A lot of sounds captured on set are not usable for several reasons. It could be that the set's location had uncontrollable noises, too many background characters moving around, or the frequency of a scream wasn’t able to be picked up clearly on the mic. The truth is, human noises that aren’t spoken words are hard to pick up on set. 

The latter reason is why a lot of Hollywood’s best screams are dubbed by voice actors. Screams picked up on set typically are tossed to the side in favor of more clear and controlled screams performed by voice actors in post-production. 

Insider sat down with voice actors Ashley Peldon and Scott Whyte to talk about how they deliver the perfect scream whether it's a shriek of terror, rage, or grief. Here is a breakdown of how you can perform the perfect scream.

Study the scene. To deliver a believable reaction, study the scene to see what type of scream you’ll need to perform. Note what the emotional delivery of the actor is, and the lip movement to see if how they scream is building up or being released. 

Get into tune with your body. Where is the scream coming from? Focus on how your body reacts, and replicate that same bodily reaction to deliver a believable reaction. 

Add efforts into fight scenes. These wordless physical reactions known as efforts are the body’s reactions to punches, blows, and physical distress. These screams are a push-out sensation on the body, mimicking an impact attached to the sound. 

Have variation in your screams. The subtle variation helps keep the scene alive. Even if the part is small, channel in the emotions you would feel in each frame and release it through a carefully crafted, emotionally charged scream. 

Be able to mimic actors. Mimicing is a great skill that a voice actor should master before steping into a recording booth. This will help when creating a scream for high-profile actors like Tom Hardy, who Scott Whyte dubbed for in Venom

Chase the scene, then look for the specifics. Play through the scene, creating efforts and screams for when they are needed. Then, look back for specific reactions of the actors in small moments to replicate the most accurant sound that would look and sound believable to the audience. 

Mix the actor’s vocals with the dubbed vocals. This layer of sound helps make the scream powerful and grounded in a film’s reality. The human body is limited, so break those limitations with sound mixing to create the perfect scream for your project.

The_bees_from_the_wicker_man'Not the bees!' from 'The Wicker Man'Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

All of these screams—whether they are fear, rage, or fighting sounds—can be mastered through careful attention to detail and trial and error. Voice actors, who go criminally unnoticed in Hollywood, play a huge role in bringing to life action, pain, and fear. 

Don’t settle for a generic scream that doesn't match an actor’s performance. Instead, use these tips and tricks to create a sound effect that fits perfectly into your film, keeping your audience in the scene for longer. 

What are some of your favorite or less favorite screams in cinema? Let us know what they are in the comments below! 

Source: Insider