IQ is proud to welcome new member Michael McDermott, Executive Producer and Founder of Gung-Ho Films. Originally from LA, Michael founded the Beijing-based company in 2000 with his Chinese wife, Amanda, who works alongside Michael as Executive Producer.
With two other offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, Gung-Ho Films services commercials, features, TV, and produces projects for some of the top advertising agencies, production companies, television networks, and film studios from around the world. They have worked with an impressive list of people that include Spike Jonze, Louis CK, Davis Guggenheim, Rupert Sanders, and photographer Mario Testino.
Son of a pioneer TV producer in the 50s and 60s, Michael fell in love with production while studying film at UCLA. It was there that he also first took a class in Mandarin, becoming completely fascinated by the language and culture. He later moved to China and stayed there for 4 years, working as a diplomat for the US in Beijing.
With a passion for both production and culture, Michael fits right into the IQ community of diverse, international, and talented members.
In 1997, Michael left the diplomacy world to combine his love for China with his passion for filmmaking. The result became a successful career as Executive Producer, working on projects that include The Amazing Race, The Daily Show with Jon Stuart, and Destination Truth.
His tip for shooting in Beijing? “It’s important to use a really local service, and not someone from Hong Kong or Shanghai who claim they can get your the permits and organize your shoot”.
Michael recently provided production services for “Her”, the Spike Jonze film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. The film shot for 6 weeks in L.A., then 8 days in Shanghai to “fake the future of L.A.” as Shanghai has a dense and modern look. He is eventually interested in working on projects where he is more creatively involved, but, as many producers can attest to, he is still working towards making time for that.
Be sure to visit the Gung-Ho Films Vimeo page to view a collection of their work.