Get Inside My Mind: Tristan Houghton film director and cinematographer

 In Work

Below are the things that make me tick.
Tristan H.


Shooting a short documentary in Uganda on a potential Malaria vaccine for Griffith University I came across this woman and her daughter. They were living in the slums just outside the city of Kampala, their house was nothing more than four walls anchored into a muddy base surrounded by stagnating water and a colony of mosquitoes. I couldn’t help but immediately envision my family living in this situation and how I would feel. It was this moment that highlighted the importance of telling this story in a way that brought attention to the problem and the potential solution. Not every story I help tell will be as important and confronting as this one, but I take pride in telling them the best way I can so they resonate with people.


The world is full of unique environments both naturally occurring and man-made and as directors, we are lucky enough to bring these landscapes to life through filmmaking. To tell the story of North Rankin oil rig we needed to fly to remote north of Western Australia by plane and then a further 135kms by helicopter out to sea. I had never set foot on a commercial mine site let alone one perched out to sea. It’s this kind of adventure that excites me and makes me so hungry to tell stories.


Being out in nature can have a profound impact on people no matter what age you are. I was lucky enough to explore a waterfall for a project with a couple of women who were so inspiring – breaking stereotypes and living life to the fullest. Their enthusiasm to be outdoors and keep active was infectious and it reminded me of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful country as Australia.


This shot of my son Theodore climbing the dunes in Sigatoka Fiji symbolizes childhood for me. The hill looks so high, the sand so soft that it feels like you’re getting nowhere and the wind is relentless in beating you back. But, he showed how determined he was when he dug his heels in and continued up to the top of the peak. It reminded me that we can do anything we put our minds to and to never stop chasing your dreams. Ever since leaving school I have always wanted to make films and sometimes it’s tough and testing, but, like anything in life, if you’re determined you will succeed.


I love the film industry because of all of the above, but I couldn’t do this if I didn’t love the people I work with. We are so lucky to experience incredible adventures together which ultimately bring us all closer together. It’s these memories and connections that I’m lucky enough to make along the way that really makes me love my job.


Tristan Houghton is a director/ cinematographer from the Gold Coast in Australia. Tristan loves meeting new people, having a laugh and crafting great commercials. You can see his work here.

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