The cinematographer’s credits include the critically acclaimed Netflix miniseries Unbelievable and hit indie sci-fi comedy Palm Springs.
New ASC member Quyen “Q” Tran strives for “emotive cinematography [that captures] the humanity and truth of each moment, regardless of the subject matter,” she says. This approach was influenced largely by her career as a still photographer, she adds, where she gained acclaim for her images of the destruction of 9/11. As a cinematographer, she has photographed projects around the globe, including in locations such as New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Canada, Thailand, Japan, China, Russia, Italy and Vietnam.
In 2017, Tran was named one of AC’s Rising Stars of Cinematography, and in 2019, was recognized by Variety in its annual “10 Cinematographers to Watch” list. That same year, Tran photographed the Netflix miniseries Unbelievable (watch Tran’s Clubhouse Conversation episode about shooting the miniseries here), directed by Lisa Cholodenko, which won a Peabody Award, followed by the hit indie sci-fi comedy Palm Springs, directed by Max Barbakow, which received numerous accolades.
Her feature credits also include Dark Was the Night (aka Behold My Heart), The Little Hours, Deidra & Laney Rob a Train, The Night Stalker, The Automatic Hate, and more. Tran is a frequent collaborator of director Grace Lee, and their documentary feature American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs also won a Peabody Award. Her documentary work includes the features Wildflower, To the Moon and Back, and Mulberry Child, among others.
Tran explains that she splits her time between shooting features and television, and she has photographed several pilots, including HBO’s Here and Now and Camping and FX’s A Teacher.
Her upcoming credits include HBO Max’s Minx; Netflix’s Maid; and Apple Plus’s Roar, as well as Barbakow’s next feature.
The cinematographer also serves as a mentor for Film Independent’s Project Involve and the Academy Gold programs as well as to several women and BIPOC, and is involved in many philanthropic endeavors. In 2019, Tran traveled to a refugee camp in Kenya to photograph the short Brave Girl Rising — which documents girls’ education — for the nonprofit organization Girl Rising.
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Tran and cinematographer Jeanne Tyson cofounded “Doughrectors of Photography” in response to the food crisis in Los Angeles. To date, the endeavor has raised enough money to generate over 140,000 meals for the LA Food Bank and has contributed to Vote Save America, Black Lives Matter and Stop AAPI Hate causes.