We receive a ton of tips every day from independent creators, unaffiliated with any major motion picture studios, television networks, new media studios, or other well-funded online video entities. The Indie Spotlight is where we’ll write about and shout out to a select few of them and bring you up to speed on the great (and sometimes not-so-great) attention-grabbing series you probably haven’t heard about until now. Read previous installments here.
Johnny Dynamo, a recently-debuted web series created by Dennis Mareno and Joe Thomas, appears to be on fire. Just nine days after its release, the first episode has already drawn nearly 400,000 views (though most of the comments are suspiciously similar and stats have been disabled, so who knows how many of those views are honest) . It’s rare for an indie web series to have such a large view count; at the same time, it is hard to find many indie web series better than Johnny Dynamo.
Johnny Dynamo stars Rick Wells as Robert Pierce Mitchell, a former action star whose career fell to ruin after he embarrassingly botched a rappelling stunt while promoting an upcoming movie. 25 years later, Mitchell is a bum living with his exasperated wife. After his story is retold on a local news station, three young TV execs seek Johnny out in hopes of bringing him back into the spotlight.
There’s a lot to like about Johnny Dynamo. It is fantastically shot and the sound editing is superb. Unlike may other indie web series, there’s no overacting; everything is even and tempered. The best part of the show, however, is its pacing. Johnny Dynamo does a great job of slowly pulling back the curtain, luring viewers into a superficially simple plot that looks like its about to get a lot more complicated. All we know about the TV execs plan is that it involves the Internet, and I think future episodes will have some exciting twists in store. Even if its view count is really suspicious, it deserves all the attention it gets.
OTHER UNDER-THE-RADAR SERIES TO CHECK OUT:
- LA Girls. A west coast retelling of Girls, with Squaresville lead Kylie Sparks playing an aspiring actor version of Hannah Horvath.
- Dick Doblin: Private Eye. An old-school and hilariously out-of-touch detective must use all his cunning to track down the theif who stole his video camera.
- The Black Diamond. What’s better than a murder mystery? A murder mystery musical, of course.
- My Immortal. An absurd series based on the legendarily bad Harry Potter fan fiction of the same name.
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