Jack Foley (sound effects)

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For other people named Jack Foley, see Jack Foley (disambiguation).

Jack Donovan Foley (April 12, 1891; Yorkville, New York – November 9, 1967; Los Angeles, California) was the developer of many sound effect techniques used in filmmaking. He is attributed with inventing the art of Foley, which is the process of adding sound effects such as footsteps and environmental sounds to films. His crucial founding role in the development of Foley is documented in the 2009 book The Foley Grail.[1]

Instead of using pre-recorded sounds that were used generically, Foley's process involved synchronizing sounds to individual productions to give them a more realistic feel.[2]

In 1914, Foley and his wife Beatrice moved from Long Island to Santa Monica, California, and then to Bishop.[3] He got a job at a local hardware store.[3] When the local farmers sold their land to the city of Los Angeles for water rights, Foley's new hometown was in need of a new source of income. Foley knew of the newly formed movie business in Los Angeles and managed to persuade several small time studio bosses that the town of Bishop would be ideal as a location to shoot westerns.

He worked on the pictures such as Melody of Love, Show Boat (1929), Dat Ol' Ribber, Spartacus, and Operation Petticoat.

Foley received many awards, including the Golden Reel Award.[4]

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