Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Imagine you see a beautiful woman entering a room in a long dress and a cape, but you hear no footsteps nor the sound of her dress rustling. You’d think she was a ghost! The same goes for movies. Sound is an important part of a film, and even if you don't hear every step, just having them there announces the presence of a character and asserts their reality. You believe the character because the character seems real and part of this is sound.
Last year, together with producer Raoul Nadalet and his company Antevita Films, we applied for a grant from Film Fund Luxembourg to do all the post-production sound for "My Love Affair With Marriage" in Luxembourg. The grant came through and Signe is now in Luxembourg working with a formidable team at Philophon Studios. This is a major operation with several components that will keep us busy through October.
The first component is Foley. In the film world Foley is a well-known term, but on the outside, not so much. Foley is the creation of additional sound effects for a film after shooting has been completed - for example enhancing the rustling of a dress or adding louder footsteps. But animation is drawn and put together in computers - there's no capturing of sounds while animating! When we recorded our actors, it was just their voices. All non-vocal, non-musical sound effects for "My Love Affair With Marriage" have to be manufactured from scratch, which is where the Foley Artist comes in for step #1 of the process.
Foley Artist Christophe Burdet
Christophe Burdet travels from job to job with a large arsenal of sound-making devices, most of them deceptively simple, everyday objects. A good Foley Artist has a relationship with sound and the components that make up a sound that goes way beyond the average person. As he works, Christophe slips completely into the world of the film and becomes part of it. As he focuses on the screen before him, he creates his sounds with such precision that Foley Recordist Ken Nnganyadi often doesn't have to make adjustments.
Christophe tapping on two different surfaces to create footsteps with Ken in the background
Some sounds are complex - like fire - and require three or four layers of Foley before they're right.
Some tools of Foley - each character has their own specific shoes
"My Love Affair With Marriage" won't have any over-the-top, cartoony sound effects. Signe prefers all her sounds - even the heightened ones - to be grounded in reality.
Foley Recordist Ken Nnganyadi
Ken doesn't just record the Foleys. He's the organizer of the sessions, the one who determines what sound effect is needed next, and the one who places the recorded sounds precisely on the timeline. He is also an important voice in the room.
Team Foley: Signe, Ken, Christophe
The Foley Team has worked for 12 days straight, covering 8-10 minutes of the film per day. Not every sound effect will be used. At Philophon Studios (which has a great reputation in the film business) the mantra is: “it is far better to have a sound and not use it, than not have it and not be able to use it”.
Next up is Sound Designer Pierre Vedovato, who for eight weeks will create sounds for all the different environments and put them together with Foleys, actors' voices, songs, and musical scoring. In October Re-Recording Mixer Loic Collignon takes over and prepares the final mix for 7.1 cinematic sound systems. More on these artists and their components later.
Thank you for all your support! Think of us next time you hear footsteps!
Signe, Sturgis and the entire "My Love Affair With Marriage" team.