Ben grew up in Kansas City, Missouri until the age of 18 when he moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California's School of Cinema/Television. Aside from photographing numerous short films at USC, Ben teamed up with Sony's High Definition Division to be their cinematographer on a project in which Sony used their new technology to transfer the final digital project to 35mm film. Ben then traveled to Cannes Film Festival in 1997 where Sony showcased their first HDCAM camcorder to the industry. Ben then worked as a freelance cinematographer for two years before he enrolled in UCLA to earn his Masters of Fine Arts in Cinematography.