Documentary of 50 Years
50 years. Hundreds of projects. A construction company built by a family to be like a family for the thousands of people who have worked and who will work for White Construction Company. It all started with him. Him of course being Charles White in 1971 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He’s not officially involved anymore, but catch him on a golf course in North Carolina and he’ll probably mention how proud he is of the two sons who took it on. And boy did they.
Neel and Guy White took their father’s construction company, made it their own, and lifted it to places the three of them could not have anticipated. They’re conscientious men, not given to name-dropping braggadocio, but trust us, they could name drop. Dell Computer. National Instruments. The Austin Federal Courthouse. High end residences (the kind non disclosures keep private). Whole Foods. Dell Children’s Hospital. HEB. Geo Group. The St. Joe Company. A smattering of names and projects with a consistent level of unsurpassed quality.
But the story of a company like this is not easily told. It’s like a Texas hill country river, or a creek in the Mississippi Delta winding and branching, and joining again. What to keep, what to cut. We gathered the pieces into a heap and sifted to find the narrative. 17 hours of interviews sculpted into a story spanning 50 years.
In one of our many interviews, Charles White and his two sons were asked a question about the future of the company. The three reticent men sat silent and then Charles answered the question with a response seemingly disconnected from the proposition. “I’m just mighty proud I got two boys like I got.” Neel and Guy didn’t speak, and after a moment of quiet, the interview moved on to the next question. This seemingly innocuous moment has stood out to us ever since. It was the first interview we filmed, and the only chance we would have to film with Mr. White. But it sums it up, doesn’t it? Building and passing on. 50 years of work behind, with untold decades ahead.