The Snappers, Clackers, Ka-chunkers and Sha-shonkers That Make Movies Sound Great

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When E.T. walked across the screen and into the hearts of moviegoers everywhere, that lovable space alien who wanted to “phone home” needed a sound for its walk. Foley artists, the sound magicians who add special effects to movies, decided to use a bag of jello in a damp T-shirt. Indeed, a Foley artist is nothing but ingenious. Snappers, clackers, ka-chunkers, sha-shonkers and things that go “ronk” are just a few things you might find in their toolbox, along with celery — good for broken bones — or paperclips on gloves to imitate a cat walking down the hall. We’ll learn about these tricks of the trade from some of the world’s best Foley artists at Skywalker Sound in Marin.


Anna Wiener, contributing writer, The New Yorker - She is the author of the memoir "Uncanny Valley." Her most recent piece for the New Yorker is titled "Noisemakers."

Shelley Roden, Foley artist, Skywalker Sound - Roden has worked as a Foley artist for over 25 years and has worked on "Black Panther," "Top Gun: Maverick," "Soul," "Turning Red," and hundreds of other films.

Scott Curtis, Foley mixer, Curtis has mixed sound for a variety of movies including "Titanic," "Team America" and "Black Panther."

John Roesch, Foley artist, Skywalker Sound. Roesch has worked as a Foley artist for over 40 years and has worked on "E.T.," "Top Gun: Maverick," "Soul," "Tenet," and hundreds of other films, including many in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also hosts the podcast "The Right Scuff."