As every filmmaker will tell you, ‘sound’ makes up half of a film. This is particularly frustrating for animators – we can spend a year on a film, that simply wont be watchable until someone comes along and spends about 5 minutes adding the sound. Bloomin’ annoying!
Animated films require a lot of extra work for the sound designer (known as a foley artist) because every single sound, from the air conditioning and bird song that might make up the background, to the footfalls, clothes rustling, thuds and bangs that are essential to creating realistic characters.
Imagine, for example, if a heavy man trudging across a snowy mountain, and the sound you heard was that of a light woman dancing gaily on carpet. Or you opened the door to a haunted house and didn’t hear a creaky door or the wind and rain on the windows. Sound makes up atmosphere, and atmosphere is essential for the audience to get lost in the film.
Gary Hecker is a Hollywood legend in the world of foley, and this video offers a fascinating insight in to a job that requires imagination, attention to detail and really quite sensitive ears.