As we entered 2022 and the live events industry eagerly awaited a return to normality, exciting news came out of the world of special effects, with two well-known names joining forces. As of January, Pyrojunkies became a part of the ER Production Group. Despite only being announced this year, the origins of this partnership date back to a meeting at LDI in 2019. TPi sat down with Pyrojunkies’ Dan Mott and ER Productions founders, Ryan Hagan and Marc Webber, to discover more about this brand-new alliance.
“2019 was a huge year for us with so much gear going out of the door and on the road,” reflected Mott. “At the tail end of that year, we found ourselves at LDI having a conversation with ER Productions about business, and some of the biggest issues the industry faces, while brainstorming potential solutions.”
This back and forth soon planted the seed that would lead to the two companies joining forces. “We obviously knew the team at Pyrojunkies and had even worked on a number of shows together,” stated Hagan.
“Dan and his team were aware that we had started working with SFX with the goal of bringing it to the same standard as our laser offering, so it seemed like a great move to bring Pyrojunkies into the group due to their experience in this field.”
Currently, the two companies are going to remain in their respective headquarters, however, the plan is to bring the entire group under one roof at ER Productions’ brand-new facility, which has been five years in the making. “Although we are bringing both companies into the same building, nothing will change with client experiences,” assured Webber. “Clients who have worked with Pyrojunkies will still be speaking to the same team and the same goes for those working with ER.”
As one might imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic did not help the deal progress any faster as the whole industry waited with bated breath as to what the future of live events would be. “It was a bit of a roller coaster,” said Mott, adding that now was the best time to announce the partnership with the industry eagerly awaiting the return to normality.
There has already been recent proof of the seamless cohesion of the two names off the back of the work at MDLBEAST Soundstorm Festival out in Saudi Arabia [TPMEA 34].
The Middle East has become a major place of interest for both companies. In the past few months, ER Productions has opened its new Saudi Office, home of all the equipment used on Soundstorm. “It’s a great time to make this announcement as we are just off the back of Soundstorm where we worked together,” Hagan stated.
The impressive SFX and laser offering saw both companies collectively providing seven stages with a staggering amount of equipment. The new partnership is already looking forward to a full season in the Middle East.
Speaking more generally about the new partnership, Mott explained what he believed being part of ER Productions Group would mean for Pyrojunkies. “I hope some of my day-to-day operations are going to become a lot easier,” he chuckled. “Pyrojunkies is a much smaller company which inevitably means most of us have worn multiple hats over the years. Now being part of the ER Productions Group is going to help us when it comes to bigger shows and means some of our staff can really look to specialise in a specific skill rather than have to do it all.”
On the subject of the latest collaborations, Webber talked through some of the highlights of the new UK office space both companies would be moving into. “This facility has been five years in the making and it’s finally going to be ready in February this year.”
The larger premises has been designed to best facilitate the demands of the events industry including having a studio space available to hire. Nicknamed The Dock, Webber explained that he already had numerous enquiries for productions to use the space in preparation for an upcoming project.
“It’s a purpose-built black box,” stated Hagan. “There are plenty of options to hang lights and lasers and we even added extra steel supports to give clients more options to hang from the roof. Essentially, the whole space is split into two rehearsals spaces and in the times when one is not being used, the warehouse team will be able to expand out for further preparation space.”
Away from the new warehouse space, another point that Webber was keen to highlight was the benefit of sharing resources this new partnership would bring. “We have always designed and developed our own products when it comes to lasers. With this bringing Pyrojunkies in house and their speciality in special effects, it will be interesting to begin developing products in the field.”
Webber closed by praising Pyrojunkies forefathers, Shane Caulfield and Richard Huffam. “They started the company back in 2003 and although Dan has been running the show for a few years, they were still brought into the conversation and we talked at length about the future of the company.”
It seems that both companies are incredibly excited about what the future holds and the potential doors this latest collaboration will open for both parties.
This article originally appeared in issue #268 of TPi, which you can read here.