Every job in filmmaking requires an immense amount of creativity, but none are quite as entertainingly inventive as that of the foley artist.
Short of the Week has featured a fantastic and, naturally, entertaining video called The Secret World of Foley, directed by Daniel Jewel, in which foley artists Pete Burgis and Sue Harding demonstrate different techniques from their often mysterious line of work.
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/170948796
If you opt out of designing your own sound effects and decide instead to download them from online stock libraries, you're not alone. Most no-budget filmmakers aren't professional sound designers, nor do they have the money to hire one, so perusing stock sounds is not only easier, but also can be a whole lot less expensive.
However, like most things in filmmaking, if you want to give your film a more authentic and professional feel, putting the time and effort into obtaining the tools you need and then practicing how to use them yourself could eventually result in great quality sound effects. That's one major thing we can learn from this video: if you don't have the skills, practice until you do. If you don't have money for the tools, make them (or get cheap stuff). Creating foley requires artists to be imaginative and resourceful—not rich.
If you're interested in getting started on recording your own foley, we have plenty of resources for you, like how to capture backyard sound effects using an inexpensive Zoom H4n recorder, or how to use unusual things, like pickaxes and bathtubs, for your sound design.
What's the most creative foley you've ever devised?