The Foley Grail : The Art of Performing Sound for Film, Games, and Animation book cover
2nd Edition

The Foley Grail
The Art of Performing Sound for Film, Games, and Animation

ISBN 9780415840859
Published March 27, 2014 by Routledge
276 Pages

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Book Description

Master classic and cutting-edge Foley techniques that will allow you to create rich, convincing sound for any medium, be it film, television, radio, podcasts, animation, or games.

In The Foley Grail, Second Edition award-winning Foley artist Vanessa Theme Ament teaches you how Foley is designed, crafted, and edited for any project, right down to the nuts and bolts of spotting, cueing, and performing sounds. Various renowned sound artists provide a treasure trove of shortcuts, hot tips, and other tricks of the trade.

This new edition features:

  • Entirely new chapters dedicated to Foley in games, television, broadcasting, and animation, as well as what is new in sound for media education
  • All new sound "recipes" that include proven Foley methods you can immediately use on your own projects
  • New case studies from well-known films, shows, games, and animations
  • Interviews with current sound artists from across the globe
  • An extensive companion website ( featuring video demonstrations of Foley artists at work, video tutorials of specific Foley techniques, lectures from the author, and much more


Table of Contents




PART I What Foley Artists Do, and Why:

History, Theory, and Methods

Chapter one

Holy Foley:

The Evolution of a Craft: The United States

Chapter two

Noise vs. Sound:

Foley As It Is Used in the Various Genres

Chapter three

Single or Married:

Foley Used Independently or Combined with Sound Effects

PART II How Foley Artists Work:

The Protocols, Conventions, and Heirarchy

Chapter four

Fire in the Hole:

The Players and Their Responsibilities

Chapter five

Let’s Go Ahead and Go Back:

Spotting and Cueing

PART III Foley Beyond the Film Frame:

Games and Animation

Chapter six

Gaming The System:

Foley As It Lands in the Game

Chapter Seven

Animation Station:

Foley Defines Reality or Fantasy

PART IV The Practical Concerns:

The Art and Craft of Foley

Chapter eight

Walking in Their Shoes:

Performing the Footsteps

Chapter nine

Manipulation Techniques:

Performing the Props

Chapter ten

Hang It As A Unit:

The Knack for Sync

Chapter eleven

Magic Wind:

Unusual Foley Requests

PART V The Foley Companions:

Editing and Mixing

Chapter twelve

Mix and Match:

The Foley Mixer

Chapter thirteen

Hearing The Sweet Spot:

Editing Foley

Chapter fourteen

Fix It In Post:

The Dub

PART VI Nuts and Bolts

Where and With What?

Chapter fifteen

Scene Change:

The Foley Stage

Chapter sixteen

Chef or Cook:

Ingredients and Recipes

PART VII The Ghost of Foley Futures:

Looking Forward

Chapter seventeen

The Ivory Tower:

The Media School

Chapter eighteen

Foley Reflections:

Final Thoughts of Experts





About the Author and Illustrator

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Vanessa Theme Ament is a professional Foley artist whose credits include Platoon, Clue, Predator, Die Hard, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Noises Off, Beauty and the Beast, and other movies in addition to a long list of television shows. Vanessa is also an accomplished singer/songerwriter, sound editor, and teacher. Currently completing a PhD at Georgia State University, her dissertation examines how the cultural geography of Hollywood, the San Francisco Bay Area, and New York has influenced the transition from analogue to digital sound.


"Ever wonder how Foley sound effects are added to films and what props you need to set up a Foley stage? Curious about how sound effects are edited, how Foley artists select their shoes, or how the sounds for video games differ from those of motion pictures? You will find the answers to all these questions and more in The Foley Grail, Second Edition, Vanessa Theme Ament’s savvy but eminently readable book. No one interested in film sound can afford to be without it." -- Rick Altman, Emeritus Professor, University of Iowa; Author, Silent Film Sound and A Theory of Narrative

"This book is entertaining, informative and an absolute must-read for everyone who wants to make a career in sound, as well as being a very handy lesson for anyone involved in production on whatever level – and a particularly valuable aid for 'media' course tutors." -- Wendy Laybourn, Network Nine News

"Thanks to this publication, sound is appraised as a subjective art form.  So whether you’re a novice (i.e. “what even is Foley?”)  or a whizz (“pfft, why do I need to read about Jack?”), there truly is much to learn from this book.  Seek the Foley Grail." - Matt Howsam,

"Comprising a virtual master class on leading-edge Foley techniques, The Foley Grail covers just about everything a practitioner or observer of the Foley process would need to create convinving sounds for a variety of film and television...a must-have test for any post professional's bookshelf." - Mel Lambert, CineMontage

"... By examining the entire process, from spotting Foley through the final dub, the reader of The Foley Grail gains an understanding of how this specialized art form is used to enhance the sound quality of varying genres of film, television, animation, and games. Ament views Foley as a true art which should be approached with an open mind, explaining, 'Art has no rules —only guidelines.'" - David Jobe, Topanga