Both the best and worst part about creating foley for animation is that there is absolutely no sound to begin with and you are starting completely from scratch. This is great creativity-wise, because it means you don’t have any limits and can treat it like a blank canvas, building up layers as much or little as you like. Animations are especially great, because often there is no need to be realistic. For live action moves the foley must seamlessly blend with the images so the audience doesn’t think twice about whether the sound was recorded on set or not, but everyone knows animation was created on a computer and isn’t real, so it gives you a bit of lea way. Often in Looney Tunes, the sounds don’t exactly match a character, but are more representative of their actions. So when a character stops suddenly, the sound effect is a screeching car, and when something falls, the sound effect is a whistle.
The problem with trying to create sound for an animation, is that you have to be imaginative in how you make the sounds, because often the animations are fantastical and not at all realistic. My chosen clip requires sound effects for shooting stars, but I don’t know what they would actually sound like so I have to think outside the box and find sounds that could pass as the noise of a star. I chose to use glass, metal, tuning forks, and anything else that gives a ringing noise, because it reminds me of stars twinkling. When the stars move they need a very specific noise, and after a bit of experimentation, I’ve discovered that the best way to make a sound effect for this is to put glass beads mixed with stones on a plastic plate and move them around. It gives the tinkling sound I wanted, but adding the rocks in also lowers it to make the stars sound heavier.
La Luna list of sounds:
- Stars moving – bits of metal/glass/sea shell moving around on plastic.
- thud of anchor – heavy books being thrown down/thrown in a box
- scrape of anchor moving – two rocks scraping together
- rope stretching – nails scratching on wood (may need to layer up) or rubbing an inflated balloon.
- boat creaking – door creaking
- water on side of boat – bowl of water
- footsteps of man climbing ladder – sound of a light shoe on stone steps.
- whoosh of shooting star – running a finger round the edge of a glass and dragging paper along a table and making wind sound effect with mouth.
- shooting star landing – tuning fork or high pitched cowbell and rice thrown onto plastic
- footsteps of boy – light footsteps on gravel
- pulse of the star when boy touches it – spoon hitting glass and sand poured quickly onto plate
- intake of breath
- happy intake of breath
- man calling the boy
- Music – Simple and lighthearted, maybe a Greek style tune.
The one small problem I had was that if I just used these sound effects, there would be a lot of silences between them that wouldn’t make for good listening, and normally, a wildtrack is used to make any silences sound more natural. The wild track is the background ambience that fits in with whatever place the scene is set in, because we’re never in true silence. If you were in a field the wild track would contain things like bird calls, wind blowing through leaves and grass. A cafe would have background chatter, maybe coffee machines, the sound of plates and cutlery clinking. The problem with the animation clip I have chosen is that it’s technically set in space, where there really would be no background noise. If you look at other films like Gravity, you can hear that even when there’s no sound, there’s usually some sort of low rumbling in the background. Because of this, I’ve found this YouTube video which is supposedly meant to be Jupiter’s ambient EM noise, so I think if I layer this up with my music, it might fill in any silences a bit.