Wildomar Movie Ranch offers film production opportunities away from Los Angeles

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Lois Hoyt and Craig Sussman, co-owners of Sussman-Hoyt Productions Inc. pose for a photo inside their Wildomar Movie Ranch recording studio. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

Lois Hoyt and CK Sussman, co-founders of Sussman-Hoyt productions, opened the Wildomar Movie Ranch. The small recording studio started by Sussman expanded into a production company in the last year.

With experience in both the entertainment industry and business management, Hoyt and Sussman diversified their company to fit a niche marketed toward small indie films.

The ranch, however, landed work with a major series production in August.

Craig Sussman adjusts equipment inside a recording studio at the Wildomar Movie Ranch. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

“The director was so excited to find the properties that we offered. She could (film) in the Wildomar/Lake Elsinore area and feel confident that it was going to come out beautiful.” Hoyt said.

Jamie Anderson, director of the series, talked about her experience, taking a break from Los Angeles.

“I wanted to find a special place that would lean true to what my project needs to look like, and it’s exciting to shoot somewhere else. It’s so beautiful.” Anderson said.

Anderson also spoke about the professional work environment she found at the ranch.

“They (Sussman and Hoyt) were so lovely and willing to do what it took to just make it work,” she said.

Craig Sussman adjusts equipment inside a recording studio at the Wildomar Movie Ranch. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the production crew took extra safety precautions, including an on-site COVID-19 medic and a coronavirus test before the start of filming.

Not only were the actors and film crew expected to follow these guidelines, but Hoyt and Sussman were tested too.

“In order to be in the production, you had to have a COVID-19 test.” Sussman said. “Every day they took your temperature.”

The series film location was a modern farmhouse on Orange Street in Wildomar.

Locations offered by the ranch are not restricted to only Wildomar. The ranch has contracts with several properties in Lake Elsinore and around California.

A picture collage displays a variety of productions hosted by Sussman-Hoyt Productions Inc. Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

According to IMDb, 10 movies were partially filmed in the area between 1930 and 1950.

“When everything is said and done, people will know we’re the real deal.” Sussman said.

The team at Wildomar Movie Ranch doesn’t plan on slowing down, they said.

“We are establishing ourselves as a very reputable studio.” Hoyt said.

With several more productions lined up and the possibility of Anderson’s series being picked up for more episodes, southwest Riverside County communities could see more closed set productions and actors around town, Hoyt and Sussman said.

For property locations and more information about the Wildomar Movie Ranch, visit https://wildomarmovieranch.com/.

Jeremiah Tatola can be reached by email at valleystaff@reedermedia.com.