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.
If you have an ailment and want to engender sympathy, comedy is a good path to take. Gene Okun, the star of Big Dumb Kidneys, is a man with a serious kidney problem who is hoping that a series of humorous webisodes about his symptoms can raise awareness regarding his condition and lead him on the path toward a transplant.
Okun suffers from polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which has caused his kidneys to swell to an abnormal size. Eventually, his condition will force him to go on dialysis, unless he can find his way off the transplant waiting list, which currently has about 96,000 names on it. His plan to increase his odds of getting off that list centers around Big Dumb Kidneys, in which he personifies his troublesome organs as two big red blobs that annoy him, badger him wherever he goes, and prevent him from ever getting completely comfortable. Alongside his sister Tina Okun Smith, he created a series of Big Dumb Kidneys episodes that use comedy to show how his life differs from that of an unaffected person.
Big Dumb Kidneys displays an amusing sense of physical comedy, and if it gets people to click through to Okun’s website, where more information about PKU is available, he could increase his odds of getting the donation he seeks. “I didn’t want to be another sad story,” Okun told Stat. “People sort of gloss over those, especially on social media. Humor gets people to look at things and pass them on. Humor gets more viewers.”
OTHER UNDER-THE-RADAR SERIES TO CHECK OUT
- Let Me Die A Nun. A nun must deal with her stalker and her latent homosexuality.
- This Is It. A look at the lives of Nigerian friends is readying its second season.
- Bubbleproof. This upcoming mockumentary is a spoof of the excesses of Silicon Valley.
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.