Foley Artists: How Movie Sound Effects Are Made

Foley Artists: How Movie Sound Effects Are Made


Lunsford:
PEOPLE ARE OFTEN PUZZLED THAT THIS ISN’T ALL DONE
BY COMPUTER. Stevenson: IN ORDER TO GET
THE RIGHT FEEL OF A CHARACTER, YOU NEED TO REALLY KNOW
HOW THEY’RE FEELING. Hecker: EVERYTHING THAT I CREATE
ON THE STAGE IS ORGANIC, USING PROPS, AND RECORDED
PRECISELY FOR THAT FILM. Stevenson: FOLEY IS THE ART OF
PUTTING SOUND EFFECTS TO PICTURE AFTER A FILM
HAS ALREADY BEEN SHOT. Hecker: SEE THAT BIG GUST
OF WIND ON THE RIGHT? SO, I GOT TO FOCUS ON THAT
AND GET THAT PERFECTLY — EACH LITTLE FLUTTER HAPPENING
RIGHT THERE. NOW IT’S CUT TO A HUGE CLOSE-UP. WHEN THEY SHOOT A FILM, THE SOUND IS CONCENTRATED
ON THE ACTORS’ DIALOGUE, SO WE GO BACK AND RE-CREATE
ALL THESE SOUNDS FOR DRAMA AND DETAIL AND JUST TO BRING
THE FILM TO LIFE. [ FABRIC RUSTLING ] Stevenson:
WE PERFORM WHAT WON’T BE CUT FROM A SOUND-EFFECTS LIBRARY —
THE LIVE SOUND EFFECTS — ONCE THE PICTURE’S
BEEN ASSEMBLED AND HOPEFULLY
WITH AS MUCH VISUAL EFFECTS. Lunsford: USUALLY VISUAL EFFECTS
IS WORKING ON THEIR CHANGES, AND WE’LL BE GETTING THEM DAILY
AS THEY’RE MAKING THEM IF IT’S A BIG EFFECTS MOVIE. IN TANDEM,
THE SOUND-EFFECTS EDITORS ARE IN THEIR ROOMS
EDITING SOUND EFFECTS. THE MUSIC EDITOR’S
EDITING MUSIC. IT’S GETTING SCORED. AND THEN IT ALL COMES TOGETHER
AT THE END. SO, WE’RE ALL SORT OF WORKING
AT THE SAME TIME. Hecker: I GET THE FILM IN REELS,
LITTLE 15-MINUTE CHUNKS. THEY’RE CALLED A-B REELS. THEN I’M GIVEN A LIST OF THE
SOUNDS THAT THEY WANT ME TO DO. Lunsford:
FORTUNATELY, WE HAVE SOMEBODY WHO SPOTS THE FOOTAGE FOR US. “AT THIS NUMBER ON THE TIMECODE,
YOU GO THERE, AND THEY WOULD LIKE TO HEAR
THIS PERSON’S FOOTSTEPS.” Stevenson: SORT OF A MAP OF THE
MOVIES THAT THE SOUND EFFECTS — THE SUPERVISOR PROVIDES FOR US. [ CLATTERING ] SOMETIMES WE CAN’T
SEE THINGS COMING, SO YOU’LL SEE A STREAMER, WHICH IS THE LINE GOING FROM
LEFT TO RIGHT ON THE SCREEN. AND WHEN IT HITS THE RIGHT SIDE
OF THE SCREEN IS WHEN WE WILL MAKE OUR SOUND. SO, A SYNC POINT. A SMACK. WE’RE GOING FOR THE SMACK
ACROSS THE FACE. SO, AS SOON AS IT HITS THAT — HELPS US TO BE MORE PRECISE. Hecker: YOU GOT TWO STREAMERS
FOR THEM? I USUALLY START WITH
THE ACTOR’S FOOTSTEPS. Stevenson:
THAT WOULD BE THE MOST
FREQUENTLY DONE SOUND TO ADD. I CAN’T THINK OF A MOVIE WHERE
WE DON’T DO HUMAN FOOTSTEPS. Hecker:
SOMETIMES IT GETS TRICKY, BECAUSE THE FILM EDITING
WILL CHANGE. AND THEN YOU GOT TO STOP
AND THEN PUNCH IN. Lunsford:
AND PEOPLE DON’T ALWAYS REALIZE
WE’RE WALKING IN PLACE. Stevenson: AND WE HAVE TO
CONTROL OUR BREATHING SO YOU’RE NOT HEARING
MY FEMALE BREATHING WHILE I’M DOING A HEAVY MAN
