Covering Louisiana

Mar 30, 2014 10:00 PM by AP

Hurricane season could bring movies back to NW La

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Shreveport's film liaison says hurricane season is likely to bring feature filmmaking up from the coast and back to northwest Louisiana.

Shreveport native Tom Logan is already set to begin filming "Campin' Buddies" on May 12. Film liaison Arlena Acree tells The Times that she's in talks with a few other independent productions.

Logan, who acted in soap operas and TV series in the 1970s and 1980s and now writes, directs and produces, said he plans to hire most of his crew locally.

He said there are many reasons to film in Shreveport: some of the nation's biggest movie tax incentives, a rural setting, and he knows the area, since he grew up there.

"Campin' Buddies," a comedy about a group's attempt at camping, will feature Don Most, who played Ralph Malph on "Happy Days," Tom Lester, from the "Beverly Hillbillies" and "Green Acres" and Victoria Jackson from "Saturday Night Live."

Fox 21's new TV series "Salem" also has offered steady industry work, and industry locals hope its success could attract more.

The one-hour drama airs April 20 on WGN America. Production designer Seth Reed said more than 25 buildings were constructed for the exterior set in Grand Cane, using local carpenters, plasters and painters to create cobblestone streets, candlelit interiors, rustic shops and a town center.

"Our cast is really enjoying themselves," said Fox 21 President Bert Salke. "Louisiana and Shreveport hospitality has been awesome and that's a big deal."

Salke said the production required a location that could offer the appearance of 17th century Salem, Mass., which was one of the key reasons the Shreveport area was selected. Others included the state and city tax incentives and the area's established crew base.

"It's been a pretty great experience and one that would allow us to say we'd come back," he said.

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