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Middle-schoolers explore sound-effect concept of Foley art

Posted at 4:24 PM, Apr 20, 2018

Many of us spend our weekends taking in a movie. But this weekend, some middle school students are looking at movies with a different perspective. 

They've been studying the sound-effects magic of Foley art.

When Amber Bock’s sixth-grade music class learned they would be creating Foley art, they didn't know what to make of it. 

"I thought Foley art, like we're gonna do some music or art or something like that," one student said.

"I thought it was origami." 

But in no time, these Omaha Public Schools students were honking, shaking, and recording their ways into imaginative creation. 

Foley, named after sound-effects artist Jack Foley, is the reproduction of everyday sound effects added to media in post-production to enhance audio quality. These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass.

This is Bock's first year teaching at McMillian Middle School. She says for four weeks students work on projects syncing sounds they create to videos from movies or video games. 

"You start, and there's a bus that flies over, and you can jump out, and we're trying to mimic what the bus would sound like," she said.

"I really wanted the kids to be able to explore a career or a couple of careers careers as we've been throughout the entire semester," Bock said.

A grant paid for a high-grade microphone the kids share. From there it's up to the students. 

Jamar Carson said it's helped him see his favorite video games and movies in an entirely different way. 

”Favorite movie, I'd have to say is ‘I Am Legend,’ and talking about this, I might actually like try and do that — try to create the sounds that were in the movie,” he said.

The kids final videos — about 1 to 3 minutes apiece — will be played for the public at 5:30 p.m. May 2 at at the school.