Posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Something very peculiar happened last night. The IMAX trailer for Universal’s upcoming remake of The Mummy, which looks pretty close to the normal trailer for The Mummy, was uploaded to YouTube. But while the visuals were familiar, the audio was not. What originally looked like a baffling creative choice eventually revealed itself to be a truly strange technical error – they had uploaded a trailer without a finished sound mix, leaving the actors’ vocal tracks, a little bit of ambient noise, and not much else.
The results are hilarious, bizarre, and, in the end, a vital reminder of the vital work Foley artists and sound mixers do for every single movie you have ever watched. Come for the silliness of it all, leave with a proper appreciation for hardworking sound people!
Although the trailer spread across Twitter like wildfire last night, it looks like Waypoint’s Austin Walker was the first to really light the viral match. While the original video has been yanked down, this is the internet and the internet is forever. Enjoy.
the mummy trailer without sound effects cant stop laffen pic.twitter.com/tl75lg0p7x
— • (@asvpxmvzen) December 20, 2016
Although many sound effects return for the final stretch of the trailer, that big plane scene, the centerpiece of the preview, now plays like the world’s most expensive Tim and Eric sketch. Silent chaos reigns as Tom Cruise and those soldier extras cry and grunt and scream in a silent void. Annabelle Wallis‘ dramatic parachute escape is now accompanied by the world’s softest grunt. Without the deafening rush of air, Cruise’s screams of terror as the plane goes down feel so small and silly. It’s probably one of the funniest things you’ll watch today.
But it is also one of the most enlightening. This trailer is an extreme example of how stripping sound out of a movie can feel weird and wrong, but it doesn’t take much to fracture the reality of a film. Imagine a movie without the work of a competent Foley artist, who adds everything from rustling clothes to footsteps to squeaking chairs as characters sit down. Every movie scene hinges on the audience believing in the artificial reality of what they’re watching. Imagine a simple conversation scene that consists entirely of dialogue with no background sounds – it would be just as hilariously unnatural as this trailer.
This isn’t the first time a studio has accidentally shared footage without finished sound effects. As Twitter user Nick Horowitz pointed out last night, a clip from Everest was released last year without any sound outside of the dialogue and it’s astonishing how cheap and silly an otherwise tense scene can look without Foley.
The Mummy opens on June 9, 2017. Whether everyone likes the movie or not, the finished version will surely have top-notch sound that does its job so well that no one in the audience even notices its existence…which is the way it’s supposed to be.Cool Posts From Around the Web: