Brian A. Metcalf is the owner of Red Compass Media which produced the film The Lost Tree; here is a link to it’s website:
Q: What made you interested in film production?
A: It started from an early age. I loved watching movies as a child and knew that this is what I wanted to do. I spent all my time growing up watching movies and drawing stories. As my interest grew, I did everything I could to learn about the business. I studied sequential storytelling and comic art. I learned how the camera and lenses work. I then studied art direction and became a creative director for several design studios. And I learned visual effects to learn the post-production part of the film industry. I read countless scripts. I got myself onto various sets when I worked at Sony and was able to observe how it was all done. But I always knew that my main goal would be to make movies.
Q: What is The Lost Tree about?
A: The Lost Tree is a tragic horror/drama about a man (Thomas Ian Nicholas) who has everything and then suddenly loses it all after the making a serious mistake. He becomes guilt-ridden and lost but soon gets help from his father (played by Madsen). From there, he decides to start over again, moving into an isolated cabin to clear his head. But he soon learns of the surroundings of the area and discovers an old tree nearby with an evil that is linked to it.
Q: What inspired the film?
A: Thomas Ian Nicholas (Noah character and producer) and I sat down for a meeting. We knew we wanted to do another project together but weren’t quite sure what. We sat down for hours and hashed out ideas together until the idea of doing a haunted house type story came to mind. Within less than a week, I had a full synopsis and outline of the project written.
Q: What are some examples of the visual effects you contributed to Wizards of Waverly Place.
A: For Wizards of Waverly Place, I was the onset visual effects supervisor for a number of TV commercial spots. My job was to make sure tracking points were properly set and greenscreen was lit correctly, things like that. I also helped create some digital backgrounds and fx for it.
Q: What is your wildest work story?
A: I’ve had more chaotic than wild stories. But I remember on my last film, we were set to shoot inside an attic for a certain amount of days and were asked to leave early. So we had to scramble to finish what we could and shot the rest on greenscreen to try and make it work out.
Q: What makes a film worth producing?
A: I think what makes a film worth producing is a good story. Telling a story visually is the most important part of making a film in my opinion. I also feel it has to be something you are passionate about with a solid vision and also with something to say.
Q: What has been your greatest professional triumph so far?
A: My greatest professional triumph to date would have to be making this film with this great cast. I had such a wonderful time doing it. I didn’t have nearly the problems that I had with my last film. All the actors and crew were very professional, talented and hard working which makes doing a project so much fun. Everyone was really dedicated to making this film, working long hours and not complaining.
Q: What has been your biggest disappointment so far?
A: My biggest disappointment would have to be my last film, Fading of the Cries. We had all sorts of issues that arose such as being forced to leave locations early, pre-production getting cut in half, heavy rains which washed out our sets during filming, the fires in Santa Clarita which caused serious schedule changes and other disastrous problems. A number of important scenes were not filmed for budget and time constraints. It was ultimately not the story I had wanted to tell. That being said, I am very grateful for being given the opportunity to work on it and thank those who were dedicated to the project. It opened the door for me greatly.
Q: What filmmaker would you most like to work with?
A: Wow this could be a very long answer so I’ll restrain myself. There are so many great filmmakers I would love to work with in all areas. I would love to collaborate with great directors such as Steven Spielberg, Guillermo Del Toro, David Fincher. They have such strong and solid visions. There are many great producers such as Jerry Bruckheimer, Brian Grazer who can give you the proper resources to make a proper movie. There are many great actors out there that I would love the opportunity to work with such as Will Smith, Michael Fassbender, Anne Hathaway and more. They bring such depth to their characters. The list could go a mile long.
Q: What film do you think had the best visual effects?
A: There are so many great films with great visual effects that its hard to choose just one. Recently, I thought The Life of Pi had very amazing visual effects as it seemed nearly flawless. I was so involved in the story, I wasn’t thinking about if they were cool visual effects shots or not, I was just focused on the storytelling. I think the best visual effects are when the audience doesn’t realize they are visual effects. They just are so captivated by the story.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)