Upon leaving USC’s School of Cinema in the spring of 1989, Robert Meyer Burnett earned his first screen credit as the art department assistant on New Line Cinema's 1990 release LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III.
In the fall of 1989, he managed to get a much sought-after management trainee position in the Warner Brothers Feature Production department, working directly for Senior Vice President of Production Bill Young. There, Burnett participated in the production of such films as NOTHING BUT TROUBLE, JOE VS. THE VOLCANO, GREMLINS 2, THE ROOKIE, BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES and FREE WILLY.
After two years at Warner Brothers, he moved on to stints as a story analyst for Silver Pictures, CAA, William Morris and Pierre David's The Image Organization before settling on a Creative Executive position with director Robin Armstrong's Open Road Productions.
After a year, fed up with the few results yielded by story development, Burnett moved back into production, working as assistant makeup-effects coordinator for Tony Gardner's Alterian Studios on the horror films CAST A DEADLY SPELL, SLEEPWALKERS, SUPER MARIO BROTHERS, ARMY OF DARKNESS and the SWAMP THING television series. From there, he joined Full Moon Entertainment as a staff editor and segment producer and later earned his first feature editorial assignment, the complete recut of Albert Pyun's 1993 ARCADE, afterwards nominated for Best Independent Direct to Video release of that year by the VSDA.
Moving off on his own, Burnett directed a number of music videos and shorts with frequent collaborator Peter Billingsley, including the award-winning THE SACRED FIRE. He also edited segments of the CableACE award-winning JODY HOROWITZ PRESENTS for Showtime.
Burnett edited over 10 feature films, including No Dance founder James Boyd's THE NEW GODS, which played as part of Slamdance's 1998 Cannes You Dig it? program at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1996, Burnett’s life-long love of STAR TREK landed him a freelance position as a TREK consultant for Viacom Interactive, and he then went on to edit the multi-media film displays for Landmark Entertainment and Paramount Parks' $80 million themed attraction, STAR TREK: THE EXPERIENCE, which opened in January, 1998 at the Las Vegas Hilton.
Also at this time, he was Critic-At-Large for Larry Flynt’s Sci-Fi Universe magazine. He also frequently appeared on-air as a guest commentator on the Sci-Fi Channel series, SF VORTEX, hosted by BLIND DATE’s Roger Lodge, once THE DAILY SHOW for the Sci-Fi world.
Burnett marked his feature writing/directing debut with Regent Entertainment's multiple-award winning 1999 theatrical release FREE ENTERPRISE, starring Emmy-winners William Shatner and Eric McCormack. The film is generally considered the flashpoint of Shatner’s recent career resurgence. The film premiered in Sitges, Spain at the prestigious Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya before winning numerous awards at festivals throughout the world, including Best Film and Best Screenplay at the AFI FEST in Los Angeles. It opened in Los Angeles on June 4th, 1999 before playing theatrically throughout the country.
After the release of FREE ENTERPRISE, he went on to associate-produce Mindfire Entertainment's THE SPECIALS, a Fall, 2000 release also from Regent Entertainment. Burnett then completed editing DEAN QUIXOTE for SWINGERS producer Victor Simpkins.
After toiling in the independent film world for a number of years for little pay, Burnett veered off into the world of television, and spent a year as a promo writer/producer/editor (“predator”) for NBC, creating over 100 spots for the Summer 2000 Olympics and launch campaigns for the 2000-2001 Prime Time Season, and most amusingly, the XFL Cheerleaders (which he also voiced).
Also in 2000, the rapidly-burgeoning DVD market, with its voracious appetite for documentary special features, coupled with Burnett’s lifelong obsession and encyclopedic knowledge of world cinema, led him to a staff position with DVD content providers Kurtti-Pellerin. There, Burnett created special features for THE FANTASIA ANTHOLOGY, THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE, SNOW WHITE and even edited and directed a feature-length documentary on the making of the groundbreaking 1982 feature TRON, all for Walt Disney Home Entertainment. Kurtti-Pellerin then began work on the LORD OF THE RINGS films, spending over three years creating 50 hours of special features for the extended editions of the celebrated trilogy. Burnett’s work on those titles took him to both London and Wellington, New Zealand where he spent a number of months immersed with the New Zealand production team.
In 2002, while still at Kurtt-Pellerin, Burnett founded his own production company, Ludovico Technique, to produce Motion Pictures and DVD special editions on his own time. The company began specializing in long-term, overseas production, and Burnett returned to New Zealand, documenting for over 14 months the entire behind the scenes production of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE for Disney.
Teaming up with longtime friend, director Bryan Singer, Burnett and Ludovico also created the award-winning DVD special editions for THE USUAL SUSPECTS, X-MEN, X2 and the three-hour long “REQUIEM FOR KRYPTON: MAKING SUPERMAN RETURNS. For SUPERMAN, the company spent 10 months in Sydney, Australia, covering the entire production.
During this time, Burnett also co-produced the 2003 MGM feature film AGENT CODY BANKS and its sequel, 2004’s AGENT CODY BANKS: DESTINATION LONDON.
In 2006, Burnett and Ludovico began self-publishing comic books as a means to develop original properties to be exploited across other media. Ludovico’s first title, LIVING IN INFAMY, created by WAREHOUSE 13 writers Ben Raab and Deric A. Hughes, details the lives of Super Villains who’ve turned into informants and entered the FBI’s witness protection program.
2009 saw the release of Ludovico’s first feature film, THE HILLS RUN RED, produced in association with Warner Premiere and Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment. Developed in-house by Burnett and frequent Ludovico contractor Dave Parker, the film represents the culmination of almost two decades of work and friendship between the two life-long horror movie fans.
In 2010, Burnett directed music videos for Sammy Hagar’s rock supergroup Chickenfoot, assistant edited the 20th Century Fox feature LIKE DANDELION DUST and began directing and editing episodes of the HBO/Cinemax anthology series FEMME FATALES, which debuted in May, 2011.
Currently, he’s directed five episodes of the series. Burnett has also been hard at work editing the Bryan Singer Exec produced feature film MY ELEVENTH, the first feature from filmmakers Gary and Edmund Entin.