Keslow Camera Acquires Clairmont Camera

Keslow Camera is expanding into Canada through the acquisition of Clairmont Camera. More than quadrupling the anamorphic and vintage lens inventory of the largest privately owned motion picture camera equipment rental house in North America, the move will add a variety of specialized camera and lens technologies from Clairmont Camera and company founder Denny Clairmont to the company’s offerings. The deal is expected be final by early August. 

Denny Clairmont, president and owner of Clairmont Camera and a longtime ASC associate member, announced concurrently that he both endorses and will retire during the transition. “Clairmont Camera is my life’s work,” he said via the press release, “and I never stopped searching for innovative ways to serve our clients. I have long respected Robert Keslow and the team at Keslow Camera for their integrity, quality of management, best-in-class customer service, and successful performance. I am confident they are the right company to honor my heritage and founding vision going forward.”

Robert Keslow at his company's headquarters.

“This acquisition perfectly aligns with Keslow Camera’s mission, to never stop growing, never stop learning, and never stop improving,” said Keslow founder and CEO Robert Keslow (top image), also an ASC associate member. He noted that this move also adds Vancouver and Toronto locations to the Keslow brick-and-mortar offerings. “The expansion into the two busiest Canadian markets delivers on our clients’ ongoing requests for us to service them in more areas of the world.”

Keslow Camera will retain the support staff and team in Toronto and Vancouver, who have been serving the filmmaking community there since the 1980s. California operations are planned to be consolidated into Keslow Camera’s Culver City headquarters. 

The prep room at Keslow Camera.

Founded in 1976 as Clarimont Engle by brothers Denny and Terry Clairmont, Claremont Cameras (renamed in 1980) became one of the largest and most well respected motion picture rental companies in the world. Terry Clairmont passed in October of 2006.

Denny Clairmont began as a cameraman at Birns & Sawyer, where he eventually became supervisor of repairs. Building on previous experience as a mechanic and engineer, he learned to design specialized items for the rental department there. In addition to a number of patents, he earned a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as two Emmys. He was also awarded a Technical Achievement Award from the Society of Camera Operators (SOC) for a lens perspective system he created, and was presented with the ASC’s prestigious Bud Stone Award of Distinction in 2015. 

Denny Clairmont (left) and Otto Nemenz were both honored with the Bud Stone Award of Distinction during the 2015 ASC Awards ceremony.

Keslow says that Clairmont’s innovative solutions will be available immediately to their customers. “We are honored to have earned Denny Clairmont’s trust, and recognize the work and innovation that he and his great team have brought to the industry over the past 70 years,” added Keslow’s Chief Operating Officer, Dennis McDonald, to the announcement. “To be able to offer our personalized level of service in more locations, with a wider range of technology to serve the needs of the creative community, we’re poised to elevate the Keslow experience for current and new customers.” 

Keslow Camera was founded in 1990. Providing camera equipment to motion picture, television and commercial productions worldwide, the company has dedicated locations in Chicago, Santa Fe and Atlanta. 

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