This past holiday season a good friend gave me Edward Burns’ book, “Independent Ed.” The gift had a double meaning. Everyone knows how much I like independent films. But this friend and I had attended a UAlbany Writer’s Institute screening and discussion with Mr. Burns for his 1998 film, “No Looking Back.” Then this past November, we both had the privilege of watching a preview of Mr. Burns’ new (and now canceled) television show “Public Morals,” followed by a great discussion, with none other than William Kennedy moderating!
I highly recommend the book. Ed details how he became an independent filmmaker, the production of his first film “Brothers McMullen,” (which won at Sundance) and his early success, including being cast in Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.” The best part of the book is when the success stopped happening and he had to face the fact that if he wanted to make the films he wanted, he would have to find a way to do it. I don’t want to ruin the book because you really need to read it but he finds ways to not only make the films he wants to make but to have them be a financial success. He gives “hard knocks” advice that will help any filmmaker trying to get their film made – beginner, novice or expert!
One of things mentioned is that we all have a unique voice. You have something to say and you need to get your voice out there! He says this most voraciously to criticisms that there are too many low-budget indie films that are not good, flooding the market, blah, blah, blah. I could not agree more with Mr. Burns. I’ll add that with today’s technology you do not need to limit your vision or project. Maybe you’re going to make a feature, a short or a web-series! Maybe your project is something no one has ever seen before! BTW: TvFILM is here to support you, your film and everything in between! True independent film is the edge not the middle. Our ranks are filled with artists that need to say something no matter what the adversity is.
As TvFILM begins its eighth season on-air, I hope that some of Ed’s spirit is felt when you watch this season’s films and listen to the filmmakers! Right now we’re getting the word out on our Call for Entries. So, help us find those “independent” voices that need to be heard or watched, well both! Click here to find out all you’ll need to submit your film. And watch for TvFILM premiering this June on WMHT!