"Shh! ...Did you hear that?"
January 8, 2009 10:30 AM   Subscribe

"Did you hear a stalk of celery being cut? If you did, you understand the magic of the Foley Artist." A short film that is just too long about silent films from the previously mentioned podcast You Look Nice Today
posted by Del Far (19 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is funny because pretentious people are so difficult to mock.
posted by rusty at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2009


In my country, sound is like food.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I actually laughed more at the (admittedly modified) Weekend at Bernies clip than the preceding 2 minutes. FYI.
posted by DU at 11:00 AM on January 8, 2009


I was hoping that this was a real documentary about Foley Artists. Once I quickly realized that this was a mockumentary (it is, right?), the magic dust just dissipated and I was left hearing a carrot being snapped in half.
posted by not_on_display at 11:02 AM on January 8, 2009


How about a post about real foley artists? We haven't had one yet, and ... I'd favourite that.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:19 AM on January 8, 2009


This is supposed to be funny to foley artists, right? I think I get it. No wait. Yeah, I get it. I'm still waiting for the laughter...should be any time now...

Would've been a lot funnier with background music.
posted by Chuffy at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2009


Here's a story: A college teacher of mine was a foley artist and told stories about doing the sounds for martial arts movies. They'd hang a big side of beef from the middle of the soundroom ceiling, and three or four guys would stand around it with baseball bats. They'd break down the scene ahead of time so everyone knew which impacts from the scene he was syncing with. Start the tape rolling, start the scene playing, and these guys all just go nuts with the bats - but ever so precisely; it all has to line up perfectly.

When you're watching a martial arts movie, you can often tell by the sound of a hit whether or not the person is going to get back up again. If there's a little crunch in the sound, that person's done. They'd make the crunch by taking a whole chicken from the grocery store and snapping it in half at just the right moment.

By the end of a recording session, the soundroom would be just littered with meat, all over. Then they'd take the leftovers (the clean ones) and have a barbecue.
posted by echo target at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


Merlin could crack me up saying absolutely anything, to be honest. I have no distance from this to know if it's actually great or if it's just that the sound of his voice is like an absurdity machine-- for my ears. They should make a YLNT episode where he just lists things, without preamble or guiding principle. They should make that.

But, c'mon it's pretty great. Maybe it's not as exciting as a 3hour detailed documentary about old people who make funny noises, but hey, sometimes you get NOVA, sometimes you just get a cataclysmic nuclear explosion caused by the accretion of hydrogen onto the surface of a white dwarf star.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:34 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


For context, this was shown at a PopRally event at the MoMA in NYC the other night. As I understood it, it was commissioned as a "comedic response" to three silent films from the MoMA archive that were also screened that evening. So it's as much about silent film and silliness as about foley artists, and all the silent film clips in the piece were from shorts that the audience had just seen. It was pretty funny, I thought.
posted by yarrow at 11:43 AM on January 8, 2009


MeatFilter: just littered with meat, all over
posted by DU at 11:54 AM on January 8, 2009


Meh... Was fairly well done, I didn't laugh at all though.
I'll post this link to a favourite short mockumentary of mine: Brown Peril: The Tim Porch Story (it won 48HOURS in Auckland in 2006)
posted by sycophant at 12:21 PM on January 8, 2009


On a (well-intentioned) tangent: Amon Tobin's tour in support of his latest album, Foley Room, had a number of surround sound performances. I'm a bit of an Amon Tobin fanboy, so I drove up to see him at the Mezzanine in San Francisco for his one surround sound show on the west coast. It was amazing being in the middle of towers of speakers with sound swirling and crashing all around. He made a recording of his favorite set (live in Brussels) available for free on his website, along with other free tracks.

Some of the new album and live show seemed very cinematic, with more sound effects and field recorded elements used than before. Fantastic stuff, and a nice sampler to a fantastic artist.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:31 PM on January 8, 2009


How about a post about real foley artists? We haven't had one yet, and ... I'd favourite that.

You only had to ask: Here's one.
posted by Herodios at 1:12 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, and now I see that Andy Malcolm, one of the foley artists who made Track Stars, is mentioned in not_on_display's first link above and is still at it thirty years later.
posted by Herodios at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2009


For context, this was shown at a PopRally event at the MoMA in NYC the other night. As I understood it, it was commissioned as a "comedic response" to three silent films from the MoMA archive that were also screened that evening. So it's as much about silent film and silliness as about foley artists, and all the silent film clips in the piece were from shorts that the audience had just seen. It was pretty funny, I thought.

I went to actually see it there and it was quite enjoyable, the last silent film "The Knockout" was amazing and was all about monkeys boxing, I was laughing and "aww"-ing so hard i was in tears. They had an all animal cas including a puppy walking on its hind legs pretending to be the town drunk, it was adorable. I really hope to find it again someday and have my own copy, that would be fantastic.
posted by Del Far at 1:57 PM on January 8, 2009


My two cents?

This "film" got a staggering number of its facts wrong, there were numerous continuity errors, there was at least one instance of corpsing, plus there were distractingly unamusing amounts of sound, light, movement, and what appeared to be OOP wooden furniture. Meh.

Also? The one guy was too tall and the other guys were either too short or too normal or both. The horse was fake, the sombrero was Photoshopped, brooms are not funny, the computer screen clearly displayed precisely the same timeline (WHY?!?), and IIRC, John Cassavetes has been dead since at least the late 1980s.

Also? It's pronounced `uːˈbuːntuː', the Wampa Pen scene was cut out of The Empire Strikes Back, and clerics are not allowed to use bladed weapons.

EPIC FAIL. And potato.
posted by merlinmann at 2:31 PM on January 8, 2009 [10 favorites]


Del Far, did the Knockout disturb you at all? I was laughing and awwing and then I sort of realized that that kind of movie is probably why we have the "no animals were harmed in the making of this production" disclaimer on movies now and then I had cognitive dissonance. Never mind that all animals involved have been dead for eighty years now anyway.
posted by yarrow at 2:38 PM on January 8, 2009


See? The guy's comic gold. Now just imagining him saying that in the sweetest dulcet tones, as if he was an Angle straight from Heaven.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:44 PM on January 8, 2009


I'm with merlinmann on this one. I'm a Foley Artist, professionally, and while I think there are a lot of funny things that go on here at the office every day, this film wasn't about any of them. Anyway, I'm really angry for some reason, and I thought I'd write some stuff here.

I make my own novelty t-shirts.
posted by YoungAmerican at 12:30 PM on January 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


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