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October 19, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Ed Burns

Buzzmaster
  (12:03 PM)

Ed just finished up his SportsCenter hit, so he should be here shortly for his chat!

Buzzmaster
  (12:11 PM)

Ed is here!

Tammy (NYC)

How did the Cross premiere go?

Ed Burns
  (12:11 PM)

Big crowd in LA. A good sign that the movie works is when everyone shows up at the party and sticks around to drink and talk, which they did.

Evan (KC)

How different is it going from making your movies to a big budget prodution like Alex Cross?

Ed Burns
  (12:12 PM)

The pay is much better on the bigger productions....but in all seriousness, it's a welcome relief when you show up on someone else's set as just an actor, because you don't have to worry about all of the other things like where to put the camera.

cp (reno)

Always enjoyed your work..BM, She's the one and no looking backthat being said is this a one time gig or are you signed up for future Cross movies? Unless you die in the movie?

Ed Burns
  (12:13 PM)

I don't die in the movie. If the movie does well this weekend, we'll know whether or not we're moving forward on the sequel.

Ed Burns
  (12:13 PM)

So, go out and see the flick, so hopefully I can have another job.

Will (LA)

Tyler Perry isn't normally associated with being an action star, so how was it working with him in this realm?

Ed Burns
  (12:14 PM)

When you see the movie, you'll know why they cast Tyler Perry as Alex Cross. You'll know why Tyler wanted to play this part. In addition to everything that was required of him to execute the physical parts of the role, he also had to dig deep into some of the more emotional scenes and nailed both.

Kevin (GA)

Had you read any of James Patterson's books prior to this film?

Ed Burns
  (12:15 PM)

Yes, I read probably 3 or 4 of the Cross books and probably another 4-5 Patterson novels.

Ed Burns
  (12:15 PM)

I just finished one called Don't Blink.

Greg (FL)

will the Mets ever win in your lifetime?

Ed Burns
  (12:15 PM)

Absolutely!

Chris (Denver)

Now that you've had some success with making movies on a budget, is it something that you try to challenge yourself with? To see just how much you can do with a small budget?

Ed Burns
  (12:16 PM)

Working with micro budgets presents a number of challenges. But the great thing that it does afford me is total creative control. So for that reason, I have embraced that model. That said, I also look forward to working with bigger budgets in the near future.

Paul (Boston)

When you're acting and working on a movie like Alex Cross, do you put your other projects off to the side so you can focus on your acting?

Ed Burns
  (12:18 PM)

When you're acting in an action film like Alex Cross, you tend to have a lot of down time in your trailer as the stunt men are doing the heavy lifting which leaves you a lot of time to get some writing done. So while working on the set of Alex Cross, I wrote the first draft of my new film, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, which comes out on Nov. 21 and you can find the trailer on iTunes today.

Peter (RI)

You've experimented with pure digital release of some of your latest films....looking back at it now, how do you think it went?

Ed Burns
  (12:19 PM)

By embracing digital distribution and forgoing theatrical, an amazing thing happened. I started making money in the indie film business for the first time since The Brothers McMullen.

Erik (ATL)

Since you've experimented with pure digital releases of movies, do you view social media and being online as nearly essential for you?

Ed Burns
  (12:21 PM)

Yes. Using social media and especially Twitter as a way of connecting with my fan base is the most effective marketing tool that I have. I equate it to an indie rock band who goes from town to town to play in front of those small crowds and making those connections with those fans in the hopes that they'll buy the records. Social media allows me to do something like that behind my laptop.

chris (CT)

been hearing about a potential brothers mcmullen sequel, any progress with that or is it on the backburner for fitzgerald and your twitter project?

Ed Burns
  (12:22 PM)

The McMullen sequel is still moving forward. I've done a rough outline of the script. But don't want to make the film until 2014 so that I can release it in 2015 which will be McMullen's 20th anniversary. Besides, Connie just got very busy.

Tom (NYC)

You're a New York guy, so are you embracing the Nets now that they're in Brooklyn or are you a Knicks guy?

Ed Burns
  (12:23 PM)

Still a diehard Knick fan, but yes, I am absolutely embracing the Nets as well. My very first professional game I saw Dr. J play for the Nets at Nassau Collesium, so I feel I can claim some ownership.

TK (Philly)

Hi Ed- Just finished the book so I can catch the movie this weekend... very excited to see it!! How much of a departure from the book shoudl I expect?

Ed Burns
  (12:24 PM)

It's quite a departure from the book. For example, the character I play Tommy Kane is not in any of the Alex Cross novels. That said, it's true to the books in tone.

Greg (New Orleans)

Do you see the rest of the movie industry embracing social media as much as you have as an independent movie maker?

Ed Burns
  (12:25 PM)

I think everyone recognizes that social media is here to stay and a great way to connect with fans. I know the studios have embraced it, but it's always a little different when it's the actor, musician, athlete speaking personally to the fans.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Ed, Who do you think is going to win the World Series?

Ed Burns
  (12:25 PM)

I'm torn because having just worked in Detroit on Alex Cross there's a part of me that's pulling for the Tigers, yet my wife is from the Bay Area, so we pull for the Giants as well. But if the Cards win that series, then it's all Detroit.

Ed Burns
  (12:26 PM)

But as a Mets fan, all I do is cry.

David (St. Louis)

When you're just acting in a movie, do you still look at things from a director or producer's stand point and think about how you would have done things differently?

Ed Burns
  (12:26 PM)

No, I don't because the first film I did as an actor that wasn't one of my films was Saving Private Ryan and I wasn't going to show up on Stephen's set and start making suggestions.

Darryl (Chicago)

How many projects do you juggle at once?

Ed Burns
  (12:28 PM)

At any one given time, I'm usually writing three screenplays. One is usually a new outline that I'm beating out and fleshing out. Another is an early draft of the thing I think I'd like to do next and then when I hit the wall on that script, I usually have an older screenplay that's in need of a rewrite and I'll work on that just to keep the creative juices flowing.

Ed Burns
  (12:30 PM)

I just want to thank you guys for giving hoot and following me on this indie film journey. Please check out "Alex Cross" this weekend and check out the trailer to "The Fitzgerald's Family Christmas."