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  • Writer's pictureNikita Vyas

Anu Pattnaik


Q 1 – Please Introduce yourself, your work etc.

I am Anu Pattnaik, a 27 years old On-set photographer based in Mumbai.

So far I have worked on six Bollywood movies. I have worked with production houses like Code Red Films, Excel Entertainment, Phantom Films to name a few.

I started my career as an On-set photographer with the movie “Budhia Singh – Born to run.” Then “Waiting”, “Three Storeys” , “Bhavesh Joshi” happened. Then I covered the sets of “Bombay Talkies 2” for Dibakar Banerjee. I have also covered a schedule for the movie “Raees” but had to quit the project due to a personal mishap.

You can check my IMDb link here –

Q 2 – Was it always your dream to become an artist, if not how did you made the choice? (educational background etc)

I always knew I would end up doing something creative in life. Just did not know what exactly!

I wanted to be a painter when I was in school. Then I started learning both painting and classical singing at the same time.My dad wanted me to be a singer. HAHA! Back then I learned everything just for fun. But in the back of my mind I always knew that in the long run I will end up as an artist.

Then during my engineering days(Yes, I am an engineer!!!) I developed a taste in movies and wanted to be a cinematographer.

And finally ended up as an On-set photographer.

Q 3 – who or what was your inspiration?

Talking about inspiration I would say that everything and almost everyone around me inspired me because I would look at something, find a story in it, relate to it and like to capture it. I never NEVER click anything I don’t relate to. And now I follow a lot of people’s work and get inspiration from them.

So, naming one won’t do justice at all. Also, it is important in one’s life to draw inspiration from every aspect of life and not just any specific work because everything you look at is an art in itself.

Q 4 – Please tell us about your milestone journey, especially the difficulty you faced?

One of the major difficulties I faced was to convince my parents and make them realize that I actually want to go to Bombay and try my luck there. A lot of times I would tell my Dad that I want to drop engineering and pursue cinematography. And that I want to apply for Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.

He asked me to finish my graduation, score a minimum 7 CGPA in my engineering career so that I can always come back and be a software engineer. HAHA! I did score 7 CGPA but was adamant and kept trying for FTII simultaneously but never got selected. Also, I never sat for the engineering jobs in campus selection. Because I knew if I did that then I would have never been in Bombay. After coming to Bombay I applied for FTII again and got selected for the Film Appreciation course which is basically a crash course. That one month at FTII changed my life and I knew that I have to work in films!

Ups and downs kept happening and I never lost my hope. Until the time when I lost my Dad suddenly of a cardiac arrest. I was already going through a phase of depression(because of my personal life) when I signed my third movie. Then “RAEES” happened and I thought that it would be the biggest break in my career. I did meet some great people on the set including the king of bollywood SRK. I clearly remember the night when I returned home at 4 in the morning after a night shift and got a call at 6 in the morning that my Dad is no more. I immediately flew to my hometown Bhubaneswar.

Being the closest to my Dad I could not gather the energy to go back to work and hence, quit the project halfway. I went back to depression.

My brother and Mom supported me a lot in motivating me and my brother asked my Mom to come to Bombay with me and see me back in action.

Right now when I am writing this story, I am back in my hometown and this time for my Mom who is struggling with Cancer. I have some decisions to make because my work dates coincide with her treatment dates. But this time I know that being strong is the only option and hope.

I have accepted it as a fact that life is full of unpredictable incidents. All you have to do is get up and fight back when life pulls you down.

Q 5 – As an artist, what is your favourite subject of illustration (model, medium or form etc)

As a photographer I like to play with lights and shadows. I have a thing for the patterns you get when you see a patch of light. It’s like a beam of hope in the time of darkness. Just like in life. If you follow my Instagram handle you will see that I mostly play with this keeping light as my highlight in work.

Q 6- What was the best and the worst advice you received when you started your career?

The best advice I received when I started my career was, “Even if you fail, be your own version of failure.” That was honest and pure and the simplest to understand because I was a layman then and did not even know how to hold a camera.

Thankfully, I haven’t received the worst one yet. Or you can say, I never took any advice as a wrong one. Because there is always something positive in everything negative.

Q 7 – At this point in your career, are you happy ?

At this point in my career I am not the happiest but I won’t say that I am not happy to have come this far. I am grateful to what I have.

There are still a lot of things I want to learn and do. My aim is to sell my photographs worldwide. I know it will take time and patience. Also, an artist is never fully satisfied because he knows that there is always a chance and scope to do and be better.

Q 8 – If someone read your story and wanted to follow your footsteps being inspired by it, what advice would you give them?

My only advice would be that “Realize what you love, do it and keep repeating it.” Because, to coincide passion with profession you need to be hungry, alert and always at it!!! There is no short cut. It may take time. Sometimes a lot but it surely is going to take you where you deserve to be depending on your hard work and persuasion. And this is the one thing that gives you liberty in life. A sense of independence and confidence.

Q 9 – Do you believe in dreams?

I believe in dreams. Oh yes, I do. And more than that I believe in making those dreams come true. Work on your dreams. And see the magic, the beam of light being always on your side.

You can follow me on Instagram –

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