Who we are




Christopher Smith - Managing Director

Christopher has been involved in Film and Television since 1983. He has worked initially at Rank Taylor Hobson the division now known as Cooke Optics. This followed by a managerial position at Rank Film equipment responsible for the sale of Arri products. This was followed by a directorship at ICE Film in London the sales outlet for Aaton Cameras and other products. Christopher's own business then became his employment where the Factory in Leicestershire grew to employ in excess of 20 people at its height manufacturing hundred plus lenses per year as well as a range of camera accessories.

Today the Van Diemen films continues to change quickly with the development of new products and systems in broadcast Television Christopher enjoys being involved in keeping pace with the requirements of such changes.
























Stephen Sisman - Optical Design Manager

Stephen graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2012 with an honours degree in Aerospace  Engineering. Having worked in an aerospace foundry honing his skills using laser scanners and CAD design he joined the team at Van Diemen Films in 2015 as Optical Design Engineer. His primary role was to create the bespoke designs used in all of our lens conversions. Liaising directly with clients and the management team Stephen has a proven track record of completing projects and overcoming technical hurdles with aplomb. He now holds the status of Optical Design Manager continuing to create the bespoke designs and overseeing the rest of the team. Stephen is very much involved in client liaison to ensure their requirements are reflected in the lens designs.


Edward Koehler - Production Support & Service Manager

Having graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1998 with a BA degree in Film and Video Production, Eddie has over 20 years of experience in the field of film and video lens servicing and modification. Eddie joined the Van Diemen team in 2017 as Production Support & Service Manager. His skills are applied to the preparation of vintage lenses prior to conversion to suit the lens designer’s requirements as well as assisting with the flow of service work as required.


Terry Taylor - Optical Assembly Engineer

Terry has been in the work place since leaving school. Before joining Van Diemen Films he was in building industrial automation with key roles in assembly, bespoke parts design and installations. As Optical Assembly Engineer, Terry’s key role is in building and testing all of our lens conversions. 


Nici Hills - Engraving Engineer/Office Manager

Nici graduated from the University of Hull in 1991 with an honours degree in Mathematics. After working for over ten years in the publishing industry Nici then took a career break to concentrate on raising her family. She joined the Van Diemen team in 2015 and is now the primary Engraving Engineer whilst also running the office and managing the E commerce website.



Ellen Smith - Company Secretary

Ellen has many years of experience running the accounts at Van Diemen and other companies. Ellen is part time at Van Diemen but is generally contactable by e mail in case of need.