Providing an insider's look at how the sounds of film are created, Foley artists John Roesch, Alyson Dee Moore and sound mixer MaryJo Lang spoke at a panel at The University of Southern California on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Roesch, Moore and Lang are the Warner Bros. sound team behind numerous blockbuster films, such as Inception, The Dark Knight trilogy, The Matrix trilogy, Transformers and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
The Foley team is responsible for post-production personalized sound effects that cannot be generated by a computer. Whenever bones break, doors creak or glasses shatter that is Roesch and Moore on a Foley stage making it happen while Lang is mixing the sounds.
A character’s footsteps are the most common Foley sound that needs to be regenerated. At the beginning of every project, Roesch and Moore decide which character they will portray, and then will mimic their onscreen emotions. “They become the actor and actress,” said Lang.
Moore, who was in responsible for the moody walk of Rooney Mara in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, said she had to get inside the head of Mara’s character and ask, “Is she angry? Could she care less?”
Director David Fincher “is very particular about shoes and their sounds,” says Lang, who remembers having to test over a dozen pairs of shoes for Helena Bonham Carter’s character in Fight Club. For the opening sequence of Fincher’s The Social Network, Roesch had to run in place in an old pair of Adidas sneakers similar to the ones that Jesse Eisenberg donned in the film.
After the panel, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to the trio, asking them their predictions for Sunday's Academy Awards. For best sound editing, all were in agreement that Skyfall would take home the prize. Moore and Lang believe that sound mixing will go to Les Miserables with Moore telling THR that “musicals usually win."