Foley question

So, the bunch of us finally got around to seeing The Avengers and we hung around through the credits because we were pretty sure there would be a monk’s reward at the end (there was). While the minutiae were crawling by we were making jokes (I wanna see who the caterer is) when my sister-in-law said she’d always been fascinated by foley and liked to see who the foley artists are.

Then she asked, “How does one become a foley artist, anyway?” There she had me. Are there classes in foley at CalArts’ film division. Do you kind of hang around the sound editor making a pest of yourself? Is there some kind of apprenticeship program? Just how would a bright-eyed, busy-tailed, heavy-footed youngster get started in the world of foley recording?

How to break into a media career as a Foley Artist. In short, less formal training, more on-the-job and working with mentors. Low pay, freelance for the most part.


I think the Sound Effects dept. is taking over a lot of the work of Foley artists. The sounds are already recorded and easy to edit in, and new sounds can be created electronically also. Old time film makers may be keeping the art alive for nostalgic reasons. (Some new film makers have an old time attitude also)

Maybe, but the problem with using canned sources is that people start recognizing them after a while. How many jillion times have you heard that red-tailed hawks’ scree when there’s a bird on the screen that doesn’t even sound like that? Over on the visual side CGI’s da bomb but there’s still an awful lot of practical effects being done. I’d bet even a decade or two from now there’ll be a call for someone to use an old wallet to mimic squeaky leather shoes.

I’ve heard the same five note “dungeon water drip” since Quake everywhere.

Always did like the sound of snapping celery for breaking bones. Chilling.

Seeing the thread title and being a medical-type person, I started to wonder what such a question was doing in Cafe Society…


Yes it’s confusing. It could be about either a Dave Foley Catheter or a Mick Foley Catheter.

If I hear that same damn stock baby sound in one more movie/tvshow/commercial, I will snap! Is it that hard to go record a different baby now and then? :stuck_out_tongue:

We have an audio department at our school, and the students have at least two classes dealing with Foley. They are strongly encouraged to create new sounds/sound effects, and are shown how to use and market them.

I have seen some of their final projects that are way cool! They get about a 10 minute snippet of silent film and have to put in all the sound - from door opening, weather, footsteps, etc. to the background music (but no dialogue) - and it is quite amazing to see how each student can take that same bit of film and do so many different things. There are layers and layers of sound tracks involved, and each layer has to be timed perfectly, as well as all the varying sound levels. They spend a lot of time learning this, and even more time on those final projects.

Is this a commonly-understood term? Never heard it before. Ignorance fought, I suppose.

There is a really great short on the Lord Of The Rings extended edition DVD (“the making of LOTR”) on the sound effects and the truly whacky lengths the team went to in order to get them. Worth looking up.

And the Manheim Scream really really really REALLY needs to be retired. For good.

You mean Wilhelm?

I dunno, that’s one I like to hear, wilhelm that is.

I’m thinking someone conflated the Wilhelm Scream with Mannheim Steamroller - which also needs to disappear.

I’m trying to work a gaffer joke into this and failing. :stuck_out_tongue:

I love the idea of whatever school doing that with the silent films; sounds like an amazing project to do at home with kids, get them creative juices flowing!

That’s what I came in here to ask, too! Never heard that term before. And what the heck constitutes a Wilhelm Scream?