Ever since his grandfather gave him a video camera for his Bar Mitzvah (after years of relentless pestering), Todd Strauss-Schulson has been a one-man movie-making machine – directing, writing, shooting, and editing all of his own work.
Born and raised in Queens, he attended Emerson College where he won numerous awards, including Panavision’s prestigious New Filmmakers prize. Upon graduating, Todd moved to Los Angeles. It wasn’t long before he was helming high-concept music videos for major label artists. His music video work led to a six-month stint in China and Thailand, where he wrote and directed MTV’s Whatever Things, a more stylish version of Jackass with an all-western cast. It became the most popular show on MTV Asia with an international audience of over 250 million.
Back in the States, Todd has directed short films and television shows with comic greats like Stephen Colbert, Amy Schumer, Seth MacFarlane, Jeffery Tambor, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen DeGeneres, The Onion, Lewis Black, Patton Oswalt, Thomas Middleditch, Adam Devine, Eric Andre, Laura Silverman, Natasha Leggero, and Damon Wayans. Todd’s personal project Mano-A-Mano was a selection of the 2008 SXSW Film Festival. In 2009, SXSW invited Todd back to premiere his new short film Big Pussy, which was subsequently selected to screen at the world famous Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.
At 29 years old, Todd teamed up with New Line Cinema and Mandate Pictures to spearhead his first feature film, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas. The film – which was released by Warner Brothers in 2011 in stereoscopic 3D – boasted an all-star comedic cast, including Kal Penn, John Cho, and Neil Patrick Harris. His sophomore effort, The Final Girls for Sony Pictures and Groundswell Productions, had its world premiere at SXSW’s opening night. The film won the Audience Award at the Stanley Film Festival, was a Gala Premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and was the closing screening for the 2015 Midnight Madness series at the Toronto International Film Festival. In the years since, it has amassed cult status with famous fans such as Stephen King, Sam Raimi, and Quentin Tarantino.
In 2019, Todd directed the meta-romantic comedy hit Isn’t It Romantic, starring Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, and Priyanka Chopra, for Warner Brothers.
This same year, he wrote and developed Vrbo’s “Find Me a Match” campaign in collaboration with creative accelerator Ventureland. The spot, with its catchy music and heightened storybook-like visuals, follows three sets of characters: a couple with a flair for polka dots, a group of friends partial to Memphis design, and a Victorian styled family of four, all looking for their perfect vacation rental property via Vrbo. The concept showcases the brand’s commitment to matching travelers with homes tailor-made to fit their specific needs, including price, location, and amenities.
Todd is currently in post-production on his next feature film, Silent Retreat.