Filming of a community-resourced feature film in the Bay of Plenty has wrapped up – now potential viewers will have to wait to July or August to set their eyes on it.
‘The Z Nail Gang’, based on true events about a community united in their fight against mining that threatens a small coastal town, has been filmed around the region from February 19 to last Sunday (March 16).
Kylie DellaBarca Steel, who is producer for the film, teaming up with husband Anton Steel as director, says with the last day of principal photography done, the crew only has three days still to capture in the region and one half-days left in both the Coromandel and Wellington.
“So from here, we go into the editing phase, we’ve got an editor working on it at the moment, he’ll do a first cut, then another cut, then there’s sound-mixing and writing music for the movie,” says Kylie.
“Then the movie’s got to be graded, which means all the colours get equalised so the scenes match all the way through – a whole lot of stuff – so we got into post-production basically.”
Kylie says they hope to release the film in July/August, with an aim to make the New Zealand International Film Festival in July, but cut-off for festival organisers to see part of the film is April 17.
“So we’re going to be working really hard to get something for them to look at, but we won’t have finished by then, so whether they accept a half-finished product we are yet to have that conversation.”
Kylie says it’s still all volunteers – from around NZ – working on post-production stages of the film. “The music and sound is all going to be locally-based, we’ve had a lot of volunteers wanting to write music for it and help us with that side of things.”
In total the film had about 30 actors, with about 60 per cent from the Bay of Plenty. About 35 key crew worked on the film daily, with 25 from the region; and the catering was done by local organisations.
“If you count all of the resources organisations gave us, as we hope to host a thank you party soon, I’d say there’d be in excess of 300 coming, possibly up to 500, and then we had extras as well,” says Kylie.
“There was probably a dedicated team of 20 extras that came with us everywhere and in the wider scheme of things there was probably about 150 extras which came on-board at different times as well – and that’s a huge investment on the community’s part.”
While not surprised at the huge community support for the film, Kylie is flummoxed at how big the film has become. “When we thought we were doing it, I think I underestimated how big [the project] it was.
“Was I surprised at community involvement, no – I think it gained such a momentum and such an excitement with so many people involved and their networks – to bring that many people on-board – it just connected us with a huge network of people.”
Kylie plans to show the film at the Te Puke cinema, with a premiere for cast and crew, and a community screening. “And anyone who’s had any involvement in it will l get to come along – and that will be in July.”
Aimed at being a comedy, Kylie says the film got funnier along the way thanks to actor’s improvisation on-set.
“They just added their own little signatures onto it – when we watch bits in the edit suite at the moment, they’ve really made it funny.”
But the filming wrap-up at Hippy Pippy in Pukehina didn’t all go smoothly – with a power cut adding to the excitement and challenge.
“We had all three generators going to keep filming and I likened the tropical cyclone [Cyclone Lusi] to the movie – in that it’s been overwhelming at times but also exhilarating and at no time has it not been fast and furious.”
“It was also Anton’s 40th birthday on last day we filmed – so as a director he got to celebrate a dream of his coming true – but it was definitely because so many people in the community got behind us.”
Kylie says while a movie has been made, the ultimate vision of the film to connect, create, celebrate – connect with people, encourage creativity, and celebrate everyone’s achievements – has been accomplished.
“The biggest thing for me is sure we did make a movie – but of not for the community support it wouldn’t have happened.
“And we want to acknowledge we wouldn’t have been possible without each individual, organisations and businesses that supported it.
“The relationships made between people has really touched us – and on a personal level it has been great meeting people and being part of a community project that has connected people.”
To learn more about the movie, visit:www.znailgang.net.nz