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The Magic of Making Sound

(soft whimsical music)
(quiet pattering) – [Narrator] In Hollywood,
everything is magic and make-believe… – [Woman] Gloves with
paper clips are dog paws. – [Narrator] Even what you hear. – We are storytellers with sound. Over here we have a feather duster we use for bird–
(feathers fluttering) bird wings. We bring sound into the story, and we can create any
mood with that sound. – [Narrator] When you watch a film, much of what you’re hearing was created… (feet tromping heavily) From footsteps on a snowy path to a vicious thunderstorm. (leaves rustling) (thunder booming) – [Woman] Weather is a really
interesting thing to recreate. – They make it exciting. (chuckles) – [Woman] It depends on the
elements that we’re using, and how it’s filmed, and
what they wanna hear. – [Narrator] Here at the
Warner Brothers’ lot, Foley artists practice their craft; and if they do their jobs right, you won’t even notice. – [Woman] People take sound for granted, but you would miss it if it wasn’t there. (bag crunching) (pensive music) (cloth fluttering)
– Foley is the art of sound. It’s creating sounds in sync
with what’s happening onscreen. The art of Foley goes back
to the old radio days, where you would see the sound guys with their clomping with their coconuts. This is what we use for horse hooves. They’re plungers, and we stuff them with cloth and a little tape; and here we go. (muffled clopping) Jack Foley came in and he thought, “If I do those sounds in
sync with the picture, “I’ve just taken a whole step out.” – [Narrator] Jack Foley’s legacy in sound began in the 1920s, as
talkies swept Hollywood. Ever since, the reproduction
of sound effects added to film in post-production is called the art of Foley. – The Foley stage consists
of different surfaces. – This is walking on
leaves, or in a forest. (shoes clomping) (hissing and pattering) For snow, what we normally
use is regular play sand. And then to add to that, sometimes you hear that familiar crunch… Which, we use cornstarch. (bag crunches) Your ear hears snow; but
in actuality, it’s sand. (footsteps crunch) (solemn music) – It’s almost like a prop house. We have collected different things, because everything here
should make a sound. Here’s a classic squeaky
hinge. (metal squeaks) Pinecones can be used for
cracking ice. (faint crackling) – You have the three people
that are on the stage, the mixer and the two
Foley artists, which– It’s important that you
have a team that’s cohesive. – [Red Shirt] Y’know,
somethin’s cracking, popping. I don’t know what it is. – [Man] Is it this?
(leaves rustling) Sometimes it takes a
little trial and error to see what works best. Hold on. – We have a streamer that
goes across the screen, and when the streamer gets to the end, that tells us when that
sound should start. (rustling) It’s an interesting dance. There’s really nothing that we can’t do here, imagination-wise. – Right now, we’re in the control room, and it’s where I mix; and I listen to them
performing to the picture. I try not to look at them, because I really don’t wanna
see what they’re using. I wanna see how it sounds. (playful music) (thunder crackles) – All sound is two elements
hitting one another. – With rain, if it’s hitting a puddle, or if it’s hitting someone’s face, that’s all gonna sound different; so those are very specific little things that we have to watch and look at. Okay, Mary Jo. – [Mary Jo] Here we go. (liquid pattering) (high-pitched chirping) (distant thunder) – Wind is interesting because it’s usually what the
wind is blowing through. – Alice is gonna use the Batman
cape to create the sails, and I’m going to create the boat actually going through the water. Okay, let’s go. (fabric fluttering)
(water splashing) – If we’re doing a boat
going through waves, we would use the big tub that we have to get that slapping sound, or churning up the water a
lot in the tub with our hands. It’s a lot of sound, like– Like a lot of things
artistic, is very subjective; so, I have to make that judgment call. There’s a great moment when
you get the perfect sound; and they don’t always know it, but I do. – How was that, Mary Jo? – [Mary Jo] Sounded great. – When there are multiple
weather elements involved, we might do all the specific things first, and then go back and do
maybe a general sound. We have a shot here of a hiker
coming down the waterfall, so I’m doing the sound of
the carabiner and his rope, and his equipment. (metal squeaks) How was that? – [Mary Jo] That was cool. – Great. (water sloshing) (water splattering) – So, I’m gonna play it back all together, and see what we’ve got.
(keyboard clacking) (water splashing)
(metal squeaking) – We really layer everything so the mixers can mix
how they wanna hear it; and we do things also that
are a little over the top, because we have to fight with
music, sometimes dialogue, but hopefully when you hear it at home, it’ll sound just like
it should be natural. (water splashing)
(metal squeaking) (electronic beep)

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