of SFX comprise the emotional language of films: Foley sounds (see description
below); designed sounds (usually the sound of something that doesnt exist
in real life, like a laser pistol); creature sounds (the language
of creatures you see on the screen); or ambient sound (such as crickets in the
background). Contemporary sound designers use computerized sound effects to enhance
movies, but an early sound man named Jack Foley made innovations in one area of
sound technology that are still in use today.
From the early
days of radio drama when bumping coconuts passed for horse hooves in full gallopto
the thunderous and believable sound effects that make space ships and dinosaurs
feel like theyre 20 feet awaysound design has always been a creative,
yet virtually unsung art.
Jack Foley, a 1950s
radio and movie sound pioneer and Universal Studio technician, turned the early
and sometimes primitive field of sound effects into an art form. Foley became
famous for producing synchronized sound effects, and in doing so, gave his name
to a specialized segment of future sound technicians called Foley Artists.