Severine Serrano was appointed Managing Director of Angenieux International Sales in May. She has been working at Angenieux since 2009, initially in marketing and as a member of the Angenieux advisory team investigating new opportunities in the cinema industry. Severine then advanced to sales management in the demanding fields of avionics, aircraft systems, night vision, heads-up displays, and optical devices for ophthalmology, surgery and the medical industry. She described her career prior to Angenieux, “I have always been involved in images, from their capture to recording and finally to viewing. At first, it was in the industrial world and now it’s the cinema world.”
Severine grew up in Paris. Her family was involved in science and technology. She received a Master’s degree in optics, engineering and industrial systems from the University of Saint-Etienne, with a specialization in machine vision. At the University of Paris, her thesis explored the nature of mirages using simulated conditions of the desert to explain the phenomenon with scientific and optical principles. Severine commented, “The myth of a mirage is that it is something imagined in the desert when you are severely hot or dehydrated. But, in fact, a mirage is an actual optical phenomenon that can be explained by science and captured by a camera.”
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) also comes to mind, with one of the most famous entrances in cinema history, as Omar Sharif appears riding from a distant mirage into a close-up. Freddie Young BSC had a 482mm telephoto lens made by Panavision for this scene.
Severine is enthusiastic about her new position and said, “It is exciting to be at Angenieux, a very innovative company. I think that innovation is the key to the future and I have always been involved in planning for it.” She leads a large and experienced sales, service and communication team in Saint-Héand (covering Europe, India, Middle-East and Africa) and in the US, Japan and Singapore (for the rest of the world). In her new position, Severine works closely with Christophe Remontet and Emmanuel Sprauel. Christophe is Managing Director for partnerships, business development, R&D and new products—and has been with Angenieux for 28 years. Emmanuel is the Director of Strategy for optronics (optical and electronics) products at Thales, is a member of the Thales Supervisory business line, which includes cinema activities, and is VP of the Angenieux brand at Thales.
The new Optimo Ultra 12X Multi-format lens
Severine’s first task as Managing Director of Angenieux International Sales was to introduce the new Optimo Ultra 12X S35/U35/Full Frame zoom lens at IBC 2017 this September.
She explained “It was very exciting to be launching the new Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12X Full Frame Zoom Lens. This is a real revolution in the cinematography market, jumping into Full Frame and VistaVision. It is a compelling new format and sensor size—completely different from Super 35. We have received very positive feedback. Users like the versatility of the Optimo Ultra 12X rear optical group to adapt the zoom lens to several formats and various cameras. I think it is a really good investment for the rental houses.
“The Full Frame Sony VENICE and Red MONSTRO 8K VV are helping. With all the buzz about Full Frame, we felt that a good time to launch our product was IBC in September. We were in the right place at the right time. It was like 17 years ago, when Angenieux came out with the original Optimo 24-290 for Super 35 and we arrived at the same time as the ARRICAM. Both brands took the market by storm. And I think that’s what we are starting to see again with our Optimo 12X and the new cameras”.
After IBC, Severine went to Broadcast India and then embarked on a road trip across the US to present the new lens personally to the rental houses. She will attend Camerimage and is eager to receive comments from cinematographers, partners and rental houses. With all this work, there’s little time left for her hobbies: sailing, jogging or riding horses in Lyon, where she lives, the birthplace of cinema.
It seems clear that Full Frame lenses are Angenieux’s priority at the moment. At IBC 2016, they launched the Full Frame /S35 Type EZ zoom lenses for the entry-level market in collaboration with Jebsen and Band Pro, who distribute the products in their areas.
Where does Angenieux go from here?
Severine replied, “I think we are seeing a revolution in the cinema business. For example, Netflix, Amazon and others are new major players in production. Not everyone will watch films in a theater. They will also view these movies on their own TV or personal device. I would like to learn how the markets will react to these trends with new cameras, lenses and techniques.
“We must be sure that Angenieux will always stay a step ahead. At IBC, we were first in the market to provide a high-end long range zoom lens for Full Frame cameras. Innovation is the key to the future. In the coming years, we aspire to continue making fine lenses that move great stories onto screens, and in the process, always to have relevant products that help write the continuing history of cinema.”