Jack Foley - The FX King

Tuesday was Jack Donovan Foley's birthday. If he were still alive today, he would be 120. With the advancement of computer technology, fine-tuned recording techniques, and evolving sonic art forms, sound lives on today in motion picture posthumously like never before.

As described by the Motion Picture Sound Editors:

"Foley, or 'Direct-to-Picture,' sound effects were first developed by Jack Foley on Stage 10 of the Universal lot (just over the Hollywood Hills from the Egyptian) for the 1929 production of Show Boat. The movie was originally a silent adaptation of the book that had gone on to become a successful Broadway musical. Following the success of The Jazz Singer, the studio decided that this silent movie had to become a soundie. Some scenes were reshot with synchronized sound and a special sound prologue tacked on, but mostly sound was added to the original footage. Not just dialogue and music, but sound effects as well. For that part of the audio track, Jack Foley and his team 'performed' a variety of sound effects while watching the projected film during the orchestra's recording session.
Jack Donovan Foley was born in Yorkville, N.Y. in 1891, to Irish immigrant parents. His first job was as a general order clerk on the New York docks.  Jack also played a lot of semi-pro baseball in the New York area.  Dissatisfied with the weather, Jack moved to California. His first job in the developing movie industry was as a double and stunt man.  He went on to be a location scout then screenwriter and director. 
After this unique career opportunity appeared in 1929, Jack soon had his own specialized recording studio and worked full time recreating the footsteps and other sound effects of movie performers."

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