10 Facts That Show How Sound Effects in Our Favorite Movies Are Made

10 Facts That Show How Sound Effects in Our Favorite Movies Are Made

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Hollywood has a way of using special effects and camera tricks to keep us glued to the screen. While most movies include CGI and other techniques to create breathtaking scenes, the sound effects are a completely different story. For instance, did you know that the sound of crushing objects is actually made with the help of fresh celery? Or that balloons are used to create groans of dinosaurs? Like that, we have gathered a list that shows how foley artists create sound effects for some of our favorite movies.

1. The sound of crunchy, fresh snow is recreated inside a studio with the help of cornstarch.

sound effects, movies, Hollywood, facts, sound engineers
Image: Thom Holmes

In movies, we often see characters fighting intense snowstorms or climbing mountains filled with layers of snow. What makes these scenes more dramatic is the crunchy sound of the actor or actress stepping on snow. One of the most popular ways the sound of snow is recreated is with the help of cornstarch. Foley artist or sound engineers simply pour cornstarch into a box and use their hands or shoes to recreate the real sound of snow.

2. The crushing sounds in movies such as Jurassic Park are made with celery.

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Image: Fausto García

It might be surprising to hear that the sound of things being crushed by a gigantic T-Rex is actually made with the help of a vegetable. Sound artists simply take a bite of celery or break it in half to achieve the cracking/crushing sound.

3. The sound of horses walking or running is made with the help of empty coconut shells.

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Image: Sheri Hooley

Recording the sound of horses walking or running can be extremely hard. This is why foley artists prefer using empty coconut shells to recreate the sound effect. When you knock dried coconut shells on a hard surface, you achieve the same sound as horse hooves make while a horse is in action.

4. The sound of a heartbeat is made using plastic trash cans.

Foley artists, sound, effects, movies, life, cinema, cinematography
Image: Paweł Czerwiński

In order to make a scene more emotional, sound artists often use heartbeat sounds in the background. This creates an intense feeling with the viewer, allowing them to sync their emotions with the moment. For this purpose, foley artists use plastic trash cans, which are flipped over and rhythmically pressed to achieved the required beat.

5. The sound of thunder is created using aluminum sheets.

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Image: O12

While foley artists have different methods of creating the sound of thunder, one of the most popular method is with aluminum sheets. The large sheets are shaken or moved rapidly in front of a microphone to recreate the dramatic sound of thunder.

6. Rusty hinges are used to create the swinging sound.

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Image: Markus Spiske

In order to create a tense atmosphere and to invoke emotions within a viewer, rusty hinges are used to create the swinging sound. Scary movies also use this technique to create squeaky doors and give a dramatic effect.

7. The sound of fire crackling is created with the help of bubble wrap and cooking paper.

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Image: chuttersnap

The sound of fire crackling can be soothing for some and sound artists know this all too well. In order to recreate the sound effect in a convenient way, foley artists use bubble wrap or cooking paper, which are twisted, turned or squeezed to achieve the satisfying sound.

8. The sound of eggs hatching or cracking is made with ice cream cones.

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Image: Myriams

Ice cream cones are not just for eating ice cream but are also used by the movie industry to recreate sound effects. In some films, the sound of creatures hatching from eggs is achieved by stepping on ice cream cones.

9. The sound of Godzilla roaring was achieved with the help of inflated balloons and other elements.

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Image: Andreas Weiland

Creating roars can be a complicated process since the sound has to match the creature in the movie. When it comes to the 2014 remake of the Godzilla, foley artists actually rubbed their hands on a balloon and recorded the sound. They also added the sounds of a rubber shoe along a drum skin and double bass strings, squeaking the joints of an ironing board and hat stand, as well as the sounds of a donkey foal to achieve the final roar.

10. The T-Rex roar in Jurassic Park was made using real animals to ensure that they felt like authentic living creatures.

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Image: Pixabay

Director Steven Spielberg wanted to ensure authenticity in Jurassic Park, which is why he chose to use real animals for the sounds. The famous T-Rex roar in the beginning of the movie is made by combining the trumpet of a baby elephant slowed down, some tiger growls and, at the end of the second roar, an alligator.

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