Kolkata's Aniket Mitra is making a mark in Bollywood as a visual artist
While the entire Bollywood is busy debating about nepotism and insider-outsider theory, there are several new talents who are silently making a mark with their hard work and tenacity. Visual designer and concept artist Aniket Mitra is one of them. This 31-year-old who graduated in graphic design and applied art from Government College of Art and Craft in Kolkata, has made Mumbai his home ever since one of his short stories got selected for Jio MAMI festival in 2017, giving him a chance to make his second short film Aator.
It was at MAMI that he was spotted by filmmaker Mukesh Chhabra who offered Aniket to work as a storyboard artist for Dil Bechara. “On the sets of Dil Bechara I met production designers Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Roy (who are famed for their work in Padmaavat, Raazi and Super 30) and they further introduced me to Yash Raj Films,” recalls Aniket.
With the rise in the number of epic films made in Bollywood, the demand for well-versed concept artists is also witnessing a spurt. Riding high on that Aniket has already bagged some very interesting projects including Akshay Kumar starrer Prithviraj. We had a chat with the young artist about his work and future plans. Excerpts:
Life must have changed for you after Dil Bechara?
The response has been overwhelming. Even though Dil Bechara was my first film, I have had a few releases before this including Housefull 4 and Mamangam and have received a lot of love and recognition for the same.
How was it working with Sushant Singh Rajput?
I had a few close encounters with Sushant while working on Dil Bechara. I have always found him very genuine and humble. He has been one of the very few actors who always carried a book with him.
How difficult is the task of a storyboard artist?
The job of a storyboard artist is to visually depict a director’s mind. It’s the first visual of any thought that would go into the film, hence it comes with a lot of responsibility since we also have to create visuals which are within the budget.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have just finished working on Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan and a few with YRF. I also have a couple of national and international projects for OTT platforms as a concept artist.
Tell us about the film Prithviraj?
Prithviraj is a period drama but unfortunately, there are very few reference points from the 12th-century era. Most of the exploits of Prithviraj are lost in time since almost all his achievements in forms of architecture or otherwise are ruined. I am reading the book Prithviraj Raso by Chand Bardai as a reference to fairly reconstruct the visuals of that era. I wish at times that Tollywood had enough budget to make a film on Tungabhadrar Teerey or other Bengali historic fictions written by Saradindu Bandyopadhyay.
After making three shorts, Paperboy, The Last Rain and Aator, do you have plans to make full-length films?
Yes, I have a couple of story ideas too. I primarily like to explore human emotions and relationship-based tales.
Who has been your inspiration in Bollywood?
Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar’s movies are extremely inspiring. I have also got a lot of help from action director Shyam Kaushal (Vicky and Sunny Kauhsal’s father). He taught me all about the history of Indian martial arts.