RUNNING FOR BLOCKS. Hecker: I DID A TRACK MOVIE,
AND IT WAS ABOUT PREFONTAINE. I’M LOOKING AT THE SCREEN GOING,
“NO WAY.” ‘CAUSE I HAD TO DO HIM, AND THEN I HAD TO DO
THE OTHER RUNNERS, TOO. SO, I WAS RUNNING TRACK
THE WHOLE DAY. [ CHUCKLES ] Stevenson:
THESE SHOES I’M GONNA WEAR BECAUSE THEY HAVE A NICE, DEEP,
RESONANT, AUTHORITATIVE SOUND, AND HOPEFULLY MENACING. [ FOOTSTEPS ] IT ALL DEPENDS ON
THE SHOES YOU’RE WEARING. Hecker: THIS IS LIKE
A GIRL’S HIGH HEEL. LISTEN TO YOUR EAR. YOU’RE GONNA
HEAR HOW CLICKY IT IS. [ HEEL CLICKS ] SO, THEN IF I WAS DOING
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, I COULDN’T DO HIM
IN THESE SHOES. YOU GOT TO GO THROUGH 50 PAIRS
OF SHOES, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, TO FIND ONE PAIR OF SHOE THAT
SOUNDS GOOD FOR THAT CHARACTER, AND THEN I HAVE DIFFERENT SHOES
FOR DIFFERENT CHARACTERS. DIRECTOR MIGHT HAVE
CERTAIN SOUNDS THAT HE WANTS TO HEAR, AS WELL,
IN THERE. LIKE, ON “DJANGO,” HE WANTED TO
HAVE THOSE SPURS CRYSTAL CLEAR. THIS IS REALLY HARD TO FIND, ‘CAUSE IT HAS A MAGIC RING
AND IT’S MADE FROM THE 1800s. YOU CAN SEE THE METAL. [ SPUR JANGLING ] THIS IS COFFEE GRINDS,
AND WHAT THIS DOES IS JUST ADDS A LITTLE BIT
OF GRIT TO THE SURFACE HERE. [ CRUNCHING ] Stevenson:
I THINK IT IS ACTING. ARE THEY SAD?
ARE THEY ENERGETIC? ARE THEY — -Lunsford: ARE THEY DRUNK?
-Stevenson: ARE THEY DRUNK? Lunsford:
YEAH. ARE THEY STUMBLING? ARE THEY CAUTIOUS?
ARE THEY… Stevenson: SEXY? Lunsford: TRYING TO BE QUIET.
TRYING TO INTIMIDATE. Stevenson:
WHEN I’M WALKING A CHARACTER, I IMMERSE MYSELF
INTO THAT CHARACTER, AND IT HELPS ME TO ANTICIPATE
WHAT THEY’RE GONNA DO. SO, I THINK IT HELPS
MY PERFORMANCE. IT’S ALSO FUN TO DO ALL OF THE
OBJECTS THAT THEY MIGHT HANDLE. Lunsford:
WE’LL GO ON TO FINISH ALL
THE FOOTSTEPS THROUGH THE MOVIE, THEN WE’LL GO ON TO THE PROPS, WHICH IS EVERYTHING
THAT THEY TOUCH, THEY MOVE, THAT THEY WALK OVER,
THEY STUMBLE ON — PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING THAT IS
TOUCHED THAT MAKES A SOUND. Stevenson:
FLOWY, BILLOWY CURTAIN. HOPEFULLY IT BRINGS YOU
INTO THE REALITY OF THE FILM AND NOT TAKES YOU OUT
OF THAT EXPERIENCE. [ CLATTERS ] Lunsford: THE PHYSICAL ASPECT
OF THE JOB, I THINK, IS SO FUN. Stevenson:
THERE ARE INJURIES, THOUGH. PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN
SOME SERIOUS INJURIES. Hecker: I TORE MY KNEE,
CUT MYSELF, BURNED MYSELF, HIT IN THE KNEES
WITH BASEBALL BATS. [ THUDDING ] WHEN I’M CREATING A SOUND, I’M ALWAYS THINKING
OF HOW TO PROJECT THAT SOUND OR HOW TO MAKE THAT SOUND JUST A LITTLE COOLER
THAN IT IS IN REAL LIFE. THESE TUBES ARE GONNA FREEZE. THAT’S HOW I GOT IT.
