Save the World (Jul 24, 1992)
As Dick tries to get into a ship, one soldier stupidly shoots another in the back. (5)
A couple of soldiers stupidly pick up a light grenade. (1,5)

Reservoir Dogs (Oct 23, 1992)
Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) pushes someone out of his way while while running down the sidewalk. (4)
Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) guns down two cops in their police car. (2)

Aladdin (Nov 11, 1992)
Villagers flee in terror as the Genie (controlled by Jafar) lifts the palace into the air. (4)

Matinee (Jan 29, 1993)
A couple Wilhelms can be heard in the movie within the movie, “MANT!”

Young Indiana Jones: The Phantom Train of Doom (TV, 1993)
During the battle over the big gun on the train, a couple of Wilhelms are heard. (5)

Evening Class (TV, 1993)
Rick (Micheal Beach) scares Martha (Mariangela Pino) from a window. (1)

Young Indiana Jones and the Attack of the Hawkmen (TV, 1995)
A truck chasing Indy is shot off the road. (6)

A Goofy Movie (Apr 7, 1995)
During the song “On the Open Road,” Goofy’s car strikes a construction scaffold. (4)
Backstage at the Powerline concert, a crew member is flung into a big screen monitor. (4)

Die Hard: With a Vengeance (May 19, 1995)
John McClane (Bruce Willis), while driving through Central Park (literally), almost hits a mime – before confessing that maybe he was aiming for him. (4-partial)

Runaway Brain (Aug 11, 1995)
Mickey Mouse is playing a video game when his game character dies. (4)

Toy Story (Nov 22, 1995)
Buzz Lightyear is knocked out the bedroom window. (4)

Dante’s Peak (Feb 7, 1997)
Paul plunges to his death from a collapsed bridge as it’s carried away by mud and lava. (4)

The Second Civil War (Made for Cable, 1997)
A News Net crew watches a John Wayne movie on a big screen TV while waiting for action at the Idaho border. (4)

Star Wars: Episode IV – Return of the Jedi (Special Edition) (Mar 14, 1997)
A stormtrooper is thrown off a bridge on Coruscant during the final celebration. (4)

The Fifth Element (May 9, 1997)
Zorg blows up his henchman while they’re talking on the phone. (4,3)
Two Mangalores are sent flying from the Diva’s suite. (4)

Hercules (Jun 20, 1997)
Villagers flee in terror as their city is attacked. (4)

Lethal Weapon 4 (Jul 10, 1998)
Riggs (Mel Gibson) shoots a terrorist’s flamethrower, turning it into a jetpack. The terrorist screams as he flies towards a gas truck – which explodes upon impact. (4)

Small Soldiers (Jul 10, 1998)
The Brick Bazooka toy gets thrown off Alan’s bike. (4)
The Kip Killigan toy shorts out while trying to kill Alan’s dad. (4)

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (May 19, 1999)
Two security officers, one after the other, are hit in the chest and scream Wilhelms during the blaster battle in the Naboo hangar. (3,4)

The X-Files, Episode #7X19, “Brand X” (Apr 16, 2000)
A man is killed with a bayonet in an old war movie on TV. (5)

The Kid (Jul 7, 2000)
While Russ is talking to Amy, someone screams on TV in a movie that Rusty is watching. (4)

Backstage (Sep 8, 2000)
During a paintball match, an animated guy gets pelted. (4)

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (Direct-to-video, Sep 19, 2000)
A crew member jumps from his ship and screams just before part of an iceberg falls on it. (4)

Thirteen Days (Dec 25, 2000)
When an American jet screams over a Russian ship and the deck crew all react and duck, a Wilhelm is used (inaudible).

Golden Dreams (Disney’s California Adventure, 2001)
During an earthquake, a native American screams as he falls to the ground. (5)

Tomcats (Mar 30, 2001)
Near the end of the film, a cello player at a charity fundraiser screams when Michael (Jerry O’Connell) collides with him. (3)

Just Visiting (Apr 6, 2001)
Count Thibault (Jean Reno) dodges a thrown axe, which instead hits a bad guy. (4)

Planet of the Apes (Jul 27, 2001)
Tival (Erick Avari) is body-slammed to the ground by an ape soldier. (4)
General Thade (Tim Roth) hurls two humans into the air at once. (2)
Using the sharp point of his helmet, Thade stabs a human. (3)

Wet Hot American Summer (Jul 27, 2001)
Beth (Janeane Garofalo) and Henry (David Hyde-Pierce) kiss for the first time while a man falls behind them. (4)

