Foley artist needed for short horror film.

Hi all,

I'm shooting a short horror film that's going to rely very heavily on the sound design, it's shot from a single camera angle in low light conditions, so sound is going to carry the film.

So I'm looking for a talented Foley artist that can really bring the film to life. I figure this can be done long distance so wherever you are from, feel free to give me a shout.
Most of the sounds will be footsteps, breathing and tools clanging.

Thanks!
 
Are you looking for a Foley artist or for a Sound Designer? Foley is the recreation of human made sounds like footsteps, props handling, kisses, punches, etc. A Sound Designer/sound editor will create doors, vehicles, weapons, supernatural sounds, ambient atmosphere, etc. Admittedly, the lines can get blurred, but they are two distinct crafts within audio post. Does any DX (dialog) editing need to be done? And do you want the mix done as well?

Also, are you looking for a freebee or do you have a budget? And how long is the film?
 
Last edited:
To be honest with you Alcove, I thought they were the same thing. Having said that, I still think Foley Artist is what I'm looking for. It's mainly footsteps, prop sounds and that. There will be some dialogue that will need to be placed in too.

In terms of budget, I don't have a set budget in mind but it won't be much as I'm funding this all myself. I would settle for advice on how to get the best sounds and what equipment/set up to use.

The film will be <10 mins, likely <5.

I'm going to make a post about the film idea soon because I think it will work but that's because I came up with it, some outsider views would be very handy to have.
 
You really need a sound editor. I'm a one-man-band sound designer most of the time; I do the DX edit, the Foley, the sound effects and the mix. I'm not trying to scare you off, but audio post is a very specific acquired skill set. If you decide to tackle it on your own be prepared for long hours and lots of frustration.

At the low/no/mini/micro budget level it behooves you to have a 95% completed edit before you go to audio post. Most small audio post shops, like myself, charge by the hour or the linear minute, unless, of course, you go with a newbie looking for experience.

As to equipment.... You'll need a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) or your NLE will need fairly extensive audio tools. You'll also need a decent mic & preamp, a solid collection of Foley props and a decent, quiet space in which to record your Foley. Really good speakers in a balanced room are also a necessity. Most of all, however, you need the proper techniques. You can pull footsteps and the like from libraries, but they seldom fit as well as performed Foley. There are extensive sound effects libraries available, and a number of sites with passable/decent "for free" sound effects (FreeSound.org, for example. I've even contributed there.).

I don't post my rates, but you can PM me for an estimate after your edit is near completion.

Here's as example of my audio post work for an IndieTalk alumnus, a little over 100 hours of audio post work:

 
This is why I love this place. I would have been sat in the editing room, pulling my hair out, wondering why the hell I can't get the audio right,

That makes a lot of sense. Because of the way the film is shot, a lot of the audio will be directional and distance will play a big part. I don't even know what a Preamp is so I'm gonna assume I'll be well out of my depth and could ruin the film if I try and patch the audio together myself. I'll definitely take you up on that offer when the time comes.

In terms of making the dialogue sound directionally accurate as the character walks around the camera, I assume it will be best to record audio as normal and let the sound engineer make it sound like it's coming from the appropriate direction and distance?
 
This is why I love this place. I would have been sat in the editing room, pulling my hair out, wondering why the hell I can't get the audio right,
As a mentor once told me; "most people aren't smarter than you, they're just trained differently." When it comes to photography I wouldn't know an F-stop from a bus stop. Back in the 1980s, when there wasn't anything like Windows, etc., you did all of your computer work in "C:" and you did all of your own programming. My companies IT guy helped a lot. He told me "It's really very simple, but there's one HELL of a lot of simple." It's the same way with most professions. My craft is audio, and I have many years of experience behind me. I can remember when mid-level recording studios went from 8-track recorders to 16 track, then from mastering on 1/2" tape to DAT (Digital Audio Tape), the introduction of MIDI and the transition to digital computer audio. But the basics are still same, and I just had to learn to apply the basics to the new formats.

You can learn what you need to know, but it is time consuming. I can recommend a number of books to read, web sites to peruse, and there are some great videos on YouTube to get you the information that you need, but applying those lessons in the real world is an entirely different issue. So don't start pulling your hair out - unless, of course, you want the bald look.

As a director you will need to learn to delegate. Your job is not run a camera, swing a boom, apply makeup or run electrical cables, your job is to tell a story in a compelling way. This is not to say that you should not understand the basics of lenses or audio theory, etc; you need the ability to communicate with your team intelligently. Film making is a team sport.

Because of the way the film is shot, a lot of the audio will be directional and distance will play a big part. In terms of making the dialogue sound directionally accurate as the character walks around the camera, I assume it will be best to record audio as normal and let the sound engineer make it sound like it's coming from the appropriate direction and distance?
At the low/no/mini/micro budget level just capture the best quality production sound that you can; the sonic perpectives will come during the rerecording process. If you can't afford a professional try to find an ambitious up-and-comer. The same applies to all the other crafts. Treat them like the professionals they aspire to be. Preproduce to the final detail. Keep them informed and well fed; happy people work harder and more creatively. Be open to their ideas. This will give you much better material to edit.

I don't even know what a Preamp is so I'm gonna assume I'll be well out of my depth and could ruin the film if I try and patch the audio together myself.
A preamp converts a weak signal into an output signal strong enough to be noise-tolerant and strong enough for further processing. These days it also converts it from analog to digital.

