Instructables
Picture of Foley Artistry for an Action Scene

Today, we are going to look into the wonderful world of Foley artistry. What is a Foley artist? A Foley artist is one who provides sound effects for a film through the use of everyday objects and materials that can produce the sound we expect to hear when watching a scene. If we watch some plates break, we expect to hear shattering. If we see a horse galloping, we expect to hear the hoof beats. Picking up these sounds during the actual filming of the scene is exceedingly difficult so Foley artists watch the scenes and provide the sound effects separately. They will watch the scenes, set up their areas, and then record the sound effects live while watching the scene again. In order to talk about some of the tricks up their sleeves, we will be using a very well done video showing a couple of Foley artists recording sound live for an action scene. Throughout the Instructable, we will be referencing particular segments to help visualize the different sound effects and how to do them.

A few general notes regarding Foley artistry:

  • Strategically place recording devices throughout the studio to fully capture all of the sounds that will be produced in full detail.
  • Include a screen with the movie scene playing to follow along with for timing purposes
  • Plan before recording
  • Determine each sound that needs to be produced
  • Determine how it will be produced and the prop that will be used
  • Set up the recording studio so that each prop is within reach and each sound can be executed in sequence
  • BE SAFE!
  • And Have fun!
 
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LynxSys3 months ago

This is quite interesting, and also something that I've seen done in live theater. I recall a production of Our Town in which a foley artist was actually cooking offstage while the actors pantomimed making breakfast. I find it very cool that some of the really basic techniques used in foley artistry (e.g. coconut shells for horse hooves or just making sounds with your mouth) are still in use in our modern age of digital effects. Your Instructable inspired me to poke around online, and I found this great video of a foley artist named Gary Hecker doing a whole set of horse sounds: http://soundworkscollection.com/videos/garyhecker.

This is really interesting!