Appreciating expertise, part 1

I am always happily surprised to encounter a branch of expertise that I never seriously considered before. So if you're like me—and I know I am—you might get a kick out of the discussion about stock sound effects at Hollywood Lost and Found. The three it explains are the "castle thunder," the "universal telephone ring," and the "Wilhelm scream."

There are sound clips available, and when you hear them you'll realize you've heard them all more times than you can remember. I was aware that there are stock sounds from Hollywood movies, but I never imagined the scope of their use, and certainly not of any long and august history behind a single effect.

Also, in the same investigation, I came across a fun list of movie sound clich├ęs. The main page of this site,, has a huge amount of information about film sound. Frankly, more than I could ever remember. But it's always a pleasure learning about how complex things are that we take for granted.

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