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“When I choke myself my hypoxic mind shows me the light.”
Hideaki Maegawa



Born 1972 in Mie Pref., Japan. Specializes in VFX in live-action movies and sometimes involved in the project from the very first planning phase. His filmography includes “Death Note” and “Ultraman saga”. Made his film director debut with “Aooni ver.2.0” in 2015.

Future career preference

I would like a longer career as a film director. I first started by using of my experience in making science fiction and horror films synthesizing CG with other technologies. I became a movie lover from originally watching these genres of movies. Needless to say, I want to be regarded for not only my contribution to CG but also for my way of direction, expression, and view of the world.
As a VFX supervisor, I strive to be above the walls that limits Japanese thinking and to improve our efficiency and ability to convey our vision in live action films.

The most memorable work

Overall, the most memorable one is “Aooni ver.2.0” which was my first work as a director. I was involved in every aspect of this live-action film, from preparation to finish; brainstorming with actors about acting; and the interpretative movements for the film's tense sequence of the video game - this took a long time because it required the use of motion capture. I used all that I’ve learned throughout my career. Not just the horror elements which are key to this type of film, but also creating a detailed outline of the story and characters for establishing some of my favorite themes - youth and coming of age.
The cast and staff member did a great job and I believe that I made it my own work. Even though there were still somethings to work on, improving on them will be my next challenge.
It has been one of my goals to become a film director. Now I am one standing here, so I can finally move on towards my next milestone. Go and become a star at Cannes!

Career Path

  1. 2002Career start

    A producer asked him if he wanted to create and launch combat helicopters and missiles in a movie, so he joined Digital Frontier. However, it went uncredited in that movie.

  2. do.

    Worked on Digital Frontier’s first film “BONO BONO Kumomo no Ki no Koto” as a chief animator. Gained experiences in camera layout and how to direct an animation which lead him to the present.

  3. 2004Year 3

    Worked on the film “Appleseed”, built up synergy with MotionBuilder, Maya, Softimage, and others.
    Involved in creating the foundation for the department for feature length CG film production at Digital Frontier.

  4. do.

    Promoted to a CG director. Gained experience not just with full CG work but also live action work involving TVCM.

  5. 2005Year 4

    Worked on the film “Boukokuno Aegis” as a CG director.
    Gained experience in full scale special effects at the studio with Mr. Makoto Kamiya, the special effects director. He has since launched vastly improved CG missiles in other films, rectifying the un-credited incident when he joined the company.

  6. 2006Year 5

    Worked as a VFX supervisor on the film “Death Note”.
    This was his first time being responsible as head of the VFX/Special effects department.

  7. 2012Year 11

    Worked as a VFX supervisor on the film “Ultraman Saga”.
    Went to Tsuburaya Productions and helped collaborate and finish special effect works on numerous productions.

  8. 2015Year 14 - Present

    Made directorial debut with the film “Aooni ver.2.0”.
    Poured all that he has learned during his career into this film such as filming location, CG/VFX, motion capture, and so on.

Personal life

Hideaki Maegawa I have many hobbies. Needless to say, I love movies, I am a decent bibliophile/manga lover, I drive an old car with manual transmission, I like to go for long bike rides sometimes riding over 100km, and I am into plastic models ever since I’ve been awakened to making to-scale models recently (my Aooni figures are painted by myself).
Just recently I took my family on an overseas trip which we have not done in ages. It was quite an adventure since we took a train with Malayan Railways which ran through the jungles from Thailand to Malaysia. When we go on overseas trip it is always Indiana Jones-esque, visiting old ruins and historical cities. I hope that one day we’d take it easy at a resort on a beach.

The entertainment product(s) that changed my life

My first movie experiences were on VCR in grade 6 with films such as “Piranha”, “An American Werewolf in London”, and all those horror movies with special effects. It was very different than the special effects in Japanese children movies and I wanted to know how to make it. So I would watch it in playbacks repeatedly frame by frame.
Then I encountered the book “SFX Movie of the World” written by Shinji Nakago. It was a dream book detailing the behind-the-scenes of the latest SFX at that time from optical compositing to special makeup. After I joined this industry, when I spoke with other members in special effects, I found that everyone drew their influence from this book which came as a surprise but was also self-confirming for me.
Really, the true reason for me going into the CG industry is “Jurassic Park”. The CG is great of course, but the most memorable scene for me was seeing the pupil constricting as light crossed the eyes. This technique enhanced the sense of realism through such minute detail that it became my guide for my way to convey my vision.