How to Use a 5 in 1 Reflector for Filmmaking – Best Low Budget Way For Lighting

Light Reflector – When shooting a low-budget film, you’ll almost certainly be working with a small team and basic equipment. Lighting is the one aspect of filmmaking that, in my experience, gets overlooked in ultra-low-budget productions. 

Why? Because the costs of employing professional lighting equipment are prohibitively expensive for some low-budget productions. The number of lights on a film set can always tell me how much a budget is on a project I’m working on.

Why is lighting so expensive in film production? Because there are costs other than the lighting kit to consider. If you’re not cautious, expenses like hiring extra crew to move, set up, and run the lighting equipment, the cost of cars to transport the lights to the set, and the cost of renting the lighting equipment for the whole production can blow a film’s budget.

While modest portable lights like those purchased on Amazon and B&H Photo/Video can help in a pinch, you may end up adding more to your filmmaking kit than you need. I love utilizing portable lights in inside shots since they provide good lighting at a low cost, but what if you’re filming outside?

If you’re planning on shooting outside with natural light as your primary source of illumination, you should consider adding a 5 in 1 Reflector to your filmmaking kit to assist you to get the finest light possible under the circumstances.

I’ll explain why lighting is crucial for any film project, what a 5 in 1 reflector is, and what each color in the reflector kit does for lighting your movies in this article.

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Why Is Lighting Important To Filmmaking?

A film’s look and feel are determined by its lighting. When lighting a scene, a cinematographer’s main priority is to make sure the actors’ faces are lighted in a specific way to establish the scene’s mood. 

When it comes to lighting buildings, rooms, interiors, landscapes, city streets, backgrounds, and other types of sceneries, using the available illumination is pretty much all you need. When it comes to filming an actor’s face, though, things get a little trickier. 

Our gaze is drawn to other people’s faces while we watch a movie or a television show. As a result, actors’ facial expressions are crucial to the tale being presented.

That’s why, just like lousy audio in a movie, lighting an actor’s face is critical while filming a scene, because poor lighting causes the audience to lose focus on the screen. Because we rely on those two senses for communication, lousy audio and bad lighting are two things that can never happen in a film. 

Furthermore, like with photography, poor lighting can be unattractive to the person while also masking their performance. If you’re concerned about not having enough lighting equipment, a reflector, a simple, lightweight, and inexpensive piece of lighting equipment, can make a significant impact in illuminating a scene.

Reflector can be of varied sizes and have various sorts of reflected surfaces. For ease of movement from set to set, many can be rolled up into a small zip-up carry case. 

The 5 in 1 diffuser comes with 5 different surfaces, each with its own function in photography lighting. They can be mounted on a stand, propped up against walls, tables, and other objects, or held in place by a crew member at the proper angle. 

The following is a list of what each surface performs in terms of lighting a scene in the movie.

Want more filmmaking content? Then check out or guides to the best skills needed to excel in the film industry, tips to become a better director, or smartphone filmmaking 101.

Diffuser

As you can see in the video above, the diffuser surface may be used to diffuse light by placing it in front of it. The light source will be softer as a result, and the shadows on the subject’s face will be less severe.

If you have an overhead light that is too bright and is washing everything out, the diffuser will soften the light. Alternatively, if you’re using natural light from a window and it’s too harsh, employing a diffusing reflector between the window and the performers can help soften the look.

The diffuser can also serve as a light reflector. Use the diffuser side to reflect a softer light if the white reflector side is too harsh.

White reflector

The white side of the reflector is commonly utilized to generate a fill light by reflecting your main light source. Placing a white reflector in front of the actor’s face helps to bounce some of the light back into the shadows if your main light source is so bright that the actor’s face is put into deep shade.

Moving the reflector around to find the optimal angle to either raise or diminish the light is the key to using the reflector to bounce light.
Also, by using the white reflector at various angles, you may achieve a variety of effects. What level of fill light do you require? It can look really strange if you fully remove all of the shadows.

When it comes to lighting, though, remember that uniformity is crucial. If the actors are lit one way in one frame, keep the light consistent in other shots for editing purposes.

It might be highly unsettling for the audience if the illumination goes off. Try to use the same amount of lighting for each take as much as possible, especially for close-up talking situations where you cut between per

Silver reflector

The silver reflector is similar to the white reflector in function, except it is more reflecting. Because the light from the silver reflector is brighter, it may be useful in settings where there is little light. Alternatively, if the photo is broad and you can’t get the white reflector close enough without it obscuring the image.

Gold reflector

The gold reflector surface is similar to the white and silver reflectors in that it produces a warm, golden light. Use the gold surface if you want a warm fill light on your actor’s face. It might be more appropriate than white light during sunset, for example.

Black surface

The black surface absorbs or blocks light in the opposite way as the other surfaces. If there is too much light coming from all directions, the black surface can be used as a “anti-fill” light. To provide extra shadow, the black surface blocks light from one side of the face.

What type of lighting do you want for the scene?

When it comes to filmmaking, you want to be as creative as possible with your lighting to help create a look for your characters as well as something visually appealing to the audience. However, in terms of storytelling, how you light your scene is entirely up to you. 

Examine why the director and cinematographer of your favourite films decided how to light the films and whether it benefited or detracted from your enjoyment of the film.

When it comes to 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflectors I would suggest the Neewer 43 Inch 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector. They come in various sizes to suit your needs. 

Reflectors are fantastic since they are inexpensive compared to other lighting kits and they are quite adaptable. Put one in your filmmaking equipment right now, and you’ll never have to worry about bad lighting again.

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