Audio graduate amplifies success dubbing for Disney and DreamWorks

02 Nov 2016

It’s been a whirlwind year for Oxford alumnus Ahmed Sabbour, who within twelve months of graduating has worked on major film and tv productions as a dubbing specialist in the Middle East. SAE caught up with the recent graduate to talk all things Disney, DreamWorks, Netflix and Pixar.

Hi Ahmed, thanks for joining us. Please, walk us through what you’ve been up since leaving SAE?

Of course. So around February, I found the job that I’m working at now. It was all a coincidence really. I was looking through my bookmarks and I found this website, and it was kind of like a database for sound engineers. I found this one engineer who said he had a big studio in Egypt that works in dubbing and post-production, which was the area I was interested in while studying at SAE. So I contacted the guy and he told me to come in the next day. He asked me a lot about my education and experience, then he put me on a week training. And yeah, I’ve been working here ever since.

And what projects have you been working on at your studio?

Right now I’m currently dubbing the new Disney cartoon, it’s called Elena, which is basically the new Disney princess. We’re dubbing it into Arabic, and it’s really cool.

That’s incredible. We’ve also heard a rumour you’ve done some work for Netflix?

Yeah, the studio often works on cartoons produced by Netflix. We’ve done this one called The Deep and another one called The Kazoops. But I’ve also worked on Danger Mouse and our studio is really big on producing feature films.

What feature films have you worked on?

Ever since I started at the studio we’ve worked on Angry Birds, the new Ice Age movie, Finding Dory. We also just recently finished dubbing the movie Trolls with Russell Brand.

That’s an impressive list. What’s the best part about your job?

Oh that’s so hard. See the thing is, when I started my training at SAE, I wasn’t really interested in post-production and I only found my passion after learning from my tutors and lecturers. And post-production is so much fun. Watching a cartoon being transformed into Arabic and trying to fit in the translation and cultural references, because obviously not all the punchlines will work in Arabic, is a whole lot of fun. Also, when I was younger I used to watch a lot of cartoons, not realising how much work goes into it. It’s really amazing.

Did you enjoy your training at SAE?

Definitely. The studios at SAE were the biggest advantage. In the post-production industry, the Icon desks are in basically every major studio in the world, and I got to train on them at SAE. Also the instructors were really experienced and very helpful. It’s just a great community.

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