“Passfire”: Kickstart This

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In the last two Veverka Bros. posts we discussed our new film Passfire, the story of the world’s most amazing fireworks and the people who make them.

Since beginning production in October 2012, we have gotten off to a great start. We visited some of the world’s biggest fireworks factories in Liuyang, China, the world’s fireworks capital, and saw some of the largest shells in existence being manufactured in artisanal workshops in Japan.

Story continues below.



Kickstart this: Terry Winkle in Passfire

We met people for whom fireworks are a way of life, a code to live by, and a like a hot cup of coffee, a reason to wake up in the morning. Their unsung dedication for taking charcoal, sulfur, saltpeter, paper, paste and twine and turning it into one of the most captivating spectacles known to humankind is truly special. They assume risk of injury, navigate complicated regulations and face fickle public support so they can bring us the fireworks that we may rarely think about but would miss deeply did they not exist.

So far, we have funded Passfire through contributions from the National Fireworks Association, Skylighter.com, a Virginia-based pyrotechnics company, and several individuals who have joined the project as associate producers. But in order to continue the project and bring you the entire story of humanity’s passion for fireworks, we must raise more money. That’s why we have decided to go public on Kickstarter.

And that’s what it is: going public. We’ve spent a lot of time studying Kickstarter and one thing we’ve learned is that successful crowd-funding isn’t about charity, but rather exchange. In order to earn support we must offer people something they care about.

That’s why we are proud to have the Clyde Fitch Report, the home of Veverka Bros. bi-weekly film column, and official blog of the Passfire project, endorse the film and together offer CFR readers some special rewards.

Limited edition Passfire/CFR T-shirt and mug

For $20 you can pre-buy a digital download of the finished film or for $35 you can also get a signed collector’s edition DVD. But here is what we think will really excite you: if you pledge $50 you’ll receive a limited edition Passfire mug emblazoned with the CFR logo and for $75 you’ll get a limited edition Passfire/CFR T-shirt. Both come with the film and are available nowhere else.

We also have some very special perks that capture the beauty of both fireworks and Japanese craftsmanship: one-of-a-kind, hand-pasted 6″ ball shell piggy banks (inert) emblazoned with the Passfire logo and hand-made dried flower arrangements depicting fireworks scenes from Passfire. Both come with a Passfire/CFR shirt, the film and other cool stuff.

Handmade Japanese pressed flower firework art and 6″ ball shell piggy bank

The money we raise on Kickstarter will allow us to film in places with amazing fireworks traditions that most people are unaware of, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and Thailand, to bring you a story we think you’ll love.

For example, every spring in Thailand, rice farmers get together to make giant girandolas (think rocket-powered helicopters) that spiral into the sky. These aren’t professional pyrotechnicians and they aren’t getting paid. So why do they risk their personal safety every year to make them? That’s one of the questions we want to answer.

The beauty of Kickstarter is that, like the stock exchange, it’s a free market and it’s up to you. It’s about getting together a community of people who believe in a project, and want to work together as a team to turn it into a reality. So if you like what we are offering, consider becoming a part of the Passfire project.

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Trained as an aerospace engineer, writer/director Jesse Veverka was a financial analyst on Wall Street before co-founding his own media production company, Veverka Bros. Productions LLC, with his brother Jeremy. He has worked and lived throughout Asia, including Japan, Korea, Indonesia and China, where he has produced a number of award-winning films. His articles have appeared in various publications including CNN Travel, Japan’s Metropolis Magazine and China’s Global Times. He was born in Ithaca, NY. Jeremy Veverka is a media professional with specialties in documentary filmmaking, photojournalism, cinematography, sound design, and commercial work. His award-winning films, including the feature documentary China: The Rebirth of an Empire, cover a range of geopolitical issues and have been screened at dozens of film festivals worldwide. With a degree in English from Cornell University and extensive travel experience throughout Asia and the Middle East, Jeremy brings his background in storytelling and international journalism to each of his projects and strives to give a voice to historically underrepresented groups. To learn more, visit www.jeremyveverka.com or follow Jeremy on Twitter: @JeremyVeverka.