Michael Justin "Burnie" Burns (born January 18, 1973) is an American writer, actor, producer, comedian, host, and director living in Austin, Texas. He is a co-founder, former chief executive officer, and current chief creative officer of Rooster Teeth. He is noted for his contributions in machinima, a form of film-making that uses video game technology in its production, and also works with animation and live action. Burns is also known for his work in the hosting and podcasting field.
In April 2003, Burns, along with several friends and co-workers, created the machinima series Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles. Filmed using the video game Halo, Red vs. Blue was acclaimed for its humor and originality, making Burns an Internet celebrity. His success allowed him to co-found the production company Rooster Teeth. After the immediate popularity of Red vs. Blue, Burns attracted the attention of video game company Electronic Arts, who asked him to create a promotional series using their upcoming game, The Sims 2. The result was The Strangerhood. Burns also premiered P.A.N.I.C.S., a mini-series that utilizes the F.E.A.R. game engine. In 2016, Burns starred in the science fiction comedy film Lazer Team, which he co-wrote.
As one of the innovators in the field of machinima, he has made guest appearances at the Penny Arcade Expo, San Diego Comic-Con International, Sundance and The Sydney Film Festival. For his work on Immersion (2010), a live action series that tests video game tropes in the real world, and The Gauntlet (2013), Rooster Teeth's reality game show, he has been nominated for two IAWTV awards in the "Best Host of a Web Series (Pre-Recorded)" category. He was named one of the "Top 25 Digital Stars" by The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. Alongside longtime-business partner Matt Hullum, he was named one of Variety's top Digital Entertainment Execs to Watch in 2018.
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