Ever hear a sound during a movie that seems incredibly familiar but you just can’t place it? It may have been sly, yet still so distinctive that it stuck in the back of your brain? It was probably the Wilhelm Scream.
Dating back to 1951, the sound was first recorded and used in the Warner Brothers movie “Distant Drums” starring Gary Cooper. As a stock effect, it was reused fairly often and gradually garnered an underground following by sound editors either paying homage to earlier films or just as an in-joke. But then the sound was rediscovered, named, and repopularized by legendary film sound designer Ben Burtt (who now works at Pixar) in the late ’70s. The Wilhelm Scream has since become a veritable sonic cliché, featured in (by some claims) over 200 movies, dozens of TV shows, and has even made its way into a handful of video games!
And now that you’re really aware of this revered cinematic sound effect, your ears will perk up at it much more often. It practically leaps out of the speakers at me now, even when it’s used very subtly:
The Wilhelm Scream
Seems like we’re always discovering new turning points that mark Liam’s progression and this week was kind of a biggie since we hit not just one, not two, but three milestones!
The first big event was Liam starting swim classes. He’s had 2 lessons so far and is progressing well. Although it doesn’t always seem like he’s listening to his to swim teacher, it’s obvious that he is hearing her because we’ve noticed changes in the way he swims outside of class. He’s kicking and using his arms much more when he swims.
The second big event was that Liam graduated out of his carseat to a booster seat today. He had outgrown his old carseat in every direction, so we decided it was time to move up. I’m finding some challenges with this already though—we had to have a talk today about not unbuckling the seat belt just because the car stopped.
The third big event is that Liam got a library card and checked out his first 2 books at our county library!
This has just been too many milestones in one week for me. I feel like my little boy is growing up way too fast!