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Lex Fletcher

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Lex Fletcher was born in Seattle, Washington and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, where he still lives today. In high school he got his start by borrowing a 8 mm film camera and making his first film—a movie about skate boarding.

 

Fletcher attended Sonoma State University with a double major: Art – Cinematography and Sociology. One semester was spent hitch hiking down through South America with his Bolex camera, filming his journey, including a 500-mile boat trip down a stretch of the Amazon and traversing the Andes from Colombia to Bolivia. His summers were spent as a YMCA river guide on the Rouge River in Oregon, where he led four-day rafting trips and produced a film on the experience. Winters were spent skiing and working during his semester breaks at Bear Valley in the Sierra, where he made short skiing films. He graduated from Sonoma State with honors, and in 1993 he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award.

In 1975 a small group of climbing friends trained for a year and then drove from the Bay Area up the Alcan Highway to Talkeetna, Alaska to start a month long journey to climb Mount McKinley. After several attempts, the team made a successful ascent to the 20,320-foot summit. Fletcher filmed the experience, sleeping with his Bolex film camera in his sleeping bag to prevent it from freezing at night. The next few years were spent working for De Anza College and a hiking club leading climbing, backpacking, skiing, and river trips. Fletcher also worked part time at several local production companies, getting experience-cutting negatives, editing, and doing camera work.

Deciding to learn more about documentary film production, Fletcher applied to and was accepted into the Stanford University M.A. Communications Program. There he hooked up with classmate Rob Fruchtman and returned to South America twice to shoot footage for Last of the Incas, a documentary about the ancient Inca trail that winds through jungle mountains to Machu Picchu. Fletcher and Fruchtman returned to the US and began a road trip to shoot more material and raise funds for the film. They shot archival photos at Yale University, Inca gold artifacts in Chicago, and ceramic pieces at the Berkeley museum. To help finance the venture, Fletcher co-lead, with Marshall Pike, the Trek & Tour backpacking trip, which traveled through Peru and was sponsored by De Anza College. Last of the Incas premiered at The California Academy of Sciences and was later sold to Showtime. During the same period, Fletcher combined footage shot over several years and made a film called Wilderness, a visual poem that won an award at the San Francisco film festival.

In 1980, Ted Turner had the idea for a new network that would have 24 hour-a-day news, and CNN was born. Fletcher was CNN’s first cameraman in the northwest, a job that required him to shoot many hours of video every day to fill the never-ending need for news. In a move that surprised his colleagues, Fletcher eventually left CNN to concentrate on more in-depth documentaries, a decision which soon saw him filming in Europe, the Middle East, Alaska, and the Southwest. In 1982 he also joined up with Bravura Films and worked with director Bob Kalsey on a wide variety of film and video projects.

In the 1990’s Fletcher continued to work for Bravura films, but took periodic leaves of absence when he had the opportunity to be one of the Director of Photographers on a film series that visited some of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating places: Scenic Wonders of America, Great Wonders of World, and Great Splendors of the World. This Emmy award-winning series took Fletcher around the world several times. The programs all aired on the Disney Channel and The Discovery Channel and sold worldwide. Fletcher received three national Daytime Emmy award nominations, and won two Emmy awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography.

Fletcher started doing work for the Breast Cancer Fund in 1998, when a team of 12 women, including five breast cancer survivors, climbed Mount McKinley in Alaska as a personal challenge and to bring global awareness to the crisis of breast cancer. Climb against the Odds was aired nationally on PBS and ABC, and won many awards. In 2000 Fletcher shot video and stills of a climb of Mount Fuji in Japan for the Fund with a group of American and Japanese breast cancer survivors and supporters.

In 2003, Fletcher was Director of Photography on the award-winning documentary Trust Me: Shalom, Salaam, Peace, a funny, inspiring, and moving film about overcoming prejudices and fears at an interfaith summer camp in North Carolina. Trust Me originally aired on Showtime and was directed by Rob Fruchtman. In 2004, Fletcher was Director of Photography, working once more with director Rob Fruchtman, on a 13-part reality TV series called Samurai Sportsman, aired on the Outdoor Life Channel. Fletcher filmed segments on bull riding, fly fishing, steer wrestling, Motocross riding, and several other outdoor sports.

Fletcher is married with two grown children. He continues to travel the world doing both still and video camera work, along with producing, directing, and editing for a wide variety of clients. Recent projects include working on documentaries in Africa and France, shooting dance and ballet performances, shooting food and wine and some of the best chefs in the world for the "The World of Flavor" at the Culinary Institute in St Helena, and providing video and photo content for high-tech companies including Apple, Google, AT&T, Teva, and Computers and Structure Inc (CSI).

Education

Stanford University, Master of Arts, Communications, Film Broadcasting California State University, Sonoma, BA Sociology California State University, Sonoma, BA Art, Cinematography