How The Ranch in Chalmette became one of the most successful movie studios in Louisiana

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NEW ORLEANS -- Jason Waggenspack, head of possibilities at The Ranch Studios, was a former locations manager when a large film production brought him to Chalmette.

That's when Waggenspack, a Baton Rouge native who studied film in New York before graduating from UNO, decided to partner with local property owners to start a studio facility.

What was there were empty big box stores that had been vacant for some time. Waggenspack turned those into sound stages, and converted the parking lot into a backlot. Now, it's a state-of-the-art movie studio.

Slowly but surely, films started looking at his five-stage studio for filming space. Films like Terminator Genisys, Deepwater Horizon, and the most recent film coming to theaters in July, Billionaire Boys Club, all filmed at The Ranch.

With recent changes to the film tax incentives in Louisiana, projects started rolling in even more.

"With the recent changes that we've had in the tax credit in 2017, it allowed for us to actually invest," Waggenspack said. "The stability of the program has really kind of settled down and we've started to get more phone calls."

So, now with more projects tolling in Hollywood South, The Ranch will soon have a new look. They're renovating the studio.

"With the new incentive they put in place they actually gave better opportunity for television and streaming episodic series here and with episodic you find more locals getting hired," he said.

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