Birns & Sawyer History

Premiere Los Angeles Production Equipment & Camera Rentals for Professional Filmmakers

Birns & Sawyer Celebrates 60 Years of Service. Founded by Jack Birns and Cliff Sawyer in 1954, Birns & Sawyer is a famed motion picture camera rental company that has quickly become the premiere place for professional filmmakers to buy and rent Los Angeles production equipment.

In 1998, cinematographer/gaffer William Meurer acquired Birns & Sawyer and merged the legacy company with his existing lighting and grip company Gunner Lighting; making Birns & Sawyer a full solution rental house for any production. From that point on, Birns & Sawyer has committed itself to stand as a beacon for quality service and gear.

After fully adopting digital filmmaking in 2011 by only carrying digital cameras, Birns & Sawyer has continued to explore the innovations of the industry by supporting new digital trends, including LED lighting solutions. Today, we exist for the filmmaker because we love films, we love making films, and we love helping others make their films a reality. We want nothing more than to be a part of your production so you can be a part of our history!

Our Staff


William Meurer


Los Angeles Production EquipmentWilliam (Bill) Meurer has worked as a Hollywood Cinematographer and Gaffer since 1980. His credits include the Feature Film The Delos Adventure; Television programs, Unsolved Mysteries, The Secret Life of Jack the Ripper, A Desperate Exit, The Train; numerous Music Videos, Commercials, Corporate films as well as gaffing the feature film This is Spinal Tap.

Bill operated motion picture equipment provider Gunner Lighting & Cameras until 1998 when he acquired Birns & Sawyer. His passion to advance the roll out of digital camera systems started with the Canon Xl-1 and accelerated with the Panasonic Varicam line. Today, Bill supports Birns’ continued venture in supporting digital camera systems and new lighting technologies.

Mari Acevedo

Director of Sales

Mari Acevedo has 27 years of system integration experience with broadcast camera packages. Mari started her career in Hollywood with Walt Davis Enteprises/Steadi Systems. She later served at Hoffman Video Systems as Broadcast Equipment Account Rep for system integration projects. As the industry evolved, Mari formed her own company Hi-Def Inc to serve international clients in Digital Cinema and Broadcast A/V. Mari is versed in all digital camera systems, multiplex systems, LED lighting and all support gear.

Michael Shugrue

General Manager

Michael Shugrue has worked in the Film & Television Industry for the past 35 plus years. He is a 4th generation Filmmaker & Technician.  He has owned and managed rental companies all over North America.  He has won 2 Emmy awards for his Technical and Camera work, and received a Emmy Award recognition for the TV Series “The West Wing” He has directed and produced live motor-sports and reality productions around the world.

Jeff Jackson

Director of Rentals

Jeff Jackson has been in the business since 1978 and has worked on 1000’s of TV commercials for a wide range of products and brands. While making advertisement magic, he helmed positions as an AC, Operator, and DP. Jeff was also a member of NABET 531 and IATSE Local 600.

“Quit your whining and don’t be a wanker!” – JJ

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