As Alberta’s only dedicated Foley artist, Szott spends most of his days huddled in his basement studio, unnaturally making all the natural sounds you hear in films and TV shows, including Blade Runner 2049 and the Alberta-made Fast Horse. Surrounded by bowling balls, chains, swords, a car hood and door, and “a bunch of different bikes and chairs,” Szott makes and records all kinds of different sounds. But the most frequent, by far, is walking.
“It’s 15 feet between work and life,” Szott says of the hard-wood platform that’s endured thousands of his steps. But like anyone who loves what they do, work sometimes bleeds into life. “I really enjoy going outside and watching how people walk. You get an eye for pace, and how they move their feet and their legs, hips, all the way up to their shoulders. If I’m far enough behind them, I’ll actually mimic their walk.”
So has he perfected walking in high heels? “I’m proud to say I have,” he laughs. “I like to tell people that I have more high heels than my girlfriend does.”
He also likes to share the philosophy that makes him so good at what he does. “I tell students: The world is a really interesting place, filled with great sounds and textures. So just start listen-ing. And when the world, or a particular scene with different sounds, is overwhelming, break it down into its different layers. It becomes less scary and easier to understand.”