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Foley Artists: It Doesn’t Get More Analogue Than This!

Thunder, footsteps, breaking glass, squeaky doors, you name it! Foley artists reproduce everyday sounds to make movies much more natural and become a crucial part of the whole cinematic experience.

If you’ve ever taped anything on video, you’ve pretty much realized background noises are impossible to capture, even worst, they create distortion rather than harmony. So, how come every time we see a movie, sounds like footsteps, thunder or even breaking glass are so well recorded?

Photo via TheMagazine.ca

Well, they are done separately. Forget about computer-generated sounds or music libraries. Nope, these sounds are made by human beings, specialists called Foley artists (in honor of Jack Foley the inventor of this art) using every day things you could probably find around your own house.

Photo via Dentsu London

The most interesting thing about Foley is the amazing sounds they can get by doing the right combinations, in a completely analogue process! Foley artists tend to experiment a lot when looking for the “perfect” sound: they might use a really heavy phone book to make body punching sounds, a thin stick to make a woosh, a pair of gloves to emulate the sound of flapping wings, or even coconut shells for horse hoof noises.

This amazing analogue art takes a whole new scale when you actually watch them perform, so I found this video on the LA Times website which I think is a great way to see how Foley artists create these amazing sounds with the most unusual materials:

If you want to learn more about Foley artists, you can always visit here and here

And remember, in this day and age where digital is mainstream and instant gratification is a constant goal, there are still a few of us who decide to “leave the digital grind behind…”

Lomo on!

written by guanatos

2 comments

  1. slumbrnghok

    slumbrnghok

    Cool article! Do you work in sound? I'm a sound recordist myself. Here's a link to my imdb if anyone is interested:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3073840/

    I just had a film I did all the location audio and post-design pre-mix screen for BAFTA Scotland so am quite excited!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. guanatos

    guanatos

    Nope I don't work in sound but I love the analogue process these guys go through. I'll check out your imdb, thanks!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam