FCB, Canal+ Create ‘Wilhelm Scream’ Mockumentary

By Erik Oster 

The newly Draft-less FCB worked with Canal+ to create a mockumentary on the famous “Wilhelm scream” entitled “The Woman Who Can’t Watch Movies.”

“The Wilhelm scream,” in case anyone needs a refresher, is the famous stock audio scream recorded by Sheb Wooley and named after the character Private Wilhelm in the 1953 western The Charge of the Feather River, although it was first used in the 1951 film Distant Drums. It saw a resurgence in popularity as a stock sound effect following its use in Star Wars and Indiana Jones. It is now so ubiquitous (it has been dubbed in over 200 films) that it has become something of an in-joke, used in recent years in films by Pixar, the Lord of the Rings triology, and countless other movies. (There are rumors that directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino “maintain a bet as to who has used the “Wilhelm scream” more.”)


“The Woman Who Can’t Watch Movies” follows the (supposed) story of Sheb’s widow, Linda Dotson Wooley. Linda complains that she can’t watch movies anymore because she “just can’t bear to hear the sound of Sheb screaming out in pain over and over again.” After introducing Linda and her “condition” — a clever (although kind of sad) way to call attention to the sound effect’s ubiquity — the mockumentary introduces viewers to Canal+’s Scream Bank, “a catalog of donated screams for industry professionals to use in place of Sheb’s.” A few comically-off screams are then shown dubbed into a film, a great display of why the “Wilhelm Scream” has become such a well-worn cliche. The video is a teaser for Leave Wilhelm Alone, an upcoming documentary on the “Wilhelm scream.” Stick around for credits after the jump, and feel free to head on over to Canal+’s site and record a scream of your own.Credits

Client: Canal+

Agency: FCB Spain & FCB Los Angeles

Campaign: “Leave Wilhelm Alone”

Client Contact: Iñaki Martikorena, Bernardo Melero, Purification González

Executive Creative Directors: Pedro Soler, Eric Springer

Creative Team: Beatriz Pedrosa, Peio Azkoaga, Joao Freitas

Producers: Brendan Kiernan, Steve Devore, Thomas Anderson, Kate Borkowski, Kepa Vizcay

Production Company: Helo

Director: Alex Grossman

Lighting: Seamus Tierney

Sound: Sam Tornero Pulido

Web Developers: Carlos Lainez, Miguel Iglesias

App Developers: Joan Arbó, Jorge Cubillo

Social Media Strategy: Mauro Rodriguez, Jose Olivares

Poster: Beatriz Pedrosa, Marian de la Fuente

Planner: Manuel López