Sound Branding, Sound Design, Music Production, Voice Over
MAKING ADVERTISING SOUND REAL
Using Filmmakers Secret Sauce to Make Your Marketing Great
We often ask people to do this, take a moment and listen to your environment. Even better, shut your eyes. Pay attention to every sound. The longer you sit the more you will hear. You will start by hearing the specific sounds nearby, co-workers talking, typing, opening and closing of doors, then the quieter sounds start to peek out, the ventilation, possibly a quiet murmur of traffic, and if you are lucky you start to notice the real nuance of your environment. Maybe you hear a subtitle cloth noise while your shirt moves to your breath. This is what creates a sense of reality to all of us who have been graced with a working set of ears. What we hear connects what we see and by connecting those dots we have a rich sensory experience.
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Lets leap forward to a commercial or film shoot.
The lights create the perfect environment, the camera captures the images, and the microphones capture dialog.
If we were to take our footage and dialog from here and finish the spot we would be missing something major… The reality. Or, at least the reality that we would like to create. That is where a little foley comes into play. For years, foley has been used in film to bring the scene to life. It is used to fill out all those sounds that prove that the character we are watching is real and actually interacting with real things. The minute you strip foley away the scene starts to feel a little dreamy and disconnected.
So our goal is to create a specific reality for our viewer, one that can focus their attention at the appropriate moment to just what they need to be hearing.
Foley can be split generally into a few different categories, feet, moves, and specifics.
Feet are pretty simple to understand, they are all the noises that feet make while walking or sliding, stopping or fidgeting.
Moves are the glue to a scene, they are all the skin and clothing noises created.
Specifics (generally speaking) are the sounds created by any external interaction, such as a coffee cup being placed on the table, the closing of a door, or the gun handling sounds of an action sequence.
In commercial production prioritization of the elements that need to be heard is key. Developing an understanding of what we are trying to focus on should happen early, but sometimes the results of asking your audio post house to just dive in can also produce some amazing results.
At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is to create a piece that draws attention to the message and causes action on the side of the viewer. This is accomplished by creating a momentary or lasting emotional bond to the viewer. One way to help make this happen, is to make sure what they are seeing feels real… Foley can help you there.
Here are some examples where we have used foley, see if you can hear where it starts.