Scott Z. Burns has been busy. The veteran Tinseltown writer/producer, 59, has been toiling away on his latest project — the climate-change drama “Extrapolations” for Apple TV+ — and on the Los Angeles housing front, he’s also been engaging in some behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing. Records reveal Burns has paid music exec Gary Gersh exactly $7 million for a Zen-like retreat in the picturesque Santa Monica Canyon neighborhood. Concurrently, he also sold his canal-front Venice home to commercial real estate developer/investor Nhan Nguyen Le of Valiance Capital for $3.8 million.
Though you might not be familiar with Burns’ name, you’ve probably seen some or many of his films — “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “The Informant,” “Contagion,” “The Report” and the Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth,” just to name a few. His newest offering, “Extrapolations,” will feature a star-studded cast that includes Edward Norton, Matthew Rhys, Meryl Streep, David Schwimmer, Tobey Maguire, Gemma Chan and Forest Whitaker. Currently in production, the show is set to present interconnected stories about how upcoming planetary changes will affect love, faith, work and family. (Before film and TV writing, Burns got his career start in advertising and was part of the team that created the legendary “Got Milk?” campaign.)
Burns’ newly acquired Santa Monica home is hidden from the street, tucked away behind gates, on a quarter-acre parcel of land bordered by attractive Ipe wood fences surrounded by tropical gardens, mature sycamore trees and clusters of bamboo. Built way back in 1940, but extensively renovated and expanded with a contemporary treehouse aesthetic in 2008 by architect David Hertz, the property has five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. A dramatic bridge entrance leads to the massive wooden front door, which pivots into more than 4,800 square feet of lavish living space punctuated throughout by mahogany ceilings and skylights. Sustainability is front and center, complete with eco-friendly and novel features like denim insulation and natural “milk-based” paint, per the listing.
Elisabeth Halsted of Berkshire Hathaway handled both sides of both the Santa Monica and Venice real estate deals.