Today we’ve started our session with Foley Sound. Foley sound is sound that is used within Film & TV. Foley sound (for anyone curious) is sound that is used within Film & TV as “real life sound effects”. This can be anything from a door creaking open to the thudding of someone falling over.
The topic I’ll be researching within this will be “Films famous for their use of Foley“. To find out information about it, I’ll be using both Primary and Secondary research.
For Primary Research, I will be physically watching some famous films and taking notes on their use of Foley sound effects. I will also think about practising/re-creating some sound effects myself to try and see how effective they are and how it works in more detail.
For Secondary Research, I will be researching online through Google finding more of the background information about the specific films with their Foley sound effects.
Whilst looking for famous films that use Foley Sound effects, I found on a Telegraph Article (Richard Johnson, 30 October 2011) I was able to work out that a lot of Foley Artists always listen out for specific sounds, and some record the sound outside of the studio: even when they’re somewhere crazy such as at a Dentist appointment to fit with the scene better as it’s real sound rather than something created in the studio. I also found out that whilst films are being shot they only care about the actors acting and their voice rather than the sound effects. Sound effects can always come in later than the shoot itself – it could even be a last minute adjustment to make it sound as perfect as possible to them.
Some films that use Foley Sound after researching on the Telegraph Article include:
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). Within Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire “where Harry has to negotiate a living maze, Joseph says he went to great lengths to get “the sound of a privet maze and all its nuances – it had to sound alive and dangerous”.”.
- Quantum of Solace (2008). Within Quantum of Solace “Joseph hired in some scaffolding and mocked up a Tuscan roof with tiles that he bought on eBay”.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). Within Charlie and the Chocolate Factory “he actually jumped into a makeshift swimming pool with a sack of Nutrient Agar powder to make sure the chocolate river sounded thick enough. “I was swimming about in the stuff all day,” he says. “But it was very gloopy. I had to take four showers to get it all off.” “.
- Kingdom of Heavens (2005). Alex Joseph “was asked to recreate the sound of a head being chopped off”. This was followed by “Some people would have gone with a watermelon,” he tells me. “Or a frozen cabbage.” Instead, Joseph opted for green coconut: “The outside is fibrous. So it cuts like skin. And the hard shell sounds like bone. Inside is the jelly, which sounds like blood. When you slice into it, it sounds just like a human head. I imagine.” “.
From researching online, I began to realise every film uses Foley sound at least somewhere to get a better effect or just to dub over certain parts.
I also watched the following clip to try and get a rough understanding on how Foley Sound can be created, allowing me to find out how some sounds are created differently.
Film Riot - Learn to Create Your Own Sound Effects with Foley (Film Riot, 2010).
I watched a couple of different scenes within films that I found on YouTube to try and find some of the possibilities of Foley Sound Effects within them, and I managed to find:
Jaws (6/10) Movie CLIP - Scars (1975) HD (Movie Clips, 2011)
Within this scene in the film “Jaws”, starting off we can gather that there is a Foley sound from when the cup is being placed. Following onwards, there’s an effect that there is more being used possibly from when the characters are speaking, and it’s being dubbed over – possibly when there’s a high pitch “squeal” from the man pulling out his tooth. We can also see Foley sound from when the mans sleeve is being pulled up, you can just slightly hear the effect of it being pulled up which usually the microphone probably wouldn’t be able to pick up, even if it was very vigorously pulled up. Any movement within the scene was most likely re-created as well, for example when the characters are moving across the table and something moves as well, which makes the effect that they sound more like they’re moving creating a better effect for the audience. You can also hear the odd sound of the characters moving around, which shows that they were probably recreated as well. The hitting of the leg sound is most probably Foley sound as well as it sounds like it could have been dubbed over the top to get a better “slap” sound effect. The button being pulled off of the shirt could have been something simply tapping against a table to create a more realistic sound.
Star Wars VII The Force Awakens- Rey vs Kylo Ren Lightsaber Fight Scene (Orlok425, 2016)
Starting off within this clip, we can instantly hear Foley Sound from the lightsaber being pulled towards Kylo Ren (or at least, that’s what the audience thinks). We could also find Foley sound from the lightsaber coming out as well as the spinning of the lightsaber. The screams whilst they’re running towards each other were possibly dubbed over the top, as well as the sound of the lightsaber straight after the scream. Any of the sound within this scene was most likely Foley Sound, especially when the lightsaber hits the tree as well, as we can clearly understand that it wouldn’t be a real thing that the characters would have heard and must’ve been added in afterwards. This is also followed by the hitting of the sabers together. The falling of the tree sound could have been created by getting some form of a thick branch and creating a more realistic sound of a tree falling. The sound of the trees falling behind the two of them could also be Foley sound, as they all fall simultaneously and would be easy to re-create and make it sound a lot better. As well as this, the lightsabers hitting the ground would be Foley sound as well, as it creates a more metallic sound at the same time.
I feel this task in particular was very helpful as it allowed me to understand the different ways that Foley Sound is used within films, and how often it is actually used compared to what I thought. It’s given me a better understanding in general on how Foley Sound can be created as well, and what is effective.