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Reviews of 'ParaNorman'

The ramshackle houses and colonial-style architecture of Blithe Hollow, modeled on early-Massachusetts townships like Salem and Concord as well as the photography of William Eggleston, convey a striking sense of place accented by the autumnal hues of Tristan Oliver's widescreen cinematography. Lensing is as agile and resourceful as that of any live-action production, from the mobile camerawork (achieved with rigs that only compound the degree of difficulty of individual shots) to the use of old-fashioned rack focus.’ (Justin Chang – Variety)

‘What sets ParaNorman apart from other animated films is how well the filmmakers and animators capture the look and feel of classic horror films while still maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere, the film having a far more cinematic look one might normally expect from an animated film. A lot of the credit goes to the stunning cinematography of Tristan Oliver.
(Edward Douglas  - Shock Till You Drop)

…It's a scene that is so gorgeous and clever that it literally makes your jaw drop (the movie was shot by certifiable genius Tristan Oliver, who was also DoP on "Fantastic Mr. Fox
(Drew Taylor – The Indiewire – The Playlist )

‘Working with the talented DP Tristan Oliver and a brilliant team of designers and animators, the filmmakers have crafted an engaging entertainment with an ample amount of visual delights.’ (Chris Cabin – Slant Magazine)


Much of this has to do with the exceptional work of veteran Director of Photography Tristan Oliver, who over his career has become a master of stop-motion photography. Not only are the shots beautiful, but the emulated distance within them enhances the tone of each scene. This is especially evident in the film’s stunning third act, in which Norman confronts the witch. The forest he enters serves to intimidate the viewer through its depth and color rather than by reaching out at the audience for cheap gasps or quick jolts.Moreover, the quality of the cinematography is simply exceptional.

(Peter Chai – Cinema on Line)

With its autumnal color palette and crisp cinematography, ParaNorman is one of the year's best-looking movies.
(Jim Vejvoda – Camera Cinemas)

Co-directors Sam Fell (“Flushed Away”) and writer Chris Butler inject the film with some affectionate nods to vintage horror pictures and an air of comedic warmth that’s expertly framed by the extraordinary work of cinematographer Tristan Oliver (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”).
(Jennifer Hudson – Santa Ynez Valley News)

The sets and cinematography were bordering on amazing.
(Brian Taylor – Vernon Morning Star)

Reviews of ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ 

“...a significant contribution to the film's beguilingly stylised graphic quality comes from British artists. The exceptional photography is the work of Tristan Oliver, who collaborated with Nick Park on most of Aardman's stop-motion pictures...” Philip French – The Observer.

Tristan Oliver, the director of photography, has gotten better and better over the years, really working to make his worlds feel more and more convincing, so you’re never thinking about what you’re looking at as a miniature, but instead, to accept it as a world, a living space.”  Drew McWeeny – MC Review

“…the gorgeous autumnal photography by DP Tristan Oliver is terrific.” The Playlist

“I’d like to note the technical brilliance that went into the movie, notably DP Tristan Oliver, who perfectly accommodates all of Anderson’s live action quirks…” Damon Wise – Empire Magazine

“One gorgeous shot, in which slivers of dappled and multiply refracted light fall on Mr Fox’s face, deserves to be printed and displayed at the National Portrait Gallery.” Daily Telegraph

On a visual front, Fantastic Mr Fox may be hard to fault, thanks in large part to the sterling efforts of Tristan Oliver, the cinematographer who helped turn Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit into an utterly compelling cinematic experience. I defy anyone to find a contemporary movie (live action, animation, whatever) better lit than Oliver’s finest efforts. Mark Kermode – Observer.​

IndieWire - The Best Cinematography of 2018


Lost in the amazement that Wes Anderson in 2018 is still dedicated to the painstaking work of translating his unique vision in stop-motion animation is that each of these frames has to be lit. While many have highlighted the clear reference and influence of Kurosawa and Welles on “Isle of Dogs,” few have mentioned how cinematographer Tristan Oliver crafted such incredible deep focus images. In the desaturated film, uncharacteristically so for Anderson, Oliver’s lighting is filled with contrast and shadow to create (by far) the most expressive and detailed cinematography in a Anderson film. It’s also the moodiest and most nuanced lighting of 2018.

Chris O'Falt

Reviews of 'Isle of Dogs'

On a pure frame-by-frame basis, "Isle of Dogs" is a triumph of invention and micro-detail, a bravura showcase for cinematographer Tristan Oliver's impeccable widescreen compositions. For better and for worse, it's Wes Anderson unleashed. 

(Justin Chang – Los Angeles Times)

Every frame is lovingly crafted with attention to detail - you could take a screenshot at any random point and be certain you’d just snapped a picture too pretty for Instagram. Decaying wasteland has never looked so hauntingly beautiful - like Blade Runner 2049, this is an apocalyptic hellscape I desperately want to get lost in.

(Dani Di Placido– Forbes)


....every tuft of fur that moves in the wind and every cotton ball explosion from a fight looks terrific. The animators balance the characters’ natural movement against the idiosyncratic symmetry in Tristan Oliver’s cinematography.

(Carl Zabat – Daily Cardinal)


When you’re making a stop-motion feature film, you probably want cinematographer Tristan Oliver involved behind the camera. The DP has worked on some of the most beloved stop-motion films ever made, including Aardman Animations’ “Chicken Run” and “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were- Rabbit,” which won the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Oliver has also worked with Laika on “ParaNorman” and was the DP on “Loving Vincent,” which is nominated for the Oscar this year. Best of all, he was Anderson’s cinematographer on “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which means he’s already well-versed in filming the director’s stop-motion worlds. 

(Zack Scharf – Indie Wire)


 Tristan Oliver, cinematographer of this film and others, such as “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “ParaNorman,” showcases a breadth of stylistic shots, such as the immersive establishing shots of a metropolitan Japan under a hazy night sky or the stunning point-of-view shots of Atari observing the dogs. 

(Vikram Sundar –The Pitt News)

Director Anderson and co-writers Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Nomura, backed by wizardly stop-motion cinematographer Tristan Oliver and the de rigueur battalion of technicians, put in motion a bewilderingly busy panorama of visual effects.

(Kelly Vance – East bay Express)


What rings clearest, however, is the strange beauty of these “garbage canyon” landscapes. Teaming up once more with Fantastic Mr Fox’s director of photography Tristan Oliver (whose credits include Aardman’s The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Laika’s ParaNorman), Anderson conjures shelters made from multicoloured bottles and used sake cans in which our fantastically empathetic canines take refuge. For all the disease and hardship, this is a wonderful world, full of characters in whom we can invest our trust, sympathy and love.

(Mark Kermode – Guardian)


The film is impressively complemented by Alexandre Desplat’s score, which moves the film along while matching the characters’ various emotions and further setting the tone. Desplat’s score and Tristan Oliver’s cinematography seamlessly blend together, with neither one overshadowing the other.

(Megan Shapiro – The Hoya)

There are a lot of great things to say about Isle of Dogs, the amazing stop animation, the sound design, the voice performances, the story, the cinematography.. there is honestly too much to say without ruining the film.

(John Anderson – Fortitude Magazine)



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