Osmosis Jones (Aug 10, 2001)
Thrax pulls someone out of his car. (4)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition (Nov 6, 2001)
When V’ger fires at the Enterprise, a crew member in the engine room gets hit by an energy bolt. (4)

The Majestic (Dec 21, 2001)
Someone screams when part of the theater’s neon sign explodes. (4)

Life or Something Like It (Apr 26, 2002)
A Wilhelm is mixed into sounds of riders enjoying a rollercoaster. (6)

The Salton Sea (Apr 26, 2002)
Kujo (Adam Goldberg) is hit by an ambulance. (3,4)

Spider-Man (May 3, 2002)

Angel, Episode 64, “A New World” (TV, original air date: May 6, 2002)
Connor throws a knife into a thug’s arm. (4)

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (May 16, 2002)
A ship explodes when it arrives at Coruscant at the beginning of the film. (3)

Bounty Hunter (Video Game, Nov 19, 2002)
Dying Imperials will sometimes utter Wilhelms. (3,4)

Scorched (Jul 25, 2002)
Shmally crashes her motorcycle in the desert, and Doleman screams as he falls off. (4)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Dec 18, 2002)
An elf soldier falls off the battlements during the Helm’s Deep battle. (4)

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (Dec 31, 2002)
Chuck watches TV (and hears a Wilhelm there) after returning home from a barfight. (4)

The Legend of Suriyothai (Jan 19, 2003)
A soldier is pulled down from the battlements during an assault on a fortress. (4)

Cradle 2 the Grave (Feb 28, 2003)
In the 12-on-1 cage match, Su (Jet Li) sends a guy flying. (4)

Tears of the Sun (Mar 7, 2003)
Rebel soldiers are blown up. (4)

Agent Cody Banks (Mar 14, 2003)
A guard falls off a balcony and through a glass ceiling. (4)

A Man Apart (Apr 4, 2003)
In a raid by DEA and Mexican drug agents on a Tijuana nightclub full of drunken cartel honchos and gunmen, a Wilhelm is heard when one of the agents is hit by gunfire.

Texas: The Big Picture (IMAX, May 3, 2003)
In a stylized depiction of the battle at the Alamo, a Wilhelm can be heard as two shadows clash. (4)

Robbery Homicide Division, Episode #13, “Absolute Perfection” (TV, April 21, 2003)
Tommy Cheung is squashed by a bus in the episode’s teaser.

Dell Computers – “PC Dreams” (TV Commercial, May 2003)
One of the Dell Interns is repeatedly dropped through a trap door during a dream about how Dell computers are tested.

The Animatrix – “Matriculated” (Jun 3, 2003)
Someone is lifted and thrown across the room by a tentacled robot. (4)

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Jun 28, 2003)

Once Upon A Time In Mexico (Sep 12, 2003)
A bad guy on a motorcycle strikes a car and goes flying. (4)

Steak ‘n Shake, “Workaurant” (TV Commercial, 2003)
A man suddenly remembers to get ketchup. (4)

Under The Tuscan Sun (Sep 26, 2003)
Lighting strikes a washing machine outside the villa. (Inaudible)

Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (Oct 10, 2003)
The bride slices one of the bad guys during the black and white fight sequence. (4)
Later in the sequence, one of the bad guys falls down the stairs. (4)

Angel, Episode 94, “The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco” (TV, Nov 5, 2003)
While a security guard is checking out the basement of a warehouse, another man gets attacked. (4)

Star Wars: Clone Wars, Chapter 4 (TV, Nov 12, 2003)
Durge shoots a trooper sniping at him. (3)

Looney Tunes: Back In Action (Nov 14, 2003)
While talking to DJ (Brendan Fraser) via the wall portrait, Damian (Timothy Dalton) blows up a bad guy with a grenade. (4)

Peter Pan (Dec 12, 2003)
A pirate falls from the ship’s rigging into the water. (4)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Dec 17, 2003)
A dragon drops a Gondorian soldier to the ground. (4)
Legolas climbs a mumakil and throws one of its riders to the ground below. (4)

Comcast, “Broadband Goddess” (TV Commercial, 2004)
The “Broadband Goddess” kills an online game opponent. (4)

Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! (Jan 23, 2004)
Pete (Topher Grace) is channel surfing and runs across a war movie where someone gets blown up. (4)

Star Wars: Clone Wars, “Chapter 12” (TV, Mar 29, 2004)
A seismic tank stomps the ground, sending everyone flying. (4)

