Nephtalim Antoine [Nephy] has packed plenty into his first two terms at at the New Zealand Drama School Toi Whakaari.
Nephy graduated from Hagley's School of Fashion at the end of 2015 and won a place at Toi Whakaari. He's one of 10 students selected nationally for the first year of the Bachelor of Design (Stage and Screen). Simone Wiseman, also a previous student in Hagley's School of Fashion, is one of four in the second year design degree - she's pictured with Nephy in the promotional poster above.
The wow moments have come in diverse forms for him. Nephy really rated living and working for a week at Manutuke Marae in Gisborne, when the entire school packs up each year and moves to the marae. What made it so memorable for Nephy was being immersed in te reo Māori and tikanga while at the same time working together with his class on their Toi Whakaari projects.
He has also been amazed at how everyone in the industry is happy to share or "pass on the torch," as Nephy puts it. Industry professionals as well as graduates of the school often come in to talk about what they're doing and what's happening in the industry. The Weta workshops designer who worked on The Hobbit movies has just been working with them on set construction and moulding. They made an incredibly realistic 'Terminator' style hand using silicon moulds as well as printer and scanner parts.
Collaboration is central to how the school works , which closely mirrors the working practices within the industry and the work flow of a production. Nephy describes a recent video project where his class created props and finishes , art work, mechanisms and camera work along with filming and then editing.
Nephy is involved in multiple projects. As a talented designer, Nephy has been brought in to do fashion/costume for a music video. He's designing a 1990s style dress to link in with the period, which is about a fashion model's time in the industry in the nineties.
Nephy loves living in Wellington in Newtown close to Toi Whakaari - most students living round him are students at Toi, so it creates a really energetic creative community.