Are you looking for a cool job? Why don’t you become a foley artist?
Foley artists are audio geniuses who create sound effects with everyday objects that are used to bring films, tv shows, radio shows, video games, and music projects to life. The sounds they create are added post-production to complete the entertainment experience.
Try to imagine your favorite movies or shows without the sound effects or background noises. It would completely change the experience, right? It’s the foley artists working hard behind the scenes that create the screeching brakes, the pitter patter of rain on a steel roof, squawking birds, a medieval sword fight, rolling boulders, laser pistols, wild monsters, and other captivating sounds.
Foley artists typically work for production houses or studios. As a team they watch raw footage and then try to match the sounds of the action. To do this, they work with all sorts of everyday materials to create the desired sounds that you hear.
Foley artists make the sounds by using props. Simple things like shaking keys, plucking guitar strings, punching slabs of beef, dropping bowling balls into vats of jelly, banging coconuts together, or pinging a wind chime can create the everyday sounds we know and recognize. Once a foley artist masters the sound they are trying to achieve, the match it flawlessly into the final edit for the listener’s delight.
There’s no established route to become a foley artist. Perhaps the best way to break in to this cool niche is to take courses in audio production, film production, sound engineering, or a related field. Next try to find an internship with a foley studio to learn the trade. It’s always helpful to find a mentor too. And of course, with everything in life, grow your network and make connections with people involved in the industry.
To become a foley artist, you may also want to join the Motion Picture Editors Guild. According to BLS.gov, guild members are guaranteed a wage of “$2,000 per week, $340 per day, or $42 per hour.” A non-union foley artist may make $200 per day. There’s a range in pay, but either way you’ll earn a solid paycheck for making sound effects and that’s a cool way to make a living!