Hellboy (Apr 2, 2004)
A grenade blows a man into the portal, who disintegrates while screaming a Wilhelm. (4)

Star Wars: Clone Wars, “Chapter 17” (TV, Apr 5, 2004)
A trooper gets thrown around by an invisible force, smashing his head on a tree limb. (3)

Freddy vs. Ghostbusters (May 13, 2004)
A poltergeist scares customers out of a bar. (4)

Troy (May 14, 2004)
Greek soldiers fall to Trojan arrows outside the city walls. (4)

Angel, Episode 110, “Not Fade Away” (TV, May 19, 2004)
Lindsey slices a Sahvrin with a sword. (4)

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (May 20, 2004)
Harold gets knocked off a cheetah. (4, pitched up)

Ghost Rock (Jun 8, 2004)
A bad guy falls through a railing during the first shootout. (4)

Spider-Man 2 (Video Game, Jun 29, 2004)
In a cinematic where Dr. Octavius’ experiment goes awry, a light falls from the ceiling, conking a man on the head. (4)

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Jul 9, 2004)
During a street fight between rival newsmen, someone goes flying into a car. (4, pitched down)

Paparazzi (Sep 3, 2004)
Rosner wipes out on his motorcycle and flies off the edge of a cliff. (4, barely audible)

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Sep 17, 2004)
The crowd scatters as the robots go stomping down the street. (4)

Taxi (Oct 8, 2004)
People scatter as the getaway car speeds down a busy sidewalk. (4)

Venture Bros., Episode 106 “Tag Sale – You’re IT!” (Oct 9, 2004)
When #21 and his new lightsaber meet up with Brock. (4)

Team America: World Police (Oct 11, 2004)
Gary shoots a soldier off a balcony. (4)

C.S.I. – N.Y., Episode #105, “Grand Master” (TV, Oct 27, 2004)
At the beginning of Act 2, the scream is heard during a flashback of a man stabbed in the neck. (4)

Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault (Video Game, Nov 2, 2004)
The petty officer escorting Conlin to the PT boat in Pearl Harbor gets killed. (4)
A marine gets killed on Tarawa. (4, pitched up)

I Am David (Dec 3, 2004)
A policeman gets clubbed in the back during a street riot. (4)

Drawn Together, Episode #107 “Dirty Pranking Number 2” (TV, Dec 8, 2004)
A man gets zapped by alien Insectibots (with hats) at the zoo. (4)

American Dad, Episode 1, “Pilot” (Feb 6, 2005)
Stan runs up an escalator, knocking people off of it. (4)

The Pacifier (Mar 1, 2005)
An explosion blows a man off a boat during the opening action sequence. (1)

The Ring Two (Mar 18, 2005)
Rachel (Naomi Watts) leaps off a cliff. (4)

Star Wars: Clone Wars, “Chapter 24” (TV, Mar 24, 2005)
General Grievous shoves a trooper through a window. (3)
Grievous’ droids force two troopers off a ledge. (4)

Conquest of America, “Southeast” (TV, Mar 28, 2005)
A man is shot during the ship-to-ship fighting at Fort Caroline. (4)

Sin City (Apr 1, 2005)
Marv (Mickey Rourke) tosses a cop from a car. (4, pitched up)

Lego Star Wars (Video game, Apr 2, 2005)
In the Episode III, Battle Over Coruscant level, you utter a Wilhelm whenever your ship explodes. (4)

Family Guy, Episode 401 “North by North Quahog” (TV, May 1, 2005)
During a car chase inside a mall, a piano player leaps out of the way. (4)

Kingdom of Heaven (May 6, 2005)
During the climactic battle, when the Muslims cross the first white rocks and Christians fire for the first time.

Monster-In-Law (May 13, 2005)
Charlie (Jennifer Lopez) is channel surfing and hears a Wilhelm. (4)

Family Guy, Episode 404 “Blind Ambition” (TV, May 15, 2005)
Peter and a chicken fall off a train onto a handcar, knocking its occupants off. (4)

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (May 19, 2005)
A Republic ship’s laser cannon explodes during the battle over Coruscant. (4)

Madagascar (May 27, 2005)
People in Grand Central Station flee from the Alex the lion. (4)

American Dad, Episode 5 “Roger Codger” (Jun 25, 2005)
Agent Duper throws a hand grenade. (4)

Fantastic 4 (July 8, 2005)
A couple of Wilhelms are heard during the final fight, once when the bus is thrown, and again shortly thereafter. (4)

Thank You For Smoking (Sep 9, 2005)
During the footage of the Kent State shootings. (4)

Family Guy, Episode 415 “Perfect Castaway” (Sep 18, 2005)
Peter drives a Delorean through a wall. (4)

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Oct 5, 2005)
By a villager, as the were-rabbit begins his rampage after picking up Lady Tottingham. (4)

Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (Nov 9, 2005)
Some folks get gunned down in a recording studio. (4)

Night Stalker, Episode #107 “The Sea” (TV, Unaired, 2005)
A phantom biker mows down a SWAT team. (4)

Storm (Nov 17, 2005)
The first Swedish film to feature a Wilhelm, during the first comic book scene.

