Monday, February 22, 2010

January and February CCW Girls???

January's CCW Girl?
So I'm sure your all wondering where the January girl is? Well to be honest, several issues have come up and we just didn't have time for the shoots. We did do a Limo service for a group in January. We took them to a R.O.T.C. Ball. The kids loved the idea of arriving in a Hearse, the parents were a bit concerned. I explained that we do not offer any drinks in the back, nor do we allow it. The windows do not roll down and theres no sunroof. So no crazy antics as we drive down the road. After I let them look in the back, they calmed down.
When we arrived at the Ball, everyone was standing outside waiting to get in. As we pulled up the crowd went silent. I mean they just stopped and stared at the big black Cadillac Hearse that just pulled up. I got out, opened the back up and the kids popped out to a huge roar of cheers. They were the ONLY kids limo'ed in to the dance. We got to park on the walkway by the door so lot's of people poked their heads inside to see what it was all about. Good Times.
We also went down to the Airport to escort our Phoenix Cardinals off to the playoff game against the Saints. We had 4 Hearses show up in support of "Bury The Saints". We even had a huge Death Certificate that hundreds of people signed. Check out the pictures. The players loved it as well.

As I write this, we are half way through the month of February. I assure you the girls will be back! We have two shoots planed. One involves using the actual limo used by "Slash" From the band Guns-N-Roses. We also have planed more variety of cars and Motorcycles for our girls to pose on. Check often to see whats new.
Until next time, stay above the ground but don't hang around!
Eric Unser
CEO Custom Coffin Works

Sunday, December 27, 2009

One more year down....

This year was the best yet. It seems the more parties we do, the more popular we become. This Halloween proved once again, all the party people are out in Chandler and Queen Creek! We did a Trunk or Treat event for the city of Queen Creek on Halloween night. There were over 5000 people who showed up dress in their best costumes. We took over a hundred photos of kids sitting in the back of the Hearse that night. Fun Fun Fun. We also had a Halloween Prom that we supplied the Casket Cooler for. It was by far the hit of the party.
The Dragula was rented out by a local home owner who really gives the professional haunts a run for their money. He had electronics, a full sized saloon and computer controlled skeletons lip (or should I say Jaw) sinking to the Rob Zombie Favorite "Dragula". Hats off to him for the hard work.
We are seeing more and more enthusiast buying their own caskets this time. They still rented from us coolers, but it was interesting to see that new development. Those casket run anywhere from $500 and up!
We have also completed our last CCW Girl for 2009. Voting is being done as to who is the CCW of the year and we will announce her name at the end of January. We are looking for more girls for 2010 so if your interested, hit us up.
Plans for 2010 will include more custom built furniture, more Caskets in our inventory and more wild parties featuring our products! Stay tuned to our web site for more details! But in the mean us up and we will provide you with everything you need to ..."Throw A Party To Die For"

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Drunk Drivers....

So today we had a simple film shoot which involved our 1970 Cadillac Hearse and one Casket. Location was a dead end street with an apartment parking area at the end. The only reason anyone would come down the street is because they live in the 20 or so apartments there. With Grips at the head of the street stopping traffic and my hearse parked at the entrance to the apartments, the filming starts. all is well until about two hours into it when a Yellow Range Rover come barreling down the street towards the film crew. They stopped hima dn gave him directions as he was lost. He akes a U-turn and off he goes...or so we thought. He just went up the block and turned arounf to get more speed hoping to bypass the group of actors and filmographers. Once again he was uccessfully stopped but this time after a short war of words, he lurched his Range Rover ahead and directly into my rear panel of the hearse. Seeing that he ahd just hit the card, he pulled back and drove of into the parking area. Only by luck (or Karma) did he end up returning into the same dead end street to this time confronted by 30 or so angry actors and one very confused hearse owner.
Why was I confused? Well you see after he took off from the scene, no one wanted to come tell me it was just hit. It was only after I seen him pull around and all the actors running toards him did I get involved. I stop the guy and could tell right away that he ahd been drinking Vodka or something close to it. After he blew a 3.9 and was hualed off to jail it started to sink in that my hearse has been damaged.
The damage is to the rear panel behind the right tire. It is still drivable but my concern is that the insureance is going to "Total" the car out and I'll never see the beauty again.
I'll try to keep you all up to date as to what happens. Right now he sits in jail for 45 days minum. Grrr.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Comedy Central Short Film

