Video Digest: August 10, 2006

Screams and dreams: the Wilhelm scream; deleted Star Wars scenes; Britney from the future; a four-year-old's Earth, Wind, and Fire; talking monkeys

There is a stock sound effect that originated in the ’50s, known as the “Wilhelm scream.” Championed by Star Wars sound engineer Ben Burtt, the cry—perhaps best transcribed as “aaaeehhh”—made its way into several of Burtt’s projects, including the Star Wars trilogy, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Howard the Duck and was later used by directors Peter Jackson and Quentin Tarantino as a cinematic in-joke. I heard about the Wilhelm scream in college, but it smacked of urban myth, like that whole “Phil Collins wrote a song about watching someone drown” fiasco. Anyway, the Phil Collins thing is bunk, but here is an excellent compilation of the Wilhelm scream, via Videosift.

The following Star Wars scenes do not feature the Wilhelm scream, although I wish they did. I found these scenes—two excised bits from Star Wars: A New Hope and one rough cut of the Cantina scene—pretty boring, much like I find the original Star Wars, despite many good-natured attempts to join the zeitgeist party. I know: Kill me already. (Aeeehh!)

Poor Britney Spears. She’s been missing out on life. Her jaw hurts. She’s been thinking about time travel. And she wants to see that movie, y’all. That movie Spun? Yeah, that. A window into the dark, chemically enhanced soul of Britney Spears.

Britney was a precocious talent, but could she sing Earth, Wind, & Fire? Here, four-year-old Nia busts out the tunes you’ve never heard of, unless you’ve just returned from a matinee of Hot Feet. This girl is good. Just wait till next Easter, when she learns to pole dance.

And, finally, talking monkeys, via Sharpeworld:

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