Hidden within the program of the 2014 AFI Docs festival is a short film that provides a glimpse inside the world of Foley recording, mixing and performance.
The Secret World of Foley follows artists Peter Burgis (Edge of Tomorrow, The Monuments Men, Kick-Ass 2) and Sue Harding (The Selfish Giant, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Philomena) as they work their way through a challenging series of moves, walks, and other sync sounds. A deliberate ploy by writer/director Daniel Jewel was to not have any dialogue in the film, or wordy explanations of the Foley techniques involved. On the best way of showcasing the work and talents of Peter, Sue and sound designer Glen Gathard, Jewel says, “I thought we could create a specially shot short film and and then film the Foley Artists interpreting that film, with props of their choice and then cut between the two ‘films’. So without any words, we would get the sense of what Foley Artists do to bring films to life.”
The effect of this juxtaposition between the film and the Foley performance is quite mesmerising, and The Secret World of Foley will be screening on Thursday 19 June at the Goethe-Institut in Washington D.C. and Friday 20 June at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland as part of the AFI Docs festival. Those not going will be able to catch it online later in the year, once it has completed its run of festivals.
The Secret World of Foley official website
2014 AFI Docs homepage
Third Man Films on Twitter
Photo courtesy of Hercules Lab.
The Royal School of Arts in Gent, Belgium, is holding six full days of listening technique and research this February and March. Elias Vervecken (sound recordist and foley artist) and Els Viaene (sound artist and field recordist) will each lead a three day workshop on listening, focusing on different relationships to the environment.
Starting from the point of silence, Elias Vervecken will investigate how noise can be made tangible and question how this relates to creating sound for image. Using the natural landscape as her starting point, Els Viaene will guide participants through investigation of the microphone as a subjective expression (rather than neutral observer) of the environment, and question how evocative aural pictures might then be combined with visuals.
The workshops will take place on 20-22 February and 20-22 March, respectively, from 10.00-18.00. The cost is EUR150.00 each or EUR250.00 if you attend both.
The language of the workshop is English or Dutch and the venue is Herculeslab – the conservatory’s audiovisual lab. Click on the link for more information and details on how to register.
Media Molecule’s Head of Audio, Kenny Young, gives us an insight into bringing the papercraft world of Tearaway to life with sound.
Tearaway is an adventure game exclusive to the Sony PlayStation Vita handheld system. The player is tasked with guiding their little paper messenger buddy on a mission to deliver the message that is trapped inside their envelope head by escaping the paper world and reaching the player out in the real world. 4th wall-breaking madness ensues.
Here’s a trailer to help get your head around that!
I was fortunate enough to be involved with Tearaway from its beginnings as a small team of six people working on its prototype some three years ago. This is the holy grail for interactive audio designers, analogous perhaps to having input on a film’s script albeit with regards to the experience-led rather than narrative-led games that Media Molecule makes. I knew the process would be somewhat different to how I had worked previously, but I didn’t really appreciate quite how challenging it would be…
Photo from Vancouver Film School flickr stream. Used under Creative Commons license.
Guest Contribution by Charles Maynes
With all the talk of what “is” or perhaps “isn’t” Sound Design, I think that largely we forget to recognize that ALL of the sound that is in a film, Television program, or interactive experience is “Sound Design”. Often times, we quickly forget the contributions of our dialog, and especially our music department in the way those sound groups fit into our end result. To claim a “reason” for that is somewhat self-evident- mainly that humans are a verbal creature in the manner of communication, and if we see a person moving their mouth, we usually have a need to hear some sort of communication come from it- even if its a baby crying, or an exhausted person panting after their exertions. Those sounds connect us to the story that the director and picture editor have laid before us (as well as the script writer). And it is a device to attach us to their narrative. Sound effects, of course have a similar sort of necessity as to making action we see onscreen be believable- whether it is someone walking across a space to giant robots destroying entire cities, we usually have an expectation to hear something that attaches a sort of aural reality to the depicted event.