A viewing tip: Watch for the scene where Colonel Tavington, on a search-and-destroy mission with a small cadre of British troops, enters the home where Gibson’s family is hiding. It takes place at night, with torches blazing. At one point, Tavington thinks he hears a sound and silently enters a room where the family, except for one son, has just fled through a trap door.
“At that point, it will be all-Foley,” says Foley supervisor Craig Jaeger. “Tavington’s movement from his gear, big, ominous footsteps with a little bit of spur, and a big wood floor creak.”
“I started with Tavington’s footsteps,” says Foley artist Gary Hecker. “He’s the villain, and he’s wearing these big horse-riding boots. The feet are critical because he’s in stealth mode, walking with giant close-ups on his feet. After his boots, I put on headphones and topped his footsteps with spurs-just enough ring. Then I did leather creaks of his belt in sync with his feet and spurs, for every move. He stops, bends over, looks around, turns his head. Then I went back and added his scabbard, then his pistol movement. After that there’s a giant close-up of his feet, and a dirt spray where the kids can see it from underneath the floor. Then I went in and added floor creak under his feet. When you play back this scene, it just comes to life and creates all the tension and drama.”
“I think we’ve all had the experience where we’ve hidden with people in the room, and all you hear is the sound of your own breath,” adds Kevin O’Connell. “The kid is stuck under the table, and I’m planning on focusing on his timid, scared breath and the sound of the bad guy’s feet. Everything else should be distant, echo-y and surreal at that point.”