‘The Exorcist’ Director William Friedkin Experimented With Pigs and Bees For the Iconic Demonic Soundtrack in His Oscar-Winning Film

‘The Exorcist’ Director William Friedkin Experimented With Pigs and Bees For the Iconic Demonic Soundtrack in His Oscar-Winning Film
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As far as the horror genre is concerned, few films have made the kind of terrifying impact on audiences like 1973’s The Exorcist. Directed by the late prolific filmmaker William Friedkin, the narrative follows a young girl who shows signs of demonic possession that unleashes a chain of chilling and frightening events. Till date, The Exorcist is considered a cult classic among horror films across Hollywood.

The Exorcist
A still from The Exorcist directed by William Friedkin

A significant reason for the impact that the film made, was a result of the eerie soundtrack that perfectly blended with the ethos of the narrative. In an exclusive all-revealing interview after the release, director William Friedkin elaborated on his unique research and process that ultimately led to the chilling background score of the movie.

Also Read: “I went to the wrong place at the right time”: Legendary Director William Friedkin Landed Up in the Film Business By Accident After Going To the Wrong Address


William Friedkin Used Sounds Of Bees And Pigs To Create The Soundtrack For The Exorcist

The best horror films are those that crack the balance between a potent script, ominous visual effects, and a background score that enhances the creepiness of the narrative. The Exorcist directed by William Friedkin in 1973, created this balance perfectly and went on to become one of Hollywood’s most iconic horror films that is considered a cult classic today. Speaking exclusively in an interview that is now on YouTube, Friedkin spoke about his research into creating the memorable soundtrack for the film that included using sounds of pigs and bees to create a particular type of pitch and volume that would work on people’s emotions completely differently.

”One of the sounds in the film is produced by recording of bees inside a jar and it’s a very closed mic pick up of a bee buzzing around a jar and that is re-recorded 16 times wherein the pitch of the bee is altered in the piano keyboard and raised each time by a 16th added to that. And mixed with that sound is the recording of pigs being led to slaughter, so it’s a combination of pigs in a slaughterhouse and 16 variations of bees in a bottle.”

William Friedkin
William Friedkin on the sets of The Exorcist

Friedkin went on to add that while many filmmakers spend most of their time and money in creating the perfect visuals, he felt that sound was equally important in setting the correct mood for a film. The Hunted director’s extensive efforts paid off as the soundtrack of The Exorcist is still considered to be one of the most impactful ones among all films in the genre.

Also Read: “I stole the book off my lawyer’s shelf”: William Friedkin Came Across ‘The Exorcist’ By Accident, Made Director Believe “Fate controls our destinies”


The Exorcist Was One Of The Most Challenging Films For William Friedkin

The Exorcist directed by William Friedkin, is considered one of the most important horror films of its time and a benchmark in the genre. The chilling saga of a young girl seemingly possessed by demons, terrified audiences across the world with its soundtrack, visual effects, and its chilling script. While Friedkin began his career as a documentary filmmaker and directed full length films before The Exorcist, few films, he confessed, posed the challenges that this horror thriller did. In a rare interview now on YouTube, the filmmaker said,

“The most challenging was The Exorcist of course. I don’t think about filmmaking in terms of enjoyment. There’s so many problems with associating, with putting something on film – creative and technical problems – that one doesn’t have time to enjoy it, really. I can’t ever say the experience was enjoyable; the editing is what I enjoy.”

William Friedkin
The Exorcist was one of the most challenging films to make for William Friedkin

Despite receiving criticisms from Christian groups owing to the nature of his script, Friedkin revealed that the narrative of The Exorcist was essentially based on the tenets of Christianity where good ultimately overcomes evil.

Also Read: The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Venice Film Festival Review – A Satisfying Farewell to William Friedkin


Source: YouTube 



Written by Sharanya Sankar

Articles Published: 1175

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.