Overlander Adventures with Award-Winning Cinematographer Jeremy Benning


A Toyota FJ Cruiser and Rigid Industries LED Lighting enthusiast, Toronto-based cinematographer Jeremy Benning runs Rigid lights when filming his Overlander adventures. Last month, Jeremy won the 2014 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for National Geographic Channel’s “Killing Lincoln.” 

This is his first-hand account on how Rigid LEDs help enhance and improve his adventures, allowing him to explore further and longer:

Living in Toronto, we are lucky to be in relative close proximity to a vast wilderness which begins only a few hours north of where we live. I got my FJ Cruiser in 2008, which was my first 4×4 vehicle. I was really interested in being able to explore the rugged logging roads and trails that dot the landscape up north. I eventually also bought an Autohome Colombus roof tent that further adds to the enjoyment of our overland getaways.

Ever since then, its become an annual summer tradition to spend some long weekends hitting the road north with a trusty Backroad Mapbook, Spot GPS Locator and our ARB Fridge stocked with great food and everything else we need to be comfortable and self sufficient.

There is nothing quite like exploring some forgotten stretch of old logging road, rounding a bend and discovering some spectacular untouched lake or vista where we are the only ones there to appreciate it. Knowing that we are seeing remote corners of uninhabited wilderness that would otherwise be beyond our reach were it not for the FJ’s capabilities and our curiosity to keep on discovering makes the experience totally unique every time.

Last summer, we started to think that the one aspect of our off-grid camping experience that needed some reinforcement was lighting. After doing a lot of research online and reading scads of forum posts and reviews, I decided that a Rigid Industries LED Lighting system was the one to go with.

After installing the new Rigid LED lights with the help of my friend Bill Hong last spring, we took advantage of them on our first camping trip last summer. As a cinematographer, I thought it would be cool to have some fun with these new LEDs to show off their power.

So, we brought along a camera and made a little documentary of our trip to the Highway 129 area of Ontario, which is about eight hours north west of Toronto. It was an amazing long weekend of exploration of a totally new area for us. As you can see in the video below. we found some spectacular spots.

Having those Rigid LED lights really helped allow us to stay out later on the trails, not having to worry about having a hard time seeing our way back to base camp or even setting up base camp at night. They really do bring a whole new level of visibility to the overland experience, allowing us to go a little further more safely.




Leave a Reply