2011 Tillman Scholar

Tristan Dyer

University of Southern California
M.A., Animation & Digital Art

Tristan was born and raised in Mid-Coast Maine where he grew up working for his father renovating and building houses. In 2000 he enlisted in the Army after high school graduation as a Communications Specialist. He spent the majority of his enlistment at Ft. Hood, TX where he served in an Aviation Battalion in the 1st Cavalry Division. His final year of enlistment was with his unit deployed to OIF 2 at Camp Taji, Iraq where he was part of the battalion convoy team and was eventually promoted to Sergeant. Being deployed he realized that a lot of events and situations unfolding overseas weren’t being told completely accurately so he decided to pursue training in photography. 

Following his honorable discharge he attended Brooks Institute of Photography and earned a BA in Visual Journalism which sparked his passion for documentary film. After a few years in the film industry and directing his own short animated documentary, Tristan applied to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts where he received an MFA in Animation and Digital Art. His thesis film at USC was an animated documentary that recounted his great grandfather’s stories in World War 1, using original audio. Tristan currently works as a visual effects artist, residing in Southern California with his wife, Ineke and his son Liam. 

In his free time Tristan continues to plan and make short films, using the power of animation to communicate real stories that he hopes will inform viewers and help cement truth in history. 

Read more about Tristan in his Tillman Tuesday Q & A.