Off The Page Oslo 2016:

Sue Harding: Secret Sounds of Foley

nyMusikk invites you to an exclusive journey through the world of movie sounds. The Emmy Award-winning Foley artist Sue Harding, known for her work on The Imitation Game and Les Misérable, reveals some of her secrets in the making of sound effects. There will also be a screening of the short film The Secret World of Foley.

Screen shot The Secret World of Foley.

Sometimes the fake is the most authentic. Most of the sounds you hear in a film are sound effects, or Foley effects, added in post-production. It is performed live and in sync by a Foley artist and can be anything from the subtle sounds of clothes rustling or the putting down of a tea cup to a horse and cart or even a car crashing. What ever occurs on screen is recreated in a studio and added to the sound track to enhance and accentuate what one sees in the image.

During this talk, Foley artist Sue Harding will demonstrate a few tricks employed by artists to create just some of the sounds of the every day that may come up in their work. This will include things such as recreating footsteps in snow or ice, animals, explosions and bone breaks and other gory effects. There will be a chance to delve in to some of the props that artists carry around to create these sounds effects. These random collections of everyday objects are a key component of the foley artists arsenal and can often have unexpected and surprising uses.

Sue Harding has been working as a Foley artist for the past 12 years. She has worked on over 140 feature films, television dramas and animation projects including The Imitation Game, Les Miserables and recently Tim Burton's Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. Last year she won an Emmy for her work on the multi award winning Sherlock and over the years she has also leant her skills to artistic projects and gallery installations. The Secret World of Foley is a film she was particularly happy to have been involved with as it gives a rare glimpse of the often little understood role of a Foley artist.

An early sound effects man (right) adding effects to a live radio play in the 1920s.

The Foley technique is named after Jack Foley who established the basic techniques for film. 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 at Universal projected the film on a screen while recording a single track of audio that captured their live sound effects. Their techniques are still used today.

Film screening
The Secret World of Foley

The Secret World of Foley takes us on a journey into the little known world of Foley artists, who bring films to life by adding sound effects in post-production. We follow a multi-award winning two person team of Foley artists and watch as they work together to bring to life a film about one morning in the life of a fishing village on the English coast.

With their perfectly timed and precisely judged sound effects they transform the film as they interpret every sound detail, using props from their vast props store. This film shines a light on a little known film art form and is a testament to magic and wonder of Cinema itself.

Screen shot The Secret World of Foley.

Sources: Wikipedia.org, sound-ideas.com. 

Off The Page
Kunstnernes Hus
Saturday 23 January

Music fair: 11:00 - 16:00
Festival programme: 12:00 - 22:00

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