Mikey P, The Pink, “Mic”, P-Sizzle, or really just Mike Pinkerton; a man of mystery in the Insane LLama ranks, really just a man of everything.
Welcome to another edition of our 10 Years of LLama; where we take a look back and celebrate the people who have helped and made Insane LLama Productions over the past 10 years. I’m (Evan) changing it up this week, unlike the previous editions where we went way back in time, this edition I’m going to talk about a more recent person in the Insane LLama timeline. Today we look at the history of our very own Mike Pinkerton, the sound of the LLama.
Mike Pinkerton entered my life during my freshman year of college, he was a sophomore screenwriter major who lived in the same area as me on campus. We would occasionally hangout, but no creative work or anything would come out of this period. It would be in the fall of my second year at school, living in a apartment off-campus now, somehow Mike ended up in my living room. I had told him that I’m an editor, which Mike was looking for one at the time for his then girlfriends music video he was producing. Sounded easy so I told him I can do it, which began Mike’s collaboration with Insane LLama, which continues to this day.
Mike and I did 2 music videos in the winter of 2013/2014, but these we don’t talk about anymore, it would be a little later after these when Mike’s first real Insane LLama role would come. During the spring of my second year I had to do my independent production (IP), which quickly I decided I wanted to do a redux of our short ‘Ice Cream’ from a few years earlier. Good news came that Eliot would be coming out to California to visit when the shoot would be taking place, one actor down, I just needed one more which was becoming much more difficult than I thought. Everyone I asked said no and with little options left since I was to naive to just hold auditions, I finally remembered Mike. He agreed right away since at the time he wanted to get into more acting. ‘Ice Cream Redux’ was made, which in fact was the first time Mike and Eliot had ever met each other.
Mike would take on some roles in a couple Insane LLama shorts in the upcoming months which include: ‘Insomnia’ and ‘The Deal’, while also including his first real speaking roles in November 2014 with ‘Dimensions’ and ‘Soul Insurance’. Around this time Mike took on a even bigger role and task with Insane LLama, becoming our dual Boom Op and sound recorder. Every large scale Insane LLama production’s sound has been done by ‘Mic’ Pinkerton since November 2014.
This time period would also see Mike take on his biggest role yet when Insane LLama produced his directing debut while also starring in the ambitious ‘Kriminal 50’. Once completed the project was easily the most work put into a short for us at the time. The short has some cool things, while also has some major downfalls, but it has a place in our history.
2015 saw Mike’s participation in Insane LLama increase a lot, appearing in multiple shorts, doing sound, but also helping out in other big ways such as providing transportation. Another big chance came for Mike during the shoot of ‘In This Line of Work’; where he was the main star, but more importantly he helped out in the writing of the stories narration. Mike would provide transportation for our biggest project at the time in the form of ‘Deal With The Devil’. Long story but we ended up staying in Los Vegas for 3 days after an accident; but everything worked out since we were able to at least shoot everything for the project. Mike would even join Eliot and I on our business trip to the Avid Connect and NAB conferences in Los Vegas a mere two weeks after the first visit.
The rest of 2015 saw the occasional Pinkerton appearance in a short. Such bigger roles included: ‘Ambient Inflection’, ‘Fear Threshold’, ‘The Shot’ and the ambitious and tough short of ‘Gloop’.
The latest big score for Mike came in late 2015 with his next directing project of ‘The All-Star Agents of Victory’. The project was for Mike’s class which was a hit with the professor. Overall it was a well-rounded complete project and gives Mike great experience for whenever he decides to helm a project again. Mike will make multiple appearances in the upcoming months, big and small, comedy and serious, he will do his best. Mike has provided and will continue to provide to Insane LLama for as long as we can keep the collaboration up.
We Celebrate the great Pinkerton! Now for what everyone has been waiting for… The Mike Pinkerton video! Enjoy!
We end this tribute with words from the great man Mike Pinkerton himself! Thanks to Mike for taking time out of his day to answer these questions.
MIKE PINKERTON LLAMA PROFILE
1) Who are you and what do you do?
Well, I’m Mike Pinkerton. I’ve been working with Insane LLama for a few years now, and also studying screenwriting, and other things that have little to do with screenwriting, at Chapman University.
I also work on the side as an office assistant/plastic surgery assistant at an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist’s office in Newport Beach. We also perform head and neck maxillofacial surgery So, if you ever catch a sinus infection, or have considered a necklift, or need your ears examined, you know where to go.
