What does a Foley Artist do?
Foley Artists come up with creative ways to reproduce sounds to match the visual scene in a film. Foley is the reproduction of everyday sounds, which are then added to films during post-production. It can be challenging to record every small sound that happens in a scene while you’re actually on set (keys rattling in a door, footsteps, a spoon clinking inside a cup, someone typing on their keyboard, etc). Sometimes, these sounds have to be recreated or included after the fact. For example, when actors do a fight scene, they aren’t really hitting each other, so there are no punching sounds to record! The job of a Foley Artist is to find something that can sound convincingly like a real fight to the audience (while avoiding real violence, of course!)
What's a Foley Artist good at?
Creativity & Storytelling
Be able to recreate everyday sounds to enhance the storytelling
Record sound, have extensive knowledge of ProTools and other audio design software
Understand the Director’s vision and be able to articulate creative and technical ideas, have productive discussions and address constructive feedback, work closely with the dialogues and always keep the sound in mind
Be able to work to tight deadlines in post-production
Who does a Foley Artist work with?
Foley Artists work closely with the Director and Editor. They might also work with the following people:
Sound Editors work directly with the filmmakers to structure and advise on schedules and creative styles. They liaise closely with the picture Editor. They build the team of editors responsible for creating the film’s soundtrack. Sound Editors organize the effects (FX) and Foley recording sessions. They provide creative input during the mix and ensure the final mix and various versions are delivered.
Sound Effects Editor
Sound Effects Editors work closely with the Sound Designer and supervisor. They create backgrounds using specific sounds, such as clocks, wind, birdsong, and cars passing. They create an ambience that can be altered to work with the dialogue and music.
Sound Designers combine all the elements (music, background noises, dialogue, effects, and other atmospheric sounds) into one unified soundscape that forms the sonic backdrop for a film.
How do I become a Foley Artist?
Foley Artists typically have a college education with a diploma in sound and/or recording arts plus knowledge and experience in post-production. A good place to start is as an intern or runner in a post-production audio facility. This gives you a thorough grounding in the technical aspects of recording sound, including knowledge of electronics and training in acoustics.
For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.
You might also be interested in…
Department: Audio Post Production
- Sound Editor
- Manages the team that looks after each part of the sound of a film or TV production.
Department: Audio Post Production
- Sound Designer
- Combine all sound elements (music, background noises, dialogue, effects, and other atmospheric sounds) to create the unified sonic backdrop for a film.
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