Whenever a newbie director signs on to direct a film that's either already part of an existing, successful franchise, or one that's being highly anticipated (sometimes it's both), chances are we won't get to know the person (and their work) prior to settling down to watch the movie in theaters. All we'll get is a news post or two that half-mentions their previous gigs in either TV or music videos or, in the case of Todd Strauss Schulson, their short films. We reported earlier today that Schulson was picked to direct the third Harold and Kumar movie, A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, after original creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg decided to jump ship over to the American Pie franchise. While Schulson will work off Hurwitz and Schlossberg's script, he'll be on his own as far as directing duties go with this being his first major feature film.

So, yeah, congrats to him. I'm sure he's about to have a good weekend. Good news for you, though, is that Schulson's been around for awhile, and that it was his hilarious collection of short films that helped him advance in the industry and ultimately win the Harold and Kumar gig. I'd been familiar with two of his shorts from various film festival screenings, but I need to give special props to Peter over at Slashfilm for digging them up online so we can give you a little taste of the kind of humor this guy is known for.

Will Schulson ultimately become the next successful feature comedy writer/director? It's possible; his earlier shorts are well made, well written and a blast to watch. Should he do a decent enough job on Harold and Kumar 3, I'd imagine we could see one of his own feature scripts hit the big screen (under his direction) within the next year or two.

Watch the shorts after the jump (especially my personal favorite, Big Pussy, which premiered at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival and is featured in the above image).