The Hidden Whiz a.k.a Foley Artists

The Whizzy Whiz!

I have always been interested in the movie side as you all know by now. I started reading about different needs for making a film. One of the important parts is the use of Foley.

Foley Artist at work

The job of a Foley Artist is to re-create or reproduce everyday sound effects in a film, music video or any soap operas during the editing for a much better audio quality. These are usually done with cloth, paper, spoon, cups etc.

“On Sundays after Mass, our kitchen became a sound stage. My grandfather and the kids would be playing around with all sorts of things from the house trying out different effects on the table.”

Catherine clark

How it all started!

History of Foley starts with the famous Jack Donovan Foley, an American grandson of Irish immigrants. He was the first one who introduced sound manipulation which has become one of an essential part of any Film production.


During the silent movie era, Jack Foley began working with the Universal Studious. The first “silent” musical ‘Show boat’ was being turned into Musical, the problem which rose up was that Microphones at that time could not captures other sounds except dialogues, thus the sound crew had to create the Ambience somehow. Foley started using footsteps and closing of doors to synchronize with the actor’s motion in the film. He slowly started creating more and more sounds with his own method which is still used today.

Source: Jack Foley and the art of sound

Jack Foley…who is he?

Jack Foley

Born in Yorkville, New York, Foley started his first job as a Clerk. Foley later moved to California where he worked as a double and stunt man, later as time flew by, his interest in sound developed and ended up inventing a new category for artists, Foley Artists.

Source: Jack Foley Bio

How does it work?

Foley effects or sound effects are added once the shoots are over during the editing process. A Foley artist can include any object just to create a sound needed in the particular scene.

Shobdo, a movie based on a Foley Artist

For example the sound of hundreds of birds flying away at the same time, the shot might be absolutely perfect but getting the exact sound is not possible due to the different ambience evolving around it. What a Foley artist does is that he collects different size of hard old papers; tie them from one side keeping the other half open. Creates a pair of two, holds one in each hand and flaps it vigorously creating a similar sound illusion (anyone can try it).

Source: Shobdo

Uses of it?


The use of Foley might sound minimal but it has a great importance in the editorial part. Foley helps in recreating the sound experienced during the shooting as the sound is very fade due to the ambience of the entire environment. Foley adds depth and realistic touch to the audio quality.

Source: Foley Artist, filmmaking

Give it a try, it’s fun playing around with, especially when someone is bothering you a lot, go scare them :p



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