SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - It's the end of the road for the television show 'Salem.' And the shuttering of that local production means the loss of lots of jobs in the film industry here in the ArkLaTex.
"At least we still have Salem!" That had become an all-too-common refrain from those working in the struggling film industry known locally as 'Hollywood South.'
But that consolation can no longer be used with word of the show's cancellation after this third season ends. 'Salem' had become the last sure fire success for Hollywood South, a national television show on WGN America.
"Probably one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life," said production assistant Gina Jennings. She and on-set medic Greg Washington sat down with us to talk about the show's cancellation.
Washington said the announcement came as a huge disappointment. "It felt like it was getting punched in the stomach by Mike Tyson."
Jennings, Washington and most of the nearly 200 cast and crew members live right here in northwest Louisiana. "For three seasons I've worked with all these people who became my family and my best friends. So, just think like you're not going to see your friends and family anymore," described Jennings.
Jennings says not having any advanced warning or show finale makes it that much tougher. But there may have been a few warning signs. Jennings and Washington recalled that the mood of executives behind the scenes seemed 'a bit off' while filming season three earlier this year.
And that wasn't the only potential clue. "Seasons one and two had 13 episodes and then season three we only had 10," added Jennings.
the question now becomes what now? "I'm telling everybody that I'm not going to decide until the new year. It's kind of like, 'ah, I should enjoy the holidays," smiled Washington.
But Jennings and Washington concede that with so little else happening at the moment in Hollywood South, leaving for another film job is likely an option.
Shreveport-Bossier Metroplex Commissioner Arlena Acree told us that her office is working on some projects for next year. That includes a producer who is flying in next month to scout for possible filming locations. Acree said that project would be for a small, independent, faith-based, feature film that would shoot at the end of next summer.