Monday, May 05, 2014

Adam Simon, Salem producer, likes filming in Shreveport: "someone opened a time machine and these people walked out of the 17th century;" Simon filmed short on Clyde Connell in 1985

Adam Simon, executive producer of Salem, the American witch series on WGN America, likes filming in Shreveport. In an interview for, journalist Dave Walker wrote, "Behind and around the stars, Louisiana has provided lots of interesting faces to further ground the series in its period look.

“Sometimes it felt like we were employing everybody in town,” Simon said. “You shoot in Los Angeles and the extras all look like wanna-be failed TV actors. You do it there (Shreveport), and it was if someone had opened a time machine and these people walked out of the 17th century.

“There’s a richness of detail because you have people with real faces. I miss that so much in movies and TV these days. Between the CGI and the plastic surgery and Botox, where are the real faces? This thing is filled with these real faces, and that’s wonderful.”

Simon might have remembered Shreveport from his 1985 visit to Lake Bistineau to make a short film about Clyde Connell, says Talbot Hopkins. Called "Swampsong," the Simon documentary captured the gothic side of winter on the Bossier Parish lake. It was his honors thesis project for Harvard. In it Clyde remembers a woman grieving after a lynching. Simon told Wilmington, Delaware's Cameron Art Museum that "Clyde recalled how on one of their frequent walks through the woods the old woman had wept and wailed and moaned about the violent events. Clyde said these sounds were the sounds she still heard to this day. And I felt this was the ‘twist' in the tale as it were – that the swamp song was not just (or not so much) simply the sounds of the woods and bayous – but the anguished human sounds she heard from this woman, which somehow stood for Clyde as the entire unspoken dark history that lay beneath her feet."

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