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“When I started working on features,” says Walter Murch, “the idea of doing Foley was very exotic and nothing that we could afford.

On The Rain People, Francis [Coppola] was shooting on location with the actors, and they were traveling across the country. At the end of the day, he would ask the actors to walk through all of the moves they made without saying anything. On THX [1138, George Lucas' first feature], I would put the Nagra somewhere and walk around duplicating the footsteps in a real space. We did versions of that on The Conversation and American Graffiti.

“On Godfather II,” Murch continues, “we'd figure out the rate at which the principal was walking, and we had a little portable electronic metronome, which we would set at that frame rate. I remember doing the footsteps for Fanucci where he comes up the stairs before he's killed by DeNiro [young Vito Corleone], and we found the marble staircases in the old Zoetrope building were very much like the staircases in that actual location.

I set the metronome and I had my assistant at the top. I walked a couple of flights up, so you hear these footsteps coming from far away. They get closer and closer, which is the whole idea of the scene, and then I stopped, as Fanucci stopped, at the top. I said Fanucci's next line, and when we took the track and sunk it up, all of the footsteps sunk up. On the Foley track, you can hear my voice, and it exactly syncs with the lips of Fanucci.”

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