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Burnie Burns

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Michael Justin "Burnie" Burns is an American writer, actor, producer, independent filmmaker and director living in Austin, Texas. He is known for his work with Rooster Teeth (RT), an Austin, Texas based film production company which he co-founded. His most notable contributions have been in Machinima, although he has also worked with live-action. Burns voiced character Leonard L. Church in Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles which was a very popular character with his fans. In April 2003, Burns, along with several of his friends, created the Internet Machinima series Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles, filmed using the Xbox video games Halo and Halo 2. Burns has become the fatherly figure of the staff and looks after everyone. He plays the lead character in the majority of their series and is a very skilled comedic writer.

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,[1] and also works with animation cartoons, live action production and podcasts.[2] 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.[3] His success allowed him to co-found the production company Rooster Teeth.[4] 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.[5][6][7] 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.[8] He was named one of the "Top 25 Digital Stars" by The Hollywood Reporter in 2015.[9]


Burnie Burns is an American film producer, animated filmmaker known for his Machinima work on the Red vs. Blue series. Also an actor, he appeared in the 2015 movie The Outfield. He joined the cast of The Amazing Race in season 28. He is also one of the co-founders of Rooster Teeth Productions. He also is a 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 was a voice actor for The Strangerhood, Halo 3, and P.A.N.I.C.S. His work on 2010's Immersion earned him an IAWTV award for Best Hosted Taped Web Series.

Pre-Rooster Teeth

Burns met 2 of the Rooster Teeth staff whilst studying at the University of Texas at Austin. He was childhood friends with Matt Hullum (Sarge from Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles) and eventually they met with Joel Heyman (Michael J. Caboose from Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles) whilst making an independent film called "The Schedule". Hullum and Heyman pursued their dreams of being famous and traveled to Hollywood leaving Burns in Texas. Burns then found management work at local Help desk company TeleNetwork. This is where he met Geoff Ramsey (Dexter Grif from Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles) and Gustavo Sorola (Dick Simmons from Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles). The three clicked automatically and had 2 loves, drinking and video games, this caused them to create where the three created a scheme to get free video games and asked companies to send them games to review. According to Ramsey, the group tried to receive free games to review, but "incurred the wrath" of several game developers in doing so. They finished with 2. One of which was Halo: Combat Evolved they loved the game, especially Burns. Burns whilst playing the games noticed a few things:

  • The multiplayer characters didn't have voices
  • They were fighting for no real reason apart from being told to
  • They didn't even know anything about the enemies
  • The Warthog looks like a Puma

This caused Burns to think about creating a series based on this points which seemed interesting. He consulted Ramsey and Sorola who were very cautious about the idea and turned it down. The coming weeks brought Burns to write more sketches and become more into his multiplayer voice idea. Whilst writing the ideas was slowly coming to a halt with a lack of users and people knowing about the website. This caused Ramsey and Sorola to panic, then finally after a few weeks work Burns finally talked them into his multiplayer voice idea. The first 3 minute episode was filmed. Six months later, the website closed. However, the following week, the magazine Computer Gaming World asked permission to include the Switch parody in a CD to be included with an issue. To take advantage of the resultant publicity, the three re-encoded the video to point to which at the time was a website which was created in no time and was very low key.

Rooster Teeth Productions was born.

Rooster Teeth

The first episode was a big hit with gamers and became one of the most loved Viral videos ever made. Burns figured that the staff could be bigger and offered Joel Heyman and Matt Hullum a place on the staff, which they graciously accepted. The five were then catapulted into internet fame and went onto create 100 episodes which made up Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles.

Halo and Halo 2 was then catapulted into a broader audience and the sales were increased due to a series about voiceless character with humorous voice overs. This caused Electronic Arts (EA) to approach Burns and the staff to ask if they would make a series for their upcoming game "Sims 2". Burns graciously accepted and then The Strangerhood was born. Although been not as famous as Red vs. Blue, the series still kicked off and gained a cult following dedicated to the spectrum of characters featured.

