Michael Justin “Burnie” Burns
Filmmaker, Director, Writer and Internet Celebrity.
Notable Works: RoosterTeeth Productions, Red Vs. Blue, RWBY, Immersion, RT Podcast, RTX Conventions.
Burnie works primarily in the comedy department. He is a key figure in the world of machinima, using the technique before it was named. His company, RoosterTeeth Productions, has been running since 2003, well before most current/still operating internet based companies. The fact that he is an internet based content producer heavily shapes his projects, as they are often optimised for release on their website and Youtube.
In my opinion, Burnie and the whole RoosterTeeth productions (Which many would consider him the face of) is one of the biggest names in internet content production (especially looking outside of just Youtube), and definitely one of the key figures shaping how video content is produced for the Internet. One of RoosterTeeth’s subsidiary companies, Achievement Hunter, coined the term “let’s play” long before it became a popular term for video game commentary videos.
Burnie is an influential figure in the internet video production world. He was creating videos for internet distribution before Youtube was around, and continues to break ground and make headlines in the online
One of the standout things about Burnie is his ability to both manage his company, looking after the creative aspects, as well as his interactions with fans, both on and off screen. On a personal note, I received a coin that Burnie had minted with his face on it at RTX Sydney, a convention hosted by RoosterTeeth. He had these coins created so that his fans could have something to remember him by, because of the tight schedule not allowing him to stop and take photos with everyone.
Burnie’s advice (From a Reddit AMA in 2014):
Do you guys have any advice for aspiring filmmakers? I’ve been looking around and all I’ve heard/read is that the most important thing is to simply make things, which is obviously very important, but is there anything to know before you actually start making things, you know, for people who are starting from nothing? Are there any resources you could recommend?
I’m very excited for Lazer Team and will be backing as soon as I have some spare money!
The “just get started” war cry can be a little frustrating when someone feels paralyzed by the fear of taking that first step. I think Robert Rodriguez said it best in his Rebel Without A Crew biography. (Paraphrasing here): “I think that everyone has at least a dozen or so bad movies in them; the sooner you get them out the better”
Time spent making content is never wasted, even if no one ever sees it. By the time you finish one project, you have learned so much that you can apply to your next work. My first movie The Schedule would embarass me to watch today but without it, Red vs Blue would have never happened which means Rooster Teeth would not exist.