More on the sounds of identity in motion: the art of Foley.

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“Women are the toughest to imitate.”

Jack Foley started in the motion picture business in the silent picture era and lived through the exciting times when overnight the industry converted to sound moving pictures.  Jack is credited with pioneering the art of adding sound effects after the action had been filmed, because the sound captured in the film studios and with a camera during the live action, did not  record sound in a ‘realistic’ way.

Jack estimated that he walked 5000 miles in the studio doing footsteps. He characterized the footsteps of stars in this manner:

Rock Hudson is a solid stepper; Tony Curtis has a brisk foot; Audie Murphy is springy; James Cagney is clipped; Marlon Brando soft; John Saxon nervous. Women are the toughest to imitate,” he confided, “my 250 pounds may have something to do with it, but the important thing is their steps are quicker and closer together. I get winded doing leading ladies. Jean Simmons is almost, not quite, the fastest on her screen feet in all of Hollywood. She’s topped only by June Allyson. I can’t keep up with her at all.”

From:

http://filmsound.org/foley/jackfoley.htm

2 Comments

  1. Dear Leading Lady

    I love your idea of taking the bigger, slower steps. It would make a good experiment in rhythm analysis? But its definitely worth remembering that a Foley artist, or another person mirroring your steps, would get winded trying to keep up with you. :-)

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