Ed Burns’ first movie, "The Brothers McMullen", cost just $25,000, was shot over 12 days near Burn's home in Long Island and starred no one you'd ever heard of, including Burns himself. He entered it into the 1995 Sundance Festival and all of a sudden it's an award winning movie grossing $10 million in the US box office.
This year Burns is bringing his ninth film to the Boston Film Festival and it seems that he returns to his old form with "Nice Guy Johnny.”
The movie tells the story of 23-year-old Johnny who gives up his dream job in sports radio to take the job his fiancée wants him to have with a friend of her father. However, Uncle Terry, played by Burns, takes his ailing nephew, Johnny, out to the Hamptons for a day with his beautiful tennis instructor Brooke.
During an interview this week Burns said, "It really is a look at your dreams and what does it cost you to hold on to them.”
About two years ago, Burn's former agents had suggested that he take a mainstream romantic comedy and make a large sum of cash. However Burns said, "I spent six months reading scripts. One maybe I thought, ‘I think I’ve found one.’… I love what I do. I still believe in the dream.”
He says that the writing in "Nice Guy Johnny" is the "most personal film" he's worked on since "The Brothers McMullen.” And the two movies also have production similarities. They both cost $25,000, were shot in 12 days and filmed mostly in Long Island with an unknown cast however Matt Bush (Johnny) and Kerry Bishe (Brooke) will not be unknown for long.
Times and technology have changed a lot since "The Brothers McMullen" was made. “It’s a lot easier now to make a great-looking film on that budget,” said Burns.
"Nice Guy Johnny" will be released in the USA on October 26.
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