About The Film

Dead Weight is an independent film produced in central Wisconsin throughout the course of 2011, and released in March 2012. It tells the story of Charlie Russell, traveling the wilderness in the wake of an apocalyptic viral outbreak, in search of his girlfriend, Samantha. As his journey brings him closer to his destination of Wausau, WI, he must face physical exhaustion, malicious survivors, and perhaps most menacing, his own emotional burdens. With his newfound traveling companions Charlie must attempt to find attempt to break his obsessions with the past. He must learn to let it go.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Oh, foley work… If you're not sure what foley is, it is, simply put, re-creating everyday (and not so everyday) sounds to use in a film. When filming, you concentrate on getting the best possible audio for the actor's dialogue. Doing so, there's a lot of additional sounds that you don't capture, so you need to replace them. 

Our foley list consisted of over 300 separate sounds. However, one entry on the list could have been, "Group Footsteps". Could have been?! Who am I kidding, that entry appeared multiple times. Most of the time, "Group Footsteps" implied four to five of our characters walking on different terrain; grass, concrete, leaves, hardwood floors, and/or snow. So one item on the list might have actually been five separate sounds to create one overall sound. Make sense?

Now, we didn't go out and actually walk around in the snow to get the right sound. In fact, the only sounds we recorded outside were the sounds of a car. Everything else was recorded in our recording studio, aka my bedroom. Here, we recorded everything from the sound of a hand going into a backpack, cocking a gun, walking in the snow, a roaring campfire, and gore sounds (just for example, there were tons more). 

How in the hell did we record snow and a campfire in my bedroom? Well, the fun of foley is figuring out what resources you need to get the sounds that you want. We're not going to give away all of our secrets, but walking in snow was recreated by placing rice and cornmeal in a leather pouch, and squeezing it for every step. The campfire consisted of potato chips and saran wrap, and fruits and veggies were used to make some gross gore sounds. 

Adam and I, along with our good friend Scott, spent three days, twelve hours a day, capturing these sounds. Then, I had to go through and place each sound in the film, being sure it fit with the video. At the moment I have about 75% (if not more) of the foley in the film, and have probably spent well over thirty hours doing so. Seems like a lot of tedious work, doesn't it? It is, no doubt about it. However, foley makes a film. Correction: sound makes a film. Audio is equally as important as your video, if not more. You could have the best looking film in the world, but if the audio sucks, no one will sit through it. 

To help better illustrate what we did, here's a nice little clip of the pros making foley. Adam was so inspired by the guy wearing ruby high-heels, he insisted on wearing them everyday we recorded foley… even if we didn't need footsteps. Okay, that may or may not be true. 

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