$3000 Award Gives Study Fund a Boost

A $3000 scholarship from the New Horizons for Women Trust has given Filmmaking student Raewyn Tong a big boost.  Raewyn, who studies at ACG Yoobee Wellington, was presented with the NZ Federation of Graduate Women Second Chance Education Award during a special ceremony on July 23.  The award is a one-off grant to help with study and living expenses, and is aimed at women who are engaging in tertiary education later in life.

“I was so shocked and happy when I found out I had been chosen,” said Raewyn.  “It means a lot to me and will certainly enable me to live a bit better!”

Raewyn enrolled at ACG Yoobee Wellington in January last year, after being made redundant from her job at Video Ezy.  She kick-started her studies with iCreate, before moving onto the Diploma in Animation and Digital Video, and now the Diploma of Digital Filmmaking (Advanced).

“ACG Yoobee appealed to me with the amount of different things you could do, and with the concentration on the post-production side.  It was a big decision to do the filmmaking course, as I really enjoyed the modelling and animation as well, but everything we have done is amazing and I have enjoyed every single part of the course!”

It didn’t come without its challenges however.

“I came up against some personal challenges, particularly around believing in myself. I had to keep reminding myself that everyone here is learning.  As I’m 40, I feel like I have some catching up to do, and I tend to expect too much from myself.”

Raewyn hopes to break into the VFX side of the industry after graduating next February.

“Becoming a generalist with a main focus in VFX would be a dream.”

The fact that she’ll be a minority in an extremely male-dominated field doesn’t put her off in the slightest.

“It’s going to be hard, but I’ve grown up in a male-dominated family with four brothers, so in a way I have a head start!  After finishing my course I’d love to work somewhere like Weta to gain experience and eventually freelance as a generalist.  To work in the VFX side of the industry would be fantastic – I find the whole process so fascinating.”