One chance to squeak right
Step into Gareth van Niekerk's office, and you'll find cups, glasses, squeaky door handles and part of an old armchair.
There's a bucket of water, a piece of raised wooden floor, chains to rattle and a square of concrete.
Mr van Niekerk is the Foley artist for this year's headline act at the Nelson Arts Festival - Live Live Cinema: Carnival of Souls.
The show, directed by Oliver Driver, is based on a 1962 black-and-white horror film by Herk Harvey called Carnival of Souls, but it's more than just a movie screening.
The film is given a reimagined live soundtrack, composed by Leon Radojkovic and performed on stage.
Four on-stage actors will breathe new life into the on-screen characters, recreating the dialogue live, and Mr van Niekerk's job is to recreate sounds like doors opening, footsteps, and squeaky armchairs.
Radojkovic wrote a new soundtrack for the film, which will be performed by an eight-piece live band, in sync with the film.
Mr van Niekerk's office is a black Foley booth with a glass panel on one side, where he is on show in a suit and suspenders for the duration of the performance.
He said Foley artists were often used in the movie industry, as a lot of the time all that was recorded on set was the dialogue.
"All the little subtle sounds are lost in the recording, so they get recreated," he said.
The difference is that Mr van Niekerk only gets one take.
"It's the same sort of approach, except it all happens in one go - live. I have a system that tells me what's coming up, so I don't get too lost," he said.
Mr van Niekerk's workbench has microphones on it, along with other props like his trusty door handles.
"Everything is nice and squeaky. I fear the day I come in and it's not squeaking," he said.
Live Live Cinema: Carnival of Souls, Theatre Royal, 7.30pm today and 9pm tomorrow.
- © Fairfax NZ News