Independent Filmmaker Edward Burns’s New Epix Show, Bridge and Tunnel, premiered recently and is another great example of the intimate relationship-focused storytelling style he’s been doing for 25 years. Breaking onto the indie scene with 1995 The McMullen brothersBurns is a trailblazer similar to brave filmmakers like Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez, who took their dreams into their own hands and made their own movie, telling the stories they wanted to tell, knowing there was no other alternative.

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Inspired by characters like Woody Allen and John Cassavetes, Burns’ films focus on characters and relationships, and his goal as a filmmaker is to show an honest representation of ordinary people and how they connect with each other. His films are simple, without a budget, but all with character. As stated in his book, “IIndependent Ed,“His work stems from an idea put forward by filmmaker Robert Bresson:” Make visible what, without you, may never be seen. “

10 Finding Kitty (2004) – 35%

Finding Kitty - Ed Burns and David Krumholtz

Excited to try digital filmmaking for the first time, Burns shot the film with a mini DV camera. This, at the time, was new technology and it sped up the process of making the film and got the film made at a very low price. In the end, he made the movie for $ 250,000. In the movie, Burns plays a detective hired to find a man’s runaway wife. Like most of Burns’s shoots, the production was basic with a small crew and without the perks of traditional films, though he always invited everyone to a nice dinner to make up for it.

Burns’ goal was simply to get on the ground and shoot a movie. They didn’t even have the proper filming permits, so he wrote that his character didn’t like eating inside restaurants, which is why he is seen eating outside of Joe’s Pizza in a rainy scene. While Looking for kitten Released at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film was not well received and Burns did not even want to release it. However, he does not regret doing it because the filming was a great moment.

9 Without looking back (1998) – 36%

Without Looking Back - Ed Burns and Lauren Holly

With Without looking backBurns wanted to make an honest, minimalist drama that told a story about a place and its people who know that there is more to life than the life they are living. The story is about a small-town waitress whose life is turned upside down when her ex-boyfriend returns and wants to take her away.

Made on a budget of $ 5.5 million, the movie only grossed a little over $ 200,000. Never a fan of the film’s title, Burns’s friends would nickname him, Nobody saw it.

8 Groomsmen (2006) – 52%

Groomsmen - Ed Burns

Made with a budget of $ 3 million, Groomsmen tells the story of a meeting between best friends in the days leading up to Burns’s character’s wedding. With this film, Burns used a new production company that would also handle the film’s distribution. Following disagreements with the companies’ marketing consultants, Burns felt they mishandled the film’s distribution, leading to the film underperforming in the few markets in which it was released.

To add insult to injury, when the film was released on DVD, Burns hated the film’s cover, thought it was poorly made, and misrepresented the film.

7 Good Boy Johnny (2010) – 53%

Good Boy Johnny - Ed Burns

For burns, Good boy johnny it was personal. It was about the ramifications of giving up on your dream. Burns wanted to go back to basics and apply the same independent film principles that he had when he made the McMullen brothers. The only difference now was that filmmaking equipment was much more accessible, so he decided to just go out and make a film, insisting that if “doing things is in your DNA, you have to do it.” I like McMullen, I would shoot for 12 days on a budget of $ 25,000 with minimal equipment, using unknown actors and only using available light.

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A pioneer of digital distribution, like his previous film, Purple violetsBurns released the film directly to VOD, where it could be seen by 40 million people, rather than just on a few auteur cinema screens. The new distribution platform was successful and the film made a profit.

6 New York Sidewalks (2001) – 56%

Then McMullen’s Success, Burns began receiving offers to act, and one he accepted was from Steven Spielberg. Saving Private Ryan. Inspired by the portable, almost documentary style that Spielberg was filming in Ryan, Burns decided to apply that aesthetic to his film Sidewalks of New York.

The shoot was run and set up and slightly improvised and the documentary style was added to the imitation and the realistic representation of the relationships. They had a small crew, very few lights, and they fired while the shops were open. After the September 11 attacks, the film’s release was delayed, but it was finally released in November to modest reviews and a box office return.

5 Purple Violets (2007) – 60%

Purple Violets - Patrick Wilson, Selma Blair

Purple violets is the story of two novelists and former lovers who meet again in the late 1930s. New York City is truly a minor character in this film, and Burns films his scenes using many “masters in motion,” a style he pioneered. Woody Allen.

After failing to reach a distribution deal, Burns released the film through Itunes, which had recently launched its movie and television store. Purple violets became the first new film to be released exclusively on a digital platform, a screening strategy that has since become the norm.

4 She’s the One (2006) – 61%

After self-financing the McMullen Brothers and doing it with favors, Burns had the opportunity to make his next film on a real budget, a real crew, and the backing of a real production company. The film was She is the one and starred Burns, alongside rising stars Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz. Burns took a crash course in making the “right” movies after finishing a movie in which he was a large part of the team himself.

In the end, Tom Petty provided the music for the soundtrack and the film was released to mixed to positive reviews, earning $ 13.8 million on a budget of $ 3 million.

3 Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012) – 64%

In 2011, Burns starred in Alex Cruz along with fellow writer, director and actor Tyler Perry. One day at lunch, Perry encouraged Burns to follow Perry’s lead and “super-serve his niche,” that is, make movies for his audience. the McMullen Brothers Y She is the one They were both about Irish-American families, so because of that conversation, Burns decided to “go back to the well” and make a movie about a large Irish-American family with a controversial patriarch meeting at Christmas.

Filmed on a micro budget, Fitzgerald Family Christmas sold to the platforms of Itunes, Amazon and VOD, where it became accessible to a wide audience that otherwise would not. Burns rated the film as his best yet and the New York Times agreed, writing that it was his best movie since McMullen Brothers.

2 Just married (2011) – 73%

Just Married - Ed Burns, Caitlin Fitzgerald

Similar to the pseudo-doc style of New York sidewalks, Burns wanted to cut to the chase for his movie, Just Married. He bought a Canon 5D camera for $ 2,800, which was a small camera that could shoot incredible images, making production easier to maneuver. This allowed them to shoot whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Burns caught by parameters that included a small unpaid crew, no permits, and pizza was lunch most days. In the end, he made the movie for $ 9,000.

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After its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film landed another VOD distribution deal, taking it to 45 million households and easily recouping its budget and more. When the movie became profitable, Burns was able to cut the checks to his team working for nothing.

1 The McMullen Brothers (1995) – 89%

McMullen Brothers - Ed Burns, Mike McGlone, Maxine Bahns, Jack Mulcahy

For any independent filmmaker, The McMullen brothers production is an inspiration. Burns desperately wanted to be a filmmaker, so he decided to take it into his own hands and make his own movie. He was able to raise $ 20,000, half of which came from his father. He used his mother’s house on Long Island and filmed the story of three Irish Catholic brothers and their relationships in 12 days.

At the time, Burns was a production assistant for Entertainment Tonight, so he cornered Robert Redford in the elevator and gave him a copy of the film. After traditionally submitting and being rejected, Redford got the McMullen Brothers at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the 1995 Grand Jury Prize. The film kicked off Burns’ career and he has continued to make films by whatever means necessary ever since, inspiring filmmakers around the world to grab a camera. and make your dreams come true.

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