Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Yaroslava Leivshina 

BA [Hons] 3D Design Modelmaking + Digital Art

Hello, I’m Yassia, and I am extremely excited to graduate this course. Throughout the course both my experience and passion for creating things has grown. I thoroughly enjoy practical work like sculpting, moulding, and casting. After an amazing 4 years of Modelmaking I'm really looking forward in applying my knowledge into the film industry. I pride myself on being friendly, outgoing, creative, determined, hard working, punctual and a quick learner.

"Vodyanoy" Film Prop

I have designed and created a silicone character puppet for my final project.

Vodyanoy is a mythical creature based on the Slavic/Russian folktales, he is a water spirit that aggressively guards his waters. If anyone comes too close he will lure them in and devour them.

I wanted to create a creature who makes the viewer feel uneasy and I have taken inspiration from a combination of horses and cuttlefish to develop the form and shape of this unique aquatic creature.

The creature was sculpted out of clay and made out of silicone. It measures at 70cm in width and 50cm in height. The puppet is controlled by “hand mech” that allows the creature to open its mouth. The jaw mechanism is simple, a few timbers to support the structure and springs allows it to be closed at all times, however, the string that is attached at the tip of the lower jaw travels through the head and neck which controls the opening of the mouth.

The Viy

My thesis looks the Russian character “Viy”, specifically how it is represented the three film adaptations of Viy: Viy by Konstantin Yershov and Georgi Kropachyov (1967 ), Viy/Forbidden Empire by Oleg Stepchenko (2014) and Gogol.Viy. by Egor Baranov (2018)

I investigated the characters and what they mean in folklore to understand how they are represented in each of these films.

My research revealed the most important influences are time, technological innovation, culture, director’s inspiration, and intentions. Such influences result in the Viy characters having similarities and differences across all three films.

Furthermore, using the knowledge gained throughout my thesis to see how the characters are developed throughout all these adaptations allowed me to research and analyse the process behind the development of fantasy characters for film.