BD reader ‘Avery’ just pointed us in the direction of a really interesting article over at Box Office where they report that Rock stars Gene Simmons – lead singer of Kiss – and David Lee Roth – frontman of Van Halen – were among the many people who came in to the studio to provide animalistic sound effects for John Johnston’s The Wolfman. What sound effects? How about Benicio del Toro’s howl! Check out some excerpts below.“Well, when we were designing his howl, we were going off in a lot of different directions,” Johnston tells Box Officie. “We tried a lot of things to see what would work and be interesting. We listened to every wolf howl ever done on every film. We listened to all of them. And you’d be surprised how unconvincing most of them are. Some were just wolves, but some were men going, ‘Aoooooooo!’”
He continues, “We didn’t get a lot from our research in what’s been done before. We were looking for this great pure tone—we knew we were going to process it and overlay elements to it, but we wanted that great foundation. We tried Gene Simmons and one of Gene Simmons’ howls is in the movie. I don’t think Gene Simmons would recognize it, but it’s in there. We had David Lee Roth come in and do a few howls…
“…That was a blast. We had opera singers come in and howl, we had animal impersonators. Gene Simmons and David Lee Roth were pretty near the end of the process. By then we knew what we were looking for, we were homing in on it. And their stuff became the most useful stuff that we did. Like I said, I don’t think they would recognize it after what we’ve done to it because we’ve digitally processed it and added cool overtones and all that stuff. We were basically just looking for a wolf howl you’d never heard before. What we realized is that everybody in the audience knows what a wolfman sounds like. Even if it’s from their imagination, it’s all pretty much the same thing. We just wanted our howl to be the best version of that howl. And I think we’ve come up with something that’s definitely spine-tingling, and at the same time it’s familiar enough that the audience is going to recognize it—it’s what they expect, with enhancements..”
You can hear it on the big screen February 12th when THE WOLFMAN transforms into theaters.