Jeff Tomsic on Directing ‘Tag’, Filming the Action, and the 90s Soundtrack

     June 20, 2018

Now playing in theaters is director Jeff Tomsic’s comedy, Tag. Written by Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen, the film is based on a real group of friends that have been playing the same game of Tag for over twenty years and were profiled in the Wall Street Journal article titled, “It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being It,” by Russell Adams. While the movie makes some changes to the amount of people playing and other details, the essence of the story is very much in place. Tag stars Ed HelmsJake JohnsonAnnabelle WallisRashida JonesIsla FisherLeslie BibbHannibal Buress, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner.  For more on the film, you can watch the trailer here.

A few days ago at the Los Angeles press junket for Tag, I sat down with Jeff Tomsic for a wide-ranging conversation. During the interview, Tomsic talked about how he landed his first feature film, what it was like pitching the studio, the challenges of filming six action scenes on a comedy schedule, what it’s like using the Phantom ultrahigh-speed camera, why he wanted the soundtrack to be filled with early 90s songs, why 90s hip hop is impossible to use in movies (they’re legal nightmares), what he learned from the test screening process, and so much more.

tag-movie-image

Image via Warner Bros.

Check out what Jeff Tomsic had to say in the player above and below is a list of what we talked about.

Jeff Tomsic:

  • How did he land his first feature film?
  • Talks about how he pitched the film to the studio.
  • How he put together all the action scenes on a comedy schedule.
  • What it was like filming with the Phantom ultrahigh-speed camera.
  • Did he shoot with multiple cameras?
  • How he wanted the film to look and the transitions from scene to scene.
  • Talks about the soundtrack and why he wanted the music to be from the characters High School years that weren’t the big hits from the time.
  • Which was the toughest song to get for the soundtrack and why 90s hip hop is impossible to use in movies because they’re legal nightmares.
  • What did he learn from the test screening process?
  • Did he make any changes as a result of the test screenings? Talks about adding air into scenes.
  • How long was his first cut compared to the finished film?
  • What was his reaction to Jeremy Renner’s injury.
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