One of the best aspects of Ryan Connolly’s short film Losses is its sound, although when you hear the Film Riot host talk about it, you get the feeling he’s not entirely happy with it. Well, that’s what professionalism costs you sometimes. You can’t be satisfied with passable. Losses was a quickie shoot and the clock was always ticking on finishing it in time, so Connolly had to do the best he could, and luckily, most people aren’t going to notice any problem with it, especially since he was good at hiding his mistakes and being creative with foley sound.
Foley: Sound Effects Through Creativity
Those of you who have sat through the credits of a film may wonder what the heck a “foley artist” is. Well, these are the guys who create film sounds from sources that may not even be related to the action onscreen, but perfectly capture what we believe those actions sound like. Here’s a scene from Albert Brooks’ great comedy Modern Romance, in which he tries to solve the problem of finding the sound of someone running through a spaceship. This is hilarious:
You can see how his character tried two things there: one was to try to find an existing sound from a library. They choose “Hulk Running” and the non-sequitur results it creates are really funny. So now, with no real existing footage, they have to create their own running sounds to match up to the scene. By the way, for more fun, here’s a foley artist at work on Jurassic Park:
For Losses, Connolly obviously looks like a school kid trying to come up with the sounds that will sell some very violent images. For a brutal stabbing scene, he ends up combining several sounds, none of which involve actually stabbing a human being:
For fine-tuning in post-production, Ryan had an annoying hum that kept coming up in scenes, so he took that hum and told Audition to basically mute it. He does warn that if you go too far with this effect, you can start getting some too-obvious digital effects into the soundtrack.
Freebies And Film Terms
Over the past couple of years on Film Riot, the show has given out free effects and footage to play with for those who might not have the means to get their own. In response to a tweet, Connolly lays down a whole bunch of links that the show has given out all in one segment. Can Film Riot not be cool once?
Episode 134 of Film Riot also gives us another Know Yo Lingo segment, where Connolly defines these terms:
Boom Up/Boom Down: Raising or lowering the camera to a central point. Could be mistaken for a sound term, but it all has to do with the camera.
One For Safety: After getting a perfect take, One For Safety is shooting a backup take just in case something happens to the perfect take.
Video Village: The area where the director and producer are surrounded by video monitors, creating a “village.”
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