Æon Flux (Dec 2, 2005)
A Breen soldier falls off a roof. (4)

Masters of Horror, Episode 6, “Homecoming” (Cable TV, Dec 2, 2005)
A zombie gets blasted with a shotgun. (4)
A zombie gets dragged by a car. (4)

King Kong (Dec 5, 2005)   
During the dinosaur chase, a man falls off a cliff. (4)

Drawn Together, Episode 212 “The Lemon-AIDS Walk” (Feb 22, 2006) 
Captain Hero takes steroids. (6, reversed and processed)

Drawn Together, Episode 213 “A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool Special” (Mar 1, 2006)  
During a barroom brawl. (4)

16 Blocks (Mar 3, 2006)
During the bus hijacking scene. (4)

Drawn Together, Episode 214 “The Drawn Together Clip Show” (Mar 15, 2006)
The Producer opens fire on the audience. (4)

She’s The Man (Mar 17, 2006)
As Viola  (Amanda Bynes) enters her dorm room dressed as Sebastian, a Wilhelm is heard in a video game someone is playing. (4)

Abominable (Apr 10, 2006)
Ziegler get grabbed by Bigfoot. (4)

American Dad, Episode 21, “Helping Handis” (Apr 30, 2006)
Mob guys beat a man tied to a chair. (4)

Over The Hedge (May 19, 2006)
A dragonfly gets zapped in a bug zapper. (Processed)

X-Men: The Last Stand (May 26, 2006)
In the final battle, a mutant becomes human again and falls from underneath a tower. (Deleted scene, 4)

Cars (Jun 9, 2006)
In Lightning McQueen’s dream sequence, a car gets zapped. (4)

Venture Bros., Episode 219 “Hate Floats” (Jul 2, 2006)
The Monarch, Dr. Venture and the henchmen come out of the door just before the closing credits. (4)

Monster House (Jul 21, 2006)
Zee and Bones are watching a scary movie. (6)

Accepted (Aug 18, 2006)
A skateboarder falls outside the school’s entrance. (4)

Black Sheep (Sep 10, 2006)
While trying to get into a car to escape the sheep, a man is dragged down by one of them. (4)

Venture Bros., Episode 223 “I Know Why The Caged Bird Kills” (Sep 24, 2006)
The Monarch and his henchmen mistakenly raid an office. (4)

Lifted (Oct 14, 2006)
At the very end, the abductee finally awakens, and gets out of bed… (4)

Flushed Away (Nov 3, 2006)

Norbit (Feb 9, 2007)
During the opening credits, 5-year old Norbit and Kate are watching a scary movie, wherein the scream is heard. (4)

Are We Done Yet? (Apr 4, 2007)
Chuck throws a flaming stick at Danny’s party. (4)

The Invisible (Apr 27, 2007)
At a party, someone gets thrown into the pool. (4)

Family Guy, Episode 93 “No Chris Left Behind” (May 6, 2007)
During the chicken fight, a biplane pilot is thrown from the plane. (4)

Shrek the Third (May 6, 2007)
After Prince Charming rallies the fairy tale characters to his cause, a barfight breaks out. (4)

Transformers (Jul 3, 2007)
Sam kicks Frenzy’s decapitated head over a hill. (4, pitched up)

License to Wed (Jul 3, 2007)
During the marriage road test, an old man on a scooter crashes into a car. (4)

Juno (Sep 1, 2007)
Juno and Mark watch a horror movie. (4)

Dragon Wars (D-War) (Sep 14, 2007)
During the flashback (within the flashback), a dragon steps on a villager. (4)
A dragon throws a cop into a car’s windshield. (4)

Death Proof – Extended DVD (Sep 18, 2007)
Stuntman Mike’s car goes flying after wiping out the carload of babes. (4)

Superman: Doomsday (Direct-to-video, Sep 18, 2007)
Miners release Doomsday, who goes on a rampage. (4)

