My Bio

Marc Marino is a foley artist currently enrolled at the University of New Haven as a Music & Sound Recording major. He has studied many foley methods used in video games and films. In his studies, he has explored a wide variety of video games and film to identify the various methods of making sound effects for video games and film. The use of foley for these mediums doesn’t stop there, sound effects used for these video games and films are also used in trailers for their respective game or film and are sometimes altered for the quality of the trailer. Marc has been using his knowledge of foley to implement his on method of foley into trailers.

What is Foley?

When we think of sounds, we think about what we immediately hear. When we analyze sounds, we realize that they are vibrations moving in the air. When we hear music or sound effects, we think of meanings to what sounds we are hearing. The most common and most effective uses of sound effects are in media, more specifically, video games and film. Some notable video games with astounding foley art are God of War, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Horizon Zero Dawn. These video games try to immerse the player in a whole new and different world from our own and the sounds of the world play an important role in that immersion. The sounds of war raging in the distance, rampaging city streets, or the gentle breeze grazing across tall grass all make the world of the video game become alive. Films have extraordinary ways of replicating sounds for their stories. Movies such as A Quiet Place, Avengers Infinity War, or Luca all have unique sounds to portray a variety of things. The sound of an alien using echolocation, the sound of the destruction of a moon, or the sounds of a bike race all define key moments in a film’s story.

A scene from the video game: God Of War

Sounds from our favorite media are created through the art of foley, but what is foley? To put it simply, foley is the art of making sound effects using conventional methods or non-conventional methods to create a specified sound for an action in media. The history of foley dates back all the way to the 1920s. In that time period, radio stations hired people to make unique sounds and improvise those sounds live when the radio host would make intros, outs, or even funny jokes or remarks. The one sound artist who pioneered this technique was Jack Foley, that’s where the word foley comes into play! Jack Foley went from being a sound artist for radio stations to making sounds for films and his methods were commonly used for future films as well.

A photo of Jack “Donovan” Foley

The sounds I mentioned earlier from some movies and video games are all examples of foley art. The foley artist’s job in a project is to create a unique and/or specified sound that can be mixed with the image it correlates with. The ways the foley artist may make such sounds is entirely up to the artist. Sometimes making a natural sound can be replicated a lot more easily than fictional actions. For example: the sounds of bustling city streets can easily be recorded and implemented into the images from a movie or video game displaying a busy street in the background. On the other hand, making the sounds of a giant laser coming from the infinity gauntlet in Avengers: Infinity War, can’t simply be recorded because it is something not of this world. Sampling and mixing of different sounds at different frequencies must be made to portray what the sound of that laser would make.

A scene from the movie: A Quiet Place

Foley in Video Games

What makes a video gaming experience one to remember? Some say what makes a game memorable is the content of the game itself. That can be an intriguing story, intense action sequences, or enduring the challenges in a video game, but there is one key element in video games that lets us have those kinds of memorable experiences and that is, sound.

Why is sound the most impactful element in a video game experience?

Some people first think about the music in a video game when they think of sound, and they would be right. Music is how video games became even more popular in its early stages. Music was used to create a memorable and enjoyable/unique experience. For example, nobody can seem to forget a Mario themed song. Ever since the first Super Mario Bros. video game, a tune has been implanted into the minds of millions, including those who may have not played the game at all.

The music of a game was the center focus of sound in video games in the past, but nowadays, sound is a focus on immersing the player in the video game. Sound effects play the most pivotal role to the quality of immersive gameplay. When the player does an action such as swinging an axe to a tree, the experience of doing that through a single button press is hard to make the play feel like they are the one swinging the axe. The inclusion of the sound of the axe hitting the tree allows for a sense other than sight to be triggered, hearing. This kind of experience allows the player to be really immersed into the world that the video game presents.

Foley in Films

Films have been a staple of entertainment. There are too many iconic movies to count. Recent iconic films such as Avengers Infinity War, A Quiet Place, and even Luca were such great films. Why? Well there is a lot to think about when it comes to what makes these films great. Story, dialogue, and visual effects are common element that people immediately think about, but there is one element we couldn’t live without. The sound effects.

What makes sound the most important part for a film’s success?

It is important that the sound design, or foley artwork, is done effectively. Just like the foley in video games, the experience of being immersed with the setting or story that is being presented effects the quality of the film and the overall enjoyment of the film. In Avengers Infinity War, the foley design is a very big challenge for something so fictional. The foley artists had made a very impressive sound for the Infinity Gauntlet alone. The sound design for the Infinity Gauntlet was made with the intent to convey the amount of power it holds. The sound of all infinity stones being put into the gauntlet is both jarring and intimidating, perfect for an impactful moment with the villain of a story.

As I have stated before, foley is the making of sound effects through conventional means and applying those sounds to a certain setting or action. The element of foley is so impactful and important to the success and quality of a film that if there was barely any foley design, the film is practically set up for failure.