Footsteps, cloth, props. It's messy; it's physical; it's a day in the life of a Foley Artist. Flashpoint Academy, in a continuing effort to bring high-profile, industry professionals inside the studios and classrooms of its educational facilities at 28 North Clark Street was fortunate enough to host renowned Hollywood Foley Artist Vincent Guisetti yesterday in two workshop sessions.
There was a simple theme to Vincent's message: Foley effects can breathe life into satisfactory, but otherwise sterile, soundtracks for motion pictures. Though it's not complicated, it does require an eye for frame accurate precision and a feel for the natural rhythms and cadences of actor's movements. "You have to be willing to get inside a character's head. In essence, become that character while you are performing Foley," he said.
Vincent treated our students to many of the stories of working on roughly 350 films, TV shows, and cartoons including Passion of the Christ, Mr. Brooks, Hostel parts I & II, The Pursuit of Happyness, Talladega Nights, Behind Enemy Lines, and the last five years of SpongeBob SquarePants.
He also let students in on some trade secrets like snapping and twisting wood shingles wrapped in denim for bone breaks, cornstarch in a pillow case for footsteps on snow, a handful of sand between several layers of small panes of glass for cracking ice, a wet shammy for all types of splats and splatters, and how a mere tablespoon of coffee grounds on cement adds just the right amount of grit to simulate exterior pavement.
Once again, FP students engage with the real-world as part of their educational development. It's built-in to the curriculum so that as graduates they can hit the ground running.
Special thanks to Steven Berger for arranging the connection.