Britain’s horses have the chance at Hollywood stardom in an equine X Factor style competition – or almost.
Inspired by the “Wilhelm Scream” – the sound effect of a horse’s neigh that has become a joke in Hollywood, having been used in films from Star Wars to Indiana Jones to Disney films and more – two companies have joined forces to replace it.
Social network and app Equilab and sound library De Wolfe Music, which has supplied sound for films including Brokeback Mountain and American Gangster, are looking for a neigh, to add to De Wolfe’s library and “potentially be used in films for decades to come”.
Equestrians are asked to submit a high-quality recording of their horses, neighing, snorting or nickering, via a recording feature on Equilab. Instructions can be found on the Equilab website.
Judges from Equilab, De Wolfe and Redwings, which is supporting the initiative, will select the winning sound after the closing date of 1 September.
Equilab CEO and co-founder Adam Torkelsson said: “We are delighted to be both contributing to a greater depth and variety of horse noises in film, while also celebrating a brilliant gem of movie lore. Through De Wolfe’s legendary archive, we can now give a horse the chance at movie stardom, and add to the diversity of equine voice acting in Hollywood.”
De Wolfe director Janine De Wolfe said she looked forward to listening to the recordings, to make the addition to the company’s library, while Redwings’ Nic de Brauwere added: “We love this project!”
Research into the calls of stallions has discovered that different tones provoke particular reactions from mares
Find out why horses and ponies display this characteristic behaviour
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
He added: “Horses use a variety of noises which, when combined with body language, communicate a wide range of emotions. But when it comes to the big screen, an image of a horse is usually only accompanied by a classic neighing sound and often in situations where the horse would be unlikely to make that noise anyway.
“At the sanctuary, we observe the many ways horses communicate between themselves and with humans on a daily basis, so we’re really pleased to join this project and to highlight, especially to Hollywood, that there’s a much richer selection of noises out there to help provide a more realistic portrayal of our four-legged friends.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.