Russell had two short films accepted into BYU's 2013 Final Cut Film Festival. Driven tells the story of a man who was a motocross racer until he became paralyzed. The other film, Chronicle of a Country shows people in France as they explain the most significant moments in their lives. Chronicle of a Country was awarded Best Nonfiction film at the Festival. Also at the 2013 festival, Russell was awarded the Best Commercial Award for directing a commercial titled The Drawing.
In 2013, Russell directed the BYU winning entry for the international Hyundai Lens of Loyalty film contest. As a finalist in the contest, The Laycock Center's team, which included Russell, Dustin Locke, Vanessa Donaghy, and others, was given a generous fund to continue production on their film. Their film ultimately won the first place Most Loyal award.
Russell was the director of the short film Fix You which was shown at the 2015 BYU Final Cut Film Festival.