In filmmaking, there is an old tradition of finding someone more experienced than you and carrying their tripod up the mountain in hopes of gleaning their wisdom. This holds true to every cinematographer I’ve ever worked with except one — Alex “Axl” Fostvedt. In the decades I’ve worked with him, Alex has never let me carry his tripod. No matter how steep the mountain or distant the peak, it’s always been his to bear. But at the same time he has always selflessly shared every bit of his wisdom with anyone who’s curious. If you’ve had the good fortune to work with Alex, you know that lessons learned through his decades in the trenches are gifted without a single favour expected in return.
On May 3rd of this year, Alex tucked his three kids Ava (7), Knox (5), and Sloane (1) into bed and drifted off to sleep next to his partner, Sarah. That night he had a Grand Mal seizure and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where an MRI confirmed a diagnosis of brain cancer.
On June 15, Alex underwent a 10-hour surgery to remove the tumour, a Grade 3 Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma. They were able to excise 80% of it, with the remainder to be tackled with an intense, 6-week round of radiation and chemotherapy, followed by another year of chemo.
The entire family is relocating to Victoria for the radiation part of the journey. Hopefully chemo can be completed from home in the Kootenays. The road ahead will be long and Alex will not be working for the next year.
As Alex approaches treatment and the road of healing ahead, they are facing many uncertainties — not just physically but financially. After Knox was born, Sarah sold her business and has been home with the kids while Alex works in film, so the loss of this single income will be felt by the family. I’ve spoken with Alex and in classic fashion he’s reluctant to ask for it, but this Go Fund Me page is an answer to the question that has been cycling over the last few weeks...
“How can I help?”
For anyone who has been helped or inspired by Alex, this is a way to finally throw his tripod on your shoulder and help him and his family get over that next horizon.