The Ranch Film Studios to Expand Operations
CHALMETTE, La. — The Ranch Film Studios in St. Bernard Parish will expand its film production operations with help from Louisiana’s Entertainment Job Creation Program. Founded in 2014, The Ranch provides production services, facilities, offices and sound stages for motion picture production. The studio has hosted the production of major motion pictures, including “Bill & Ted Face the Music” and “Terminator Genisys,” as well as Hulu’s “The First” and the new Fox program “Filthy Rich.”
The company will create 11 new permanent jobs with an average annual salary of $51,818, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the company’s expansion will result in eight new indirect jobs, for a total of 19 new jobs for the region.
“Our Entertainment Job Creation Program encourages companies to invest in permanent jobs for motion picture production and other entertainment sectors in Louisiana,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. “As production activity resumes on movie and TV projects, Louisiana remains well-positioned as an entertainment industry destination. Our talented industry workforce will benefit as we continue to create permanent, quality entertainment jobs in our state.”
Signed into law by Edwards in 2017, the Entertainment Job Creation Program is designed to encourage investment in permanent quality jobs for Louisiana residents engaged in entertainment content creation. For jobs paying $45,000 or more annually, the employer may claim a 15 percent payroll tax credit. That credit increases to 20 percent for new jobs paying more than $66,000 a year. A similar credit was established for music-related companies.
“This expansion brings my partner Sidney Torres III and me one step closer to realizing the filmmaking center and cultural arts hub we envisioned when we opened The Ranch Film Studios doors in 2014,” said CEO Jason Waggenspack. “We are excited to be able to continue growing and creating permanent well-paying jobs and building the infrastructure to better serve our clients. At The Ranch, we believe everyone has a story, and with technology constantly evolving new ways to capture those stories, our plan is to be at the forefront of providing a space for those stories to be realized.”
Louisiana created modern-era film production tax incentives in 2002 and remains one of the leading destinations for motion picture production in the world. The industry generates hundreds of millions of dollars every year in project-based spending across the state, from episodic TV productions to feature films.
“We are committed to supporting businesses that enhance the quality of life of our residents,” said St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis. “The Ranch Film Studios has been a parish leader in reclaiming and renovating abandoned, blighted properties and transforming them into sound stages and facilities for filmmakers and other artists. The tens of millions of dollars in local economic activity generated by The Ranch over the last six years has gone a long way to helping to restore our community. We are excited The Ranch has committed to bringing even more jobs to our parish.”
The Ranch’s family of companies also includes Neutral Ground Films, an in-house content creation company, and The Arsonist, a marketing agency for independent film projects. In addition, The Ranch intends to raise $50 million to restore and renovate the abandoned Ford Assembly Plant in Arabi, to further build out its goal of establishing a full-service content creation and entertainment hub.
“SBEDF is proud to have The Ranch anchored in St. Bernard Parish, establishing the parish’s position as a leader in creating jobs of the future,” said Executive Director Meaghan R. McCormack of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation. “We look forward to working with the team and regional partners to reignite the old Ford plant as an economic engine fueling the growth of opportunity and the cultural arts in our community.”
“It is gratifying to see The Ranch continue to grow as one of the premier film assets in greater New Orleans,” said President and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “These new jobs were made possible by the state’s unique Entertainment Job Creation Program, which was created to help companies expand their teams with full-time employees. We look forward to seeing more of the great movies that come out of this facility in the future.”