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How to Become a Foley Artist

Innovation applies to the life of anyone wanting to become a foley artist. Foley artists create film sound effects. Discovering how to make those sound effects is what leads to a successful career as a foley artist. Getting your foot in the door takes drive, smarts and devotion as long as you know the way.

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Practice recording sound effects using a good-quality tape recorder. You can then work with computer software to isolate sounds and also to drop those sounds into a piece of film you have made. Film and sound files you have produced make for great work samples should you be asked for some.

Move to a union town like Los Angles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto or Vancouver. Chances of getting hired or getting your foot in the door are higher when you belong to a union, since many in the film industry will hire only union members. They also make for great networking opportunities.

Study all aspects of film sound effects in magazines, the Internet and books. Grasp a good understanding of how the foley artists play an important role in making a film by watching films and studying the sound to get ideas of what will be expected of you.

Locate people doing foley work that you want to do. You must be smart and resourceful. Networking is key to developing a successful career in sound effects.

Become an apprentice with an established foley artist who really knows about film sound effects.


Film background is a must; this comes with being a foley artist. Make sure you work on a set or two, so you know the process of filmmaking. Foley artists can fit into two main positions--an artist or "walker" who creates the sounds, and a technician who records and mixes the final product. You can go to film school, but you can also learn just as much, if not more, on a set as an apprentice working for little or no money.

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