the lost tree

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Student Pablo C. Vergara Works on Feature Film “Adverse”


    New York Film Academy (NYFA) student Pablo C. Vergara recently worked on the independent feature film Adverse, a drama/thriller written and directed by Brian A. Metcalf. The film is being produced by the actor and musician Thomas Ian Nicholas, who previously starred in Rookie of the Year and the American Pie films, and who stars in Adverse as well.

    Vergara hails from Mexico City and works as a cinematographer, actor, and filmmaker, among other roles. He enrolled at the New York Film Academy’s Filmmaking program in New York in Fall 2016, before moving to Hollywood to work on completing his MFA at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus.

    Lou Diamond Phillips, Brian A. Metcalf, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Pablo C. Vergara

    Lou Diamond Phillips, Brian A. Metcalf, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Pablo C. Vergara

    In July, Vergara had the opportunity to work as a production assistant on the set of Adverse, a role into which the always hard-working and committed filmmaker threw himself with gusto. While on set, he got to work closely with Nicholas and Metcalf, as well as stars Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Stand and Deliver) and Penelope Ann Miller (Carlito’s Way, Kindergarten Cop). 

    Describing his experience, Vergara said, “I had the chance to watch Thomas and Lou work together on a scene and that was truly inspiring. We exchanged knowledge between takes about their craft and life in Los Angeles in general — Lou was a really cool guy and with an amazing personality, cracking jokes and talking to the rest of the crew regularly.” He continued, “The shoot went well and after wrap up, everyone’s spirits were high.”

    Pablo C. Vergara

    Pablo C. Vergara

    A friendly, energetic personality, Vergara also spoke with Nicholas about a possible on-camera role. He got to spend a lot of time with the producer and actor, driving alongside him to and from locations in a U-Haul full of film equipment for the independent shoot. They discussed film and music and their own careers, as well as Nicholas’s previous Q&A with the New York Film Academy. In 2017, Nicholas and Metcalf screened their previous film The Lost Treestarring Michael Madsen, Lacey Chabert, and Scott Grimes — for NYFA students, which preceded their guest panel.

    Adverse’s locations included 4 Hearts Studios in Sylmar, CA, and a private home used for an entire day’s worth of shooting. Vergara got to see the newest RED 8K camera in action up close and personal. “Being a cinematographer myself, I was excited to see this fine piece of equipment operate, and the visuals it captured were fantastic!” he exclaimed. 

    Vergara added, “No doubt this film is going to turn out to be incredible and I was very fortunate to be able to be part of it for a few days. The entire team was very embracing and cordial, and it forged great friendships.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Pablo C. Vergara on his exciting experience, and looks forward to seeing him return to NYFA next Spring to complete his MFA thesis! 


    August 14, 2018 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2815

  • NYFA to Host the NYC Premiere of “The Lost Tree”


    The New York Film Academy is proud and excited to play host to a new film directed by Brian A. Metcalf. “The Lost Tree” will be making its New York City premiere next week on October 12th at 4 p.m. at NYFA’s New York campus at 17 Battery Place. Thomas Ian Nicholas, who plays Noah, will be attending and take part in a Q&A after the film.

    The feature-length drama/thriller focuses on a man named Noah, played by Thomas Ian Nicholas, who moves out of the city to an isolated cabin after he is guilt-ridden by the death of his wife. Upon arriving to his new surroundings, he begins noticing supernatural occurrences that seem to be coming from his deceased wife. He soon discovers that the source of the unsettling occurrences is a mysterious and ominous tree. Despite his life being in danger, Noah becomes obsessed with contacting his wife and uncovering the tree’s secrets.

     The Lost Tree NYFA
    About the micro-budget film, Thomas Ian Nicholas said, “I had the privilege of creating it with my friends. It was my third film with Michael Madsen, second with Clare Kramer, and I worked with Lacey [Chabert] on a 9-episode arc of ‘Party of Five.’ Scott Grimes helped me get my first agent back in 1986.” In other words, it was a family affair of sorts. Chabert plays Jenna, Madsen plays John, and Grimes plays Alan.Nicholas describes Metcalf’s approach as “thorough” and says, “He has a distinct vision for each of his projects.” Having acted in four of the director’s projects, Nicholas is very familiar with his work. The director has also worked on “Little Gandhi,” “Strange Ones,” and “Living Among Us.”

    Actor Thomas Ian Nicholas

    Even though he is often known to audiences for a number of comedies since the 90s, Nicholas said drama has actually always been his strength. “Comedy was my weakness when I started acting classes. I’m happy to be returning to my roots.” Over the years, Nicholas has starred in “Rookie of the Year,” “American Pie,” “Party of Five,” “Walt Before Mickey,” and many other films and television shows over the years. He also fronts the Thomas Nicholas Band which has released four albums and toured extensively.

    Thomas Ian Nicholas and Anna Sophia Berglund, who plays Claudia in the film, will be in attendance at the premiere at NYFA on October 12th. After that, “The Lost Tree” is set to be released in 20 theaters nationwide on Friday the 13th of October. Nicholas and Metcalf’s next joint project, the aforementioned “Living Among Us,” was recently picked up and will be released by Vision Films in association with Sony.

    Check out the trailer below:


    October 5, 2017 • Acting • Views: 3300

  • Thomas Ian Nicholas & Brian Metcalf Screen “The Lost Tree” at NYFA LA


    On Monday, March 12, New York Film Academy students at the Los Angeles campus were treated to a screening of “The Lost Tree” followed by a Q&A with writer and director Brian A. Metcalf and producer Thomas Ian Nicholas.

    “The Lost Tree” follows a man who, after surviving a terrible accident, abandons his old life for a secluded cabin in the woods. Soon enough he learns that the area isn’t safe. The suspenseful thriller stars Michael Madsen (“Reservoir Dogs,” “Kill Bill: Vol 1,” and “The Hateful 8”), Lacey Chabert (“Mean Girls,” “The Wild Thornberrys” and “Party of Five”), Scott Grimes (“American Dad,” “ER,” and “Party of 5”), and Thomas Ian Nicholas (“Rookie of the Year” and “American Pie”).

    thomas and brian

    NYFA Instructor Tim Fallon moderated the Q&A. He started off the evening by asking Metcalf and Nicholas about how they started working together. Nicholas answered, “Initially, Brian called me and asked me if I wanted to start working on something.” When Nicholas asked what the movie would be about Metcalf didn’t have a clue: “We’ll figure it out as we go along.”

    “It’s a funny thing,” Metcalf said. “This is not what this [script] was intended to be. We just wanted to work on something together.” Nicholas knew of an incredible cabin in the woods. They decided to make that the center focus of the script and the film blossomed from there.

    “The cabin isn’t anything like we portray it in the film. Now, I’ll never be able to go back there again. So, thanks, Brian,” Nicholas joked. “This gave us the ability to work with what we had. You have to get creative when you work with a tight budget.”

    Metcalf chimed in, “We might have wished to have more actors for certain days or more time to shoot, but, at the end of the day, you have to use what you have.”

    One student asked, “What is the best advice you have ever received?” Metcalf had a simple answer: “The first attempt you will fail. You have to get to work to get to the point where you’re consistently making good art. If you can’t take rejection than this industry isn’t for you.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Metcalf and Mr. Nicholas for taking the time to speak with our students. To learn more about their production company, Red Compass Media, click here.


    June 15, 2017 • Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 4728