Independent Ed: Inside a Career of Big Dreams, Little Movies, and the Twelve Best Days of My Life

Edward Burns. Gotham, $26.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-592-40859-7
Director-actor Burns stormed the independent film world when his 1995 debut, The Brothers McMullen—made with a $25,000 budget while Burns was working full-time as a production assistant for Entertainment Tonight—won the top award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Immediately, the 27-year-old Long Island man's world changed, as he explains in this earnest memoir. "I was put into bed with the best," writes Burns, who instead of seeking counsel from his dad, a NYC cop, had Robert Redford as a mentor. The buzz couldn't last. After critical and commercial disappointments (No Looking Back and The Groomsmen, respectively) and "the realities of the business," Burns's career as a filmmaker stalled; he revived it by returning to his low-cost roots. Now his movies are made for a pittance, he explains, with a small, devoted crew and no compromises. In this memoir, Burns exudes an approachable, everyman charm: it's easy to root for him. Too frequently, however, he covers his career as a filmmaker as if he's writing a self-congratulatory cover letter; the insight into the working life of a director is skimpy, but he provides an excellent lesson on the resilience, promotion, and reinvention required for a film career. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/08/2014
Release date: 02/03/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-59240-933-4
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