Ms Vessey's mermaid tail was created by Wellington-based film industry wizards Weta Workshop after the Auckland woman wrote to them two years ago asking if they could make her a prosthetic tail. She was astounded when they agreed.
She lost both legs below the knee from a medical condition when she was a child and told Close Up last night her long-held dream had come true.
The suit was made mostly of wetsuit fabric and plastic moulds, and was covered in a digitally printed sock. Mermaid-like scales were painted by hand. Mr Taylor said not only did the tail have to be functional, it was important it looked realistic. "What became apparent was that she actually physically wanted to look like a mermaid."