Picture yourself standing at the edge of a frozen pond in the middle of winter, flat stone in hand. Normally, you'd skip that sucker across the surface of the water all the way across; like a boss. But the water is frozen, so when you skip it across, it sounds like some funky weapon in a Star Wars movie. PEW! PEW! PEW!
That's not where they got the "PEW, PEW" from the guns in Star Wars, but it does get you thinking... How DO they make some of these crazy sound effects from movies? With the Jurassic Park remake out, I can't help but think of the time I first learned how they made the sound effect where the baby Raptor broke out its egg...
Here are the origins of some of the wackiest, most memorable sounds in cinematic history!
The egg breaking scene from the original Jurassic Park
They used waffle ice cream cones, pineapple, cantelope, and rubber gloves! Sounds like my typical friday night at home.
And the "science" behind it:
The PEW! PEW! of the stormtroopers shooting and missing everything in sight
These guys show us one way to do it:
That's close! In reality, it was a dude hitting a metal cable with a hammer. Just try not to picture that slinky when the new Star Wars comes out!
The dinosaurs from Jurassic Park
Prepare to have your childhood ruined...the dinosaur sounds in Jurassic Park aren't actually recordings of real dinosaurs!
I'M SO SORRY!
They're just mashups of a crapload of other animals. For the T-Rex, they used sounds from a whale, lion, alligator, tiger, elephant and koala (yep!) for all the various sounds it made. Some scientists believe that dinosaurs just gurgled a lot. But screw that, gurgles don't make for a very exciting eating-a-man-on-a-toilet scene.
The Raptors are just different horse noises, include one in heat screaming at another. Awesome, right? Right...?
Sliding doors from Star Trek: The Next Generation
I LOVED THIS SHOW! I can't hear my kids play the Pop Goes The Weasel song without wanted to climb a tree and whistle it. But learning how the sound effect of the doors on the ship opening put a little damper on my memories of the show. They recorded someone pulling a piece of paper from an envelope and a dude's show shuffling across the floor.
At least it wasn't a koala farting.
I'll let Ben Burtt's words answer this, since I have no clue what he's talking about!
The lightsaber was, in fact, the very first sound I created for A New Hope. Inspired by the McQuarrie concept paintings, I remembered a sound of an interlock motor on the old film projectors at the USC Cinema Department (I had been a projectionist there). The motors made a musical "hum" which I felt immediately would complement the image in the painting. I recorded that motor, and a few days later I had a broken microphone cable that caused my recorder to accidently pick up the buzz from the back of my TV picture tube. I recorded that buzz, and mixed it with the hum of the projector motor. Together these sounds became the basis for all the lightsabers.
And in case you wanted to hear some ZERM ZERM PSH VERM MEEEERRRRM stuff:
Terminator 2: guy can morph into and squeeze through anything
You know that sound the T-1000 makes when he goes through the bars at the asylum?
(an extra bonus...T2 alternate cut!)
Just dog food falling out of a can. Mmmmmmm....
Spidey's web slinging
We'll close this out with one of the weirdest ones yet. You'd think they would have went to Yellowstone and recorded a geyser, or swung a katana and recorded the woosh. Nope. The sound guy set up microphones around the room, rigged up a kick-butt slingshot, and recorded pinecones flying through the air. Pinecones!
Dee-ba-dee-ba-dee....that's all folks!