commonUnity Productions

Z-Nail Gang - A Community Resourced Feature Film

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"There is Gold in the Heart of That Community."  It is our dream to produce a film made by community about community. 

We've written a script "The Z-Nail Gang" that is based on true stories from the anti-mining movement in the Coromandel in the 1980's.  The film depicts how a tiny, disjointed community unified, standing against the authorities that threatened their homes & environment, and against all odds won.  It was a battle and it took resilience, creativity, community spirit, unity, humor and passion to overcome. 

We're big believers that, like in this story, in the heart of every community there is gold.  We believe every human is completely valuable and represents an array of qualities, skills, knowledge and experience.  Our vision is to see our community in the Te Puke district draw together its talents, resources, skills and experience to make this film.

Our hope is that when the film is ready, we can showcase it in communities around NZ, inspiring young and old that dreams can become a reality when we focus on our individual and collective strengths.


The film:

This feature film is an ensemble piece celebrating the strength of a community's spirit.  In a small coastal town, a fortified front is formed when mega mining threatens their homes and environment. The Z Nail Gang is a "feel good" action-comedy with a conscience.  Seamlessly threaded through the film are unbelievably crazy events (that actually happened) making this story both fantastic and inspiring.  It is controversial, non-PC and witty. A story where the outlaw kiwi spirit of Goodbye Pork Pie meets the David vs Goliath battle of The Castle in which the audience is led on a journey of empowerment:

               People can make a difference, when they get together and stand together.

In Aotearoa, where mining on conservation land, oil prospecting & the sale of national assets are polarizing the nation: this is a story has "come of age".


Be a part of this creative community!

The momentum of people connecting with us to volunteer their time, talents, resources and networks is inspiring. Now we are reaching out you, as part of the wider national community, to support this project financially, as we plan to film in Feb/Mar this year.

The funds raised from Boosted will go towards the production phase of the film including gear & resources, travel and catering for volunteers and to both ensure people have a positive experience and we produce a high quality film.

You may want to support us because you love the idea of community, or you've always wanted to be involved in film; maybe you believe in sustainability and care deeply about the environment, maybe you'd just like to see an hilarious NZ comedy, or maybe you were involved in the protests of the 80's and want to be reminded of the strength of common spirit...

...whatever your reason, we invite you to connect with us, support us create and together we will celebrate!

The Z-Nail Gang: Connect, Create, Celebrate


For more info check out the webiste: Z-Nail Gang and Z-Nail on Facebook



  • Z-nail Wins Award - Something to Celebrate!


    Hi there

    You may/may not be aware but last night, The Z-Nail Community were awarded with a very prestigious award - the Trust Power Western Bay Supreme Community Award recognising the huge voluntary effort that was put in by our whole community to make the film. It was a real honour to receive this award on the communities behalf.

    (see article & photos at end of email)

    Together as a community millions of dollars of resource were contributed to the making of a film, but more than that, what is worth celebrating is how we all rallied together, how people got to use their skills, talents and resources for a fun and invigorating community project. We celebrated our people, our environment and our creativity.

    Winning the Supreme Award means in March this coming year we will travel down to Wellington and be given the opportunity to present this inspiring community story to 25 other winning community groups and organisations from all round NZ and vie for the title of Trustpower National Community Award Supreme Winner.

    Without listing the over 400 people, businesses and organisations who became apart of the Z-Nail team I want to thank you all again for your contributions. - I believe the momentum and the celebration of community has really impacted and inspired people. Its been a journey of learning to focus on our communities strengths, talents, resources, assets and experience and build on these. It's been a journey of celebrating everyone and everything that we have and rallying these together. I believe people have been inspired to see what can achieved with next to no money, but with vision, passion and by pulling together.

    And this is what I hope other communities can celebrate & be inspired by around NZ from this week. From this Thurs 28th Aug our film will be available in cinemas all around NZ: (Check out the extensive list at the end of this email…)

    What we need now is your help to let people in all these areas know that they can go and watch it. This is going to a community story from start to finish. We have no huge marketing budget, no publicist, no national advertising campaign. For people to celebrate this incredible story of community for which we have just been recognised and rewarded, we need you to reach out and connect with your friends, your family, your colleagues and let them know that this film is coming and worth checking out. Most cinemas will only show it 2 or 3 times because its not a mainstream / marketed success. but it is being thoroughly enjoyed by those who watch it.

    So from here
    - can you like us on FB and SHARE our posts
    - can you email / call your friends & connections around NZ - share this story - tell them you/your business/your organisation was part of an award winning community initiative! so that the word spreads - by community/ about community/ for community
    - can you put links up on your FB to our screenings page -

    We will be making the Trophy available for public viewing and photos in supporting businesses & organisations - please keep connected via our FB to find out where you can view it. It's first place of residence will be Te Puke Capital Cinema, where it will be on display from 4pm today!

