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a bird sound in an American film. But what was it.

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Old Sunday 12th September 2004, 18:12   #1
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a bird sound in an American film. But what was it.

I was decorating in the living room last night and there was a film on the TV whilst I was doing it. It was basically background noise as I wasn't really taking much notice of it. The film in question was Heartbreakers starring Sigouney Weaver and there was a scene where the daughter was following this chap and she fell into some horrible mud (if you have seen the film do you remember the scene). It was a very dark night and in the background was a sound just like the Red necked Nightjar that I have seen and heard in Portugal. Ku-tock Ku-tock Ku-tock.

I haven't a clue what part of America the film was supposed to be so I can't help on location. I have also looked in my copy of the National Geographic Society's Birds of North America to see if any of the Nighjars over there sound anything like the R N Nightjar but none appear to sound like that.

Any ideas guys & gals?
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Old Sunday 12th September 2004, 19:46   #2
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Quite possible that it was actually a R-n Nightjar you heard as the people responsible for the sound on movies seldom have much interest in the ornithological suitability of the noises they use, only the ambience they create - hence Great Northern Divers regularly calling in Jungles throughout the tropics etc...

Dave
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Old Sunday 12th September 2004, 19:51   #3
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The most commonly used call that I have heard has been of Great Northern Diver. This call always seems to be used in horror/thriller type movies most common when the cast is set in some dark wood, though what GND,s are doing in a wood I dont know.
As for your call in Heartbreakers I didnt hear it as I switched it off as the film was P***.
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Old Sunday 12th September 2004, 19:57   #4
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Another very common soundtrack bird is the California quail's rallying call, "Ha-HA-ha. Ha-HA-ha!" It must have been an easy one for Hollywood sound people to obtain.
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Old Sunday 12th September 2004, 21:23   #5
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One that I have heard in a few movies is the chickadee.
In the movies when someone walks through the woods or forest you always here Chicka dee dee dee Chicka dee dee dee

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Old Sunday 12th September 2004, 22:38   #6
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Here's an amusing article written on the subject by one of my local birders: http://pages.cthome.net/rwinkler/hollwood.htm

I also just bought the DVD of Northern Exposures first series and during one of the first sequences a couple of people are out in the woods birding - when asked what they are up to they claim to be watching Ruddy Turnstones - I can't help wonder whether that's an in joke or what was going on with the writing there.

Luke

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Old Sunday 12th September 2004, 23:33   #7
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I must admit that the Buzzards mewing turns up in the most unusual places on film but the sound heard in this film was of the type I wouldn't have thought film makers would have latched onto. It actually did nothing for the film and would have gone totally unnoticed if you had never heard that sound before, whereas the Buzzard sound, even to none birdwatchers, does seem to enhance the background noise.

This sound didn't seem like that of a R N Nightjar but something similar, unless R N Nightjars have similar sounds that I haven't heard before. Still I can accept that it was possibly a sound dubbed onto the finished article.
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Old Sunday 12th September 2004, 23:39   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godwit
Quite possible that it was actually a R-n Nightjar you heard as the people responsible for the sound on movies seldom have much interest in the ornithological suitability of the noises they use, only the ambience they create -

Dave
You´ve hit the nail on the head. When you consider all the sounds that are in a film, and every single one of them has been "put" there, the ambience is what it is all about. That´s the nature of sound effects .

A film is made with sound effects in place for maximum effect. Not for authenticity (unless, of course it is a documentary, etc). Reason being, usually time constraints, secondly, budget.
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Old Monday 13th September 2004, 00:54   #9
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Yet another "jungle-voice" that I have noted in many films is Screaming Piha - according to many film-makers this species is found all over the world; as long as the location is hot and "jungle-like"

Anyway, it doesn't sound like the R-n Nightjar, so I can't do any better than others already have...
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Old Tuesday 14th September 2004, 16:00   #10
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I was watching Dances with Wolves and thought - caught them out there - Willow Warber in North America!

Then I heard Canyon Wren.
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