Foley (filmmaking)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects that are added to film, video, and other media in post-production to enhance audio quality. These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass. The best Foley art is so well integrated into a film that it goes unnoticed by the audience. It helps to create a sense of reality within a scene. Without these crucial background noises, movies feel unnaturally quiet and uncomfortable.

Foley artists recreate the realistic ambient sounds that the film portrays. The props and sets of a film often do not react the same way acoustically as their real life counterparts. Foley sounds are used to enhance the auditory experience of the movie. Foley can also be used to cover up unwanted sounds captured on the set of a movie during filming, such as overflying airplanes or passing traffic.

The term "Foley" also means a place, such as Foley-stage or Foley-studio, where the Foley process takes place.

History

What is now called Foley is a range of live sound effects originally developed for live broadcasts of radio drama in the early 1920s in various radio studios around the world. Because no effective recording method existed in those days, a sound effects person had to create all sounds for radio plays live. Jack Donovan Foley started working with Universal Studios in 1914 during the silent movie era. When Warner studios released its first film to include sound, The Jazz Singer, Universal knew it needed to get on the bandwagon and called for any employees who had radio experience to come forward. Foley became part of the sound crew that turned Universal’s then upcoming “silent” musical Show Boat into a musical. Because microphones of the time could not pick up more than dialogue, other sounds had to be added in after the film was shot. Foley and his small crew projected the film on a screen while recording a single track of audio that captured their live sound effects. Their timing had to be perfect, so that footsteps and closing doors synchronized with the actors' motions in the film. Jack Foley created sounds for films until his death in 1967. His basic methods are still used today.

Modern Foley art has progressed as recording technology has progressed. Today, sounds do not have to be recorded live on a single track of audio. They can be captured separately on individual tracks and carefully synchronized with their visual counterpart. Foley studios employ hundreds of props and digital effects to recreate the ambient sounds of their films.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Foley (filmmaking)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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