Friday, 27 Feb, 2009 Offbeat

Woman Becomes Mermaid thanks to Specialists from Weta


A woman from Auckland, who lost her legs below the knee when she was a child, managed to accomplish her dream to become a mermaid.

The dream of Nadya Vessey was to be able to swim like a mermaid and with the help of industry experts from Weta Workshop, a company based in Wellington, the woman's wish became reality.

Specialists created a special technologically advanced mermaid tail so Ms Vessey could swim.

It is worth mentioning that in 2007 the woman wrote to engineers from Weta asking them if they could help her develop a prosthetic tail and they agreed.

"A prosthetic is a prosthetic, and your body has to be comfortable with it and you have to mentally make it part of yourself," said Ms Vessey. The idea came to Ms Vessey when one time she told a little boy that she was a mermaid, from then her dream was to have a prosthetic tale that would help her swim.

Richard Taylor, who holds the position of the director at Weta Workshop and who is also famous for winning Oscars for special effects used in such movies as Lord of the Rings, was very happy to help Ms Vessey.

"She was very patient. We haven't always been able to fulfill some requests. We were engaged in it pretty quickly because it was a challenge," he said. Specialists that worked on the mermaid suit mentioned that besides making it as functional as possible they wanted Nadya to look beautiful and sexy, reports

They were very impressed with the work done, especially after seeing Ms Vessey testing the prosthetic tail in the pool and then in the harbor. The mermaid suit was created of wetsuit fabric and plastic moulds. Engineers covered it in a digitally printed sock and an artist hand-painted the mermaid-like scales. It was important to make the tail look realistic. "What became apparent was that she actually physically wanted to look like a mermaid," said Taylor.

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