Today we are chatting with Myrto Chatziandreou about her work as a Foley artist and sound designer with experience in film, theatre, and advertising. She also creates sound installations with microcontrollers and visual programming.
This is what we discussed:
Threshold: Getting Started
J: How do you prepare yourself before starting any project?
M: After the director sends me the film, I watch it through in order to get the feeling of it. I take notes regarding the scenes, the characters, and the props I will need to record the Foley. Sometimes the films come with specific requirements and/or additional notes by the director, which I usually find very important for my work. If available, I ask for the edited production sound and the music before I start recording, as they give me a better overview on the narrative and rhythm of the film.
Attack: Things to discuss
J: How did you know this was the industry that you wanted to work in?
M: It was quite a paradox for me, or maybe not… I do not know. My passion was to use sound as a form of expression together with something visual. Back then, in Greece, the only available medium to achieve that was live music shows. So, I studied Sound Engineering and I became a PA sound engineer. However, I always had an interest towards music video clips, and after 10 years in the music business I attended a film workshop, initially for personal interest. There, I came across the art of Foley for the first time. After that day my life changed. I finally found what I was looking for… creating sound to tell a story, sound that is capable of driving an audience into an immersive experience… magic!
Release: Talking about the good stuff
J: What do you think is the best part of working in this industry?
M: For me, the most exciting thing in my job is the process of exploring the possibilities of ordinary and/or useless objects in order to transform them into something else. I guess we are the rubbish collectors of the film industry… It is astonishing what you can achieve with a rusted tin, a carton box, a broken kettle or even your lunch…. very interesting sounds.
J: What would you say is the most important thing when creating Foley?
M: Well, primarily, and many individuals are not aware of this… the most important as well the most difficult thing in our job is to get into the actor’s shoes. I do not mean walking the character, but the ability to become them. Our attitude as humans change according to what we feel. The dynamics of our pace and gestures differentiate when we are happy, sad, worried, in a hurry etc. Consequently, it is vital to understand the character’s temper, mood and intentions so that when we, Foley artists, perform we are expressing them and not ourselves.
J: What are the biggest life lessons learned in your personal and professional career?
M: Never give up. Certainly, some people are luckier than others, but when you know what you want and your goal is clear, if you stay focused and work hard, the sun will shine one day.