This is especially geared towards anybody who has done a lot of work on films with an M&E requirement, but really everyone in general. When editing Foley, do you tend to cut things very tight, or do you do it almost like dial editing where you fill between? So, an example might be if I had one footstep in a walk-by that I decided needed to be nudged over 5 or 6 frames. Obviously, if I cut and move that over I've got a hole. Would you put fill in that hole (as though editing dialogue)?

I've recently gotten some Foley that I've had to do a fair amount of Frankenstein-ing to get it to work. Rather than take the time to meticulously fill between everything, so that each set of steps is one long region, I've been finding ways to use some of the tail & fill at the end of a step, with a fade, to bring it out fairly seamlessly. Hopefully you're able to imagine what it is I'm talking about.

5 Answers 5



I have done this exact thing that you are talking about. And yes, when extreme editing is required, I fill all the gaps. Most of the time there is enough space between each step to simply extend the region boundaries and cross fade (without creating a repeat). If not, I fill the gap with tone from elsewhere. You can definitely draw comparisons to Dialogue Editing, although, it is WAY easier to find tone and I rarely have problems with this.




I do that all the time as well. It really depends on what's going on in the background, though. If there's music, or perhaps a lot of action happening, then filler will get lost under the noise floor anyway.

If it's a simple diagetic dialog scene, then filler counts a bit more. My favorite trick is to go through the production sound and foley takes and find moments where there are subtle sounds of activity: clothes rustling and shifting, scuffing of shoes... sounds that are only just audible over the noise floor of the roomtone. I take all of these moments, compile them on their own track, and put it aside. If you have a gap you need to fill, pull a clip from these ambiguous movement-soup sounds and crossfade it into the timeline over the gap.

Hope this helps!

  • Good to know that others do it too and stuff. The thing I'm finding is that something more quickly edited might sit well with the production track, but once that gets knocked out for the M&E, you've got some weird bumps going on. So, trying to avoid that. I definitely do that same thing you're talking about with the "movement-soup" when I'm doing dialogue. If I hear a good scuff or movement somewhere, I'll keep it on my junk track. Works wonders for when you're told last minute "Oh hey, so they ADR'd two lines."
    – James
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 23:50

The foley should be recorded in such a quiet environment that there is only negligible "fill". Don't fill foley. Just chop it off or put a short fade on the head and tail if you hear something. If you're creating an M&E, the background tracks, the effects stem and other added effects to replace production effects under the English dialogue will certainly cover any foley holes. Also there will be a cloth pass in your foley tracks to cover all movement. It's there for the mixer to cover any movement holes in an M&E. The foley artists generally do the cloth in one pass per reel without stopping. It's easy to cut. Just advance everything five frames to cover the foley guys' reaction time. If it's rhythmic movement, like walking, put it back in original sync for that scene.

One thing I miss in foreign dubs is that original dialogue presence. I wish more editors would prepare some orignal room tone from the production sound that matches the actual room and the domestic dialogue. That would make the foreign ADR much more transparent and realistic.


Here's the trick - use your ears. If it bumps fix it.

I've always faded in and out of foley tracks it can also help to cut right up against first mod on the incoming sound.

Unless you're slammed and it's impossible to finish on time I would ALWAYS cut the cloth track to picture rather than just advancing it. Maybe it's old school but I was taught that that is what we do.


Quieter scenes Ill always fill in the holes, but if its an overpowering scene of MX and FX then I just put short fades on the regions. In a walk and talk the foley is just as delicate as the dialogue.

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