Cineo Brings to Light The Mystery of "The Killing Season"

GILGO BEACH, NY, JANUARY 5, 2017 - "The Killing Season," which aired on A&E, investigates a string of domestic serial homicides throughout the United States. Nelson Hume, director of photography, was tasked with creating a unique "documentary-noir" mood and style for the series. He chose the robust lighting package of the Maverick, Matchbox and Matchstix from Cineo Lighting, a leader in the production of lighting systems available for the motion picture, television and photography industries.

"I had the Cineo Maverick, which I often used as my key light," says Hume. "On this show, the mandate was to keep it dark and keep it real. I tried to always keep the light motivated; be it from a window, a dashboard or a street light. The Maverick is great because it's versatile, compact and powerful. I could use it as a classic interview key light, often with a small chimera and Lighttools egg crate, or I could arm it over a kitchen table and clip a pillow case to it for a moody top light. When you are on the road with limited crew you need lights that are multi-functional and allow you to improvise." 

The Cineo Maverick's ability to remain flicker free even when dimmed to 10-15 percent made it one of the centerpieces of Hume's shoot. Documentarians Josh Zeman and Rachel Mills interviewed an array of characters, ranging from cops and prostitutes, to truck drivers. Hume used the murky lighting to highlight the seedy scenarios that the team found itself in. "Josh was always pushing to go darker," says Hume. "I was often running the Maverick below 20 percent on the dimmer, sometimes 10 percent. Having that ability makes all the difference on a show like this.

"The one real standout moment when I realized I couldn't do this shoot without Cineo was during a series of interviews and shots inside the cab of a semi-rig truck," explains Hume. "For that set up, I had the Maverick, Matchstix and Matchbox running off a single 12V power strip plugged into the truck's cigarette lighter. The fact that I could run that much lighting off a cigarette lighter was pretty amazing. In a truck's cab, size matters! Everything had to be tucked away out of the shot. I wanted a strong overhead source to emulate the cab's dome light. There was not much to grip to, but the Matchbox is so light I could put it on a Manfrotto flex arm and clamp it to a bit of plastic molding. The Matchbox has awesome output for its size - it gave me the hot overhead feel I wanted. The Maverick was small enough to fit into a cubby-hole storage space behind the driver. I lined the inside with unbleached muslin and bounced the Maverick into it, creating a lovely soft box that I could dial up to the perfect level of fill." 

Production culminated with a desert shoot, where the versatility of Cineo's products continued to impress Hume. "We were shooting up on the West Mesa in Albuquerque, NM," says Hume. "The site where a large, mass grave of bodies was found. When you're up there at night you see the sparkling lights of downtown Albuquerque, but the Mesa itself is pitch black and it goes on forever - it's a very spooky and lonely place. I needed to get some atmospheric shots among the desert scrub and cactus. The Maverick ended up being all I needed. We were a very run and gun operation with no Genny trucks or putt-putt generators. The great thing about the Maverick is you get incredible output for a light that can run on a camera battery. I put it on my highest stand and let it wash across the desert; just enough 'moon-light' for me to get the close-up details I needed. It was beautiful and simple."

The Maverick is a portable fixture that provides Cineo's famous Remote Phosphor Technology (RPT) in a lightweight, weatherproof body, measuring at only 9.5 x 11.1 inches and 4.9 lbs. The fixture uses phosphor panels to output beautiful, color-accurate light in a wide range of color temperatures. 

"For me the deciding factor in buying Cineo was that I didn't have to worry about the color - the rendition was so high," says Hume. "The color shifts with standard LED lights have been a big disappointment. Cineo's RPT approach creates rock solid color that won't shift over time. As an owner/operator, that's exactly what I'm looking for. Plus, the quality of the light from the panels is beautiful - a single soft source. No more thousand points of lights and shadows!"

The Matchbox and Matchstix provide the same RPT as the Maverick in an even smaller form factor. Weighing in at just 15 oz with an output of 1,000 lumens, the Matchbox is the perfect portable fixture for a variety of applications in both the field and the studio. The Matchstix are available in three-inch, six-inch and twelve-inch lengths and can be run on a variety of power and battery options.

About Cineo Lighting

Cineo Lighting, LLC was founded to produce the highest quality lighting systems available for the motion picture, television, and photography industries. By pioneering cutting-edge technologies, Cineo creates high-output, compact light sources for image capture, in all power ranges, which exceed the capabilities of traditional lighting tools. For more information, please visit