Alum gains recognition as accomplished TV producer
By Kayla Britt, Staff Writer
Many of Gettysburg’s alums graduate and go on to make notable contributions to the fields they pursue. Geno McDermott, an alum of Gettysburg’s Class of 2008, is a prime example.
McDermott was a Psychology and English double major while here at Gettysburg. He took a one-year hiatus to be a commercial fisherman after his graduation. McDermott then worked for video production companies in New York including HBO, ESPN, and Red Line Films. He is currently an executive producer at Blackfin, Inc. and has combined his passion for film and fishing in his latest endeavor.
McDermott recently began filming his own show entitled “Cold River Cash”. Along with Andrew Leblanc, another Gettysburg alum of the Class of 2008, McDermott traveled to Maine to work alongside eel fisherman and learn more about their everyday lives as wellas the competition that exists among them.
“Cold River Cash” makes a name for itself alongside other competition shows that display the reality of the worlds they venture into. However, as few people have heard of eel fishing, it distinguishes itself in the subject it centers around. “Cold River Cash” airs on Animal Planet on Thursdays at 10:00 p.m., and shows three teams of fishermen competing to catch the most eels in Portland, Maine.
The three teams competing are the “Eelinators”, the “Grinders”, and the “Maineiacs”. Because there is currently a high demand for baby American eels in Asia, fishing for them has become a highly profitable profession. Fishermen often engage in dangerous tasks and put themselves in precarious situations in order to make the best catch possible, making it time-consuming and risky.
The show’s promotional video shows one fisherman scaling a rocky cliff and another entering a dark, ominous tunnel filled with water up to his knees. Several fishermen are also shown arguing over whose territory a river location is in, as baby eels are only found in select areas. They often work up to 20 hours per day in order to beat their competitors. Although they are competing against each other, all three teams share a passion for the thrill of adventure and a desire to turn their catch to cash.
“Cold River Cash” has found its home at Animal Planet and is sure to be popular among its viewers. McDermott has created an intriguing, eye-opening show that introduces its viewers to the world of fishing for baby eels. His dedication to filmmaking and to accurately portraying the world of eel fishing to viewers is clear through the quality of the show. McDermott joins the ranks of Gettysburg alums who have used the skills and connections they learned here in order to achieve greatness.