“Hey, Scotty! This thing just space-beeped at me!”
Our eagle-eared readers have done it again! Here are more discoveries about things we’ve discussed here at The Sound and the Foley.
Mandydax says, “I was just starting Mythbusters and there’s that sound in the opening credits just before Adam says ‘It’s SCIENTIFIC!’ They do a quick close up of his face with his hat brim pulled down and ‘screeeeee!'”
Wow, I’ll need to try to dig that one up! Some cursory searching online reveals that a) Mythbusters has a ton of different opening sequences, and b) none of them are the one you found. Looks like it’s time for me to go watch a whole bunch of Mythbusters. Oh, the humanity!
I was in New Orleans last weekend, so I missed last week’s Caught in the Wild, so this is actually two weeks’ worth of catches. However, I wasn’t being lazy on my vacation. While I was in a N’Awlins jazz club, I heard a band open with… the Villains Theme!
Meanwhile, it seems that you guys have had busy ears, too!
First, Scott Keever has an update about the Law & Order Donk Donk sound: “For the record, Mike Post calls it the ‘Ching ching’ cuz of all the money he makes off of it – Heh heh… but don’t take my word for it… Go to 18:25 of this link – an interview with Mike Post. (I love this whole interview, by the way…When I have younger folks asking me about composing for TV and film, I send them to this interview – Mike Post is the coolest…)”
Well spied, Scott! And thanks! I was actually looking for bit of interview when I was writing the article and couldn’t find it. I love that Mike Post makes royalties off the sound because it’s technically a piece of music and not a sound effect.
Next, Daniel Taylor caught an instance of Entrance of the Gladiators: “It was used in one of the Madagascar movies, with inane lyrics attached.”
Speaking of Entrance of the Gladiators, Roho had this tidbit: “Not ‘Gladiators’, but someplace pointed out that Jerry Goldsmith’s (awesome) Gremlins music was intended to be in the vein of the Circus Screamer.”
I. Love. Gremlins.
And yes, I can totally see how the theme can be a circus screamer:
And now… Red-Tailed Hawk updates. You guys caught a lot of Red-Tailed Hawks.
First, Jen Manna points out: “Pick just about any movie with a western theme, including Rango. … Also, all the Looney Tunes set in a western theme. Often times when Wile E. Coyote falls down a vast cavern, there’s a small hawk or eagle circling and that sound bite.”
Spacebug notes that: “Oh, just heard it, rewatching Cabin In the Woods! It shows up when the camper is going through the tunnel. But, as the rest of the movie, it’s making a comic nod to its ubiquitousness, so that’s kind of awesome.”
Neowolf says: “This sound shows up in World of Warcraft. For example, if you have a hunter character and switch it to use ‘Aspect of the Hawk’, the sound effect includes a hawk cry.”
Jennifer Mencken was on a roll: “Two for two tonight, both the Eddie Izzard Treasure Island and The Eagle with Channing Tatum.”
And everyone noted that the sound shows up in the intro of the Colbert Report. (Thanks to Roger Pavelle, Sandy Darst, Mandydax, and anyone else I missed.) The sound usually shows up as the very first sound in the episode, and then at the end of the theme song (over the image of an eagle). You can see it yourself in, well, just about any episode on the show’s website.
Finally, Mandydax gets super extra credit for locating video of a real Steller’s Jay mimicking the cry of a Red-Tailed Hawk. Behold as life imitates art:
There is a sound effect out there that is so clichéd, so ubiquitous, that apparently nobody has bothered listing where it appears. That’s a bit shocking to me, because the Internet is usually amazing at making lists of things.
What is that sound?
That, my friends, is the shriek of a red-tailed hawk. You hear that cry in movies, TV shows, and commercials whenever the foley artist wants to convey “nature” and/or “flying raptor-bird of some sort”. Very often, the cry is used over the image of an eagle of some sort, even though eagles don’t sound much at all like hawks.
Unfortunately, I have found zip on the Internet about specific examples of this cliché, even though everyone agrees that it exists. And even though I know I’ve heard this sound on movie soundtracks for years, my brain is unable to grab any targets. (…except Ladyhawke (1985), but, well, that movie really is about a hawk.)
So I am putting out a call. You, dear reader, have a mission. Next time you hear a red-tailed hawk sound used on a soundtrack, tell us! I will post any new discoveries to the Red-Tailed Hawk category on this blog. I promise I will also keep my ears open.