A significant part of the world depicted in the new "Mad Max" movie is the creation of a Japanese animation film director.
"Mad Max: Fury Road," the fourth instalment in the popular series, portrays a world after the collapse of human civilisation. Mahiro Maeda designed major visual elements, including a female warrior who serves as a key figure in the plot and the internal structure of a fort in which part of the story unfolds. He was pleased to see the finished movie, saying, "Attention has been paid to details, to reflect the philosophy and thoughts that permeate the movie."
Maeda is from Tottori Prefecture. As a middle school student he watched the anime TV show "Mirai Shonen Konan" (Future Boy Conan) and wanted to be an animator. While a student at Tokyo Zokei University he drew key frames for "Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa" (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind).
After graduation, he worked actively for Studio Ghibli. Around 2008 movie producer George Miller asked him to join a project to produce an animated version of "Mad Max."
Several project members, including Miller, met and imagined a future world from the ground up. How does the fort generate electricity? What do the residents eat? Maeda sketched out these ideas quickly at the meeting.
"Miller's pet phrase is 'authentic,'" Maeda said. "He was very tenacious in putting his ideas on screen." Though plans for the animated version were dropped, designs proposed for it were brought to fruition by several hundred staff members for "Mad Max: Fury Road."
Maeda said: "The overseas movie world has high expectations of Japanese abilities. The door of possibility is open."