It’s called Revolution Pyro. My partner on the project is Jim McCulla. He is a Pyrotechnics Guild International Grand Master and has quite a pyro resume. We are specializing in top notch, off the wall fireworks productions and new products to help the industry move forward.
We just shot our first show last weekend in Dundee, Illinois to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a couple of weeks ago. We lit up the sky over the Fox River with thousands of comets, mines, shells, and cakes packed onto a tiny footbridge that connects East and West Dundee. Spectators completely filled the streets and sidewalks of the tiny towns to witness the pyrotechnic spectacle that signified the start of a week-long display of Irish heritage. It was an incredible weekend.
When I was around 20, I dreamed of having a fireworks company. I was completely obsessed with putting on the biggest and best fireworks shows around and doing groundbreaking things with pyrotechnics. My only objective was to show the world what could be done with fireworks.
Then at 23 I was hired by ACE Pyro to manage their Fire Art branch in Pennsylvania. It was like a dream come true to be given a fireworks company of my own to run. I packed all my stuff, got into a truck, and moved my life to a tiny town called Clearfield. There I was, a born and bred city boy from Chicago living in the middle of nowhere. The only acquaintances I had were the few people I worked with. There were lots of quiet, lonely nights away from family and friends, but we did incredible things. In two years, we brought Fire Art, an aging fireworks company with tons of history, back to life. I met hundreds of new pyrotechnic enthusiasts from the Eastern United States and cemented some amazing friendships in the process. My team there helped to build a new network of fireworks fans and today ACE Pyro and Fire Art are both thriving companies.
But it wasn’t easy. Every summer was a struggle to stay ahead as deadline after deadline came and went. Days started early and ended late. The facilities were falling apart and the margins made it difficult to afford repairs. It was during this two year period that I promised myself I would never start a fireworks company. As much as I loved fireworks, it just didn’t make sense as a business. It was too much work. Too much risk. Too much regulatory hassle for little to no money in return.
And yet, here we are. We have a company called Revolution Pyro and I won’t lie when I say it’s scary. It’s still too much work, too much risk, and too much regulatory hassle for little to no money in return. We’ve only been in business for a couple of months and already there have been endless days and sleepless nights. So why are we doing it?
Because we have to.
There is too much to be done in the world of fireworks to stand by and watch. We need to get busy. Not to mention, we have assembled the best team of pyrotechnicians around. We are putting our money where our mouth is and moving the industry forward, one product, one shell, one display at a time.
Look out world, because we’ve got tons of new developments in the works. We will be shooting a display on behalf of the Pyrotechnics Guild International (PGI) at the 2016 Pyro Fest event in Butler County, PA on Memorial Day weekend and the Grand Public Display at the PGI Convention in LaPorte this August.
For more information about Revolution Pyro, please visit www.revolutionpyro.com