Charles, SHAPE’s vice-president and co-founder also known as an experienced industrial designer, creates and designs all SHAPE’s high-end camera support equipment lines. He’s one step ahead when it comes to the latest technical developments in the film industry. In his mind’s eye, he can picture what will be the next best thing to meet the customers’ needs. In wintertime, Charles really enjoys freestyle skiing and coaching young skiers at the Orford Freestyle Ski Club that SHAPE created; he also loves riding a wave in the summer.
Mylène is SHAPE’s president and co-founder also known as a visionary and business strategist. She envisions the company’s future and co-creates innovative camera rig equipment designs with her life and business partner. Mylène is the one sitting across the table at your first meeting sharing her crystal-clear vision and direction for the company. Outside of work hours, she is a photography and film enthusiast, and has a passionate fascination for getting the perfect picture.
Founded in 2007, SHAPE wlb Inc. is a global brand with a strong reputation for excellence, innovation, design and craftsmanship. The couple and co-founders, Mylène Girard and Charles Vallières, were both working in the film industry for over 15 years before launching their own business. Mylène was working as an assistant camera operator on sets and Charles was running art departments for set building and special effects for various film studios.
Word spread quickly in the industry
So much so that others started noticing SHAPE’s camera rigs on sets and wanted one for themselves also which started a cottage industry in their backyard tool shed and later in their basement.
To meet the increasing demand for their new camera rigs, the young couple and business partners officially launched SHAPE wlb Inc. in October 2007. Furthermore, the name SHAPE stands for SHOULDER HANDLE ADJUSTABLE PORTABLE EQUIPMENT and “wlb” is derived from their three children’s initials, William, Léa and Bianca.
By October 2008, SHAPE was filling as many orders in one month as it had recorded in the previous year. Hence, the brand became very popular amongst “prosumers” who were looking for more affordable and professional camera rigs and accessories. SHAPE was on the rise, and that was only the beginning of the adventure for these young entrepreneurs.
The Pioneering Spirit
Further, SHAPE designed and built the world’s first and only adjustable Quick Handle Push-Button Technology patented worldwide which revolutionised the camera stabilizer and support industry. This high-end technology was introduced at the NAB Show in Las Vegas in 2009. With the invention of the Push-Button Handle System, a 360°rotational axis for quick and easy adjustments, the company was at the cutting edge of innovation.
Over the course of 10 years, SHAPE has expanded its product line ranging from top-quality camera equipment and accessories for Canon, Sony, Panasonic, ARRI, RED and Blackmagic cameras to several sophisticated camera rig and shoulder mount designs.
In 2017, SHAPE’s new modern and state-of-the-art 15,000 sq. ft. factory, production plant and office building was built in Chambly, Quebec, Canada. The company has grown out of its tiny office block to become a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-end and innovative camera equipment as well as a multinational corporation thanks to its widespread international distribution network which covers over 150 countries throughout the world.
Since its inception in 2007, SHAPE has sponsored scouting, extreme sports and advocated for wild life in different parts of the world. These initiatives illustrate SHAPE’s commitment to its local and global community.
SHAPING innovation for 10 years
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, SHAPE is a privately-owned company committed to designing and manufacturing high-end, innovative, ergonomic, lightweight, user-friendly, and reliable camera equipment and accessories for both amateur and professional camera operators in film and TV production. All SHAPE’s sturdy and highly durable products are made in Canada, and come with a lifetime warranty on all CNC machined parts.
SHAPE’s high-quality standards and aesthetics, pursuit of excellence and search for perfection determine why they do what they do every single day. SHAPE believes in infinite possibilities to better camera equipment and accessories in order to provide users with durable and high-performance equipment as well as quick and easy solutions that make their life easier.
Across every continent, SHAPE’s camera rigs are used to tell a story, and that story never ends.
SHAPING the world, one camera rig at a time!