Using A Huge DIY Reflector For Hollywood Lighting

One thing that make Hollywood light what they are is the fact that they are huge. Huge light equals soft flattering glamorous light.

Sadly, huge lights have their price and getting a big pro kinoflo kit may set you back a good $3K or so.

But how about using cheap worklights bounced of a huge reflector and diffused by a bed sheet? This is exactly what Matthew Scott did for as little as $55.

Using A Huge DIY Reflector For Hollywood Lighting

Inspired by a BTS shot from No Country For Old Men by the Cohen brothers, Matthew build a very glamorous setup with one trip to the hardware store area

Key light is a set of four worklight bouncing off a mega-monster reflector made by wrapping tinfoil on a flat and spread-out TV box. You can see the setup below:

Using A Huge DIY Reflector For Hollywood Lighting

The last step was color correcting the footage.

For a complete account of the build, lighting diagrams and some cinema love, take a look at Matt’s post.

P.S. Matt is not the only one to love lighting with bed sheets. See here David Hobby and Joe McNally pull similar stunts.


  • Rick

    Could have saved himself a lot of effort with a can of 3m spray stick. It’ll mount aluminum foil to pretty much any surface in seconds.

    • Messenger

      He used an old TV box and duct tape to mount the aluminum foil. How is 3m spray cheaper than that?

      • Rick

        I didn’t mention cheap, I said he could have saved a lot of effort. And for the record, that’s not duct tape, its gaffer tape. And with the roughly 40′ of the high dollar tape he used, a light but sufficient coat of spray stick would have probably been cheaper.

        He would have also been able to finish it in about 5 minutes.

        • Matt Scott

          Sounds like a much better plan….I’ll be doing that next time :) For now, the mother reflector is still holding strong. Also, sometimes it’s about what is available on a Sunday cost wise and proximity wise. This was the best I could do that afternoon :) Thanks for the comments,


        • LD

          The fact is he did it. Could’ve should’ve. Nice job, Matt.

  • Colin Williams

    Nice build..thanks, will probably build this if I can find the parts (not so easy in Cambodia)

  • Michael Turcotte

    Is there suppose to be links for Hobby and McNally?

    • udi tirosh

      yes, they were always there :) if you missed them, then you probably blinked before my edit from 10 seconds ago :)

  • Wayne

    Very nice light. But I think you could have painted the cardboard white and forgot about the sheet with very similar results.

    • Matt Scott

      Similar results yes, but not as nice. I’ve tried and bouncing the light through diffusion is much nicer :) Thanks for commenting!

  • EVener

    You can get the same effect with one light, a medium or large silver or white umbrella and a diffusion scrim (like a sheet or frosted shower curtain)

    • Judith Pishnery

      love my frosted shower curtain diffuser and also the silver emergency blanket (camping department) reflector – been a DIY photog for a while 😉