And no, you wouldn't ruin your film, you would just spend huge amounts of time making yourself bald because you don't have the knowledge and experience.

I'll definitely take you up on that offer when the time comes.
Whether you use me or not be sure to include your audio post person in the preproduction process, especially as you seem to have a specific audio direction in mind.

I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Last edited:
I would have been sat in the editing room, pulling my hair out, wondering why the hell I can't get the audio right,

That makes a lot of sense. Because of the way the film is shot, a lot of the audio will be directional and distance will play a big part. I don't even know what a Preamp is so I'm gonna assume I'll be well out of my depth and could ruin the film if I try and patch the audio together myself.
If you're really new to audio, as an exercise I'd highly recommend you record a variety of scenarios in different environments and listen to the playback via good quality headphones (in the dark or with your eyes closed for extra effect!) You'll hear all kinds of hums, whistles, rustles, squeals, chattering, scraping, echo, muffling, etc, etc, etc that you weren't aware of at the time of recording.

You can expand the exercise by getting your hands on a few different types of mic and playing around with them - lavalier vs cardioid vs shotgun. This might be heretical from @Alcove Audio 's point of view :angry: but don't worry too much about the quality at this stage: it's only for comparison.

Both exercises will help you understand what you are and are not hearing. It's the audio equivalent of knowing how to take good photos - understanding why someone has a tree growing out of their head in the photo, why that cool pile of rocks looks so insignificant in the image, why you can have a picture of a beautiful sunset sky or golden light on the landscape, but not both at the same time ...

Once you've got your head around those concepts, you'll be better able to choose your material - or design your shots - to fit your budget and skill-set, and to know what needs to be delegated or outsourced.
 
You can expand the exercise by getting your hands on a few different types of mic and playing around with them - lavalier vs cardioid vs shotgun. This might be heretical from @Alcove Audio 's point of view :angry: but don't worry too much about the quality at this stage: it's only for comparison.
Not heretical at all, it's experimentation, right? Hey, Thomas Edison found 2,000 ways NOT to make a light bulb. That's the point of experimentation, to find what works and what doesn't. What matters is when you finally apply the results of the experiment in the real world.

I can't find it anymore, but there was an audio experiment video on YouTube where a speaker was placed on a stand outdoors in a moderately noisy area (birds, light traffic, etc.). A piece of dialog, followed by music was played through the speaker on a loop. A shotgun mic was placed 6 inches away pointed directly at the speaker, then (if I remember correctly) pointed 10 degrees off-axis, then 20 degrees off-axis, then 30 degrees off-axis to the side, and then 10, 20 & 30 degrees off-axis above the sound source. This experiment was repeated at 12 inches, 24 inches, 48 inches and finally 92 inches. The point of the experiment was two-fold; to demonstrate the inverse square law* and the importance of the proper aiming of a microphone.

*In physics, an inverse-square law is any physical law stating that a specified physical quantity or intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity.

So sound recorded by a mic four (4) feet away is only one-sixteenth (1/16) as loud than a mic one (1) foot away.


If you're really new to audio, as an exercise I'd highly recommend you record a variety of scenarios in different environments and listen to the playback via good quality headphones (in the dark or with your eyes closed for extra effect!) You'll hear all kinds of hums, whistles, rustles, squeals, chattering, scraping, echo, muffling, etc, etc, etc that you weren't aware of at the time of recording.
This experiment can also be instructive in another way, it demonstrates how a microphone "hears" things in a radically different way than your ears do. Your brain has an "editing" function that allows you to focus on specific sounds. When sounds are recorded they behave much differently, and the playback system alters the equation even more. This is one of the listening/hearing skills that a PSM (Production Sound Mixer) and Boom-Op develop; their experience allows them to hear all of the hums, whistles, rustles, squeals, chattering, scraping, echo, muffling, etc. before recording begins and to know how the recording will respond in an "artificial" environment like a theater or living room.
 
it demonstrates how a microphone "hears" things in a radically different way than your ears do. Your brain has an "editing" function that allows you to focus on specific sounds.
As do our eyes! This suggestion was prompted by your admission about not knowing the difference between f-stops and bus-stops 😉 - our brains process the RAW data from our eyes with impressive intelligent auto-focus image stabilisation colour correction software before we "see" what we're looking at. I'm hoping that @Indie-cisive knows how this relates to photo/cinematography and can make the jump to audio.
 
As do our eyes! This suggestion was prompted by your admission about not knowing the difference between f-stops and bus-stops 😉 - our brains process the RAW data from our eyes with impressive intelligent auto-focus image stabilisation colour correction software before we "see" what we're looking at. I'm hoping that @Indie-cisive knows how this relates to photo/cinematography and can make the jump to audio.

I get what you're saying, so it's likely that unless I get someone that knows exactly what they're doing then the audio almost definitely will not be 'clean'. I'll take a look around youtube and see if there are any good comparison tests online.

I think I will have to accept that the audio might be a bit average. I don't want to get too caught up on making it perfect because I'll spend the next 6 months researching and end up getting distracted and moving on to something else. I think my best bet will be to hire some decent gear, get someone that has at least a little experience in sound work to try and get the best dialogue audio, and then dealing with the sound design in post. Probably gonna be hitting you up for that one @Alcove Audio

Also the F-Stop/Bus Stop comment did make me chuckle.
 

Top