What I’ve Got: The Art of Foley

by post_author

Next time you watch a movie, consider this: all the sounds that you hear that emerge from the onscreen world (aside from dialogue) are not real. The microphones used in film production only capture the dialogue well, so in order to create a convincing world on screen, the sounds have to be added later. This is called the Foley, named after its founder Jack Donovan Foley who started working with Universal Studios in 1914. Foley is very complicated and requires good hearing and good timing, to match studio sessions with the onscreen events. Creativity, however, is the single most important aspect of Foley because the sounds expected by objects in a movie can’t always be recreated with those same objects but with similar-sounding alternatives. For example, the sound of punching a person is recreated by dropping vegetables like cabbage on a concrete floor. 

This (hidden, and often unknown) aspect of filmmaking makes movies all the more desirable since they contribute to the immersiveness of the film experience by making the world of the film realistic and believable. 

This beautiful short (13 minute) film introduces the art of Foley, showing the interconnectedness of the narratives of the artists and the film they are working on. 

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