Whack! Pow! Whoosh! Ever wonder how movies make those distinct fight sounds? Anyone who’s ever witnessed a real fight knows that they don’t sound anything like they do in the movies, as even the most well-landed punch isn’t going to make much of a sound in real life. So how does Hollywood turn their fight scenes into such cacophonous experiences? The answer is considerably less glamorous — and involves way more food — than what you’re probably thinking.
These types of sound effects are known as Foley Effects, and they’re produced by a person known as a Foley artist. Foley Effects — which are named for trailblazing sound-effects artist Jack Foley — are made practically rather than digitally, which leads to some pretty interesting productions. Need to hear a bone cracking? Try breaking a stalk of celery in half. Need a good punch to the face sound? You can punch a thick steak. How about a roundhouse kick? Just swing a wooden dowel through the air and then hit your own thigh with a shoe. The Foley artist’s job is certainly a unique one, and if you watch them work, it almost looks like parody. But you can’t argue with the results.
Take a look below at a video from Insider that goes behind the scenes with Foley artist Shaun Brennan to see what goes into a day’s work making fight sound effects.