Rising film director Julian Higgins ’08 is returning to Emerson Thursday, October 10, not long after one of his films was selected to screen at a festival helmed by famed filmmaker Ron Howard.
The 27-year-old, who also directed an episode of the hit Fox show House, will be at the Bright Family Screening Room in the Paramount Center at 7:00 pm to screen two of his short films, Thief, and No Wind, No Waves, as part of the Bright Lights series sponsored by the Department of Visual and Media Arts.
Higgins, who lives in Los Angeles, was one of five winners selected by Howard in Canon’s Project Imaginat10n Film Contest. Out of hundreds of submissions, his 10-minute short, Here and Now, will showcase at the Lincoln Center in New York at the end of this month.
“For me, the really special thing about it is when we made that film, we were doing it for ourselves,” Higgins said. “We were really trying to make something that we were happy with. To have that validated by Ron Howard is pretty awesome.”
No Wind, No Waves is about a Chinese man who comes to the United States to visit his son, but soon realizes his son is missing. Higgins wrote the script as an assignment for a class his junior year, and turned it into a short film.
Thief was a project he produced while attending the American Film Institute after graduation. It screened at 50 festivals around the world and won 26 awards, including for Best Drama and Best Directing at the 2011 Student Emmy Awards.
It even caught the attention of Greg Yaitanes, director of the Fox television drama, House. Yaitanes, who had presented Higgins with the Emmy, invited him on the set of the show.
For weeks, Higgins shadowed Yaitanes until one day he got the opportunity to direct an episode. Higgins directed “Blowing the Whistle,” which aired as the 15th episode in season eight.
“It was an incredible experience—literally the dream—to be able to work with absolute top-of-their-game talent from crew to actors,” Higgins said. “This gift that Greg gave me, I can never repay. It opened a lot of doors.”
With Higgins’s foot in the door, he has continued pursuing television and film directing opportunities. He is also writing a feature adaptation of a novel and producing a documentary.
On top of that, he started this fall as a part-time faculty member at Emerson’s Los Angeles Program.