Tristan Patterson is the director of Dragonslayer, a portrait of youth, love and revolt set in the suburbs of California during the Great Recession. The New York Times called the film “the most riveting look at the life and world of skateboarders since Dogtown.” Dragonslayer premiered at SXSW in 2011, where it took home the Jury Prizes for Best Feature Documentary and Best Cinematography. The film premiered internationally at HotDocs, where it won Best International Feature. IndieWire describes Patterson’s filmmaking in Dragonslayer as “the measured vérité style of Frederick Wiseman meets the visual polish of Terrence Malick, pitting gorgeous imagery against hard reality with a delicacy rarely seen in the non-fiction form.”
Since he began directing commercials in 2012, Patterson has collaborated with agencies such as Wieden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, Anomaly and TBWA\Paris on campaigns for clients including Adidas, Nissan, Benetton and Miller. In 2015, his short film “Chasing Horizons,” a collaboration with Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam/Japan for Citizen, won Gold and Silver Cannes Lions. That same year, Patterson’s film for CP+B’s Mission 22 campaign, aimed at raising awareness about military suicide, was awarded the AICP award for Public Service Announcement.
Patterson also directs music videos. Most recently, his video for Mykki Blanco’s “Coke White, Starlight,” shot in Greece against a backdrop of anarchist riots, national elections and global financial crisis, was named one of the best music videos of the year by Dazed & Confused and Slant.
Patterson began his career as a screenwriter, writing scripts for Warner Brothers, Disney and Fox. He is a Los Angeles native and a graduate of Yale University.