Before principal photography began on the upcoming A&E documentary series from Josh Zeman (Cropsey) and Rachel Mills (Killer Legends), I met with Zeman, who described the look he was after as “docu-noir,” which was immediately appealing to me. The series follows Josh and fellow investigative reporter and producer Mills as they track several unsolved serial homicides across the United States. Josh wanted a fast-moving handheld feel that followed the action in real time. He also wanted a strong style that would complement the dark subject matter.
I didn’t start the shoot with Cineo lights, but by the end they were the only lights I was using other than Dedolights. I needed a small unit with a lot of output that could stand the hard knocks of the road. The Cineo Maverick was that light; it manages to pack a punch and still deliver beautiful soft light. All the LED lights I’ve used in the past felt like a compromise, with poor color accuracy and hard multi-source quality. Cineo’s Remote Phosphor Technology solved those shortcomings.
I rounded out the package with Cineo’s Matchbox and Matchstix—very small lights perfect for all the shooting we did in cars and with computer screens. We shot several interviews in the sleeper cab of a semi truck with all three lights—the Maverick, Matchstix and Matchbox—running off an inverter plugged into the cigarette outlet. To have that much output with such a small power draw felt like a big leap forward.
Nelson Hume is cinematographer on this upcoming series.