Leviathan - story of the person who has tried to go for a protest against the system. A basis of a plot is opposition of the hero with local government for the property on which officials have plans. Thus search of this point were a key to the solution of the movie’s visuals. The house on a plot destroyed to construct a church, besides this is a central place of all movie. We have unambiguously decided to build it. Though the hero is typical inhabitant of a midland, there was desire to make his house really unique. There was a wish to find the place which the hero loves so that he is ready to fight for it, even with the cost of life, the amazing, fantastic place. Long searches of location in the central Russia have given us nothing and, in search of bigger visual purity, we have moved to the North. We have stopped on the very brink of the Kola Peninsula in the settlement of Teriberka. This panorama comprises all graphic decision
The house had to fall in a shot and we see all its structure. We did not made is as a set, everything was real. For this purpose all structure elements were aged. As a reference for textures we used local patina, as it extremely strong.
The architecture of the house consisted of a number of conditions. This house has been built in 1920 by the grandfather and then was repeatedly completed and reconstructed, having reached by our time scrappy sets of a different wood in finishing. It was built keeping in mind the last and most expressive shot with destruction, when the excavator tears off a wall and interior opens to a landscape. It’s not in traditions of Russians to live a solitary life, therefore Nikolay's house is connected with the settlement visually, but also was spaced from it by the river. After the choice of the place and sketches, there were found a photo of the house which was really existing there in 1920th. You can see that photo hanged on a wall. To use that unique location as much as possible and made it recognizable for a spectator, it had been decided to define for the main scenes the verandah which is most opened in surrounding landscape. In order not to loose the house under the mountain, its scale is expanded by additional constructions - a garage, the greenhouse, a shed, a power line support, the road. Together they made complicated silhouette that stayed against the background of the settlement, the coasts of the Barents Sea mislaid among mountains.
In the top view all parts of the complex stay in line to maximize the scale from side view. From all possible points of shooting they do not cover one another, but stay in chain of objects. Place on a ledge of the mountain means a certain defensive function.
Some big elements were added to the house like boats, cars. We made two roads connecting house with over village. All trees, bushes and mosses on the site we mounted there .
We found that photo on a construction stage. That was a real house on the place where we created ours.
The house, at the moment of demolition.
Teriberka served as an example of textures and architectural elements. Here, thanks to extremely active environment with winds and frosts, high humidity, materials grow old very fast, creating awesome deep and rich textures. In other side the mass production architecture is extremely poor, strict and rational.
The skeleton of a whale was quite difficult construction. The chosen place was in a tidal zone, and the structure had to stay there from fall to winter. Twice a day water completely covered it and tried to pull out.
The church has a big platform to walk around. That gave us the chance, without doing church improperly bulky, to keep its scale in a mighty landscape.
Teriberka and the Serebryanskaya road was a source of many other shots, including a prolog and an epilogue of the movie. This world is incredibly strong and live, and acts in the movie as the being of endless power, indifferent to destinies of people, fine and eternal.
Director Andrey Zvyagintsev
DOP Mikhail Krichman
Production Designer Andrey Ponkratov
Set Decorator Maxim
Props Alexandr Losovsky
Set Builder Nikolay Ryabtsev