Hollywood on the hunt for British horse noises


Based on the common gripe from equestrians that horse noises in film are often incorrectly used, and are from a very repetitive bank, Equilab has been working with one of the UK’s most iconic film sound studios, De Wolfe, to launch a hunt for ‘the Wilhelm Whinny’ – allowing horses from anywhere in the UK to potentially become a famous equine voice in cinema.

The initiative is being undertaken with the support of one of the UK’s leading horse charities, Redwings.

Equilab is asking its UK userbase of 50,000 equestrians to submit a high-quality recording of their horse - neighing, whinnying, snorting, or nickering – via a sound recording feature within the app.

A panel of judges consisting of Adam Torkelsson, CEO and co-founder of Equilab, Janine De Wolfe, director of De Wolfe SFX, and Nic de Brauwere, head of welfare and behaviour at Redwings, will select the winning noise from the submissions. 

The recordings will be added to De Wolfe’s archive and potentially used in movies for decades to come.

Adam Torkelsson said: “Horses are creatures of immense personality and intelligence. 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.”

Nic de Brauwere added: “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.

“In reality horses use a variety of noises, such as nickering, snorting and sighing, which – when combined with body language – communicate a wide range of emotions.

“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.”

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