The Hero’s Journey of Hiroki Ohsawa

Hiroki Ohsawa is an international award-winning film director originally from Tokyo, Japan.

What is the best thing that I love about my work?
As a film director, I can create something new which has never existed in human history and share it with people all around the world forever.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?
I would like to live my whole life without regrets. Happy ending makes life worth living through it’s struggles and that’s one of the formulas of a film story structure.

What is my greatest fear?
Deadlines. It’s my worst nightmare, but it also can be the greatest motivator to finish my work. Fear is something that is meant to be faced.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
I become too lazy to eat and sleep when I’m absorbed in filmmaking, and get addicted to energy drinks.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
I admire directors who create spectacular imaginary world by themselves such as George Lucas’s Star Wars and James Cameron’s Terminator.

What is my greatest extravagance?
Elecom M-HT1DRBK Wireless Trackball Mouse with 8 Buttons. People wonder why I use this strangely mechanical mouse, but believe me, you can edit a film at least two times faster than a regular mouse.

On what occasion would I lie?
No matter how exhausted I am, I pretend I’m the most energetic person on set as a director. I strongly believe that a director’s emotion spreads out among cast and crew on set and creates an atmosphere of a production.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
Screenwriting is the hardest phase of filmmaking and always makes my brain boiled. I have a love/hate relationship with it.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
When I finally finish editing of my own film, commercial, etc. and fall asleep on a bed.

If I could, what would I change about myself?
I wish I could release myself from filmmaking addiction in the afterlife, then I could do something else.

What is my greatest achievement in work?
I directed, produced, wrote, and edited a Japanese language educational web series “NihonGO NOW!” last year. It will be released online for free this spring, and a textbook series by the same name written by Mari Noda (The Ohio State University), Patricia Wetzel (Portland State University), Ginger Marcus (Washington University in St. Louis), Stephen D. Luft (University of Pittsburgh), Shinsuke Tsuchiya (Brigham Young University), and Masayuki Itomitsu (Linfield College) will be published from Routledge Taylor & Francis Group this year.

Where would I most like to live?
Anywhere is OK as long as I have my laptop, peripherals, and WiFi connection to keep running my business.

What is my most treasured possession?
Skill of Adobe software such as Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator, and Photoshop with over 10 years experience. Generally speaking, we need 10,000 hours to master something, and I’d spent that much time with those software.

What is my most marked characteristic?
People call me very sociable especially because I was working in intercorporate sales of a toy company in Japan. However, I actually love solitude.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
At my work desk because all of my creative materials are around there.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?
Again, at my work desk because I can keep working most comfortably when I eat and drink.

What books influenced my life and how?
Essential McLuhan by Eric McLuhan and Frank Zingrone. I studied media with this book in bachelor degree and my current understanding about media communications including filmmaking is based on that book.

Who are my favorite writers?
Japanese Manga artists. There are so many unique and interesting stories that even Hollywood have never seen.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
Baroque Hoedown, as know as the background music of Disneyland’s the Main Street Electrical Parade. My coffin should be carried out with the song.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
Baikinman, the main antagonist of a Japanese children’s superhero picture books and anime series called “Anpanman”. He is such a hard worker to create new inventions in order to defeat Anpanman in every single episode, and never ever gives up. On the other hand, he is not just a pure evil but helps people sometimes, even his arch nemesis Anpanman as well.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Michael Jackson. I’ve been a big fan of him since I was a high school student and still love his songs and dances, but more than that, I respect his avidity and charisma as an artist leading so many staffs to one goal. That’s an ability a director needs to possessed.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Austin Powers series. The movie series changed my concept of films when I was young and let me become who I am now. I don’t know if it woks for others, but it definitely worked for me.

What role plays art in my life and work?
The reason why I live. If I didn’t keep creating something, it means I would be productively dead.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
I have so many fans in my home country Japan and they’re always looking forward to my new work. I would like to thank them so much for their supports as always!

Whom would I like to work with in 2020?
Those who helped and took care of me a lot in 2019. This year is my turn to return the favor.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2020?
Professional mindset people who treat me as a professional.

What project, in 2020, am I looking forward to work on?
I’m open to any projects, and now mainly working on TV/Web series projects. Stay tuned!

Where can you see me or my work in 2020?

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
Stay young. A director is one of the rarest jobs which seriously focuses on something fictional. I don’t want to lose my childlike mind regardless of my real age.

Which creative heroes should Peter invite to tell their story?
Yuk Hong Law the cinematographer. We’ve worked as a director and a director of photography for years and films we created together won so many awards. I deeply appreciate his selfless support.

How can you contact me?  

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