Short Film: The Foley Artist (Feast Films)

If you are an amateur videographer, you may never have heard of Jack Foley. In our digital age, we seldom have to consider making sound effects for ourselves. This has not always been the case, however. In a time before you could download unlimited audio files off of the Internet – sound effects for radio dramas, films, and television actually had to be created.

This shouldn’t surprise you, but props and sets don’t usually react the same way acoustically as their real life counterparts. Jack Foley understood this, and it was where his genius shone. In an effort to lend a more realistic sound-scape to a production, he developed a process whereby authentic sound effects could be created in real time alongside the footage. It also proved to be an excellent means of supplying the more nuanced sounds that microphones would miss anyway (the rustling of clothing, or the slight squeak of a saddle when a rider mounted his horse). Such was his aptitude, fellow workers say that the results of a Jack Foley session were as good as editing together twenty audio tracks.

Jack Foley has been dead for almost 50-years, but the technique he developed is still a popular option for professional productions. And in a lovely homage, those who employ his technique are still known as foley artists. Thus we finally make it to the crux of today’s post. While informative (hopefully), it is a chance to share an excellent short that takes us on a little journey with a fictional foley artist. I am sure that you will enjoy it.

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