May 17Th 2009,
I get a call late in the evening about renting a casket for a few hours on Monday. After calling the customer back I find that they are doing a short film for Comedy Central. everything is still hush, hush right now, but I can tell you that they had me going all over the place with the hearse. We ended up at a local cemetery here in North Phoenix and did about two hours of film. I got the script to read and agreed they were on to something funny.
So picture the scene. I'm sitting in a 1970 Black Cadillac Hearse, waiting for someone in the middle of a busy cemetery. I say busy because I have never seen s many people stopping by to pay their respects the the grave markers. So after about 15 minutes of sitting there I get a call from the production manager as to how to get there from where they were. Great another 15-20 minutes of lurking around in a cemetery with my non-descript car. Not to mention there is a working funeral home on site. I'm sure they were giving me a good hard look too. I would have loved to hear what was going on in there offices as they looked out to see me just sitting there waiting.
They finally arrive and get out of the truck. Three people total. An extra (truck owner) an Actor and a Filmographer. The production guy approaches me and asks if I'm the guy who rents the caskets. Turns out he didn't know I was driving a hearse to boot! He about creamed himself when he seen the hearse. "Rewrite!" Now the hearse is involved and I'm driving it in the short clip. Woot! I'm an Actor & stunt driver! I will update this blog when the film is done and sent to me. Until then I would assume it is sole property of the producer.
He will put our name in the credits and send me a copy of the film when done, if Comedy Central runs it or not.
Eric Unser
Custom Coffin

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So Easter Sunday, I had a simple little photo shoot planned for the afternoon with a friend acting as our model. We wanted to have some pretty CCW girls on our web site too. I had scouted out a few locations to take as background shots a couple of days earlier. What was planned as a simple session turned into a three ring circus. Here’s a brief summery of how it went down.

Day one. Took the wife with me on our anniversary night to look at possible locations. After a few let downs we decided on two good ones. I figure we would do it on a Sunday afternoon so no businesses would be bothered by us out back taking pictures..
(Lesson learned)
1. Parking garages ALWAYS have security nearby. Nice idea but you need permission from property management for the photo shoot. Good luck there...
2. Taking your wife out after dinner to look for spots is ok so long as it is not on your anniversary night. (Hey after 19 years together, I didn't think she would still want to do that!)

Day two. I figured I would let my webmaster do the photo taking and my wife to do the hair and makeup. Shay (my webmaster) has an eye for photography and knows what I like. My wife loves makeup and hair..and it gets her out of mine for the time being. I was in charge of props, ladders, drinks, and misc. stuff needed for the shot.
(Lesson learned)
1. We had brought one camera and I figured we would just all share it as we go. Three different people wanting to share the same camera is not going to work out. Time for a second camera.
2. Trying to figure out all the different poses I would like to see done. That involves going online and searching pages on pages of girls and car photos. Believe it or not you can get really side tracked doing that..
3. Making a list of items needed for the day of the shoot.

Well being the first time at this, I was kinda winging it. Photo Day! Turns out my love for working all the time made me forget that it was Easter Sunday. Whoops. Called the "model" to see if it was still ok with her. All's well, meet us at 3pm. Lets Go! I decide to leave first to set up. Wife and Freind will leave after me. They will meet the model at a central location and then have her follow them into the spot we are to set up at. We should be an hour tops!
(Lesson learned)
1. The first location is in direct sunlight. Note to self: next time scout the sites during the daytime hours. On to the second location.
2. Wife calls to tell me the model is running late.
3. Second location is fine with shade in all the right spots. No open businesses to worry about ether. Looks like a go!
3.1 In lew of security systems, now business owners use dogs. They unlike security systems do not turn off after a few minutes of barking.
4. Have to clean the area up a bit before my star arrives... broken pallets, glass, needles. No problem but make sure you announce yourself as you approach the seemingly empty dumpster. Like our Diamondback Rattle snakes, homeless people are most dangerous when startled and they like to sun themselves in the dumpsters behind buildings.
5. Our star arrives and announces she wants certain pictures to be taken for her husband with his guitars. What ever, I have lots of storage on my.. wifes camera.
6. What seemed like a good picture in your head doesn't always turn out to be a good idea on film...or memory card...whatever.
7. Make sure you have a place for her to change into the different outfits she brought. Even when they are "Exotic Dancers" their still shy.
8. Bring your list! No check your list BEFORE you drive to the location. Bringing your list to the shoot only reminds you what you forgot to bring.
9. Make sure you bring something to clean the cars body panels off after each time the model brushes against it. I don't know what fairy dust she had on her but it rubbed right off on my gloss black hood. Several photos lost because of a butt print here or a hand print there.
10. Make sure everyones has gone to the bathroom first...
11. Have an errand boy ready to drive back home to get the stuff on the list you forgot to bring. Make sure he is ok with seeing a half naked woman walking around.
12. Make sure you wife is ok with a half naked woman walking around.
13. Wear lose fitting pants.
14. just keep your mouth closed on the shots. Let the two girls taking them do the bickering. No sense you opening a mouth to a deaf ear.
15. Take a huge amount of photos. Shotguns are good for the person who doesn't know how to aim. Having over 500 pictures from three different cameras helps nail that one shot your looking for.
16. Make sure the model is not smiling all the time and looking directly into the camera on all shots. This simple smile can turn an otherwise perfect once-in-a-lifetime shot fail.
16.1 Make sure the model is not looking up at the sky for Skylab to fall on her too. Just look away from the camera. That’s why they say "Watch the birdie"
17. Do not try and make the model stop smiling by offering to say something mean to piss her off. It just doesn't work out well.
18. Keep the props to a minimum. They only look like toys on film.
19. Never put a deadline on how long the photo shoot should take. It only increases the time it actually takes.
Now after all is said and done. The photos are in the can and your now on your merry way home to quickly go through the pictures, figure about another 8 hours of sorting and turning the pictures you've just taken. Not to mention the hours it is going to take to photo shop the ones into something you’ll like. Special thanks to my wife Shanan, my webmaster Shay, my son Alyn and most importantly "Squeak"! Your the best guys!

