Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From Omaha to Hollywood

Jono Matt, ’06, studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and now works for the executive producer of “Son’s of Anarchy” at FX Network.  The show won the Television Critics Association award for outstanding achievement in a drama, and it boasts Katey Segal who won the 2011 Golden Globe Award for best actress in a drama.  Matt was recently in town for the Mount Michael Class of 2006 reunion and had an opportunity to answer some questions about his new job for the Alumni Post. 
Q: What does your new job actually entail?
A: I’m the assistant to television director and producer Paris Barclay, and we’re now working on the FX show “Sons of Anarchy.”  My job is to keep track of what the most recent decision is, according to daily changes on set involving, weather, actor illness, etc ...  
Q: How did you find this job and get hired?
A: Paris was forwarded my resume by my college pal that worked with him on Glee. Paris was intrigued by a line in my opening sentence ‘...raised in a boarding school flanked by cornstalks.’ So he plucked my resume from the stack, and we bonded during the interview over our similar high school experiences. He graduated in the 70’s from an all-male boarding school in Illinois
Q: What is the most rewarding part of the job?
A: My favorite part of work is spying in on the writer’s room. The writers have the pressure on their shoulders of writing 13 hours of TV on very short deadlines. For example, the writers are outlining episode 12 of the season, and the crew is now filming episode 9 -- not a lot of time to mess up. Also, a child from the make-a-wish foundation is coming to set this week; which is an emotional reminder of how lucky we are to be working at a place that people ‘wish’ to visit.   
Q: What is your favorite memory from Mount Michael?
A: My favorite part of MM is the bonds that are created from the universal experience every class shares. I just had four of my best friends come visit and none of them graduated with me (1 from 07, 3 from 08). In fact, I never spoke to them during school, it wasn’t until college when we got to chatting and were like “holy crap, we’re telling the same stories, just with different characters.”
Q: Where do you want to go from here?
A: I want to write for a scripted, one-hour drama television show next. Then move into feature screenplay writing and ultimately write an animated movie for Pixar.