To say 2020 was a difficult year, would be an understatement. However, during these uncertain times, Marthinus Philippus Rabie (MP) was not only able to make the most of his final semester of the 1-Year Conservatory program for Animation, but he also landed his dream job at the previsualization, postvisualization, and virtual reality company, The Third Floor (TTF).
Originally from South Africa, MP was excited by the idea of studying abroad in America. When asked how he decided on animation, Rabie said, “It’s one of those very scarce skills.” Having already tried getting into 3-D animation for several years, he wasn’t able to get the answers he sought on his own, ultimately holding him back from being able to learn and have the ability to create the images that were stuck in his head. MP admits that, “Sure YouTube is a thing, but that only helps you to a certain extent and you don’t really learn that much. It’s better to be taught by a professional who can answer all those burning questions.” Between conversations amongst friends during lunch breaks at his old film school to the many Instagram posts, NYFA seemed like the right place to go.
Much to MP’s delight, the 3-D Animation & Visual Effect’s 1-Year program at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus had no shortage of professionals to answer those burning questions. “Having actual professionals that work in the industry today as teachers is probably the best thing the school could’ve done. Not only are they very knowledgeable about their crafts, but they also have tons of connections and real experience.” Most notably for Rabie was Animation Supervisor and NYFA instructor, Gael Harlow.
For MP, “all the staff at NYFA are very helpful but sometimes there’s a teacher that’s just an extra ray of sunshine. Gael Harlow is one of them. She goes above and beyond all her duties. Her patience, care about student growth, and passion for what she does is undeniable.” In fact, it was at Harlow’s suggestion that MP look into working in previsualization.
“At the time I had no idea what it was [however], the more she explained the more I liked it!” When it came to Harlow’s attention that The Third Floor was actively hiring, she informed Rabie who wasted no time getting in touch. “[Following my certificate from the program] I got all my stuff together and made a new reel, cover letter, and resume. I sent my reel to Gael, and she sent it to her friends at TTF. They gave me some suggestions, and I changed my reel accordingly; within less than two weeks I got a booking.” This isn’t to say that the road to getting any 3-D generalist’s dream job as a postvis artist was without its fair share of challenges.
2020 left and continues to leave a significant impact. For Rabie, it meant not being able to see his family for more than two years as well as making the most of his time while living in isolation. “It’s difficult not being able to visit the ones who you care about most in this world, especially if you’re trapped alone in a room by yourself for such a long time. So, I distracted myself by learning as much as I could to try and make everything worth it.” I think it’s safe to say it was definitely worth it.
When asked what advice he’d give to current students and those interested in pursuing animation, MP relayed the following, “learn with intent, practice doesn’t make perfect, good practice makes perfect. The school will give you everything you’ll need to succeed, all you have to do is your part. Just attending classes and doing your assignments isn’t enough, it’s a very tough industry, one where skills are prioritized over certification. So put in your hours after classes, and apply what you learn on your OWN personal projects. That’s how you will get good, very fast.”
He went on to say that, “[animation] seems very intimidating for the first two months… every day you will learn something new about the programs you use no matter how experienced you are. That’s what makes it fun, it’s all just one big sudoku puzzle, the more you fill in the better and faster the process becomes. If you love animation enough and can make it through those first two months without quitting then I can safely say that you should stick with it!”
As for what’s next, only time will tell, that being said, MP has his sights set on becoming a supervisor. “It’s just such a respectable title to hold, everything about it screams experience. I would love to get to that level and be able to run a team of artists as one big collaborative group to create something amazing.”
For more information about MP and his work, check out his website or follow him on Instagram @mp.rabie. To learn more about NYFA’s programs for 3-D Animation & VFX, check out our website for more details on our course offerings.