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.

For some people, creating makeup videos on YouTube is a form of self-expression. For others, the goal is to inspire others. For Maxine, the protagonist of a new web series called Max Compact, using cosmetic products serves as a trigger through which she can activate clairvoyant powers. In that regard, she’s just a bit different from the typical beauty guru.

Maxine, portrayed by Giullianna Martinez, is depicted as one of several people in the Max Compact world who have picked up bizarre super powers. In her case, the application of a little lipstick allows her to see the future. Over the course of 12 episodes, we get a glimpse into Maxine’s personal life and watch as she learns to control her abilities.

Max Compact, created by Jo-Dean Roark and produced by online video vet Jenni Powell, works because it is both ambitiously plotted and deceptively simple. The series asks viewers to leap into a fantasy setup where Uber drivers can give others the ability to stop time, but it also contains enough small, realistic touches to make Maxine seem like a fairly ordinary vlogger. The resulting setting is a rich one, and the 12 episodes of Max Compact offer only a taste of what the show’s universe has to offer.

OTHER UNDER-THE-RADAR SERIES TO CHECK OUT 

  • Made in China. This sketch comedy pilot focuses on the stories of Asian immigrants in America.
  • Rachel Unraveled. This musical comedy satirizes the trope of young actresses who try to make it in the big city.
  • (un)balanced. A woman struggles to live a new-age, meditative life.

Got a series you’d like to see featured in the Indie Spotlight? Be sure to contact us here. For best coverage, please include a full episode in your e-mail.

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