The Foley Artist

One thing that the average movie goer most likely overlooks when sitting in the theater or in front of their TV is the sound; it is such an inherent part of the reality that has been created on screen that it takes a back seat to the visuals. While new special effects techniques often leave young audiences gawking at the complexity of the robots in the Transformers movies or the brilliance of the Balrog in The Lord of The Rings, not many people really stand in awe of the otherworldly sounds that accompany these things. Moreover, many might be surprised to find that about 80% of all dialogue is rerecorded in a studio and that almost everything else you hear in a movie is assembled on the computer and recorded on a Foley stage (which is a large room filled with props and different surfaces for recreating the sounds one would expect to hear throughout the story). Next time you watch a movie, choose one notable seen and try to pick out every sound, including the ambiences. Now, remember that almost none of it was recorded while the scene was actually happening. That doesn’t mean that no one was recording while the cameras were rolling, but that is a whole other aspect of the audio process. Foley artists develop a skill set that requires a strong sense of timing and creativity for interpreting how something should sound so that it is stimulating rather than simply realistic (which is often boring to the viewer).