AVADIN – Day 13 – Gary Hecker, Foley Artist

In the process of teaching students how to make a movie, I find one of the coolest and most underestimated part of the production is the sound design. To drive home how important the sound is, I usually play a short film without the video, and the class plays “Identify that sound!” I like one with lots of animals, because many of the sounds are easily identifiable, but the true story is usually shrouded in mystery.

But to truly appreciate how difficult making movie sounds is, students need to meet a Foley Artist at work. Enter Gary Hecker, Foley Artist:

I love the look of wonder when they realize that the horse noise in the movie is some guy next to a microphone. You might think that it would break their sense of wonder, but I find that students are truly awed, and it adds an extra layer of amazement to what they watch.

Currently my students have created a stop motion animation (using construction paper) in PixStop, imported it to iMovie and are now adding sound effects using provided effects and their own imaginations. It is truly amazing to see the engagement.

Here are some other resources –
Soundworks Collection – This is the series that the Gary Hecker Video came from
Radio Broadcast of War of the Worlds from 1983 – A Great use of sound effects to create atmosphere

Lesson Ideas:

  1. What’s That Noise?
  2. Building a Movie
  3. Audio Literacy Part 1

Here is an excellent short to use for sound:

Ask the students where the story starts, and where it ends. I think that they should be able to identify the city soundscape and the forest soundscape.

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