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foley (FO-lee) adjective

Of or relating to the sound effects.

[After Jack Donovan Foley (1891-1967) who pioneered the techniques of adding sound effects during his three decades at Universal Pictures.]

Why wouldn't they use the actual sounds in a movie? They could, but often very little is real on a studio set. Clanging of plastic swords isn't going to help the scene appear realistic. Also, ambient noise often precludes use of the actual sounds. That's where foley artists come in; they can recreate almost any sound in their studio, from footsteps to creaking of the floor and breaking of bones. Here are some tips on how you can create these sounds yourself:

"When Helga throws a pie at a cafeteria bully, the foley team adds the noise you hear in the final cartoon." Eric Unmacht; Here's How They Make a Cartoon; The Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts); Nov 9, 1999.

"Stephen Hodges worked with his percussion like a foley artist, making sound effects more than rhythms." Neil Strauss; Tom Waits's Night on Earth; The New York Times; Mar 24, 1999.

This week's theme: words related to movie making.


I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. -John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)

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