Entertainment Movies Mad Max‘s Aussie stunt workers want Oscars

Mad Max‘s Aussie stunt workers want Oscars

Warner Bros
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Stunt workers on the Australian film Mad Max: Fury Road, which has been nominated in 10 categories at the Academy Awards, want their craft recognised at the Oscars.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences splits its awards into 24 categories, but stunt work is not one of them.

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The high-octane film was the fourth instalment of the Mad Max franchise, which grossed more than $500 million worldwide.

Gold Coast-based stunt coordinator Keir Beck
Keir Beck says that without stunts Mad Max would have been ‘like a car park’. Photo: ABC

Gold Coast-based stunt coordinator Keir Beck spent seven months in Namibia, where the film was shot.

“I would have to say that it was the biggest project that I’ve ever worked on,” he said.

“As far as the scale of this one compared with other films, it was just enormous.”

The 46-year-old believes the film’s stunts helped it gain its 10 Oscar nominations, including best picture.

Mr Beck said the stunts were as creative as any other field and it was time they were included.

“If you took the stunt performers out of Mad Max it would have been like a car park,” he said.

His view is shared by Gold Coast-based stunt driver Eugene Arensden, who spent six months in Africa working on the film.

“I know we have the SAG [Screen Actors Guild] Awards and all of that sort of stuff, but to get a little more recognition wouldn’t be a bad thing,” he said.

Gold Coast-based stunt driver Eugene Arensden
Stunt driver Eugene Arensden worked for six months on Fury Road. Photo: ABC

Both men agreed working with veteran filmmaker George Miller, who has been nominated in the best director category, was incredible.

Mr Beck worked closely with Mr Miller on many of the film’s scenes.

“He’s gentle, he’s kind, he’s brilliant, he’s inspiring to be around,” Mr Beck said.

Mr Arensden added: “He [George Miller] knew exactly what he wanted to get every time and he was very good at portraying that as well.”

The stunt driver said Namibia threw up plenty of challenges.

“Things like driving on sand – you do hit soft patches and hard patches, which really do pull the car around,” Mr Arensden said.

Earlier this month, Mad Max won four awards at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) for editing, production design and costume design.

Although Mr Beck and Mr Aresden will not be at the Academy Awards ceremony, they are hoping Mad Max is recognised with Oscar success.



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