Resident Evil: Extinction (Sep 21, 2007)
The guy on the flamethrower gets attacked by the ravens. (4)

Family Guy, Episode 516/522 “Blue Harvest” (Sep 23, 2007)
An explosion on the Death Star sends a stormtrooper flying. (4)

American Dad, Episode 44, “Meter Made” (Oct 7, 2007)
During the CIA raid at the end, somebody gets blown up. (4)

30 Days of Night (Oct 16, 2007)
A vampire throws someone off a roof. (4)

Enchanted (Oct 20, 2007)
When Narissa transforms into the dragon, a man is flung across the room. (4)

Your Friend, The Rat (DVD, Nov 6, 2007)
A chalkboard drawing of an astronaut gets frightened by a rat. (4)

Ben 10: Race Against Time (TV, Nov 11, 2007)
Eon knocks down a Plumber. (4)

The Mist (Nov 21, 2007)
Cornell gets killed by the creatures. (4)

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (Nov 25, 2007)
The water horse knocks a soldier off a boat. (4)

American Dad, Episode 50, “The Most Adequate Christmas Ever” (Dec 16, 2007)
Stan shoots down two angels during the chariot chase. (4)

American Dad, Episode 52, “Tearjerker” (Jan 13, 2008)
In the opening “teaser” sequence, one of the pursuing evil agents hits a tree while in midair. (4)

Meet the Spartans (Jan 24, 2008)
The Spartans force the Persians off a cliff. (4)

Over Her Dead Body (Feb 1, 2008)
Dan falls in the kitchen. (5)
A cherries jubilee explodes in Ashley’s face. (4)

Zombie Strippers (Feb 23, 2008)
A zombie stripper throws a man into a wall. Hard. (4)

Kung Fu Panda (May 15, 2008)
Tai Lung smashes a guard with a mace and flings him through the air. (4)

Speed Racer (Apr 28, 2008)
Spritle and Chim Chim hit someone with an electric cart. (4)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May 22, 2008)
A student in the library screams as Mutt and Indy nearly crash into him. (4)

Venture Bros., Episode 3-30, “The Buddy System” (Jun 29, 2008)
One is heard under a graphic during the introduction, and later when Brock pounds a soldier. (4)

Venture Bros., Episode 3-35, “Now Museum–Now You Don’t” (Jul 27, 2008)
Team Venture smashes into the meeting with a giant drill. (4)

Buffalo Wild Wings (TV Commercial, 2008)
A sports mascot is blinded by a really bright flashbulb. (4)

Tropic Thunder (Aug 13, 2008)
During the helicopter raid at the beginning, an explosion kills a soldier, and Portnoy shoots another. (4)
Tugg throws Half Squat off his back (and repeated over the end credits). (4, pitched up)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Aug 15, 2008)
A clone trooper gets shot outside the monastery. (4)

Back at the Barnyard, “Otis For Mayor” (Sep 25, 2008)
At his press conference, Bigfoot flips out and throws a guy. (4)

Bolt (Nov 17, 2008)
Rhino is changing channels on the TV. (4)

The Day The Earth Stood Still (Dec 10, 2008)
Gort smashes through a door, which lands on some soldiers nearby. (4)

Knowing (Mar 9, 2009)
Heard during the subway crash scene. (4)

Monsters vs. Aliens (Mar 19, 2009)
B.O.B. squeezes out a Gallaxhar clone, sending him over a walkway. (4)

Reaper, “My Brother’s Reaper” (May 9, 2009)
Morgan gets attacked by demons. (4)

Up (May 13, 2009)
As the dogs fall into the river, one of them screams a Wilhelm. (4)

Inglourious Basterds (May 20, 2009)
In the film-within-the-film, “Nation’s Pride,” the Wilhelm Scream can be heard when a soldier is shot and falls from a window. (4)

Princess Protection Program (May 20, 2009)
Joe swings from a banner and knocks two guards over a table. (4)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Sept 18, 2009)

The Simpsons “Million Dollar Maybe” (Jan 31, 2010)
Mr. Burns shoots Nazis in a WWII video game – all the Nazis scream classic Wilhelms. (4)

Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010)

Accented Synch Points and Temporal Elasticity in Film Sound

Having attended the first ‘Sound in film’ workshop today,  I had the opportunity to discuss sound production in relation to a key scene in one of my all time favourite films. It is somewhat  ironic that a completely unrelated attempt at researching sound in film, has led me tonight, straight back to Martin Scorsese’s oscar winning Raging Bull.

Raging Bull

The following blog analyses the sound production, sound theory and  sound design conventions that are present in the final fight scene of the film in which Jake Lamota fights Sugar Ray Robinson for a second time.

The sound design provided an incredible punch to match the on screen visual aggression.  The most noticeable change in the tone of the scene occurs as tired Lamotta rocks against the ropes and taunts Sugar Ray into delivering a barrage of blows. The footage is testament to just how sound effects can provide the illusion of something happening when in fact, it did not.

Repetative sounds of camera flash bulbs seem to explode as fists appear to make contact, and the audience gasp in horror as Lamotto is repeatedly pounded.  The foley production including panes of glass braking fruit being pulverised and gunfire mask the sonic-overload of fighting in a complex series of sound production that spanned over two months. After production concluded, it was rumoured that sound man Frank Warner burned all of the recorded elements from the movie to ensure no other films could use the Raging Bull sound elements.

Watch the final Raging Bull fight scene closely with the speed slowed down and you will see that actually, the boxers are seldom, if at all, seen to connect any blows. So how is this possible?

French composer and writer, Michel Chion highlighted a valid perception when he wrote that such a minimal sound is easier to be marked, into a persons conscience and actually, that if the sound itself is removed, then it is easier to notice that  there wasn’t really any physical contact at all. It’s relative to the theory that sight actually registers slower into the brain slower than hearing.

Physical contact is the benchmark for the strongest synchronisation where sonic meets visual and the overriding principles are linked to Gestalt,  a psychology term of “unified whole”. It refers to theories of visual perception developed by German psychologists in the 1920’s describing how people tend to organise visual elements into groups or unified wholes when certain principles are applied, but that’s a different blog completely.

In his book, Audio-Vison, Chion, delivers arguments and overviews of the evolution and functions of sound in television and film. Raging Bull is specifically mentioned in relation to the fight scenes with a concise explanation of how accented synch points and temporal elasticity have radically impacted on the mood and perception of the film.

Accented Synch Points and Temporal Elasticity

This structure is already present in much non animation cinema, notably in all martial arts and fight films. But Japanese animated films I can see on French television add something more: an analysis of movement (as in Muybridge and Marey’s famous photos, which lie at cinema’s origins), the use of slow motion and radical stylisation of time. These diverse techniques get their inspiration from the slow-motion and still-frames of sports 62 • • • The Audiovisual Contract replays, but also directly from Japanese comic books, or Mangas.
In these rudimentary animated adventures the point of synchronization constituted by the punch, this point of hooking auditory continuity to visual continuity, is what allows the time around it to swell, fold, puff up, tighten, stretch or, on the contrary, to gape or hang loosely like fabric. On either side of a characteristic synch point such as a punch the capacity for temporal elasticity can become almost infinite. During an episode of the series Dragon Ball the battling characters constantly freeze in mid-motion, stop
in mid-air (for they make incredible leaps), and converse interminably, slowing down, speeding up and changing poses like a series of discontinuous slides, before launching flurries of swift punches and kicks to one another. In short, the punch with sound effects is to audiovisual language as the chord is to music, mobilising the vertical dimension. In the brutal and exhausting boxing scenes in Raging Bull Scorsese used punches to bestow a maximum degree of temporal elasticity on the fighting scenes; thus he could use slow motion, repeated images, and so forth. The paradox is that in the beginning, temporal elasticity was an inherent characteristic of the silent cinema. Since the silents did not have to be dubbed point by point and second by second with synchronous sound, they could easily dilate and contract time.

Sound Infuses the Image

It can be said that sound’s greatest influence on film is manifested at the heart of the image itself. The clearer treble you hear, the faster your perception of sound and the keener your sensation of presentness. The better-defined film sound became in the high frequency range, the more it induced a rapid perception of what was onscreen (for vision relies heavily on hearing). This evolution consequently favored a cinematic rhythm composed of multiple fleeting sensations, of collisions and spasmodic events, instead of a continuous and homogenous flow of events. Therefore we owe the hypertense rhythm and speed of much current cinema to the influence of sound that, we daresay, has seeped its way into the heart of modern-day film construction. Further, the standardization of Dolby has introduced a sudden leap in an older and more gradual process that paved the way for it. There is perhaps as much difference between the sound of a Renoir of the early thirties and that of $. fifties Bresson film as there is between the fifties Bresson and a Scorsese in eighties Dolby, whose sound vibrates, gushes, trembles, and cracks (think of the crackling of flashbulbs in Raging Bull.)