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How to collapse large and annoying reflectors & backgrounds.

Collapsing discs are one of those wonderfully useful tools at our visual disposal. They come in many shapes, sizes, and function. But when it comes to pack them back down, some of them can be a real pain if you don't know how to do it. Fear not, in just a few minutes, you'll know how to pack even the large ones down with ease. Although we'll be covering different shapes, for simplicity i'll be referring to them as discs.

Method 1: Twisty

For pretty much all shapes that are small enough to hold end to end on the long side, this is the method that works best. It's as easy as holding on both sides(yes i know, circles don't have those, but you know what i mean) twisting one hand toward you, and the other away from you. Let the disc collapse and pull itself in. It helps to not hold both hands normally, take one hand, and reverse your grip: instead of your fingers on the opposite side, turn your hand over so your fingers are now on your side of the disc. 

Method 2: Up & In

This is where folks tend to go wrong with the larger oblong discs, Twisty just doesn't work. I've seen timelapse videos of someone fighting for ages to collapse a larger oblong with the twisty method, only to be left frustrated and with sore palms. Here's the right way to do it, and in 3 seconds or less: 

Stand on one short end of the disc, pick it up on ether corner, the idea is to pull those two corners together, up and in. It helps to put some downward pressure on the edge closest to your body, using either the inside of your palms, or even your elbows. As you start this motion, the far end of the disc will start to pull in and form another loop. At this point the disc will be for the most part collapsing itself, and the easiest thing to do is just let it settle into the shape on the floor. 

Other shapes

There are some odd ones out there, in triangle and square. In my experience, the twisty method works best for when they are small. If you're trying to tackle a disc of any size/shape and it's not going well, try the other method. Great amounts of force should not be needed to collapse any discs, so use your brain!

Added on by
Darren Levine

Darren Levine

Stimulus Video

DP/Videographer, Video/Film Editor
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