Hiroo Takaoka came to the U.S. from Japan in 1989 to pursue his dream of becoming a cinematographer. He earned his B.A. in Film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1993. After graduation, he began working as a camera assistant, learning the craft alongside such established DPs as Slawomir Idizak and Ellen Kuras. Takaoka made his own move to director of photography in 2000. A documentary he shot on the arts scene in Germany won the Gold Prize at the Houston International Film Festival that year. Since then, Takaoka has chased opportunities in the U.S. and Japan. He has shot several national commercials in Japan, with clients such as McDonald's, Unilever and Nissan.