    Connect, Create, Celebrate

    Kylie DellaBarca Steel
    Producer, The Z-Nail Gang
    A commonUnity Productions Project
    Z-Nail on Facebook


    North Island Cinemas*
    Cinema Kororareka, Paihia
    Cinema Kororareka, Russell
    Anzac Theatre, Dargaville
    Waiheke Community Cinema, Waiheke, Auckland
    The Bridgeway, North Shore, Auckland
    Monterey Cinemas, Howick, Auckland
    Dome Theatre, Gisbourne
    Starlight Cinema, Taupo (from 4th Sept)
    Globe Theatrette, Napier
    Cinema Gold, Havelock North
    Lighthouse Cinema, Petone, Wellington
    Lighthouse Cinema, Cuba Street, Wellington
    Lighthouse Cinema, Pauatahanui, Wellington
    Multiplex Cinemas, Thames
    Mercury Twin Cinemas, Whitianga

    South Island Cinemas*
    The Gecko, Motueka
    EcoWorld, Picton
    The Village Theatre, Golden Bay
    Top Town Cinemas, Blenheim
    Hollywood 3, Sumner, Christchurch
    The Akaroa Cinema, Akaroa
    Cinema Paradiso, Methven
    Fiordland Cinema, Te Anau - Sun 24 Aug - 7pm
    Metro Town Hall Theatre, Dunedin (from mid-Sept)

    Karekare Fire Station, 31 July
    Leigh Sawmill Cafe, Matakana, 7 September
    Old School Arts Centre, Raglan, Sept Film Festival
    Titirangi & Oratia - dates TBC
    Cinema Gold, Palmerston North
    Downtown Cinemas, Paraparaumu

    Article about the Award:


    Z-nail Wins Award - Something to Celebrate!
  • National Release - Painting NZ "Z"


    Hey everyone

    We are there - as of the 28th Z-Nail Gang will be in cinemas all round NZ.  Thank you so much for all your support getting us there - couldn't have done it without you.  What a whirlwind tour - from our humble beginnings 10 months ago to having a feature length film available in over 30 cinemas.  An amazing and extraorindary community effort of which you are an integral part.

    Please go and see the movie and join in the celebration of what community can do together!


    Connect. Create. Celebrate!

  • 31 days to go


    Have you seen the trailer yet? An incredible testament to the power of community - both on and off screen. People are going to be blown away by the scale of this movie! And its only 31 days until it is rolled out in the Bay and beyond... ... Please share it everywhere you can!

  • Make Loads More! - feedback from test screening


    "Make loads more" was one of the final comments from a questionnaire completed by a test screening audience on Sunday afternoon.

    A group of 14 gathered in Te Puna to view an almost complete version of The Z-Nail Gang (grade and sound mix still in process). With a selection of wine and cheeses and no previous involvement or detailed knowledge of the film, the group watched, with unbiased perspective, the film unfold before them. The laughter could be heard from outside throughout the screening, and the silence was audible in the more dramatic scenes. When the viewing finished there was a sense of unabashed enthusiasm and celebration as people sat around to de-brief.

    Each participant filled in a questionnaire to help us understand their experience of the film.
    The feedback was unanimously positive and we've included some of it below...

    The Z-Nail Gang was described as:
    "exactly what Geoff Murphy said we should continue to make"
    "moving, inspirational, funny"
    "staunch kiwiana, fun & strong, very cool"
    "thought provoking"
    "a great home grown movie, with current storyline and great humour as well"

    On the way home we will be thinking about:
    "everything that we remember growing up, old protest movements, a story that needs to be told"
    "loved all the arms of community working together for the greater good"
    "the capacity by large corporations to underestimate the power of community"
    "the theme of community"

    Favourite moments in the film:
    Well everyone had different ones so there are too many to name (you'll have to see it for yourself) but there was a resounding sense that people loved the humour - in fact one comment noted "funny moments - too many to count" & countless comedic scenes were noted as the favourite moments. The beautiful NZ scenery also came up as a highlight, as did the music.

    One of the things people had noted concerns about during scripting was the number of characters represented in this film (not your average one hero movie), but largely the audience connected with all the characters, loving the individual representations each of the them contribute to the overall community. From staunch Aunty, to graceful good-cop Tipene, to the elusive Hunter, to the cheek of the children, to the quirks of Ned. Even the badies had a fanclub, in particular the prospectors (who got a huge amount of laughs) & our great bad-cop Srgnt Smith. A noted favorite overall was the development of the relationship between Dave & Mareeka and their growth as individuals and as a couple through the movie.

    The highest scoring single component of the film was the idea/message, with people loving that it really celebrates Kiwi communities.

    So overall folks - we're happy to say we've got a movie that is a definite recommend to friends, a definite must see NZ film, a satirical comedy with serious undertones that will have you both laughing and crying and walking away celebrating the strength of community!


