Topic 3 Three types of foley: Footsteps

The most frequent sound effect foley artists produce, are footsteps. This is due to the difficulty in capturing good quality walking sounds during filming.

Foley artists consider multiple elements when they are working on creating footstep sounds like the kind of shoe being worn, their weight, speed and personality in walking as well as the surface they walk on; walking in the rain is different than walking on a wooden floor or walking on snow for example.

Here are some ways you can create footstep sound effects:

  • Leather bag or pillowcase with cornstarch or rice can mimic walking in snow and rain
  • Audio tape, magnetic tape hay or sod to mimic walking on grass or dried leaves
  • Use coconuts to produce sounds of horse hooves or paperclips on gloves for a dog walking sound
  • Different heeled shoes produce different sounds (e.g., a tennis shoe has a lighter airier sound versus a boot that has a deeper and heavier sounding shoe sound)

Inside the world of foley artists: ‘Watermelons are brilliant for the sound of brains hitting the floor’ | Film | The Guardian