Art Of


What Is Foley?

Jack Foley

How It's Done

Post Production
ADR / Dialogue
Sound FX

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The Moves Track is a layer of sound that recreates the clothing rustle of actors as they walk, run and move.

Listen to your pants (or dress) when you walk around the room; reach for a glass or wave your hand - you make noise all the time! People tend to scratch, pat and touch themselves and each other - the moves track covers these too.

A Foley Stage...

Without the moves track, the Foley would sound sterile and too perfect. Moves is like butter on your bread: it provides a smooth background layer. While incredibly subtle, the moves track serves to fill in the gaps in the sound when the picture is cut or ADR is used.

A Recording Engineer...

How To Record A Moves Track...

Moves are recorded on a single track throughout the entire reel. We usually put moves on Track 1 or 2. Set your recording level, push record and let the Foley Artist do all the work!
  • The microphone should be placed about three feet in front of the Foley Artist who is seated (some artists prefer to stand). Having a quiet room is essential - even the faintest background noises will be picked up when you are recording a handshake!
  • If you have to 'punch into the track' (the artist missed an action) then pick up at a cut or scene change to continue recording or you will notice the abrupt change in movement.
  • You might need to 'ride the level' as characters enter or exit a scene but be gentle and let the Foley Artist work the fade as you do (this takes teamwork!)

How To Perform A Moves Track...

The only props you need are pieces of material - denim, cotton, leather etc. The material you choose will depend on what the actors are wearing. Performing a Moves Track is easy:
  • Sit in a comfortable chair that doesn't make any sound - it shouldn't creak!
A Chair and A Mike!
  •  Hold the material loosely in your hands and rub it against your body simulating the motion of arm and leg movements as characters walk and interact.
  • Watch the screen and move as the actors move. The idea is to capture all action on the screen in one fluid motion from cut to cut and scene to scene. Moves should be played with a soft staccato feel and not end up all swishy sounding and without distinction.
  • If the actors touch each other (pats, handshakes and slaps) then you may try to get this on the moves track; some artists prefer to leave touches for the Specifics Track where there is more control over each event - remember we are creating a general movement track here not a single event.

The End Result...

The Moves Track kinda sounds like a smooth but distinct white noise that allows the mixer a base coat of sound. It allows the artist to create a 'sound design' for the characters (leather or lace) and sets the overall tone of the Foley Track.

It also gives the Foley Artist a chance to really feel the film (until you have sat down and moved through the film, you can't really know it,) which helps later on when you perform the footsteps!

© Philip Rodrigues Singer M.P.S.E.