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Red, White and Brass is the debut feature film for co-writer and director Damon Fepulea’i. Inspired by real-life events, this underdog story is full of infectious energy and shows what’s possible if you band together for a common goal.

This heart-warming drama-comedy, co-written with Halaifonua Finau (The Panthers TV series), recreates the remarkable events surrounding the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Tongan superfan Maka (John-Paul Foliaki) will do whatever it takes to get tickets to the Tonga vs France game – even if it means promising to deliver a brass band for the pre-match entertainment. The only problem is the band doesn’t exist, and Maka has four weeks to make one!

What starts out as a questionable plan to see a rugby game becomes a journey of self-discovery in which Maka and his friend Veni learn the importance of their rich and vibrant Tongan culture.



Cause and FX were engaged to provide pre-production, on-set, and post VFX supervision for the film’s stadium finale sequence, with the hero talent performing as a marching band in front of a packed 34,500-capacity stadium and key talent spread among the spectators.

Covid restrictions scuttled plans to shoot a large crowd at the venue. Cause worked in partnership with the production team, offering alternate strategies to achieve photorealistic crowd shots and portray the vibrant stadium and performance tension as the crowd responded to the band’s performance.

Cause recommended depth-of-field and framing techniques allowing efficient reuse of pre-planned CG crowd assets in place of live-action extras filling seats. 3D crowds created in Golaem complimented the actions and behaviours of the practical talent. Strategic use of camera and stadium angles also helped maximize the feel and depth of the crowd, with limited extras and constrained tile shoot time.

“Faced with challenges, Cause brought smart VFX solutions to the team enabling us to change our shoot strategy at short notice. The suggestions were incredibly helpful and always explained in details that even a VFX novice could understand. I appreciate the time and dedication they took on our project.”

Georgina Conder, Producer – Red, White and Brass.


Red, White and Brass featured at Hawai’i International Film Festival Spring Showcase, Sydney Film Festival, IFI Family Festival Dublin, and the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival where it achieved Special Jury Recognition for a Narrative Feature.

“We worked with Cause and FX on our feature film Red, White and Brass. The grand finale required re-creating our hero marching band performing in front of a sold out Wellington Stadium. In the script, the passionate crowd was described as “a sea of red and white” and this was no easy feat to capture, especially filming in Covid times, with limited numbers of extras.

“Cause and FX came to the rescue, creating a digital crowd, full of Tongan fans, all of them cheering, singing and proudly waving flags. Not only did the digital elements seamlessly integrate with the rest of the film but they also captured the passion, energy and “mafana” of the Tongan people, which was a key element to the film. Cause were a joy to collaborate with and I look forward to working with them again on future projects.”

Damon Fepulea’I, Co-writer/Director – Red, White and Brass.

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