Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Wilhelm

The Wilhelm is a highly specific sound effect in movie making, iconic is its undulating terror at imminent, certain pain. You will hear it frequently, most often when someone goes flying or is otherwise thrown into the air. Frequently, it is a long drop. George Lucas included it in Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and I just heard it a few minutes ago in Captain America. It certainly takes a nerd of out the movie for a split second, but it's usually a rather enjoyable moment, a nod from one sound designer to a few, well-versed fans in the audience.

Originally, the Wilhelm was "man getting bit by an alligator," though the name comes from the death of an enlisted man two films later.

And when I was in 10th grade Global History, when on a test I couldn't remember Otto von Bismark's name and, after failing to con my teacher into revealing the answer, it was also the best guess I had. Still wrote an A paper, but that certainly explains the B+.

Ah, well. Still a cool name.

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