Senior Foley artist Joanna Fang welcomed the Wired series Obsessed into her Sony PlayStation studio to show how she makes realistic sound effects for video games such as God of War: Ragnarök. and films such as The Invisible Man. Fang talked about her background as a musician, how her props speak to her, and her philosophy regarding her work.
My whole life I’ve been trained as a classical musician. bI’m kind of always passively listening to things and passively recording in a weird way. …To focus on all these other characters and literally to walk in their footsteps, to walk in their shoes. Everything else melts away. Like, you don’t exist anymore. …Foley at its best is painting a scene with sound.
Fang performed real-time demonstrations of her skills and also talked about the future of Foley in the age of machine learning AI.
I can imagine a future where machine learning aids us in foley, but I do not ever believe that it’ll take away the simple and beautiful performative nature of it. I’ve often felt like when you watch a film and there isn’t much foley, it feels like you’re staring through a window. It doesn’t feel like you’re actually there. Foley, to me, is a very powerful performance art language that connects the audience with the characters…