#WhereAre They? Athit Naik from Kal Ho Naa Ho: I fell in love with cinematography as a child actor
Being a child actor and working with the likes of Shah Rukh Khan and Preity G Zinta in Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), one would have thought that acting would have been an obvious choice of career for Athit Naik. But he says that while he enjoyed his life as an actor on set when he was a kid, he realised that cinematography was his true calling.
“Being a child actor was an amazing experience. As a child actor to grow up in an environment, it opens the world view a little. You get to enjoy being pampered on set and having fun on set but also learn and introspect. The environment has always been very positive and I have been very lucky and fortunate to have had that. I credit most of my maturity in life to having an opportunity to be associated with the film fraternity as a child. I won’t change it for anything,” shares Naik, who played the role of Shiv Kapur in Kal Ho Naa Ho.
The 30-year-old reveals that his last acting assignment was when he was 11 and he left India for the US when he was 17 to pursue his studies.
So how come acting didn’t feature as his career as an adult? “I have friends in the acting world and they were attracted to that and wanted to continue in this space. I have always been a voracious reader as a child and for me the plethora of untapped information was exciting. Even when we were shooting for Kal Ho Naa Ho, I would read books on the set and had one suitcase full of books,” he says.
His love for cinematography also originated when he spent time watching the work of cinematographers on his various projects.
“I was very fortunate to have had great cinematographers to look up to and I always thought that it was so fascinating. To me a cinematographer is a magician on set. They would make anything look good,” he adds.
Naik has worked in LA for 11 years after completing his education. “I have a bachelor’s degree in cinematography. I have been working in LA and I shot three features films which were screened at various film festivals. I also did a TV show and a bunch of commercials in la. I got the chance to assist some great cinematographers. I always wanted to do this for a living,” he says.
Currently in India, Naik has already finished 2 OTT shows and working on another. He is also working on a feature films.
“Life has been good and I am glad I found my calling as a cinematographer. It is beautiful,” he ends.