Before that, I had always been involved in writing stories, and telling them, ever since I was a little kid. I was that guy with the binder full of drawings of everything he could come up with. I was also played football, wrestled, acted on stage, and produced our school news program, “Griffin News,” where I was mentored by the screenwriter and producer Larry Strawther, who brought “Most Extreme Elimination Challenge” (The Japanese game show where people have to go through obstacle courses, or at least the first one in English) to the US.
I felt like I was able to really hone my storytelling skills with the news; we were allowed to do sketch comedies, man-on-the-street bits, public service announcements, almost anything, and we pushed the limits, but we delivered quality that people loved. It was a mix of everybody: Football players, the uncool guys, baseball players, the art nerds, the metal heads, the cheerleaders, the special needs students, international students, the druggies, the kid who didn’t even go for wine during communion; but in a way, since we represented a lot of the school, a lot of people felt their voices were heard.
Now, I’ve begun focusing on feature productions, as well as serial short films.
2) How did you get involved in Insane LLama Productions?
I had known Evan for a little longer than a year, and asked him if he would edit a music video I directed. Soon afterwards, Evan directed a short student project, where I first acted opposite his brother, Eliot “Man of 1000 Beards” Schultz, titled “Ice Cream Redux.” After this, Eliot and I worked on a string of shorts involving supernatural subjects, but often everyday characters paired up against it.
My personal favorite was “Soul Insurance,” where I played the jellybean loving everyman, who’s paid a visit by an insurance salesman who’s literally from hell, not figuratively like the ones I used to work with (A role entirely improvised by Eliot “Ten Costa Rican Souls” Schultz.
From there, an Insane LLama crew started to build up in Orange, At the time consisting of Evan, Eliot, Zach Williamson, and me. We’ve been moving full speed ahead ever since.
3) What is your most memorable on-set moment with Insane Llama?
I loved filming Black Dream out in Joshua Tree just over Winter Break this year. The area wasn’t too hot or too cold most of the day, and the landscape is absolutely beautiful. It was a great place to do what we love, and a great environment, not only in the sense of the setting in a film, but for the adventures we shared as well.
4) Favorite Insane Llama short film?
There are a lot of different, strange categories that the films we’ve worked on have gone into, so it wouldn’t be fair to pick one when there are great comedies, dramas, action movies, and other things all mixed in.
So, here’s my best attempt to summarize some favorites:
Traditional comedies: Soul Insurance, A Trip to Fullerton, The Actor’s Cut
Absurd comedies: Frosting Beard, Pac Man, Dimensions
Surrealist comedies: Gloop.
Traditional action: A Moment of Clarity, A Chase and a Fight, Nobody But Me
Strange foreign and/or campy action: Kriminal 50, Action Man series, The All-Star Agents of Victory
Surrealist Action: Teleportation Men
Traditional Drama: In this Line of Work, Black Dream, Deal with the Devil
Surreal Drama: The Signal, The Deal
5) Favorite Llama actor to work with?
Gloop. Definitely him. Every day he’s on set, he’s got a smile on his face, and it’s hard to understand what he’s saying, but he’s giving everyone a laugh. We can barely keep a straight face when we shoot!
6) Did you learn anything when working with Insane Llama?
I keep learning new things each time we work on a project.
7) Do you still keep up and follow Insane Llama?
8) How do you feel about Insane Llama turning 10 years old?
Even though I haven’t been around for the whole lifetime of Insane LLama, I’m proud to be part of the team, and I’m proud to have experienced so much already, and have so much respect for Evan, Eliot, and everyone who’s helped out throughout a whole decade.
9) Where do you see Insane Llama in another 10 years?
Hopefully, Insane Llama will still continue making short films, where we are creating original content on a continuous basis, simply for the purpose of creating good art.
10) Share anything you want to tell the Insane Llama Audience?
Whether you’ve done something as simple as watch a video, or help us purchase something as amazing as a 4K converter, I want to say thank you. We’re able to do what we love and we’re getting better and better. Stick around for the next ten years. I promise you’ll see amazing changes, and films which will keep getting more and more mind-blowing.
Bonus) Favorite Role you’ve done?
Kriminal 50. He’s a strange character, who’s a protagonist with plenty of amazing lines (voiced by Eliot “Italian Stallion” Schultz himself!), but is also a villain in a way: He robs banks, always seems to be on the run from Tex Willer (played by Eliot “Cowboy Detective” Schultz himself!)
Mike Pinkerton – The Pinky P!