The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Business

September 9, 2013

Local casket maker solicited to participate in reality show

Owners prepare audition tape, receive positive support

ANDERSON — Rumors of a television show featuring specialized coffins and real-life casket makers have been circling in the world of entertainment for a couple of years. The reality, however, could feature a local business and filming could begin in the near future.

Chris Boots, founder and president of C.J. Boots Casket Co., 516 Meridian St., said his business was approached to participate on a reality show and producers seem eager to start casting immediately. The casket company specializes in unique woodwork and custom, detailed coffins.

Boots said he was surprised by the solicitation and they have also already spoken to production members in a video conference call.

“Hopefully this is something positive for the community,” Boots said. “If it is along the flavor of ‘Duck Dynasty’ that’s not so bad.”

Details on the show are vague at this point, but Boots said the show is for a major television producer who has created such shows as “The Office,” “Ugly Betty,” “Master Chef,” “The Biggest Loser” and “The Hero.” He said he is under the impression that the show would be a series based around his business and its ability to create caskets that reflect the personalities of the deceased.

“There really isn’t anyone that does what we do,” he said.

An email from the casting company sent to Boots says the show will feature a casket maker whose only goal is to please the sensitive wishes of the customer and create a coffin “so broadly variant that the only limitation is the customer’s imagination.” It says that Americans are starting to “borrow” from British and African cultures and have fun in honoring the deceased with specialized caskets.

An almost identical email, however, was also sent to Jason Straw, a wood worker in Gainsville, Fla., who posted the information on a social network page. Straw creates custom furniture, cabinets and flooring. Attempts to contact Straw were unsuccessful.

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