One Camden couple was more excited than most on Monday when Mad Max: Fury Road took home six awards at the Oscars.
Patrick White is father to newly-minted Oscar winner David White, who shared the Best Sound Editing Academy Award with Mark Mangini, and he and wife Sandy told the Advertiser they were “over the moon” at his success.
“I thought you could hear my wife and I cheering from our house when his name was announced,” Patrick said.
“It was absolutely exhilarating.”
Sandy agreed, saying she was “still on a high” over her step-son’s big win.
Patrick is the booking officer with Camden Bicentennial Equestrian Park and said the Whites are not an “uber-competitive” family, and never expected to have an Oscar winner among their ranks.
He said David visits whenever he can, but is often so busy on film sets that he can’t find the time.
“Especially with Mad Max he was working for 14 months, seven days a week for 14 to 16 hour days,” he said.
“He’s a bloody hard worker.”
Patrick urges all parents of children seeking a career in the film industry to encourage and support them.
“It doesn’t matter what career they want, as long as it is what they want to do you have to support them.”
Less than two days after his big win David White said he had “never been better”.
He was lounging by the pool at the Los Angeles Beverly Hilton when the Advertiser spoke to him, with plans to return to Australia in the next couple of days.
The sound editor described the moment his name was read out by actor Chris Evans as “completely exhilarating and nerve-racking at the same time”.
“After working in this industry for 31 years, getting that award was awesome,” he said. “Mega-totes-awesomeness.”
He said simply being nominated among “very stiff competition” – The Revenant, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, The Martian and Sicario – was an honour in itself.
“We had no complacency going in,” Mr White said.
“There wasn’t a sense of ‘we’ve got this won’ or anything like that. Any of the other nominees could have easily taken it out – we just had the right vehicle to win. Sound plays such a vital role in Mad Max: Fury Road.”
Mr White said attending the Oscars is like stepping into a “magical fairy land” where everyone is dressed up and looking glamorous.
But despite this he said it was easy to relate to everyone walking the red carpet.
“Us Aussies are all pretty relaxed about things,” he said.
“We’re all down-to-earth. Everyone is just a person. At the end of the day we all just do our jobs and get on with things – we’re not stopping to say ‘oh my god, there’s Brad Pitt’, he’s just an actor who’s done his job. Not that I’ve worked with Brad.”
Mr White said he is looking forward to watching the Oscars for the first time, not just to see what he missed when he was backstage, but also to learn what he said on stage.
“I had a speech prepared but Mark [Mangini] said his a little slow and I only had eight seconds left so I just made something up off the cuff,” he said.
“I don’t even know what I said – but I wasn’t the one who swore, that was Mark.”
After getting his prized statuette engraved at the Governor’s Ball – the exclusive after-party for Oscar nominees and presenters – and hitting up the annual post-Oscar Vanity Fair Party (“which was great, but it finished too early, the bar shut at 2am!”), Mr White said he is taking the chance to meet with different Hollywood studios.
He said there are countless opportunities for sound editors in Hollywood and he is sifting through offers at the moment.
“There’s a bigger pool to swim in here, so to speak,” he said.
Mr White describes himself as the “most successful broke person in the world” right now, and advises young people that a career in the film industry is hard work, and only suitable for the dedicated.
“No one enters this industry to make money,” he said.
“This Oscar is more memorable than money though.
“When I started my business I worked 20-hour days for ten years. Then I started to get some success, and I worked 21-hour days for another ten years. There are no weekends.
“I’m a big believer in passion and striving to achieve your goals. I have worked my arse off to get to this stage. If you’ve got that drive to be able to commit to your work, and you’ve got that passion, you’ll make it.”