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Foley artist If you’re gagging to work in the film business but break out in a cold sweat at the very thought of appearing in front of a camera, then a behind-the-scenes role may just be for you. One of the more interesting film roles available in the business, foley artists create sound effects for everything from television ads to Hollywood blockbusters. Named after Jack Donovan Foley, a pioneer in the early Hollywood sound effects scene, foley artists are employed by television production companies, movie makers and advertising companies. Using a wide range of equipment – surprisingly mostly still very low-fi – foley artists recreate everything from the ominous sound of footsteps chasing a victim in a horror movie, to the gut-wrenching thuds of someone being punched in a fist fight (whoever did the foley work on the Rocky franchise had their work cut out for them). Even though most of us never think of it, almost every movie and television show includes the important but invisible work of a foley artist. The real-life audio is recorded in the filming, but the quality isn’t high enough to reproduce in the final product. Foley artists spend countless days in a studio using all manner of equipment to recreate everyday sounds; they must be inventive problem solvers in order to get the job done. While there are tried and tested tricks to recreating common sounds (for example, a leather bag filled with corn starch makes a noise similar to feet walking through snow), some sounds prove to be difficult to nail, so patience and creativity is needed to get through the trial and error process of recreating elusive sounds. Working closely with mixers and editors, foley artists need to be able to work as part of a team and have the flexibility to roll with

a schedule and script that may change at a moment’s notice. As a highly competitive job, being located near cities with large television and film studios would certainly help your career chances, as most of the opportunities are centred in cities like Los Angeles, London and Mumbai (if you’re into Bollywood). Needless to say, having the ability to network with producers and directors is crucial. Possessing the confidence to market yourself as the best in the business is key. This is one of the most overlooked roles in the movie world (don’t expect huge amounts of fame, money or recognition to flow your way), but you will be able to contribute to the telling of stories in ways most people wouldn’t even dream about. You could be responsible for creating the sound of a blow that ends the life of a major character, or the sound of horse’s hooves galloping in to save the day in an Oscar-winning modern classic. All created while playing with everyday items in a studio. Cool career, huh?

The lowdown

Education or qualifications: Not necessary, although study in audio production, performance arts or film will help. Experience required: Experience working in the film and television production business is essential Training: Most foley artists start out assisting more senior foley artists in an apprenticeship agreement, where on-the-job training is provided. Restrictions: None.

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NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

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