  • Official Z-Nail Poster Released


    The wait is finally over, we are proud to release the Official Z-Nail Gang film poster artwork!

    As a celebration of today's release we invite you to join our 'Post the Poster Competition'. Click on the link below for more details about how you can go into the draw to win an exclusive Prize Pack courtesy of our generous sponsors!

    Thank you for all you invested in this project in its early days.  We're so close now to actual release so please keep your support going by 'liking' and 'sharing' this link and help us spread the word!


    Official Z-Nail Poster Released
  • A huge milestone - the trailer


    Hey all our wonderful boosted supporters

    Just wanted to re-connect with and invite you to join the celebration of reaching a very important milestone in getting the film complete - the release of the trailer.

    Last night we made The Z-Nail Gang Trailer live on line.

    To get it this far has been a huge achievement by all the community involved - literally hundreds of crew, actors, extras, businesses, locations, vehicle owners, caterers, sponsors etc.....

    In the words of our lead male actor Errol Shand (cause I couldn't say it better myself):

    Here is a glimpse of the film that has been created with the generous help of those who assisted on the boosted campaign ($10,000) and those who gave their time and love, not to mention sponsorship to bring to life the vision of Anton and Kylie Kylie DellaBarca Steel.- WATCH what people with belief and mana can create against the odds.

    Enjoy a glimpse of this New Zealand story of the underdog fighting back.

    See what a community of people can create - A true New Zealand film.

    THE Z NAIL GANG - out in cinemas very soon. join the gang on FB to keep up to date with release information



    Celebrating reaching $10,000 last night on boosted - had all the crew there to see it hit the mark. Everyone so thankful to all your support!



    Hey everyone - thank you all - we are so close now - 98% and still a day to go!  Appreciate each and every one of you and your donations to get us this far.  In the last 24hrs - lets see that target get reached and hey, if we go above it - yee ha - we have more funds to help support our fabulous team of volunteers who are committing so much already.    Tonight we have our final production meeting with the whole team and then its exactly one week til we "roll".  Exciting times

  • Introducing our cast


    We've got such a fabulous cast on this film - who we're so thankful for because they're all giving up their time and coming on as volunteers for this project!  Last weekend we had our Cast-Off - where all the cast came for a weekend of rehearsals, wardrobe fittings & makeup tests - see the article attached.  So let us introduce you to a few names you might know & recognise.....

    Erroll Shand (Underbelly & Beyond the Edge)

    Tanya Horo (Miss Lucy, House of Travel)

    Vanessa Rare (Nurse Te Hana from Shortland Street; Ruby & Rata)

    Geoff Dolan (In My Fathers Den)

    Check out our website for a full cast list - we've got such fantastic talent and each of them brings their characters to life! 


    Introducing our cast
  • Almost half way


    Hey everyone - thank you so much for your donations to date - we're almost half way now - and its your support and the momentum that generates that will get us there!  We're two weeks out from filming and have had a great week so far - we've had support from New World for all the dry goods & diary for catering, Fresh Fruit & Veges is going to help us with the veges and Export Meat Warehouse look like they'll do the chicken.  So catering sorted.  Its really amazing how much interest and enthusiasm this project is generating - people are intrigued - a community making a movie about community?  Thanks so much for being part of the wider community and getting in behind us and feel free to share the poster with all your friends so we get to that $10,000 (otherwise we loose it all)

    Almost half way
  • And now the movie has music


    What I love about this project that its all about community - whether its Alf our resident Pukehina musician whose now also our vehicle wrangler, or a retired local politician & organiser of Maketus Kaimoana festival whose now part of our catering team, or our 12 yr old stills photographer - we are connecting with amazing & talented people - that is the story of this movie - a story about community.  Thank you wider community for your support so far - appeciate every donation :-)

    And now the movie has music
  • Exciting progress


    So last week on the Znail journey .....
    ..... confirmed our lead actor: Errol Shand (from Under Belly & Beyond the Edge) - stoked to have him on board (super funny)
    ...... received 2,000 pies from Maketu Pies for catering for cast and crew (who ate all the pies?)
    ..... we found our yellow mini & ode to Goodbye Port Pie (thanks Dion)
    ..... have available one of the three biggest tractors in NZ (C/o Neville Marsh Contracting Ltd)
    ..... started shopping at the local ops shops (Methodist, Angelican & Salvation Army) for wardrobe for the cast
    ..... got local kids to help make the Anti-Mining signs for the film

    And got to 200 FB likes & 15% funded on our Boosted campaign - thank you so much to all of you who have donated so far.  Remember to encourage friends and family to get on and donate too - every little bit gets us closer to that target :-)


    Exciting progress
  • Great Media Coverage over the Weekend


    Celebrating reaching 10%! - thanks to all our initial donors who are helping get this ball rolling!

    This weekend was our launch of the Boosted campaign, and connecting with the wider public to celebrate this community project......

    have a read of the coverage in our local papers: