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Who was Jack Foley?
Jack Donovan Foley is the father of Foley artistry. This is the process of adding synchronised sound effects in real-time in a type of sound stage called a foley stage. A Foley artist would take props that would be used in the scene, such as a leather jacket and set about doing all the sounds that the leather jacket would make in the scene from the characters movements.
Jack’s Working Life
Jack worked for over 3 decades at Universal Studios stage 10 but never received an on-screen credit for his work. He was born in 1891 and died in 1967 with his last major work being on Spartacus by Stanley Kubrick in 1960. A notable scene with foley is when an army is marching across to battle but the location sound wasn’t good enough, so instead of spending 2 days recording hundreds of extras he built it up with army with his feet and some car keys for armour.
The Real Legacy
Foley as with all of sound design in any form adds to the predominantly visual medium of film. Even the sound of bones breaking give you the visual cue of it actually happening. I believe Jack Foley’s legacy is more real and intense cinema experiences that connect us to characters and stories that are simply not possible without sound effects drawing you into the world.
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