THERE’S NO SOUND THERE. I HAD TO COME UP WITH THE SOUND
OF ALL THESE WATER AND FREEZING. THE MIXER’S GONNA PITCH ME DOWN AND MAKE THIS LIQUID
SOUND THICKER. [ SPLASHING ] [ CRACKING ] [ SQUEAKING ] I ALSO USE MY VOICE A LOT. [ WHOOSHING ] I’M JUST GONNA CARVE
WITH MY VOICE WHERE THE WATER APEXES
AROUND DIFFERENT REGIONS. THAT’S JUST GONNA GIVE IT
JUST ANOTHER DIMENSION. [ WHOOSHING ] OKAY. HEY, RANDY. BURY THAT DOWN IN
WITH THE WATER AND STUFF, OKAY? Singer: OKAY.
WE’RE GONNA PLAY BACK. Hecker: HERE’S WATER, THE
CRACKLING, AND THEN MY VOICE. [ WHOOSHING, CRACKLING ] I HIDE MY VOICE
UNDERNEATH THESE SOUNDS, AND I LAYER DIFFERENT THINGS
WITH MY VOICE THAT ARE ALTERED BY MY MIXER. RANDY’S BACK THERE.
I COLLABORATE ALL DAY WITH HIM. Singer: GARY LIKES TO PUT
HIS OWN SPIN ON THINGS, AND IT’S KIND OF EXCITING
FOR ME, BECAUSE IT GIVES ME THE
OPPORTUNITY TO ENHANCE THE SOUND BY USING PLUG-INS
AND OUTBOARD EQUIPMENT. Hecker:
HE’S USING HIS AUDIO GEAR TO ENHANCE MY SOUNDS
AND MAKE THEM BIGGER THAN LIFE. SO, A FOLEY MIXER IS VERY,
VERY IMPORTANT TO MY PROCESS. Lunsford:
PEOPLE SOMETIMES THINK THAT MIXERS ARE JUST RECORDING
UP THERE, BUT HE’S THINKING,
HE’S CREATING, HE’S LOOKING THROUGH
HIS VAST AMOUNT OF PLUG-INS, AND HE KNOWS WHAT THEY DO AND,
“WHAT IF I COMBINE THESE?” AND WHERE THEY’RE GONNA FALL
IN THE CHAIN MAYBE AFFECTS
HOW THE SOUND COMES OUT. HE’S AN EQUAL MEMBER
OF THE TEAM. IT’S REALLY FUN.
IT’S LIKE BEING IN A BAND. YOU GET TO KIND OF BOUNCE IDEAS
OFF OF EACH OTHER. AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT,
THE DAY’S GONE. [ METAL RINGS ] Hecker: YOU’RE NOT JUST PULLING
A SOUND FROM A SOUND LIBRARY THAT’S BEEN SITTING THERE FOR A
LONG TIME, USED ON MANY MOVIES. IT’S ALL FRESH AND ORGANICALLY
CREATED ON A STAGE. [ FABRIC RIPS, CLANG ] [ CRACK, CLANG, SHATTER ] Stevenson:
I THINK IF YOU NOTICE FOLEY, THEN WE HAVEN’T REALLY
DONE OUR JOB. Lunsford: YOU WANT TO SHOW THEM
HOW WE DO KISSES? -Stevenson: OKAY.
-Lunsford: OKAY. [ BOTH SMOOCHING ] [ BOTH LAUGH ]

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