Who are Foley artists and what do they do?
Foley artists are people who make some of the most significant contributions to the movies that we all watch every day. Foley artists work to create precise sounds by using everyday objects to make sounds near a microphone. These sounds are then added to a movie. These sounds are usually background noises like the creaking of a wooden floorboard or the swishing of a curtain. Another popular example is that of fight scenes in action movies. The action in these movies is obviously not real and without Foley artists, people would not be able to hear the swords clashing or the fists hitting each other. Unlike the actors in a movie, the props on the set cannot make realistic sounds on their own. This is where Foley artists come in to do the work. The profession itself is named after Jack Foley who was the first Foley artist. He worked with Universal Studios in 1914 and helped create sound effects for a silent film. His methods soon gained popularity and are some are still used today. Technological advancementshave made improvements in the equipment used by Foley artists and they can create better, more realistic sounds for the media. Seemingly insignificant, but these small sounds hold a great deal of importance when it comes to the quality of the video or the film.
Some Foley Techniques.
There are various techniques used to create Foley art. These techniques can be divided in to three key categories. These are: Feet, Moves, and Specific. “Feet”, as the name suggests, has to do with the sounds that feet make in a movie. These can be footsteps, running or jogging sounds. Foley artists use different types of shoes and flooring to make sounds for different scenes. “Moves” is a category that has to do with the more soft sounds in a movie, for example: curtains rubbing against each other.
The third category is called “specifics” and has to do with sounds such as the ringing of doorbells and windows slamming shut. This category is relatively easier to manage because sound editors can use sound effects to edit the sounds that are being made. Interesting Foley Technique examples include: using soap to create squelching noises, and surgical gloves being used to make sounds of birds flapping their wings. Foley artists have a job that looks fun but can get very tough!
How much money do Foley artists make?
Foley artists make a decent amount of money which is a plus for every aspiring Foley artist. Even though the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have a definite number for Foley artist wages since the data for their wages is not collected, it is estimated by the Motion Picture Editors Guide that an experienced Foley artist can make around $400 a day and Foley artists with relatively less experience can make around $200 day.
How can one become a Foley Artist?
If you love to get creative with sounds and want to become a Foley artist then there is no set qualification or diploma that you need to obtain to become one. However, most people come into Foley art after becoming qualified in film production or recording arts which gives them a very good understanding of the technical work and the instruments that will be used. Getting in to Foley art can require various internships and apprenticeships under already established Foley artists.. With that being said, Foley art requires a lot of on the spot creativity that cannot be learnt through any degree but through practice and undying determination.
If you are passionate about film and media and are looking to make a significant contribution to it, being a Foley artist is one of the best ways to do so. Your job will be fun, exciting and will push your creative limits to their fullest potential. A Foley artist adds that magic, every movie needs and perhaps without them none of us would ever be able to fully enjoy a film. Sound is the essence of every good story and helps a viewer get attached to the narrative. So in the complex world of cinematic arts, being a Foley artist is one of the greatest tasks a person can carry.