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Julien Christian Lutz has directed music videos for many of the world’s top artists, including: Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Fifth Harmony, Wiz Khalifa, Usher, John Mayer, Korn, Iggy Azalea, Sean Paul, and many more. His work has been nominated and awarded by the MTV Music Video Awards and Much Music Video Awards. Julien has directed commercials for Apple Music, Ebay, Virginia Black, and Gap’s noteworthy “Meet Me In The Gap” campaign.
Julien is also the director of three feature films: Across the Line, Center Stage: On Pointe, and Superfly. Julien is one of the creators of Operation Prefrontal Cortex, a community partnership and resource for those who want to implement mindfulness and meditation strategies to see change.
You know when you’re watching a Julien Christian Lutz music video—they’re unmistakable. The lighting is moody and stylized. The dancers are deliberately placed. The movement is fluid and evocative. The visual style is graphic and bold. This is creativity at work—no matter the artist, Julien’s vision comes through.
In this talk, Julien tells his story—from starting as an intern to becoming an icon of his industry. He shares his creative process and what he’s learned from collaborating with some of the world’s top artists. Any organization can learn from his approach to innovation: understand everything you can about every facet of your business, work hard, and take as much responsibility for failure as you would for success. Take risks. Make a statement. “You really have to make something people pay attention to,” says Julien. “You really have to go for it, man. If you want people to notice, you have to go that extra mile.”
In 2015, famed music video director Julien Christian Lutz was hosting a New Year’s Eve party when a gunshot rang out. The bullet went through two others before hitting the iconic director, landing him in the hospital. That night, Julien asked himself: “What would make someone do something like that?” In his journey to learn more about gun violence, Julien discovered a cache of important scientific research: the relationship between the brain, decision-making, mindfulness, and meditation. He learned that mindfulness and meditation can have an extraordinarily positive impact on human behaviour—and so his program Operation Prefrontal Cortex was born
“The best of the best. There is no debate.”
“In the past two decades, few examples of homegrown talent have shone brighter than Lutz. Transitioning from local wunderkid status to one of the most in-demand music video directors on the planet (creating award-winning music videos for Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Sean Paul), Lutz has been a fierce cultural ambassador for Toronto.”
“We’re honoured that Julien is one of our inaugural recipients of the Key to the Consulate. The Key to the Consulate recognizes outstanding civic and cultural contributions in building bridges between Canada and the global entertainment industry. Along with the presentation of a ceremonial key comes a pledge that the recipients’ ideas, passions, and concerns will be represented in the policies and programming of the Consulate – aiming to improve equity and ensure that the Consulate reflects Canada’s diversity.”