Custom Coffin Works

Sorting through the photos

Over 650 pictures on just two cameras to sort through. It takes about an hour on each photo to come up with something worthy to post. Nothing wrong with the model, just need to angle this that way or crop that this way. More work than I thought it would be. I guess the fruits of our labor will show next month when all of you comment of the folder.
A little about the model.
Nicknamed "Squeak" Janell is a close friend of ours. Meeting her through her husband "Will Pierce" a former member of a local cover band "Angry Jon". She stands all of 5'2" and maybe 100 lbs, she is a petite woman. If I had to describe her in one word it would be "Flexible". Coming from a history of dancing and gymnastics, she was a perfect choice for our May CCW girl. We will try and get pictures up as soon as possible. The end of this month is pretty booked so it's going to be a chore!
Custom Coffin Works

Saturday, April 4, 2009

About our 1970 Caddilac Miller/Meteor Hearse

"From day one, Miller-Meteor built exclusively on the Cadillac commercial chassis and the first Miller-Meteor coaches debuted in 1957. The new firm was an immediate success and had captured 50% of the professional car market by 1962."

I have always like the idea of owning a hearse... I think we all have at some point in our life. When I decided that time was now, I found her. I will just refer to it as her until I find a name that is suitable. Funeral homes made a practice of naming the coaches after the first female transport, or so the story goes...So for now it will be just "Her" -- the other woman.
November 2008, I had found a hearse in Tucson while looking at countless web sites and ads. This poor guy was trying to list her on Craig's list but kept getting flagged. I caught it just after he posted and, literally an hour later, it was flagged again. He was getting frustrated to say the least. Anyway, he responded to my e-mail, telling me a little bit at a time. It was obvious that we were both car enthusiast and shared a common ground.
He told me he had bought it from a guy who owned a Tattoo shop in town. It was sitting in the backyard of his house. Now in his possession, he took good care of it. It still had the original interior fabric and seat.
So we struck a deal and the trip was planned, as I live in Phoenix. Not too far to drive but, when you have a 39-year-old car that is about to drive 175 miles home, it needs to be planned out. My wife, Shanan, went with me to provide an unbiased opinion about it. When we pulled onto the street, her reaction was classic..."OH MY GOD!! That thing is long!" Even I was taken back by the size. After a quick drive around the block we headed off to the notary to get the title signed over. Then off we went to Phoenix. Now, this is in December, by the time we closed the deal, and the heater was blocked off. It was a cold trip home. He had told me it would take a while to drive, due to him never driving over 50 mph in it. 50 mph?!? This car was made to cruise down the highways at 80 plus! But I did take it easy for the first part, then slowly took her up to speed.

This car is called a "3-Way", which means the side doors open out opposite the front doors. This allowed the casket to be carried out either the rear or side. The 3-ways were not as popular, as they cost more money. I haven't found any production numbers yet. But, then again, who gives a shit..It's in my possession now! I do know it is getting harder to find these.

The engine is a big 472. That means that it has a different way of measuring gas say "miles per gallon", I say "gallons per mile". Weighing in at over 6000 lbs, she doesn't get there quick, but she gets there in style. I just can't stop her as don't cut me off.
Over the next couple of months I will be slowly fixing up the interior so I can carry up to 6 people. I rent this out as a limo service, from time to time, and need the space. Of course, I will put the undercar lights and loud sound system in it, as time and finances allow. Stay tuned.