John is an award-winning filmmaker and graduate of USC's prestigious School of Cinematic Arts. While at USC he earned a Master of Fine Arts in producing and directing. His undergraduate studies were completed at Illinois State University with honors degrees in Communications, Business, Philosophy, and Cinema. He began his career as an intern in the marketing & publicity department of Lucasfilm Ltd. in 1998 (ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the top 10 internships in America). While at Lucasfilm, he helped to prepare for the release of Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
In 2008, Mr. Burgess started Principle Entertainment named after his USC graduate thesis film, The Powder Puff Principle, starring Clint Howard, Richard Gilliland, Kevin Kilner, Art Lafleur, and Linda Blair. His graduate short was the $10,000 Grand Prize Winner of Haydenfilms On-line Film Festival. He received Accolade Awards for Excellence in Production & Direction on the film. For his efforts he was written up in American Cinematographer (October 2007, Volume 87) and MovieMaker Magazine (Spring 2007, Issue 68).
John made his feature film debut with the romantic comedy, One Small Hitch, in both the directing and producing realms. Thus far, the film has won "Best Picture Comedy" at Cinequest, "Best Picture Comedy" at the California Independent Film Festival, "Best Picture Comedy" at the Sedona International Film Festival, "Best Feature Film" at the Omaha Film Festival, "Best Screenplay" at the Los Angeles Comedy Film Festival, "Best Ensemble Cast" at the Chicago Comedy Film Festival, "Best Director" at the Stony Brook Film Festival, "Best Director" at the Laugh Or Die Film Festival, "Rising Star" at the Naples International Film Festival, a "Jury Commendation" and the "Audience Award" at the Durango Film Festival, and the "Audience Award" at the Bahamas International Film Festival.
In 2014, he will direct his second feature, They Might Be Kennedys, a hilarious buddy comedy about two best friends named Ted & John, who in the summer of '89, looking to escape their dead end lives, pretend to be Kennedys to pick up girls and party like Cape Cod royalty.