“Mr. Tomlin, are you dying?”
When he’s not on set, Aaron Tomlin works as a teacher in the Waterloo Region District School Board. The following interview reveals his story about the making of Extraction Day - the long hours, the thrills, the surprises, and the confirmation from his students that all-nighters do him good.
What is your favourite memory of life on the Extraction Day set?
My last day of shooting was pretty special. Matt, Jenn, Jeremy and I shot a scene in Toronto at the subway station. It was a smaller crew and a more intimate experience as a result. This was the day that I said good-bye to the character of Chase Williams and the experience of shooting Extraction Day.
What was the funniest moment you experienced?
I was required to do an intense car chase scene on my first day of filming two years ago. As I made one of the most masculine driving moves ever to be recorded for a motion picture, it dawned on me that “I’m shooting a @$%#!@% action movie.” In this moment, instead of maintaining the steely nerve that was necessary for the believability of my character, I began chuckling like a little boy who’d heard a dirty word. I tarnished the moment, tarnished the shot, and tarnished my self-respect as an actor. But it made for a funny moment!
What was your worst experience while shooting this film?
There are no ‘worst moments’ when shooting a film … Haha, who am I kidding?
The worst moment, by far, was the double shoot last September which happened to coincide with the first day of school. Long story short, we wrapped shooting (after two all-night shoots) at 6:00 am and I had to travel home, put on some slacks, make myself presentable and educate local youths for the remainder of the day. Needless to say, the most common question I heard that day at school was, “Mr. Tomlin, are you dying?”
What is it like to work with High Rise Studio?
It’s always an invaluable experience when you can surround yourself with like-minded people who share a similar passion. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity of working on a fair amount of sets, but this is the first time I can recall that everyone on set shared the same goal of making the movie as amazing as it could possibly be. Whether it was a financial, physical or emotional sacrifice, everyone who worked on this film gave something of themselves to ensure the final product was something special.
Did you know Extraction Day was going to be this big?
It wasn’t until I saw the first footage that I realized we had something unique. It’s not often that you can make an independent action film that is on par with many of the other films that we’re accustomed to viewing in the theatre. Matt and his team have a way of making the impossible, possible. Once everyone saw the footage, it became somewhat of a rallying cry to keep pushing forward because we realized the potential that Extraction Day had if we focussed as much time and energy as we possibly could towards it.
What got you excited about being a part of this film?
Most of my acting work has taken place in Toronto and abroad so the opportunity to work on a film in my backyard was something that I was very excited about. It also made my gas bill much cheaper each month! I had just viewed High Rise Studio’s first feature film, Last Run, prior to them approaching me about my role in the film, so I was aware of the talent that each member of the team possessed. I was ecstatic and honoured to be a part of their next project.
What did you think you were signing up for? How was it different?
I thought I was signing up for 2 months of work. I guess I didn’t read the fine print that clearly read, “2 months + 2 years + however much longer we need.” – Silly me!
Why should people see this movie?
Do you like movies? Do you like your city? Do you support local art? Do you want to forget about all of that other stuff going on in your life for 90 minutes? Do you like popcorn? Do you want to see my average-to-moderately attractive face on the big screen? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions– go see the film.
Aaron Tomlin got his start in the entertainment industry back in 2007 when he hosted Rogers Daytime and Blog TV. Since then, he has appeared in over twenty commercials and a handful of TV shows. Aaron is currently working with High Rise Studio on a proof-of-concept film called, Transference. The story will be presented as a short film as part of the pre-roll for Extraction Day. Tickets are available here.