Photos from the Carolina Coffin Cruiser’s Dead of Winter Wake event in Winston-Salem, NC.
A Film by Joe Cornelius and Palmer Holton
Before Joe Cornelius (Coffin Cruisin’s director of photography) helped to shoot our hearse club documentary, he made another short film, even more closely related to the death care industry. Morrison’s Grove (co-directed by Joe Cornelius and Palmer Holton) profiles Larry Morrison of Lexington, NC, a funeral director with a long career and an unexpected side job.
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We came across Waylon Thornton and the Heavy Hands searching through the Creative Commons and thought their music had the perfect sound for our film. Director Brenton Richardson reached out to Waylon to let him know we wanted to use their music and he was very supportive of the project. So much so, it inspired him to look for hearses available in his area, and shortly thereafter, he got one of his own!
Photo by Alex Hawn. Now based in Chicago, Hawn is a photographer who took some really awesome photos of the Carolina Coffin Cruisers back when he lived in the south.
Sam Smartt and Chris Zaluski, classmates and friends of the Coffin Cruisin’ filmmakers produced an awesome documentary about the history of the station wagon and the people who love them. Their film Wagonmasters had been picking up a lot of positive attention, being accepted into some great film festivals and gathering a following by the time Brenton and Joe were in downtown Winston-Salem on a fateful night when a big, black, skull emblazoned hearse rumbled by. While Wagonmasters and Coffin Cruisin’ are very different projects, their film and its successes likely played a part in helping to plant the seeds that grew into Coffin Cruisin’.
In 2013, Sam and Chris won 2nd place in the Documentary Division of the 34th Annual College Television Awards (AKA the Student Emmys).