These days, most people are relatively familiar with the basic process of filmmaking. Writing, casting, shooting, editing and post-production are fairly well known, if not well understood concepts—and, in today’s highly media literate, Photoshop and Final Cut Pro savvy world—we are aware that films are color corrected, graded, FXed, and infinitely manipulated to achieve the effects we see on screen.
However, the world of Sound Design does remain relatively elusive—and, as this aptly named, charming short film shows, the art of Foley is one with which many people are still unfamiliar. It would be easy to give too much away here, and really the pleasure of this film lies in watching the artists and seeing their techniques unfold. Suffice to say that Foley refers to the creation of every day sounds for film soundtracks, and, if you’re wondering what that could mean, I recently learned that when a sound designer creates the noise of traffic, he often subs in … the sound of roaring lions.
Filmmaker Daniel Jewel says: “I found out about Foley Artists whilst working on another short film, and the incredibly creative, playful and surreal aspects of their work really struck me and I immediately wanted to make a film about their work.”
From there, his team decided to approach the amazing UK based Pinewood Studios, where they were given access to the award-winning Foley team of Pete Burgis and Sue Harding. Just a few of the credits to this highly skilled duo’s name include Batman Begins, Slumdog Millionaire, Captain Phillips, Philomena, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and Casino Royale.
Jewel and his team then created a mini-film, shot in the village of Clovelly, in Devon, which would allow the Foley artists to truly display their talents. Wisely allowing the artistry to speak for itself, they eschewed talking heads, and the result is a delightful piece that feels almost more like a performance than a documentary on process.
At Short of the Week we are always excited to showcase work that looks at the filmmaking process itself in creative and innovative ways. Jewel is gearing up to shoot a London-set feature thriller next year. We’ll be looking out for it, and paying special attention to the sound design!