We’re back with the next installment of Insane LLama’s 10 Years of LLama. A series where we look back and celebrate the people that have helped us these past 10 years since our formation.
This time the history of the legendary Mike Filkins is examined and explored. Who was Mike Filkins? What was Mike Filkins? Is Mike Filkins Mike Filkins? What happened to ‘The Rise and Fall of Mike Filkins’? None of those will be answered, but we will give Mike’s history acting with us at Insane LLama. From the beginning…
Mike Filkins ‘Filkins’
YEARS ACTIVE: 2008 / 2010 – 2012 / 2014
MEMORABLE ROLES: ‘The Briefcase’ / ‘Pizza Killer’ / ‘Bloody Coke 2’ / ‘Nerf Force’ / ‘Pac-Man’
Mike Filkins met Insane LLama’s co-founder Eliot in the third grade and a friendship was formed. Filkins would eventually start coming over to our (Schultz’s) house; eventually like most friends who came over, he would find a way into our movies. I (Evan) can’t identify or remember Mike’s first time’s being filmed, he was most likely in some random early footage, but the first short film I can identify him acting in was a school project from the year 2008.
Filkins would be the lead anchor on the Intense News station, where he covers a story about some thiefs (which he also portrays) who steal a television. This short is the only edited and completed one with Mike Filkins in from 2008 and basically all of early Insane LLama.
Filkins would return a few years later more grown up in the short ‘The Briefcase’. He would appear out of no where to tackle fellow actor Andy O’Brien and famously deliver his lines of “Get out of here, it’s a trap”. Filkins had an even more well-known sequence later in the short as he is carted in while tied up, eventually getting shot in the head by the antagonist played by Eliot. Andy would follow Mike’s death with an agonizing shout out of “No”, but to no avail.
Filkins would make 3 more appearances the following year of 2011, two small and one more major/leading. The two minor gigs consisted of the shorts of ‘Nerf War’ where Mike would defend the enemy bunker and get lazily shot in the head, and the other ‘The Problem’, where Mike basically stands guard and again gets shot.
Mike’s more major and more memorable role of the year took place in the short film ‘Pizza Killer’. Playing opposite of the other Mike, Mike Gjelsten, Filkins again was part of a news station. He is the stations sports anchor that Mike G turns over to at one point to get the latest sports news which Filkins quickly replies back “I think someone is winning”.
Later eventually both Mike’s are captured by the pizza killer with only Filkins escaping and surviving. Yet Filkins also ends up getting killed in the end when a pizza cutter is thrown at his face. The role was Filkin’s largest with the most lines he had to deliver at the time, which he did an okay job at, opening up more possibilities for his future shorts.
With more opportunities, 2012 would be Filkin’s most active year with Insane LLama consisting of 6 short films. He would make a return to a NERF themed short as officer Casey, part of the Nerf force, opposite Tim Carlson’s officer Chad. The short film ‘Nerf Force’ followed Tim and Filkins on one of their patrols, akin to the show ‘Cops’. Filkins would be asked to improv dialogue about being part of the force while being heavily dress up in armor and Nerf gear. Nerf force would be one of Filkins better roles.
Filkins later would portray a gardener mixed up with a hitman in the short ‘Two Hitmen’. Most of the film consisted of a montage of Filkins and Eliot doing all kind of random activities to earn a hit job from Mike Gjelsten. Some of Filkins finest moments were captured during these activities; examples include him singing, playing numerous games, and being caught reading ‘Twilight’.
‘Pac-Man’ came out in the middle of the year which saw Filkins opposite Mike G again. They are friends who get caught up in a bizarre scenario involving Eliot and a Pac-man machine. Filkins would be asked to change into a silly onesie and witness the opening of the portal where Tim Carlson appears almost naked playing a guitar.
Filkin’s most memorable role of the year would have to go to his portrayal of a suburban white kid buying drugs off of Jawon Taylor in the highly anticipated sequel of the Bloody Coke series: ‘Bloody Coke 2’. Mike’s character take’s some of the drugs which looks like cocaine. Mike had to portray his character being under the influence of the drugs, which from the performance, we’re unsure which drug Mike was really trying to act off; but in turn a very comedic and memorable Filkins role was created.
