15 Facts About How Sound Effects in Our Favorite Movies Are Made
Using adorable balloons to make furious monster roars, fried bacon to make pouring rain sounds and fresh celery to sound like bones breaking are all part of sound effects. Foley artists do an incredible job of using everyday items to recreate special sounds that are used in our favorite films. Improvisation and endless imagination help them to give us an incredible movie-watching experience. They’re the true magicians!
Bright Side is amazed by the work done by Foley artists and invites you to take a sneak peek at their profession. So go ahead and grab some popcorn, it’s time to enjoy some behind-the-scenes action! In the bonus section, we’ve even included a typical moment from a Foley artist’s day.
1. Groans and roars of monsters — rubbing on a balloon
To recreate a complicated roar, something really harmless is used — a simple balloon! For example, in the 2014 remake of Godzilla, Foley artists used an inflated balloon to make most of their roaring sounds. They rubbed on it and recorded the result.
2. Pouring rain sounds — fried bacon
Sometimes Foley artists don’t need to wait for bad weather conditions to record rain sounds. In fact, sometimes real rain sounds aren’t as loud as they need them to be. In this case, the sound of bacon sizzling on a pan is just perfect. They also may use the sound of falling rice for the same purpose.
3. Crushing sounds — celery
The sound of breaking bones or crushing things under a big creature’s feet doesn’t actually require harming anyone. In reality, it’s way more humane — they just use a piece of celery. Its sounds are perfect for imitating anything crunchy and you won’t ever suspect the difference!
4. Walking horse sounds — coconuts
When you knock dried empty coconuts on a hard surface, it makes a familiar sound. Yep, it’s the sound horse hooves make while hitting the ground. This improvised tool can help to create any kind of pace with any mood. It’s a cheap and easy alternative for Foley artists!
5. The sound of shooting and replacing arrows — bamboo
It’s hard to catch the sound of flying arrows while filming. What’s even harder is being able to catch the sound of running low on arrows. In this situation, a small stick of bamboo can save the day. By quickly waving this stick in front of a microphone, Foley artists manage to capture the needed effect.
6. The sound of gunshots — staple guns
A heavy staple gun is a perfect object to create the sound of a shooting gun. It allows an artist to control the scene and add more or less special effects to it. Together with sound, producers are able to recreate the most original, thrilling gun sound.
7. Walking in the snow — cornstarch
Walking in crunchy, fresh snow sounds truly amazing. Cornstarch is a great substitution to recreate it inside a studio. Artists pour out a large amount of it into a huge box, wear some special shoes, and start stepping. On a recording, you can’t even tell for sure whether it’s a real snow sound or if it’s the work of a Foley artist.
8. Thunder sounds — aluminum sheets
Different objects can be used to create realistic sounds and one of them is a huge sheet of aluminum foil. Swinging and shaking it in front of a microphone can remind listeners of thunder. After adding some more side effects, this can be used for films that feature bad weather conditions.
9. Punching sounds — pieces of meat
No bruises have to be created during this process. To create the sounds of slapping and hitting, artists use raw meat that falls onto a hard surface. They also sometimes punch the meat. A more humane version can be done using a big book, though they also have to drop it onto something hard.
10. Swinging — rusty hinges
Swinging sounds can be used in different movies to create a tense atmosphere. For this, Foley artists use things like rusty hinges. They also use these to create the sounds of old, creaky doors. This sound is ideal for creeping out scary movie-goers.
11. Heartbeat sounds — trash cans
A lot of touching or scary moments require the sound of a heartbeat to make the situation more emotional. Plastic trash cans may not be that romantic, but they’re great at creating the needed heartbeat sound. Artists flip them over and rhythmically press on the bottom to achieve the desired result.
12. Sounds of kisses — arms and lips
This Foley technique is fun, fast and easy. To create a nice kissing sound, artists will often kiss their own hands. They give those hands a smooch to create a romantic moment full of love and affection! For even better results they may also apply some water to their lips before kissing their hands.
13. The sound of a falling body — big books
Normally, a body falling onto the ground makes a clunking sound. Foley artists use an easy method to recreate this sound without inflicting any pain by using big books. By making these books fall or even slam onto the ground or other surfaces, they achieve the needed sound.
14. Сrackling fire sounds — bubble wrap or cooking paper
Real fire doesn’t always make tons of crackling noises, though they still sound really soothing and sometimes satisfying. Crinkling bubble wrap or baking paper comes in handy to create a proper atmosphere for any film. But the process isn’t exactly relaxing for Foley artists.
15. Hatching or cracking egg sounds — ice cream cones
A dry ice cream cone is used to create the sound of an eggshell being cracked. In some films, different creatures hatch from various eggs. In this case, artists squish melons while wearing rubber gloves covered in liquid soap — a wet sound is guaranteed!
Bonus: Being a Foley artist isn’t always easy but it sure is fun!
Did you expect any of these objects to be used for sound effects? What’s your favorite film that features cool music and sound effects? Please share your thoughts in the comment section!