I know you didn’t come here to read my arguments on the merits of comic book characters (and if you have been – this is a weekly sound blog, why have you been coming here to read about comic book characters?) but allow me this short paragraph as it ultimately has a lot to do with this week’s piece of foley.
A lot of people I’ve spoken to aren’t that interested in Captain America – both as a movie and as a character. However, I maintain that when done right Steve Rogers is an everyman that knows he makes mistakes but tries to do the right thing regardless and uses this drive to inspire. Plus he’s a rip van winkle who woke up in a time much darker than his own (originally from the 40s) with most of his friends and family dead. In recent years the comics have seen him openly criticize the American government and outright oppose them – all that good character stuff plus he can kick ass and carries a big shield. I will also agree, though, that when done badly all he becomes is a walking flag. In either tradition, this week’s foley is in honour of the movie coming out this week!
Flags get flown a lot in film. Yes, of course, in war pictures – a lot in any war movie – but also in everything from a drama to a travel documentary can have use for a good, artsy shot of a flag being blown in the wind.
If you’re waiting for me to tell you the best way to record a flag flapping in a slight breeze or large gusts of wind is to go out, find a flag on a pole and wait for the wind to start a blowin’ – then you’ll be waiting in vain. While you certainly can go outside and do just that, you’ll probably get a lot of extra outside sound, the flag pole making noise, the flag being too high up to get good levels and the wind messing with your mic. I think the best way to go about it is to take a flag or flag like material and get a partner. With one of you on either end flick your wrists hard to get it to billow. Try several different ways until you find the one that gets the best sound.
Much like the answers my friends, and a flag, I must be blowing in the wind. More next week.