The last two shorts consisted of small roles for Filkins. ‘The Walk’ my first video for film school and ‘Cupcake’ another short for a film school class. Minor but he did exactly what was needed out of himself for the roles. Big thanks for helping out on my school work.
In 2014 Mike made only one appearance, which would be his last role with us. Mike saved some of his best for this one last role. Near the end of summer 2014 we played the hat game, a tool we use to help us think of movies to make. Basically everyone writes down ten movie titles on a piece of paper, which all then get mixed up in a hat and then drawn out one at a time. Brackets are made and the titles are voted down to a final five. These final five titles we use to think of a short film to film. Filkins always loved the early short of ours called ‘The Room’, so he wrote down ‘The Room 2’, which somehow made it to the final five.
The Room 2 was made and completed, which upon Eliot and I viewing was quickly discarded to never be seen again from how bad it was. Viewed now it has some entertainment, mainly in the dramatic and over the top performances, specifically Mike’s famous delivery of the story about being dropped into the lion pen at the zoo. It was a memorable performance to go out on for Filkins; but who knows maybe Mike Filkins will appear again in a future short.
Now to the best part of these look backs, the video montage of some of Mike Filkins best and most memorable moments from over the years with Insane LLama. We liked how this one turned out. Enjoy!
Link To Video – 10 Years of LLama – Mike Filkins
To end the post, like we usually we do, here is some words from Mike Filkins himself. Big thanks to Filkins for taking some time out of his day to answer the following questions.
MIKE FILKINS LLAMA PROFILE
1) Who are you and what do you do?
I am The Mike Filkins. Right now I’m studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. In the future I’ll hopefully be working in industry doing stuff with brains.
2) How did you get involved with Insane Llama Productions?
In third grade Eliot was in my class. We started hanging out a lot at the Schultzs’ house and part of that is being in short films; it’s what we did for fun.
3) What was your first role or short you remember being involved in?
I was in a lot of very bad ones that were the product of late night brainstorming and filming that never got edited so those were the early ones I was in but I don’t know any of their names.
4) What is your most memorable on-set moment with Insane Llama?
I think all of Pac-man is my most memorable moment. That was a very weird night, an extremely strange film, and it still ended up being one of good ones.
5) Favorite Insane Llama short film?
I can’t choose only one. My favorites are “The Room” and “Frosting Beard”, generally any of the funny ones with Brad Delfeld are awesome.
6) Favorite Llama actor to work with?
The legendary Mike Gjelsten. When we were on-set he would always do something crazy that would make it into the films and it’s cool re-watching those films and knowing why we added certain scenes or filmed them the way we did.
7) Did you learn anything when working with Insane Llama?
Definitely, I learned a lot about creativity and working with other people to create their vision. It’s hard to come together, see a project the same way, and then try to actually go make it. I became better at improvising lines on the fly which has made my rapping and lying games much stronger. I also learned how to not laugh as much while filming. I’ve killed a lot of scenes that way.
8) Do you still keep up and follow Insane Llama?
Lately, I’ve been slacking. I used to watch everything as soon as Evan posted it and I’d be the first comment/like on Facebook.
9) How do you feel about Insane Llama turning 10 years old?
It’s awesome that Insane Llama is still going strong after 10 years. I’m happy that I was there for most of it and I love watching the videos and will continue doing so for a long time.
10) Where do you see Insane Llama in another 10 years?
I hope to be watching the films in theaters in sooner than 10 years, so in 10 years maybe Insane Llama will be on to winning awards. It’s be really cool if the actors in the films now like Eliot, Mike, and Zach make appearances on the big screen.
11) Share anything you want to tell the Insane Llama Audience?
If you’ve only started watching the new films in the last year or two go back and find some of the old stuff on YouTube and see how far Insane Llama has come.
Bonus) Worst actor in Insane Llama history is?
Andy O’Brien. He happens to be a theater major and is very good at acting but it really just speaks to how amazing all the other actors are and how much shit we like to give Andy.
Here’s to Mike Filkins!
That’s it for this edition of 10 Years of LLama, stay tuned in, we still have a couple more people we’d like to celebrate in these upcoming weeks. Consider following the blog to get updated when a new edition comes out, we also got all kinds of other post that might keep you interested. Also think about subscribing to the Insane LLama Youtube channels for video content for you to enjoy.
Thanks, until next time.