Plants and Animals

Wildlife Photographer’s Viral Squirrel Clip Becomes Voice of Dune’s Desert Mouse

Wildlife Photographer’s Viral Squirrel Clip Becomes Voice of Dune’s Desert Mouse

From yearly spawning displays in the seas to catching secretive species on faraway mountaintops, wildlife photography may take you to a variety of locations.

 It is not something you would expect to lead to a movie deal, but that is precisely what happened to one dedicated photographer after they spent months capturing orphaned newborn squirrels in Sweden. Danni Connor Wild is the photographer in question, and she recorded her months in Sweden with four newborn squirrels on YouTube and social media. 

She had discovered the creatures after their mother, whom Connor had called Remy, died. Connor shot innumerable gorgeous and amusing films and images of her unexpected lockdown squad over the next several weeks, many of which will feature in a 2022 calendar.

A video of a squirrel named Baby Pear chewing on some food caught the attention of social media users all around the world. In it, a newborn squirrel’s heart-melting squeaks may hear in all its gorgeous, high-pitched glory. 

Connor stealthily hooked a mike up to the infant and published the tape online, wanting to share it with the world. The video garnered over 15 million views on Twitter inside a day.

Mark Mangini, an Oscar-winning sound designer, and editor was drawn to this scene because of the clip. Mangini contacted Connor and expressed an interest in using the tape in a film, but they could not tell what they were working on. However, a quick look at the IMDB revealed to Connor that the potential smash Dune was in the works. In Dune, a little, big-eared desert mouse is seen scuttling over the dry terrain of the hypothetical planet Arrakis, and the lovely squeaks of Baby Pear can be heard. In the video below, you can see Connor discussing the purchase with Mangini.

The unique acquisition is said to have started with film editor Joe Walker, who came upon Connor’s work while watching YouTube videos. The tape was sent on to Mangini, who was struggling to come up with a suitable sound for Dune’s desert mouse. In an interview with Connor, Mangini revealed, “We had previously been toying around with noises for the desert mouse.” 

“We got the visual effects made, and we were experimenting with hamster and guinea pig noises.” Small, [rodent]-like genuine stuff that we’d speed up or equalize to make it sound a little different for this creature that doesn’t exist in real life.”

Fortunately, Mangini and his crew thought they would hit gold when they heard Connor’s tape of Baby Pear’s squeaks.”When we first heard those sounds, we all thought it was something we’d never heard before,” says the group “Mangini continued.”First, it is authentic; it is a genuine sound, not a synthesizer of something we have created.

 It also had the correct body size and a level of expressiveness that we couldn’t discover in any of our previous animal recordings.” Therefore, the next time you are out on a shoot, do not forget to bring along some audio recordings. You just never know where they will take you.