Viewers interested in original Native content in a multitude of genres need look no further than the Skinsplex streaming website. One great original series, Wave, about a funny and foul-mouthed Native Hollywood insider by the name of “Bung” who is battling personal demons - is now available for free.
There are six 12-minute episodes so far, with Actor Noah Watts (Crow) playing the title role. Don’t expect a stereotypical western, as the show is very contemporary and even a little raunchy. Think more Californication, less Smoke Signals.
According to Wave producer Joe Montague (Salish), “Wave is written, directed and produced by Native American filmmakers, a Native American plays the lead role and Noah is supported by an ensemble of wonderfully diverse talented actors.”
Wave is one of many series' available to stream on 'Skinsplex.'
Skinsplex is a streaming platform (Available here: http://skinsplex.com) that is comparable to Amazon, Hulu or Netflix, with specifically Native American content. The platform was developed by Choctaw filmmaker Ian Skorodin and is currently free to register and access content.
Wave was created by Native filmmakers to squash the stereotypical portrayal of Native American characters in films.
“Most of the roles I go out for tend to be Native American, because I am a member of the Crow Tribe. This one, however, didn’t center around Native American themes and was written and produced by Natives,” said Watts.
“I feel it’s important to do our own original work and collaborate with other Native artists as much as we can.”
Skorodin says Skinsplex was created to provide a platform for Native filmmakers, actors and screenwriters to showcase their work for the public.
“Written entertainment is important because the script is not only the driving force creatively but, in television, the writer is in control. Unlike feature films, where the writer loses all control once their script has sold, television is controlled by the writers. Writers make all final decisions for crew, cast, directors, and everything creative.
“Native-written entertainment will naturally offer our unique voice, which is still largely untapped and has endless potential,” he said.
Wave producer Joe Montague says Native stereotypes are dead, “We're not just buckskin and feathers, we’re as American as it gets, and we’re living the dream.”
Follow Jason Asenap on Twitter - @Asenap