At age eighteen, CHS class of 1990 grad Matthew Pitroff found himself facing what he called “a mid-life crisis,” asking himself, “What am I good at?” After several years of career hopping from working at a tattoo parlor to bartending, Pitroff found his niche.
Now, a self-employed advertisement creator, Pitroff spends hours directing, filming, and producing short commercials for various companies.
As a teen, Pitroff never enjoyed attending high school, but he found an escape through the art programs. Pitroff was also a member of the CHS boys’ lacrosse team, and even returned to coach for Catonsville Rec for seven years. Pitroff found a mentor in his art teacher Diane Mand, who helped him compose a portfolio to submit to colleges.
“I wasn’t a great student in high school; I was pretty lazy,” laughed Pitroff. “Diane Mand changed everything for me.”
Pitroff was later accepted into the School of Arts at Syracuse University in New York with a focus on oil painting. Soon realizing that oil painting was not the genre for him, the artist instead decided to try film.
“I knew I was good with colors, and I knew I was a good story teller. I loved communicating through the arts, and I came to the conclusion that filmmaking might be the right path for me,” Pitroff stated.
In 2014 Pitroff created his own commercial films production company called “Working Stiff.” The entrepreneur has represented numerous companies including Doritos, McDonald’s, Sprint, and Firehouse Subs. Pitroff has traveled across the globe, from L.A. to Moscow to South America, to film his commercials.
“Nothing beats filming in L.A. Everything is so quick; it’s all just a phone call away. It’s Hollywood for a reason…but of course I enjoy filming in Baltimore as well. It’s great to be close to home,” he added.
In his interview, Pitroff offered some advice for current students. This same advice guided the way he selected his career. “If you don’t know what you want to do, follow your passion,” Pitroff advised. “If you can follow your passion, you’ll put yourself in a situation where you’ll wake up every morning and love your job. Pursue things that inspire you and find a career that makes you happy everyday.”
To check out Matt Pitroff’s work, click the link below: