Foley - The Man Behind The Sound
'Foley' is the craft of reproducing everyday sounds for use in filmmaking. Award-winning Foley artist Gary Hecker shares tips and tricks he learned during his career of enhancing the sound of more than 200 films.
These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass. The best Foley art is so well integrated into a film that it goes unnoticed by the audience. It helps to create a sense of reality within a scene. Without these crucial background noises, movies feel unnaturally quiet and uncomfortable.
What's the point of this? 1)
Recoding the ambient sound on a set is really difficult.
In the video the Foley artist added a creaking sound to
Russell Crowe's leather armor. In reality that noise
probably wasn't any louder than the wind. 2) It wouldn't
feel real. There's a scene in Miss Congeniality where
Sandra Bullock stumbles in some high heals. In reality
she probably just stumbled onto a mat (out of the camera
frame), but the audio that was added made the stumble
sound much more dramatic. 3) Sound may
not be available. In the video you saw a car fly
out the back of an airplane, which was certainly a CGI
shot. No audio would have been available. 4) It's
impractical. Even if they designed the set with hundreds
of microphones to capture every little sound, it would
limit where the cameras could be and it could distract
the actors. 5) It gives more creative control. If every
single sound is isolated on its own channel then sounds
can be moved around, adjusted and completely removed if
it doesn't fit the scene.
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