The Foley Artist directed by Oliver Holms is a behind-the-scenes look at how sound effects are made to create realism on screen.

This Is How You Sound-Design the Movie of Your Life

This Is How You Sound-Design the Movie of Your Life

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
Oct. 28 2015 9:04 AM

This Is How You Sound-Design the Movie of Your Life

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The Foley Artist by Oliver Holms is a charming behind-the-scenes look at the art of creating sound effects that play well on film.

Screenshot from The Foley Artist by Oliver Holms

The Foley Artist is a whimsical look at the behind-the-scenes work of the people who create postproduction sound effects for film and other media. Named after movie sound-effects pioneer Jack Foley, these sound wizards often use counterintuitive, unconventional means to get the job done.

Directed by London-based photographer Oliver Holms, the charming short follows a pretty young woman waking up and getting ready to leave the house as a wizened, behind-the-scenes gentleman mimics her every move with a number of inventive props—the palms of his meaty hands, a live duck, a pan of sloppy spaghetti noodles, a gun—that recreate and amplify the sound of her padding around her apartment, washing her hair, painting her nails, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and unlocking the front door.

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Screenshot from The Foley Artist by Oliver Holms

The mundanity of the storyline only highlights the inventiveness of the sound effects, making it easy to lose yourself in a daydream about how you would design the soundtrack of your own banal existence—or how much fun it would be to switch careers and become a Foley artist.

The Foley Artist won three awards at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival 2015 and will screen at the London Short Film Festival 2016. Made in collaboration with Feast Films and Just a Little, check it out below or on Nowness.

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.