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The Unstoppable Ed Burns

Review of Independent Ed, career autobiography by Ed Burns
Review by Sujewa Ekanayake



Ed Burns is a survivor.  His story is, in part, a fairy tale story of great, unexpected highs and lucky breaks. Independent Ed tells the story of Burns making his debut movie The Brothers McMullen - which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, acting in Steven Spielberg’s epic World War II movie Saving Private Ryan, making the digital feature Newlyweds for $9000 and tales of many filmmaking and acting adventures in-between and after. While there are many moments of luck and several breakthroughs in his story, one very useful aspect of it is how Burns perseveres through repeated challenges, several failures, and much uncertainty and keeps going after the thrill of making a movie - represented by his magical 12 days of making McMullen.  Independent Ed is a how-to on making one’s own luck through hard work, persistence, and surviving the low points of a filmmaking career. The book should be great reading material for fans of Burns’ work, independent filmmakers, those dreaming about becoming filmmakers or those dreaming about coming back to filmmaking. Like Burns’ best movie Sidewalks of New York, Independent Ed tells an exciting New York City story, simply and honestly, with humor, some Irish-American references, and of course great dialogue.  The next big chapter of the Ed Burns filmmaking story begins soon with the release of the new Burns written and directed TNT cop show Public Morals.  For more on Burns' work, visit his official website.


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