Films that are famous for the use of Foley sound.

The use of Foley sound in Film

In this research project I am aiming to find out which films are most famous for their use of Foley sound and films that show a great use of Foley sound. I chose to do this for my research as I do not know a vast amount about Foley sound and I thought it would be interesting to analyse the Foley sounds in films I already have seen to see if I noticed the sounds were Foley when first watching it.

Foley can be described as the reproduction of everyday sound effects that are added to films and other media in post-production to enhance audio quality. These sounds can range from anything such as breaking glass to footsteps. 

Primary research plan:

For my primary research I am going to re-create some well known foley sounds that are often used in film such as:

  • Rain
  • Foot steps
  • Horse walking
  • Human voice
  • Space ship
  • Car engine
  • Running water

Secondary research plan:

My secondary research will be more in-depth and I aim to analyse one film in detail that use Foley sound. I aim to find out:

  • Which sounds in the film have been recreated
  • Which specific scenes are the most well known for their Foley sounds
  • How the recreating of these sounds help to enhance the overall mood of the films

Primary Research

For my primary research I decided to recreate some well-known Foley sounds that would appear commonly in films. I did this using a basic microphone on a simple 30 degree polar setting and used common objects and surrounding to make these Foley sounds.

Rain 

For this sound I simply used a shower and moved the shower head around the shower  to create the effect of rain falling to the ground.

Car Engine

For this sound I recorded a car being turned on before it started driving and then carried on recording it as it drove away.

Footsteps –

This was the simplest sound to create as I just recorded someone walking on a wooden floor to make sure the sound was clear.

Horse walking –

For this sound I recorded a book being hit against the wall which created a similar sound to a horse galloping.

Human voice –

For this I decided to record a busy hallway in college to create a background noise of voices, which could be used as a background noise for a café or something similar in a film.

Space ship –

For this Foley sound I found a door in college that would squeak every time it opened and decided to use this to create a sort of space ship / alien noise.

Secondary Research

The film I will be analysing is The Hunger Games (2012) . The most common Foley sounds that have been re-created in this film are:

  • Leaves rustling
  • Bird sounds
  • A bow and arrow being shot
  • Breathing
  • Apples falling to the ground
  • An explosion
  • Loud beeping sound
  • Footsteps running

I have found on YouTube a scene in which I feel most effectively shows different foley sounds and is probably one of the most significant scenes in the film to show foley sound. In this scene almost every action that happens has its own foley sound, for example the apples falling to the ground may not usually be  something that is heard easily, however through clearly defining the sound of the apples falling it prepares the audience, through sound, for the explosion that is about to happen. The foley sounds also make this scene so significant as no dialogue is needed to show what is happening and you can clearly feel her emotions and what’s going on through the sounds.

 

I will now talk about why each Foley sound shown in this scene is so significant and how it helps to create a mood and atmosphere for the film.

Leaves rustling – this helps to establish her location and emphasise the fact that she is in the middle of the woods. clearly hearing the leaves rustle also shows how quiet her area must be in order for the sound of the leaves to be so clear

Birds singing – this helps to create a calming mood for the audience as the scene may have been more tense if the bird sounds hadn’t have been there and the scene had been completely silent.

Bow and arrow being shot – the sound of her preparing to shoot the bow and arrow emphasises the characters concentrate and how important this one shot could be in saving her life.

Breathing – the loud breathing sounds again shows how important this scene is for the character and how although the tries to be strong, the breathing shows she is nervous and how much pressure is on her for taking this shot.

Apples falling -as I spoke about before the sound of the apples falling to the ground is almost preparing us for the explosion and we are so concentrated on the sound of the apples falling, we don’t expect a loud explosion sound

An explosion – the calm atmosphere before the explosion is what makes this sound so prominent and probably unexpected by a lot of audiences. the Foley explosion sound isn’t too over the top and therefore sounds realistic

Beeping sound – the beeping sound that follows the explosion allows us as the audience to hear what the character would be hearing after this incident and puts us into her point of view. I personally feel this is the most effective sound from the whole scene as it shows us realistically what she would hear after an explosion.

Harvard Reference:

http://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/564026-sound-of-the-hunger-games-featurette-ipad-foley – Last Accessed 16/10/16

‘Hunger Games Audio Class’ MuseLoveArts (2014) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9r_fCkJv3Q – Last Accessed 16/10/16

 

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