Monday, December 12, 2011

Mercedes McCambridge

So last Friday night, a friend of mine and I decided to not go out that night, and chose instead to spend the night in, pigging out on pizza and watching horror movies. After much debate, we decided to watch William Friedkin's The Exorcist. The film has always been one of my favorites, but I have never really put too much thought into how it was made, but instead tried to completely immerse myself in the experience when watching it. This time, after being thrilled once again by the film (and having my friend leave absolutely terrified,) I looked more into what scared me the most about the film, which was the sounds, and more specifically, the voice of The Demon.

After a bit of research, I found that the voice of “Regan,” the possessed little girl in the film, was actually voiced by radio actress Mercedes McCambridge, who only got credit for her contributions to the movie after its release. McCambridge told directors that she needed to drink raw eggs, constantly smoke cigarettes, and drink heavily in order to do the proper voice for The Demon in the film. At the time, McCambridge was battling alcoholism, and ironically enough, requested that her priest be on set with her when she fell off the wagon in order for her to continue to be somewhat in control of herself. I would defiantly suggest taking a look at the clip, where she explains in further detail what she had to go through in order to get the perfect sound. It's a very informative look at sound design for anyone looking to find out more about the combined sounds of the film, or just horror movie buffs in general. Enjoy!

Mercedes McCambridge Interview

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