On Wednesday through Friday of this week, a film crew worked around customers at Simmons' Sporting Goods of Bastrop to shoot scenes for a family comedy with a downhome cast including Don Most, Tom Lester, Victoria Jackson and Ray Stevens.
According to Lindsey Simmons Roberts, owner of Simmons' Sporting Goods — the largest independently owned sporting goods store in the South, Simmons' was contacted about the possibility of filming by the mayor's office in Shreveport.
"We are really happy to bring this to Bastrop," Roberts said. "Etc. Catering has been feeding them lunch, some of them have been staying in area hotels and they're buying things in Bastrop. It's been good for us, and it's been good for the community."
The film, Campin' Buddies is written and directed by a Shreveport native, Tom Logan. According to Logan, shooting at Simmons' has been wonderful. The scenes shot at the store feature the camping buddies, Tom Lester and Ray Stevens, stocking up on camping supplies.
According to Debra Lynn Hull, an executive producer of the film, the movie will be a lot of fun and will feature a new song from Stevens.
"It's a great comedy," Hull said. "These two buddies, Tom Lester and Ray Stevens, enter a contest to win a deluxe RV and hilarity ensues."
Tom Lester, an actor well-known for his role as Eb Dawson on the television show "Green Acres," echoed those sentiments and talked about how family friendly the movie will be.
"It's going to be wonderful," Lester said. "It is something everyone can enjoy. You could even show it in church."
Executive Director of the Bastrop/Morehouse Chamber of Commerce Dorothy Ford also had an opportunity to speak with Lester about family entertainment on Thursday, and how important it is to the Morehouse Parish community.
"This past six months or so," Ford said, "We've had a lot of great movies made about our Christian faith."
Ford also mentioned how nice it will be to see "Campin' Buddies" when it is finished.
According to Logan, the film is tentatively scheduled for release in October of this year.
While speaking to the "Enterprise," Lester also said that filming in both Shreveport and Bastrop has been a wonderful experience for the cast and crew, which includes a group of students from Valencia College in Florida who have been working on-set gaining valuable hands-on experience.
In addition to the training, the students also receive a credit that will appear on the popular film site www.imdb.com and the opportunity to work with an established cast of comedic talents.
Victoria Jackson, a former actor on Saturday Night Live, appears in the movie as a myriad of characters and shot scenes as multiple "people" inside Simmons'.
"I'm having a wonderful time," Jackson said, "especially here in the store."
According to Roberts at Simmons', the ample space at the store left plenty of room for customers to shop while filming was in progress. She also reflected on the overall experience of having the cast and crew in-store.
"They've been so nice and very professional," Roberts said, "They're leaving tomorrow [Saturday], and we let them know if there is anything in the future we would love to have them come back."