Freshman splits time between company and school


Photo by Julie Kooser

Freshman cinema production major, Matt Metrovich, started his career under Emmy award-winning multimedia artist, Emmai Alaquiva. At 18 years old, he now owns his own company and freelances throughout Pittsburgh.

Written By Matt Petras, Co-News Editor

Brandishing a high-quality camera in his hands and a smartwatch on his wrist, freshman cinema production major Matt Metrovich sat down for an interview Sunday afternoon. He always has a camera like that with him and often breaks the ice by asking people if they would like their picture taken.

“I’m really awkward, and I embrace it,” Metrovich said.

Any awkwardness aside, Metrovich is already the CEO of his own photography and video company, Metro Digital, which rakes in good money for the young entrepreneur and has a large following on Instagram.

In fact, this Ringgold High School graduate has more than double the number followers than Point Park University on Instagram, and he already makes enough money through his company that he decided to quit his part-time job at Subway.

Metro Digital is an official LLC that Metrovich created in 2015, and he contracts his work out to various clients. Many of his clients are high school students looking for senior pictures. While film is his more predominate passion, he still loves photography. It gives him a quick fix that film can’t, he said.

There have also been bigger opportunities, which came through collaboration with Emmy Award winner Emmai Alaquiva, who is the CEO of his own company called Ya Momz House, according to Alaquiva’s website.

When Metrovich earned his Eagle Scout award, his peers asked him what he wanted to do with his life. He said he wanted to be a director. Alaquiva had done some work with Boy Scouts, so the group decided to reach out to Alaquiva to give Metrovich an opportunity to meet him as a reward for reaching his elite status, according to Alaquiva.

After geeking out together, as Metrovich put it, Alaquiva decided to bring him on board for some projects over the summer.

“One of the ways I stay fresh and up-to-date and hip is my ability to understand that young people are literally taking this industry over, and they’re getting younger and younger,” Alaquiva said.

Through Alaquiva, Metrovich was able to do a myriad of commercial photo and video work for several companies and groups, such as Rachael Ray. Metrovich helped shoot stills and video of dogs at PNC Park for Pup Night, which is an annual Pittsburgh Pirates event done in conjunction with Rachael Ray’s dog food line, according to the official Rachael Ray website. For all of these gigs, Metrovich received pay through Metro Digital.

“[Metrovich’s] performance has been nothing short of professional,” Alaquiva said via phone interview Sunday. “I feel he already has more experience than some college graduates.”

Alaquiva gave Metrovich many responsibilities, including carrying equipment, shooting, interviewing and more, he said.

Metrovich appreciated that Alaquiva trusted him with so much responsibility. He loves to have freedom and involve himself in as much of the film-making process as possible. That’s why he specifically chose directing over other cinema production concentrations such as producing or cinematography.

“He’s very good at involving other people,” Jason Ficorilli, a good friend of Metrovich said.

Ficorilli and Metrovich have known each other since third grade and have frequently collaborated on video projects over the years. Their partnership started back in their sixth grade Spanish class, in which they put together a video filmed on a tablet for a project. The class responded well to it, so they decided to keep making videos together for YouTube.

Ficorilli doesn’t go to the same college as Metrovich, but he was definitely inspired by him. Ficorilli currently studies information technology at the University of Pittsburgh.

“He really made me see how [my area of study] worked rather than just hearing about it,” said Ficorilli.

In tenth grade, the quality of these videos was improved thanks to a purchase made by Metrovich. When he was 16, Metrovich saved up for a year to get a $1,000 video camera—he wanted to take the craft seriously.

“He’s dedicated to doing the best he can do in his field,” Ficorilli said.

Metrovich is happy to be in college. He debated graduating high school early, but he decided to stick it out and is happy with his decision.

“I had senioritis when I was a freshman,” he said.

During his senior year, he was able to leave school for work release, and since he’s the CEO of his own company, there was a twist.

“I got to sign off on my own work release,” he said.