What sound effects or Foley, goes in a script question?


Mr. M. did voice acting  and sound effect as he helped Brendan with his script for a game.



Mr. M. wanted to know more about how sound effects and Foley are done in films and games. - mainly is there a document they use.  Mr. M. knew that, just like camera direction, sound effects are minimal in a script.  They must always be capitalized, like

"BANG - the gun hit the table."



Foley is always capitalized, and you ONLY say Foley, if you are recording "live to picture", otherwise it is just sound effects.


If you don't capitalize the "F", the Foley Police will take you away.


Foley is named after Jack Foley, a pioneer in the industry.




Question posed to Scott Koue

Hope all is well..

I was just helping a student after classes yesterday,
to record dialog and "foley" - oops, I mean "Foley"...
oops... I mean Sound Effects (since we were NOT
recording LIVE-TO-PICTURE.  :)

This is not my class, I don't teach anything to do with games,
and I don't teach the "audio" courses, as I'm still a novice.

I wonder if you could give us some advice:

The script is attached, and I know that sound effects are always
CAPITALIZED in script  like
BANG - the money hit the chair.  :)

But, what I don't know, and Brendan doesn't know (student)
is, in the industry, there must be another
sheet or something, that complements the script
for sound effects.

Can you share us any sample, links,
or how this is done by pros?
A screen shot, or PDF would be great.

I can't help it might be as standard, as proper SCRIPT format..
but I don't really know.

Thanks, for your continued helping me  and my students.


Good news... Kierone will be the voice of our
Reel Art Show 2013: Dragon Training Edition

I'll contact you soon about that work.


Rob McCormack, P. Eng.  ☏ (807) 475-6180

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Brendan
Date: November 19, 2013 6:09:58 PM EST
To: "mccormac (Rob Mccormack)" <Rob.Mccormack@confederationc.on.ca<mailto:Rob.Mccormack@confederationc.on.ca>>
Subject: Intro Animation Script

Hey Mr. M,

I have attached the script, as requested.

Please keep in mind it just explains the action for the introductory segment of my game.

Thanks for your help!

-- Brendan


Well I don't know how game scripts are done.  But screenplays don't generally have much in the way of sounds written in.  Maybe a big sound that actors react to.  But writing in a lot of that kind of detail is like writing acting directions in for the characters.  It's considered an amateur move. 

So something like "HOUSE EXPLODES" gives the visual FX folks and the sound FX folks all they really need.  The director is going to have an idea of exactly how the house explodes and the sound folks are mostly going to go with the visuals.  Going to details about how the house explodes (with the exception of a detail that is critical to a plot line) is silly since the writer actually has no idea of how the house is going to be exploded when the film is shot.  That kind of detail is routinely lined out with sharpie in the script.

What is more acceptable is a kind of running verbal description in a more metaphorical vein.  If you look at the opening for Lethal Weapon.

You can find more scripts at the above site or try these below.



There are a couple of reasons.  First you don't tell actors how to act, they aren't going to follow your directions anyway.  And by the same token you don't tell the director how to direct.  Those two things have a LOT to do with what the film ends up looking like and how it sounds has a LOT to do with how it looks and the direction that the director went in.  And all of that may have darn little to what the screenwriter wrote.  Even in say a TV show, what you write may not be what you end up with.  Breaking Bad was written set in LA.  New Mexico had nice incentives so it moved there.  Suddenly it's in a very different place.

At the script level IF your sound design/ supervisor is on board then they may start getting recordings of things that are likely to stay in the script.  In Titanic we recorded lots of water and wind before we saw any images.  It's in the ocean and it sinks, no mater what happens to the script you are going to need wind and water, and groaning metal.

But most of the work happens after the footage is shot.  Depending on the budget that may be with the first rough cuts or in might be after the film is locked.

At that point the supervisor and designer and usually the director will do a spotting session.  Often this is a multi stage process.  The supervisor will go through and spot sounds and take notes.  The designer may spot for very specific sequences where they are going to have to design a bunch of stuff, and the director will often come in after to make sure that the things they want people know about.  That is also the time to discus the feel and pace of scenes, if a scene is supposed to be spooky for some reason that isn't obvious.  Or what kind of sound they have been hearing in their heads for some FX.  I try to get them to talk about the colors they think of for scenes, since most directors are more visual than aural.

Those sessions result in the spotting list.  This is also done for Dialog/ADR.  And with the composer for music placement.

What happens next is very facility dependent.  In LA the supervisor generally pulls sounds they think are right and puts them on hard drives that the editors will pick from.  In northern CA, when it had a lot of sound post, an editor was more likely to get the list and he (or she) and their assistant would go looking for sounds.  Anything not found in the libraries is either moved to the design list or the record list.

Later in the proses a Foley editor will work with the supervisor to do the Foley spotting list.  Things like footsteps are obvious but often there is some other sounds that just didn't work or are problematic for FX and Foley will have a go at them.

Games may be different?  Radio scripts do have a specific way to note sound FX.  Film though is mostly what is called "see a dog, hear a dog".  Most of the sound work is putting sounds to things you see in the picture and you don't know that till it's been shot.



I'll share with all my students

Rob McCormack, P. Eng.  ☏ (807) 475-6180
ⓘ https://signaturr.com/-robmcc

On 2013-11-20, at 12:55 PM, Scott Koué wrote:

Related to the first.  This is exactly the kind of SFX that would not generally be written by a "professional" screenwriter.  The money hits the chair, you don't need to tell the director or anybody else that it makes a sound when it hits.  What kind of sound depends on how much money, what the chair is made of, how hard it's thrown, how important it is in the directors version of the script.

You put that kind of stuff in in novels, but it's kind of a waste to put it in a film script and it's looked at as a mark of someone who hasn't written much professionally.  That is kind of silly but that is the way it is.  It comes off as lightly insulting, and you know how touchy those directors can get.  It implies that the director wouldn't think of it if you hadn't reminded him (her).

you also have to remember that screenwriters are pretty far down the pecking order in Hollywood.  Most directors take screenplays as blueprints for the film they want to make.  That's why you see screenwriters with some clout moving up into producer or director roles, so they will have some power.




From: Scott Koué [scott@askinc.net]
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 11:53 AM
To: mccormac (Rob Mccormack)
Subject: Re: Opinion from a pro...Sound Effects in a script.  Fwd: Intro Animation Script

BTW the software I use for spotting FX is Soundminer which is a Canadian company out of Toronto I believe.
It is a SFX librarian that will allow you to spot sounds directly into the ProTools time line.  I think it works with other DAWs also but?


Scott Koue
Web Page<http://www.scottkouesound.com/>
My IMDB<http://imdb.com/name/nm0468138/> page






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