Red vs Blue Season 6, Reconstruction has been regarded as one of the greatest Machinima movies ever made. It is currently on sale on the Rooster Teeth website and is available to watch on their website. Burns wrote the full film whilst having some people chip in with some of the sketches, the movie is based around Burns' character and Burns appeared to want to go into great depths with his character Leonard L. Church. Burns appeared to have taken a lot of information from the fans by showing the fans' favorite character (Michael J. Caboose, according to a survey) in more detail and began answering questions like:

Relocated backed up a few of these questions and answers and only featured 5/6 of the members of Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles due to the aftermath of Reconstruction.

Burns is currently writing and/or directing new episodes/series of other Rooster Teeth projects including:



Year Date Title Credit Notes
1997 October 29, 1997 The Schedule (producer)
2003 April 1, 2003 Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles (TV Series) (co-producer)
2010 April 5, 2010 Immersion (TV Series) (producer)
2011 November 15, 2011 Rooster Teeth Shorts: Volume Three (Video) (producer)
2011 November 15, 2011 Red vs. Blue: Season 9 (producer)
2012 January 2012 The Best Red vs. Blue. Ever. Of All Time (producer)
2012 December 2012 A Simple Walk Into Mordor (Video short) (executive producer)
2012 Minecraft: The Story of Mojang (Documentary) (executive producer)
2013 RWBY: Volume 1 (Video) (executive producer)
2013 Red vs Blue: Season 11 (Video) (executive producer)
2014 Trocadero: When We're Together (Video) (executive producer)
2014 Red vs Blue: Season 12 (TV Series) (executive producer)
2014 iBlade (TV Mini-Series) (executive producer) 1 episode

- Part 3 (2014) ... (executive producer)

2014 Ten Little Roosters (TV Mini-Series) (executive producer) 8 episodes

- And Then There Were Two & One (2014) ... (executive producer)

- And Then There Were Three (2014) ... (executive producer)

- And Then There Were Four (2014) ... (executive producer)

- And Then There Were Five (2014) ... (executive producer)

- And Then There Were Six (2014) ... (executive producer)

- And Then There Were Seven (2014) ... (executive producer)

- And Then There Were Eight (2014) ... (executive producer)

- And Then There Were Nine (2014) ... (executive producer)

2014 Red vs. Blue: Season 13 (Video) (executive producer)
2014-2015 X-Ray and Vav (TV Series) (executive producer) 5 episodes

- The Dawn of Mogar (2015) ... (executive producer)

- Storm the Tower (2014) ... (executive producer)

- Evil Unlocked (2014) ... (executive producer)

- Operation: Rescue Friend (2014) ... (executive producer)

- X-Ray & Vav Rise (2014) ... (executive producer)

2015 Lazer Team (producer)
2015 Rooster Teeth: Entertainment System Originals (TV Series) (executive producer) 16 episodes
2017 The Eleven Little Roosters (TV Mini-Series) (executive producer) 8 episodes

Image Gallery


  • Burnie does weird things when drunk.
  • He has several alter egos, all of which have been featured in Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures
  • Burnie was married to Jordan Burns, who voiced female Donut from Caboose's mind in Red vs Blue, from August 2000 to December 2011. He has had two sons with Jordan, Teddy and J.D. Burns, the latter of which is the current voice of the A.I. Theta in Red vs Blue.
    • He is currently engaged to Ashley Jenkins, whom he participated with in the twenty-eighth season of The Amazing Race. They were eliminated in the penultimate leg of the Race, finishing fourth.
  • Shares the same birthday as Chris Demarais, January 18.
  • Made an appearance in the the "Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia" episode "The Gang Tends Bar". This probably caused envy in Geoff and rage in Michael, both huge fans of the show.
  • He also made a short cameo in the comedy film, "Why Him?".


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