Award-Winning Chesapeake Plastics Manufacturing Enters Film Rig Market With CPM Film Tools Division

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Commissioned by the military, designed and manufactured by CPM Film Tools, now available for civilian use on your next film project. DSLR camera rigs and gear, made in the USA.

When the Army National Guard needed gear for their Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras and when American Forces Network wanted to outfit their Canon 5D cameras for Freestyle Iraq, a lifestyle news magazine set in an active combat zone, Lusby-based Chesapeake Plastics Manufacturing (CPM) was their first-choice solutions provider.
Both military units needed a lightweight, robust video rigging system that could stand up to the harshest environments. CPM developed a system of carbon fiber rods combined with carbon-filled polycarbonate components to fill the need for strong yet lightweight configurations to house the cameras and multiple associated accessories using a cage, rod and bracket system. This system protects the cameras while providing customizable accessory mounting points to increase the overall strength of the system without adding unnecessary weight.
The catalyst for developing these video rigs can be attributed to the DSLR revolution. When DSLR still camera manufacturers began offering video capabilities users quickly found they did not capture moving and dynamic images very well. The need arose for a cinema rig to stabilize the camera and provide a better form factor while allowing users to customize and include additional components to compliment the image quality like digital audio recorders, external battery supports, lighting and external video monitoring. A video rig allows these dissimilar parts to work together in a cohesive, lightweight and durable configuration.

CPM Film Tools’ AF series of rigs features OD green primary pieces, black oxide treatment of all metal surfaces and a snap-on Allen key set. All AF rigs are metal tagged for ease of inventory management including part numbers, cage codes, serial numbers and rig variants. “I personally like the light weight and interchangeability,” said Derek Darmstaedter, National Guard Bureau, ARNG Strength Maintenance Division, Advertising Branch.

CPM has a long history of supporting all branches of the U.S. military. Prior to entry in the cinema support field, their unique products were honed on the battle field through the provision of aging military parts not longer supported by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to design solutions for unique or difficult problems. From concepts and engineering to prototypes, tooling and final production, all aspects of manufacturing are performed under a single roof from their operations center in Lusby, Md., allowing for a quicker reaction to market trends, shorter time to market, robust implementation of improvements and overall cost savings for customers.

For more information on CPM Film Tools, visit online at or call 410.394.6733 or 410.326.3004 or e-mail co-owners Steven Moore or Mark McGrath at steven(at) or mark(at)

For more information on Chesapeake Plastics Manufacturing, visit online at


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Steven Moore
CPM Film Tools
(410) 394-6733
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Mark McGrath
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