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 Grand 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 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. Patterson’s film for CP+B’s Mission 22 campaign, aimed at raising awareness about military suicide, was awarded the 2016 AICP for Public Service Announcement.
In 2014, Patterson directed Bank Robber Mixtape, an experiemental no wave biopic based on the life of Eddie Dodson, an Art Deco antiques dealer who robbed 64 banks in 1983 L.A. Starring Jim Sturgess, Isabel Lucas, Chloë Sevigny, Patricia Arquette and John Doe from the legendary punk band X, a version of the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically in 2015. New York Post described the film as “dryly comic, arch, sleek and suffused with the mordant absurdity of the novels of Bret Easton Ellis.”
Patterson also directs music videos. Most recently, his video for Mykki Blanco's "Coke White, Starlight,” shot in Athens, 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.