Filmmaker Lights the World
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Filmmaker Lights the World

Filming big projects is all part of the routine for cinematographer Benjamin King.

But filming the Australian “Light the World” Christmas campaign may have been one of his fondest projects yet.

The “Light the World” Christmas initiative, running for a second year, launched on the first of December 2017. It focused on celebrating and sharing the light of Jesus Christ.

“I’m extremely passionate about the creation of moving images,” Ben said. “And being able to produce something that helps the Lord’s work I feel is the greatest thing I could do with my professional talents. It brings me great joy. And working with the people we chose in the Australian ‘Light the World’ video who were already living these standards the Saviour taught of loving and reaching out to others exceeded my expectations in terms of their performance and really translated on camera. They were all so great.”

Over the course of his career, Ben has been a unit director of photography and editor on documentary feature films; a camera operator on Australian TV series and live news and cinematographer/director on Australian TV commercial campaigns. Most recently, he was a cinematographer on Chasing Coral—a documentary that won an award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and is now showing on Netflix.

Ben was born in Wagga Wagga, the Riverina region of New South Wales. He is now based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, with his wife Soledad and their three children.

Life changed for Ben, a convert to the Church, when he began to have questions about God and his purpose in life. “I wanted guidance,” he said.

A colleague at work began to talk to Ben about the gospel. Ben was soon baptised on his 19th birthday. Eight months later, he baptised his wife. They both went on to serve missions in Perth and Brisbane.

“It’s been 21 years of goodness,” he said. “My life has been blessed in every way. My family love the gospel. That’s the greatest thing I could ask for.

“The guiding principle I’ve tried to live by after I joined the Church was to ask the Saviour what He wanted me to do and I’ve strived to follow that. I feel extremely blessed for the opportunities I have been given.”

Ben’s love for film began at a young age. He always had a passion for fine art but never considered film as a career until towards the end of his mission. Upon returning, he felt impressed to study video production.

While at university, Ben landed a job on Sunrise, an Australian breakfast television program broadcast on the Seven Network from Martin Place in Sydney.

Those were the first steps in what has been a successful career for Ben.

One of his most memorable experiences, he said, was filming the beloved prophet Gordon B. Hinckley in Chile.

“President Hinckley came to visit just after his 96th birthday to rededicate the Santiago temple. It was the most incredible experience,” he said. “I had just finished my film degree and told my wife that if I don’t get another job, that’s okay. My life is complete because of the sacred opportunity I had to film a prophet of God.

Ben runs his own production company called Oxigeno Film and Television. Currently, he is also a part-time lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

He enjoys teaching young people about film production and is grateful he can use his talents to hasten the work of salvation.

“Film is an art form and it’s a way to communicate feelings and thoughts that sometimes cannot be expressed with words,” he said.

“The work of salvation is influenced by media. When I see a scene from a film that moves me, I remember it and at times it leaves an enduring impression on me. I hope people who watch videos I produce for the Church will feel the Holy Ghost and that it might leave sacred impressions on them and help increase their faith in Jesus Christ.”

And Ben is grateful for the message and purpose of the “Light the World” campaign. “At Christmas, we celebrate the Saviour’s birth. What better way to show our love to the Saviour than by giving something to Him. And serving others is one of the greatest gifts we can give Him,” he said.

“Even though I make videos with the aim to help other people, I’m the one that’s being helped. I feel like I’m the one that’s blessed.”