(written from a Production point of view)
Burman's father, Ellis Burman, worked as technician in the make-up and special effects department. His uncle Thomas R. Burman worked with his company Burman Studio on Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and is married to make-up artist Bari Burman. Burman's cousins Barney Burman and Rob Burman worked also on several Star Trek projects, most recently 2009's Star Trek. The name S. Burman appeared on the dedication plague of Enterprise NX-01 in several episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise and was named after him, Sonny Burman.
During his time on Star Trek, Burman earned seven Emmy Award nominations and wins for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Makeup for a Series/ Outstanding Makeup for a Series:
- 1996 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "The Visitor", shared with Michael Westmore, Camille Calvet, Dean Jones, Karen Iverson, Mark Bussan, Scott Wheeler, Gilbert A. Mosko, David Quashnick, Thomas E. Surprenant, R. Stephen Weber, Brad Look, and Kevin Haney
- 1996 Emmy Award for the episode "Threshold", shared with Michael Westmore, Greg Nelson, Scott Wheeler, Tina Hoffman, Mark Shostrom, Gilbert A. Mosko, Brad Look, and R. Stephen Weber
- 1997 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "Apocalypse Rising", shared with Michael Westmore, Camille Calvet, Karen Iverson, R. Stephen Weber, David Quashnick, Dean Jones, Mark Bussan, Brad Look, Belinda Bryant, James MacKinnon, Allan A. Apone, Perri Sorel, Mary Kay Morse, John Maldonado, Lisa Collins, and Karen Westerfield
- 1998 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "Who Mourns for Morn?", shared with Michael Westmore, Camille Calvet, Dean Jones, Karen Iverson, Mark Bussan, Karen Westerfield, Mary Kay Morse, Belinda Bryant, Joe Podnar, Suzanne Diaz, Jill Rockow, David Quashnick, and Bernd Rantscheff
- 1999 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "The Dogs of War", shared with Michael Westmore, Camille Calvet, Mark Bussan, Dean Jones, Mary Kay Morse, Belinda Bryant, Karen Iverson, Karen Westerfield, Brad Look, David Quashnick, Earl Ellis, Joe Podnar, R. Stephen Weber, Jeff Lewis, Sandra Rowden, Toby Lamm, Michael F. Blake, June Westmore, Judith Silverman, Craig Smith, Kevin Haney, Suzanne Diaz, Scott Wheeler, James Rohland, Tina Hoffman, and Natalie Wood
- 2000 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "Ashes to Ashes", shared with Michael Westmore, Scott Wheeler, Tina Hoffman, James Rohland, Suzanne Diaz, Natalie Wood, David Quashnick, Belinda Bryant, and Jeff Lewis
- 2001 Emmy Award nomination for the episode "The Void", shared with Michael Westmore, Tina Hoffman, Scott Wheeler, James Rohland, Suzanne Diaz, Natalie Wood, Jeff Lewis, Brad Look, Belinda Bryant, Joe Podnar, David Quashnick, Karen Westerfield, and Earl Ellis
In addition to his Emmy Award nominations Burman received two Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award nominations; in 2000 for Best Special Effects Makeup – Television (for a Single Episode of a Regular Series – Sitcom, Drama or Daytime) for the Voyager episode "Dark Frontier", shared with Michael Westmore, Scott Wheeler, and James Rohland, and in 2001 for Best Period Makeup – Television (For a Single Episode of a Regular Series – Sitcom, Drama or Daytime) for the Voyager episode "Fair Haven", shared with Michael Westmore, Suzanne Diaz, Tina Hoffman, James Rohland, Scott Wheeler, and Natalie Wood.
Before Burman started his work on Star Trek, he earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup in 1973 for the television horror film Gargoyles which he shared with Del Armstrong and Stan Winston. He was a special effects make-up artist on the drama Soldier Blue (1970) and make-up artist on the first season of the comedy series All in the Family (1971-1972). Further credits include the documentary National Geographic Specials (1973), the documentary Up from the Ape (1974, which featured Anthony Zerbe and make-up artists Thomas R. Burman, Werner Keppler, and John Chambers), the horror film The Devil's Rain (1975), the science fiction film The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), the horror film Empire of the Ants (1977, starring Joan Collins and Robert Lansing), the comedy Matilda (1978, with hair stylist Lola McNalley), and the horror film Prophecy (1979), on which he worked with Thomas R. Burman, Allan A. Apone, and Edouard F. Henriques.
He provided the "Wookie family" costumes for the 1978 television special The Star Wars Holiday Special , which featured Trek performers Mickey Morton, Lev Mailer, and Patty Maloney, and hair stylist Silvia Abascal and worked as a special effects make-up artist on the comedy Popeye (1980), the horror film One Dark Night (1983), the science fiction films Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983), Starman (1984), and The Terminator (1984), and the horror comedy Transylvania 6-5000 (1985).
Among his latest make-up assignments beside his work in the Star Trek franchise were the science fiction comedy Back to the Future Part II (1989) and its sequel Back to the Future Part III (1990), both starring Christopher Lloyd, the thriller Outbreak (1995), and several episodes of the television series Father Dowling Mysteries (1991) and Alien Nation (1990). The latter one starred Eric Pierpoint, Michele Scarabelli, and Gary Graham as well as Trek make-up and hair artists Richard Snell, Edouard F. Henriques, William Howard, and Katalin Elek.
Star Trek credits
(This list is currently incomplete. The following are the episodes in which Burman received on-screen credit as make-up artist. Note that the make-up credits were in a rotation, meaning that he also worked on episodes in which he was not credited.)
- Star Trek films
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (as Sonny Burman)
- "The Visitor" (Season 4)
- "Hippocratic Oath"
- "The Sword of Kahless"
- "Our Man Bashir"
- "Return to Grace"
- "Sons of Mogh"
- "Rules of Engagement"
- "Hard Time"
- "Shattered Mirror"
- "To the Death"
- "The Quickening"
- "Body Parts"
- "Apocalypse Rising" (uncredited) (Season 5)
- "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"
- "Nor the Battle to the Strong"
- "The Assignment"
- "Trials and Tribble-ations"
- "The Darkness and the Light"
- "In Purgatory's Shadow"
- "By Inferno's Light"
- "Doctor Bashir, I Presume"
- "Ferengi Love Songs"
- "Soldiers of the Empire"
- "Children of Time"
- "Call to Arms"
- "Behind the Lines" (Season 6)
- "Who Mourns for Morn?"
- "Honor Among Thieves"
- "The Dogs of War" (Season 7)
- Star Trek: Voyager
- Star Trek: Enterprise