Chatbot: Zoe Freed of Molinare.
At Develop I got the chance to sit down with Zoe Freed at Molinare.
How long Have you been working for Molinare how did you get into foley?
I first saw foley when I was 15 doing work experience I was hanging out with the runners at a postproduction company and they said oh we have a little foley studio upstairs.
I wasn’t allowed to sit in the sessions because they were working on topic secret stuff.
But just seeing the room and the rooms full of props and they explained it to me I couldn't believe that this sort of thing happened they still say it foley is one of the most secret industries in media
I thought do you know what I would really love to be a foley artist.
But it's very difficult and it's a very small industry as well in the UK there are not many of us at all.
So I forgot about it and carried on went to uni to study technical theatre and sound design but for theatre and in my final year I remembered this foley thing
Oooh, let's give that a go, and it went from there.
Got work experience in as many places as I possibly could, met as many people as I could, and ended up with the team at Pinewood Studios.
I trained with pete berges glen gathard and Jemm riley tosch
Started as a runner and made it very aware I wanted to be a foley artist and very quickly moved up through the ranks what was your first opening into that with those guys
Pete Burges is the foley artist there but I had actually gotten in contact with glen first through linked in and said id love to come to hang out work experience and just see what amazing stuff you guys do and just kept going back for work experience and they had an opening for a job as a runner.
So I applied for that, got it, then Pete joined the company as freelance and I trained under him with guidance from glen gemma and the team built and grew from there and then last year pinewood shut down their foley department
We all got made redundant and the majority of the team managed to stay together and moved to Molinare together
That was really lucky you managed to stay in that same team
Fundamentally what's the difference between working at Molinare and pinewood?
There's not a huge amount of difference to be honest because we're still doing the same stuff its different being on a studio lot say to be in Soho you can meet people whereas at a studio you're likely to encounter seeing stars working past all the time. And what was great about moving to Molinare was we were able to design our own foley pits in the middle of lockdown so all our building works were trying to happen in the middle of a lockdown
How did you manage that because you probably couldn't be in the same place?
We had to dry hire some studios as they were being built and it worked out really well; we have two massive studios n the basement studios off Carnaby street all the floor surfaces you could want there are all solid it's perfect.
Are there any microphones you like using?
I know from working with the team they change microphones depending on the project a lot of the time so if we are doing tom and jerry we used a U87 a lot. Whereas when we are doing stuff like fantastic beasts and the Witcher when they manipulate the sound a lot more we use the Sanken where they can slow it down we defiantly change mikes a lot dependent on what is needed.
Give us a Whistle stop tour of your production process getting ready for a film or a game?
For the film, we would watch the film first because they might be information later on in the film that might be imperative for us to know at the beginning.
As part of the storyline so the floorboard needs to creak because then when it's going to creak there that's the scary moment.
The character gets more and more powerful as she is going through
I want to be able to change her shoes, as we're going to start soft and move it up to like a really hard heal at the end to help that characterization.
For the game, it would be more getting information from the clients about what characters they want what surfaces they want.
And what the world of the game is because then I can think about what surfaces I need to build if it's on a ship do I need to get some more metal surfaces in.
How am I going to build this ship so even if there are 10 characters running around on this ship at once it's not going to be the same sound every time.
Exactly you can only hear three things happening at once.
What is the line between foley and sound design?
We have very close relationships with all of our clients so it depends on what they want for example our clients phase who we work with very closely on stuff like the witcher.
I know they love doing swords and all 'shwings' and all the detail that goes into that so for them I would just do the handling of the sword.
Whereas if it was for another production I would want to be doing the swings and adding all of that in it also depends on how far along in the process we join.
If they have done full effects pass then we will get their effects to stem and listen to it.
the client will go add whatever you want don't touch any of the effects stuff because we've absolutely covered it so you spend the time on these bits, please
Basically, it changes with every project.
It's a dance isn't it making sure you don't step on each other's toes
It's very much a collaboration are clients also know what we like to do is foley isn't typical foley in terms of just doing footsteps and putting a cup down.
We love getting involved.
We love making explosions I was using a blow torch in the studio the other day just because I wanted to be a flare.
If we have the time to do that on the project we will go all guns out and the client obviously wants us to as well we will be there for the explosions.
If there’s not the time you know just ad bits to it we can add the debris to explosions.
That settling sound afterwards and stuff like that always makes such massive difference debris you can set the tone of how serious the explosion is.
You can do a lot with just even the character
It doesn’t have to be a massive gesture it can be something quite subtle yeah so it's just the collaboration part of it adding stuff and helping to add those little nuances.
What is the average schedule for doing Foley for games and how does that change for doing budget vs time?