The Blueprint to Movies: Matt Pitts '02

The dry-erase boards covering the writers' room walls are bare. Matthew Pitts and colleagues are starting to break another episode, meaning they're fleshing out the content for the showrunner, the person responsible for a TV program.

Matt Pitts '02

Pitts is a Hollywood screenwriter who broke into TV as JJ Abrams’ assistant before coming into his own as a writer and producer on shows like Revolution, Zoo, and APB.

Over four years on the sci-fi drama Fringe—his first job as a writer; the one he calls his career start—Pitts wrote six episodes.

His love of screenwriting dates to middle school when he discovered “the blueprint to movies.”

Pulp Fiction was the first screenplay that I held in my hands, and I fell in love with it,” recalls Pitts. “Halfway through Pulp Fiction, I started writing my own stuff—all of which were rip-offs of Pulp Fiction.”

It wasn’t until high school when Pitts saw Good Will Hunting that becoming a writer became a passion.

Following graduation as an English major, Pitts attended a Screenwriting Master’s Certificate program at Emerson College where he won Best Screenplay. Then, he says, his family realized this could be a real career.

Despite moving to Los Angeles (John McGinnis ’03 was his roommate and now successful TV producer), he remains a Boston boy.

“After living here for so long, I’m still not a beach guy,” says Pitts. “And my son is the only kid in nursery school who says ‘wicked.’”

Pitts remains close to Hilltop friends, often including their names in episodes—something he loved
to do in college.

“I won the Saint A’s talent show by performing Piano Man and changing names in the song to my friends. I won $100 and took the crowd to the pub.”