Alchemy Post Sound Delivers Shattering Foley Effects for Heist Film “Good Time”

Publish date:

Westchester, New York—Good Time, the new thriller from directors Benny and Josh Safdie, tells the story of a bank heist gone wrong. The film, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival and has attracted wide critical acclaim, stars Robert Pattinson as Connie Nikas, a thief who robs a bank in Queens as part of an ill-conceived scheme to get his mentally handicapped brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of jail.

Alchemy Post Sound provided Foley effects for the film, supporting its riveting action, vivid imagery and dark humor with creative sound. Working under the direction of Supervising Sound Editor Ryan M. Price, MPSE, and Re-Recording Mixer Evan Mangiamele, the Alchemy team (consisting of Foley artists Leslie Bloome and Joanna Fang and Foley mixers Ryan Collison and Nicholas Seaman) produced a vast assortment of custom sounds in preparing the film for festival screenings.

Sound plays a critical role both in setting the scene and creating the film’s tense atmosphere. “Good Time is a very intimate, gritty film,” explains Price. “The sound needed to have a lot of texture. It needed to make you feel that you were in New York, in a car with the actors and being chased by the police.”

Image placeholder title

Mangiamele adds that while the Foley needed to be realistic and blend with the production sound, it also had to have a musical quality to integrate seamlessly with Composer Daniel Lopatin’s score, which is featured prominently. “Benny and Josh were really psyched about the score and wanted it to drive the soundtrack,” he notes. “Sound effects are woven in with the music and dialogue in an interesting way.”

Having collaborated previously with Alchemy, Price felt confident that they could deliver Foley effects that met the creative need, and do it efficiently. “The turnaround was tight,” he says. “When the film got into Cannes, we had to move at a fast pace so, for me, it was important to work with people whom I knew were dependable. Alchemy is my go-to facility. They do a great job and I trust their crew.”

One memorable use of sound occurs early in the film. Connie and his accomplices are fleeing a bank after a hold up when a dye pack hidden among their loot explodes and releases an aerosol jet of red dye. Alchemy’s crew added to the frenzy with a dense mix of sound elements. “We took compressed air and gently worked it in as the bag of cash opens,” recalls Fang. “Then, as it explodes, we went crazy. You hear money and plastic flying everywhere. The air sprays viscously as the characters are doused with dye.”

The film’s setting in a rundown section of Queens and cast of low-life characters had a big impact on Alchemy’s approach to Foley. They went to considerable lengths to replicate the environments pictured on screen and mimic the characters’ personalities through their body movements. “The characters in this movie don’t have a lot going for them and the actors do a wonderful job in bringing that out,” notes Bloome. “We wanted to support that in their footsteps.”

Image placeholder title

Similarly, the film has a very distinct visual style. Cinematographer Sean Price Williams shot much of the film in tight close ups with a hand-held camera. That lends the action a sense of immediacy and realism that the Foley team sought to match. “Scenes like these are very challenging to capture on the Foley stage,” says Bloome. “You want to get the sync right—that’s important—but you also want to capture the actors’ performances, and you’ve got two guys running down a street with stolen cash and you only see them from the chest up.”

The Foley team had the most fun with a scene where a fleeing robber runs into a large window and is captured by police. It includes shattering glass, snapping handcuffs and crunching bootsteps as the perp is led away.  Bloome and Fang created the initial crash by smashing a brick through a giant piece of a plate glass. “We have a very large, dedicated glass pit that we smash stuff in,” says Bloome. “It allows us to do massive effects that at other places might be impossible or would decommission a room for hours.”

Although most of the sound effects in the film are realistic, the shattered glass is purposefully over the top. “Part of our job is to help preserve the first-time viewing experience of the audience,” explains Fang. “We wanted the crash to be just as impactful and out of nowhere for people in the theater as it is for the characters. It’s sudden, it’s painful and it’s loud.”

Although the project had a tight deadline, Fang notes that Alchemy is used to pressure, having worked on many independent films with festival commitments. She adds that the Foley work was split between two crews so that they could meet the deadline without shortchanging creativity or production value. “For us, it’s all about the story and making the characters feel real and alive,” Fang observes. “We are really good at making use of the budget and doing a great job in a limited period of time.”

About Alchemy Post Sound

Alchemy Post Sound is a 3,500 square foot, dedicated Foley studio designed specifically for Foley by resident Foley Artist Leslie Bloome. The company’s Emmy Award-winning staff has created sound for numerous major feature films, long-running television series, independent films and popular games. Alchemy’s services also include music recording, live performance, video production, ADR, and sound design.



InSync Technology at the 2019 NAB Show

At the 2019 NAB Show, InSync will announce availability of the new FrameFormer plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro for macOS. This addition to the range provides further flexibility and options for deploying FrameFormer.


Black Box at the 2019 NAB Show

At the 2019 NAB Show, Black Box will showcase products across its high-performance Emerald™ unified KVM (keyboard, mouse, video) portfolio and will unveil a new offering that enables even greater flexibility in establishing agile remote desktop connectivity. The Black Box booth, SL12716, will feature demo areas dedicated to Emerald KVM solutions that address the need for convenient and intuitive real-time access to multiple computers from multiple locations, whether across rooms, floors, buildings, sites, or even cities. Black Box offers consultation and design services along with every solution delivered, and the company's representatives at the 2019 NAB Show will highlight complete IP-based and 4K AV visualization and distribution solutions tailored to the unique requirements of modern control rooms, post and media productions, and broadcast playout environments.


Yamaha UC Brings IT-Ready UC Solutions to IT Partners France

Yamaha Unified Communications will demonstrate its broad portfolio of unified communication solutions (UC) in stand E67 at IT Partners France, March 13-14 at Disneyland Paris. Strengthening enterprise UC strategy through simple deployment and management while delivering best-in-class collaboration experiences, the company will feature its portable YVC-200 speakerphone for on-the-go conferencing, along with the CS-700 Video Sound Collaboration System for huddle rooms and the Yamaha YVC-1000 conference phone.