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What is this role?
The Foley Artist role in a film production involves the person in this role to choose or reproduce the right sounds to be placed in the film. These sounds can include things like clapping, walking, cheering, an object breaking or even farting. It is up to the foley artist to ensure these noises are correct and blend in with the film.
During a film in production a lot of things are fake, like rubber swords, painted on brick walls, and marble pillars made out of wood. If one were to hit one of these objects it wouldn't sound like it appears, so the foley artist has to recreate the sound of two swords clashing.
What is required of the role for each stage of production?
The Foley Artist is very much constricted to post production in the Post Production Studio, where all the editing is involved and the move is actually being put together to look like a proffessional production. During Production the only noises or sounds that are required there and then is pretty much the dialogue, so the sound recordist pays no attention to anything but the words coming out of the actors.
Although recreating noises, Foley artists do not recreate mechanical or technical noises like bombs going off or cars starting, they just focus on the physical noises that would be required.
What roles collaborate with your role?
During post production, the Foley Artist gathers with the Director, lead Sound Supervisor and the editor to ensure the film is at a stage where it can be finished and obviously released to the public. Together these people make sure the entire audio, music and sounds of the film fits in with the what the director wants and how effective he wants to make it.
What training is required for this role?
Foley Editors are usually graduates of Arts, Music, Electronics, Maths, or Sound Technology courses, who have also specialised in Sound at post-graduate level. =
Are there any courses avaliable in Australia?
The best course is located at Byron Bay at the SAE institute for a Bachelor of Audio Production. Kagan Institute TAFE which is located in Victoria offers an Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media which involves teaching Foley Artist skills.
What equipment is needed for this role?
A viewing screen, obviously for viewing the content of the film.
Recording equipment, to record the sounds being made.
Props, none in particular, as many different sounds are required but can made with anything, as long as the artist is satisfied.
Desk and computer, to go over and review sounds made.
Notable Foley Artists:
James Moriana is a very well credited Foley Artists, although not well known, he has worked on many films which include Jackass 3D, The Pacific, Law Abiding Citizen, Inglorious Bastards and Fast and Furious.
Due to limited information, there is not any indication of this role playing specific parts in production, all that is known is that a lot of every film, relies on the foley artist to make the sounds that were either not picked up on the microphone whilst filming or doesn't reach the directors satisfaction. A notable use of foley artist sounds is when in a production, the film needs to include footsteps. Most of the time, these footsteps are made by the Foley Artists, as when filming a scene, set with marble looking floors, the floors are not actually marble, just painted wood. This requires the Foley Artist to recreate the noise of footsteps, on marble.
Will technology affect the role of a Foley Artist?
An advancement in technology should not really affect the role of a Foley artist, as all the sounds being made are not made by computer, they are all unique sounds, with new noises being created for every production, by the films Foley artist. Therefore there is no reason as to why a Foley Artist to be affected by advanced technology, simply because the role of a Foley Artist does not involve much technology.
By John Geddes
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