New York Film Locations

New York Film Location Books

Title: Independent Ed
Author: Edward Burns
Paperback: 259 pages
Published: 2015

An entertaining and inspiring journal by one of the most outstanding independent filmmakers of our time.

This book is the engrossing story of Ed Burns' movie making career. It covers the time span from when he first started writing through to his latest project, a TV movie. It touches on the equipment he used, the people he worked with and the ease or difficulty of getting a given project made. Burns' prose is accessible and engaging.

At the age of twenty-five, Ed Burns directed and produced his first film on a tiny $25,000 budget. The Brothers McMullen went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1995, and established the working-class Irish American filmmaker as a talent to watch. In the twenty years since, Burns has made ten more films (She’s the One, Sidewalks of New York, and The Fitzgerald Family Christmas), while also acting in big budget Hollywood movies (Saving Private Ryan), hit television shows (Entourage and Mob City), and pioneering a new distribution network for indie filmmakers online and with TV’s On Demand service (“why open a film in twenty art houses when you can open in twenty million homes?”).

Inspired by Burns’s uncompromising success both behind and in front of the camera, students and aspiring filmmakers are always asking Burns for advice. In Independent Ed, Burns shares the story of his two remarkable decades in a fickle business where heat and box office receipts are often all that matter. He recounts stories of the lengths he has gone to to secure financing for his films, starting with The Brothers McMullen (he told his father: “Shooting was the twelve best days of my life”). How he found stars on their way up—including Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz—to work in his films, and how he’s adhered religiously to the dictum of writing what you know, working as if he was just starting out, and always “looking for the next twelve best days of my life.”

Chronicling the struggles and the long hours as well as the heady moments when months of planning and writing come to fruition, Independent Ed is a must-read for movie fans, film students, and everyone who loves a gripping tale about what it takes to forge your own path in work and life.

otsoNY Comments: This is a truly enjoyable book which gives an insight into the film business and the creative process for an independent filmmaker. Spanning twenty years, this book reveals the incredible journey that Edward Burns has taken in becoming a successful filmmaker as well as an actor in an already over-populated industry. Giving reference to his time on indie film sets as well as in front of the camera alongside Hollywood’s well-established actors, there is a real genuine honesty to the writing. The only area where this book falls short are the photographs inside as they haven’t been printed on glossy white paper.

I would like to thank Roshe Anderson from Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book.


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