What Does A Foley Artist Do?

If you watch the credits at the end of a film, you may have wondered what a Best Boy, or Key Grip is*. Another of the more obscure technical jobs is that of Foley Artist. The foley artist has one of the most important jobs in ensuring that we suspend our disbelief and accept the film as being ‘real’. He or she adds sound to the final film… not the dialogue, but the ambient sound that makes what we see sound real: footsteps, cars, weather, and so on.

As you will find out (if you haven’t already done so), recording decent sound on location is challenging. As a result, it is sometimes easier to add the sound later and this is the job of the foley artist. And, thanks to someone somewhere making a mistake, we can now get a glimpse into the art (and it is art) of the foley artist.

Someone from Universal who made Everest, sent the BBC a clip with the ADR track rather than the final sound. As a result, the clip looks spot on, but the only sound is the dialogue. Here it is:

What they should have played is the final version complete with the foley artists contribution… so here it is again with all the effects…

Watch both clips two or three times and listen to just how much has been added for the final film: wind, the sounds of the ladder, the rumble of the avalanche, and so on. Foley work is crucial, and fascinating… and essential in creating ‘reality’. Enjoy!

*Best Boy: Is in charge of the lighting or grip department. Key Grip: supervises and coordinates the ancillary camera equipment such as cranes, dolly tracks, and so on.

Orange And Teal: Why everything looks the same!

I’ve managed to remember how to log into my Evernote account and have found a link I’ve mentioned in class a few times but couldn’t find (actually, there are a few, but I’ll just share a couple here). During those occasions when I’m not going off on a tangent, you’ll have noticed I sometimes point at the X-Men poster on the back wall and make a geeky comment about the blue/gold colouring… well, to be more accurate, I should have been calling it a teal/orange colour cast. And it is a thing. And not actually a very good thing… Look at these posters:

Orange Teal Posters

Notice something? They all have a similar teal/orange colour palate. Sadly, this is not just a coincidence, but has everything to do with a post-production technique called colour grading. There’s a fine enough explanation of it here: “Why Every Movie Looks Sort Of Orange And Blue” (Go on, give it a read… I’ll wait)

As you now know, it’s because of this:


And once something is successful, you can be sure it’ll be copied… and copied… and copied…

Anyway, not remembering the link has been a major itch that needed scratched for me… now scratched! Read the link, give it some thought, and be prepared to start being a wee bit annoyed when you watch films as I guarantee that you will now find it hard to watch a new film without being aware of it, and now you’ll also have a better idea about why it is happening.

See, told you this was a fun subject! 🙂