- We challenged Tara Blume to recreate sounds for a classic movie scene from her home, using only things she had around her house.
- Tara used items like an Instant Pot, a machete, and a crowbar for some of the new noises.
- We chatted with her about how she did it, the challenges, and shared the final newly Foleyed scene.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Tara Blume: Every Foley stage probably has a machete. I’m not sure that every Foley artist actually has a machete at their house… [laughs]
Joe Avella: So, to start off, can you please introduce yourself?
Tara: My name Is Tara Blume, and I’m a Foley artist. Normally in a Foley session, they will roll the beeps, and then the picture will follow, and then we will perform in sync with the picture.
Tara: I picked “Evil Dead II,” the chainsaw build.
Tara: Mostly because I figured that I could replicate what’s in that video. Like, not very precise, and, like, the sound quality was not very good. First off, I muted the sound, and then watched it a couple times silently, ’cause what I was trying to do is match picture. That’s normally how we get a project, there is no sound. I knew I wanted to use the machete just to give a blade sound for the chainsaw. When I was first performing it, I was imagining closing this on itself, so, like, we’re getting, like, an insert sound of it. But it wasn’t really, sorry, sorry! [wheel screeching]
Joe: No, that’s fine, that’s OK. [laughs]
Tara: It wasn’t really giving me an insert sound, so as I was performing it, I ended up just going with picture. So, you can hear how the cavity of it is giving you, like, an insert sound, and then just the blade ricocheting at the same time was giving me the blade sound. I’m not actually looking at picture while performing. That was the biggest challenge to me. The gate outside my door, I took from my neighbour ’cause they left it out for trash. I was gonna change it into, like, a succulent wall. The other think is a plantar fasciitis, like, a foot fascia roller. Like, the first wood squeak that happens. Like, I have always noticed the squeak on that thing. The only chain I have is a bike-lock chain.
Like, I know how certain things sound in my kitchen, and, I don’t know, yeah, I think it’s just because of the nature of the job. I don’t have real lightbulbs at my house. They’re all energy-saving, and they don’t sound like lightbulbs, so. I ended up putting, like, an old lantern that I have and a chain on it, but if I had a lightbulb it would have probably sounded better.
I just grabbed a bunch of different metal objects that I have just to create different metal rattles. In the visual, it’s, like, running on screws and stuff, so you can, like, see a bunch of different metal rattling. There’s, like, brackets that get thrown down, one after the other. The closest thing I have to that are spurs. The screwdriver we typically wouldn’t cover, but I just figured that I should do something, ’cause this is a Foley exercise, so I just used a screw on the machete.
Every Foley stage probably has a machete or two. I’m not sure that every Foley artist actually has a machete at their house…[laughs] but I do. I also have a full-sized ax. And this crowbar, which is extra big. So, I just wanted to provide, like, a metal squeak, and then, like, a closure sound. And I’m holding it with my foot because I also didn’t want to edit it and I wanted it to happen just like the visual happens, so.
You have to, like, really be precise with your action, so that became kind of difficult just because it had to be right in sync and I wasn’t really watching the picture. So, I actually built that prop, the leather straps, for “Westworld,” for the samurai character, which you can’t hear very much of, but it’s in there. That take was pretty hard to do, because I was fighting the level of the metal on the table to the leather. The metal was overtaking the leather sound.
I added a piece of cloth underneath the piece of metal I was grabbing. The leather harness that tightened… I would have done, like, a rope-grab kinda sound, and then I would have also done a leather creak on top of that, but having to do it simultaneously was definitely a challenge. The Crock-Pot was right in front of me, so my mind immediately was like, what can I stuff in there that’s gonna give me, like, a sound that something is going into something? Also I was recording in this space. I was worried about it, ’cause it’s obviously super live, the ceilings are really high and the floor is wood, and it actually worked out. Honestly, when I chose this room, it was because of this surface. [wood thuds] Use this as, like, a base of sound…sorry.
Joe: No, it’s OK [laughs]
Tara: That is an actual handsaw. That was just giving me, like, a large, plastic kind of chainsaw-body kind of thing. The other thing is actually an airsoft handgun. I obviously needed the sound of the chainsaw starting, like the cable pull. I would have used something way different on the Foley stage. I probably would have used a chain up against, like, a big body of plastic or something. But this worked pretty well! I just used the body of a bucket. And it’s actually almost comical because of the visual, because it doesn’t work. You hold it, it, like, dies out, and she, like, expels air.
That’s actually a sound effect. Foley of a chainsaw would be the handling of a chainsaw. The grab of the cable, and then running of a chainsaw is an effect sound, not Foley. So for, like, a gun, a gunshot would be an effect, and then the movement of the gun would be Foley. This is actually a garden, you know, trellis stick. [stick whooshes] Those whooshing sounds are always made by a doily. A doily is just a thin stick, when thrusted through the air creates a high-pitched “whoosh” sound. The different shapes of different sticks make different, lower whooshes or higher-pitched whooshes, kind of interesting.
Joe: Why didn’t you just do the sound effects on your own and then in edit try and, like, match it up?
Tara: Because I’m an artist, not an editor. [laughs] So it was way easier for me to just perform it right in sync than for me to edit it. [laughs]
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