Jack Foley (sound effects artist)

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

Instead of using pre-recorded, generic sounds, Foley's process involved creating sounds in real time, synchronized 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 pictures such as Melody of Love (1928), Show Boat (1929), Dat Ol' Ribber, Spartacus, and Operation Petticoat.

Foley received many awards, including the Motion Picture Sound Editors' Golden Reel Award.[4]


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