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October 16, 2015

Painting With Sound

Multiple Emmy winner Foley Artist Joe Sabella makes use of all his senses to create the soundscape of Gotham.

Melissa Byers

What does a Foley artist do?

If you read credits at the end of movies or television shows, you have seen their names rolling up the screen. It sounds like someone sitting at a machine making something happen. But, as our latest Crew Call shows, a Foley artist does far, far more.

Gotham Foley artist Joe Sabella lives in a world of sound. Far from sitting anywhere, he is in constant motion, rolling skateboards over broken glass, splashing in a sink full of clothing, or shuffling across a sand-covered floor. Sabella calls his job "painting with sound," creating all the ambient noises for the characters and scenes of the show.

His workshop looks like a particularly eclectic secondhand store containing everything from suitcases, to rusty auto parts, to old shoes.  In the world of Foley, everything is a prop used to create a realistic experience for the viewer.

Come into Joe Sabella’s world and see what a painting of sound looks like and how it is created.

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