Award winning cinematographer and artist Rayne Ellycrys Benu is a nationally published festival and theatre photographer who teaches people how to let their inner light shine.
After a series of adventures owning an interfaith art studio, Rayne was interviewed on national morning radio as one of Vancouver’s top psychics. Reborn in Mission BC, and raised by filmmakers, orcas and psychics Rayne has spent several years documenting them in their natural habitats.
Performing and creating art in private and public spaces since childhood, her explorations include performance art, painting demonstrations and public speaking, poetry, and teaching art and meditation.
Ms Benu has a rich history creating digital and multimedia artworks, corporate design, interactive media and storytelling using code and symbolic languages, abstract/meditative painting, and filmmaking (directing, editing, sound and video).
A painter with a focus on psychic surrealism or automatism, Rayne has developed a process of painting experiences, thoughts and feelings through allowing her hand to move on the canvas to capture an “energy” or experiential imprint, which she then refines and expands.
“It is a process a little like cloud watching. I let my hand move and create an image, and then work with line, colour and shading to create a final image from my original doodle.”
Painting locations have included in concerts and at public talks. Where appropriate Ms. Benu asks the speaker or artist to doodle on her canvas as well so they are a part of the painting.
As a Reiki master in multiple systems, with a practice of meditation and background is psychology Rayne works with individuals of all walks of life.
She now lives on Vancouver Island, in the place where art, tech and spirit meet, and where she spends her free time filming local celebrities from JPod with her partner Mark, and edits videos to support her kitten overlords Freja and Saga, who hitched a ride from Norway and have decided Vancouver Island is warmer.
LA Talk Radio with Sia Barbie — August 2019
Skaana Podcast Host: Interview with Julia Barnes — November 2018
Wins Friday Harbour Audience Choice Award For The Hundred Year Old Whale — October 2018
Skaana Podcast Intro: About Tahlequah — August 2018
LA Talk Radio with Captain Paul Watson — August 2018
The Vigil for the Southern Resident Orcas — Victoria City Hall, August 2018
Public Talkback, The Hundred Year Old Whale — Planet In Focus Toronto, October 2017
Interview Spot: About The Hundred Year Old Whale for Planet In Focus — Fern TV, October 2017
Public Talk: Are Orcas Psychic? – Saturna Island, 2016
Interview Spot: About filming Granny the 100 Year Old Orca – CHEK News, 2016
The Power of Human Intuition – Vancouver YWCA, 2008
Interview: One of Vancouver’s Top Psychics – CFOX, 2007
- Karuna Reiki Master, Hana Maui
- Tibetan Usui Reiki Master, Hana Maui
- Self Employment Program Mission BC
- Tera Mai Reiki Master, Mission BC
- Vancouver College of Counsellor Training, Vancouver BC
- Second Cup, Coffee College, Toronto ON
- Read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings at six years old,
- Is a dual citizen of Canada and the USA,
- Competed in the Canadian Improv Olympics, Volunteered for her first political party at age 16
- Has taught meditation and creative spiritual classes across Canada and in Hawaii,
- Was hit by lightning and has had Lyme Disease
Producer, Skaana Podcast, Victoria BC – 2017-Present
Published by the National Observer, an ongoing series of interviews about orcas and oceans. Format is audio interviews with supporting video. Film, record and photograph interview subjects. Animation and photoshop for credits and web distribution. Publish podcast and update podcast content. Edit audio and video for iTunes and web series format. Promotion, manage team and volunteers.
Cinematographer, “The Hundred Year Old Whale” BravoFactual/I Love Trees – 2014-Present
Documentary cinematographer for “The Hundred year Old Whale” a short film documentary about Granny who was the oldest living Orca until Jan 2017. Featured at Planet in Focus.
Dogwood International, Victoria BC – 2016-Present
Informational and promotional videos and events, video editor, storyboard, script, research, cinematography
Cinematographer/Assistant Editor, “The Killer Whale Who Changed the World” Middle Child Films/Farpoint Films – 2012-Present
Cinematographer and assistant editor for a feature documentary about Moby Doll, the first Orca in captivity, and the history how this orca launched the environmental movement in Vancouver.
Editor, “Only in the Cariboo” Knowledge Network/Off Island Films – 2015-2016
Only in the Cariboo was video storytelling using archival images to tell short histories about the Cariboo region of British Columbia. Video editor, photoshop and storyboard, audio, research and archival, 2 1/2 D image prep.
Cinematographer / Editor
An extensive background in short films, music videos and political satire.
Passionate about telling stories, sharing the natural world and incredible species who live here through documentary filmmaking.
My first film has its world premiere at Planet in Focus in Toronto.
Read my stories
Photographer / National Syndication
Red Carpets. Parties and nightlife. Portraits and people experiencing life as it happens, when it happens.
Theatre and film, wildlife, travel photos and cityscapes.
Every photo is a moment of stillness.
Sometimes I loop the photos into a timeframe video and tell a story about my adventures.
Read my stories
Freelance Photographer and Cinematographer – 2012-Present
3 years Vancouver Sun (Jessies, Leos, film, theatre, arts and life cover photos, pop culture, news), Reel West Magazine (profile feature/cover and online) Clients and projects include, The Jewish Plays Project New York, Tim Gosley/Puppets for Peace, Local Anxiety, The Tyee Online (The Stanley Cup Riot, Williams Lake Stampede), Local Vancouver Theatre (NYET, The Wrecking Ball, Multiple and ongoing onstage events/talkbacks and presentations), Also seen in the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Journal, National Observer
Film Festival and Magazine Photographer – 2013—Present
Whistler Film Festival (4 years), Vancouver Film Festival (4 years), Victoria Film Festival (2 years), Festival photos include red carpets, parties, ski challenges, events, stage, merchandise displays, live music, stage/theatre and award ceremonies with national syndication via Post Media and independent online outlets.
Founder, Rain for the Planet Media Foundation – 2007-2012
A non-profit media foundation in Vancouver. Series of film interviews and media coverage of environmental activists and local Vancouver issues. Provided volunteer support, consultation, workshops and mentoring for activists and activist organizations.
Owner, West Coast Centre for Enlightenment – 2004-2007
Interfaith centre and art studio. Funding through the SEP program in Mission BC. I taught art classes and workshops to adults and children. Events and classes featuring local artists. Public painting demonstrations. Public moving meditation and dance performances. Theatre/improv and music classes. Mediation and other personal development/spiritual programs and discussions. Commissioned artworks and sold my paintings. Event coordinator for the Arts Alive festival.
Performance Artist, Artists for Peace/Artists Against War – 2003-2004
A series of public protest performances, including street and stage. Calendar illustration and artwork.
Creator/Writer, “Anime Rose Tarot” – 2002-2005
An online ongoing art project in collaboration with another artist. A series of websites and writings about the Major Arcana of the tarot, with a political activist bent. Each card had it’s own website designed to reflect the core message of the tarot card with a series of inspirational writing/poetry, and images.
Performance Artist / Painter, Multi-Media
I’m all about living artworks that span multiple artforms and engage individuals in an immersive experience.
I also paint in acrylics, engage in dialogue, public performance, and teach classes to help other people find their own spark.
This has included:
Digital and multimedia art, (design for corporate clients, logo design, sign design as well as illustration and interactive media, interactive storytelling using html and css with images), mask making and sculpture (on canvas, clay, acrylic gel, repurposed objects), abstract and meditative painting (acrylic, oil, watercolour, mixed media), murals, collage, photography, cinematography, editing and directing, performance art and moving meditation, inspirational writing/poetry