“Mike is a craftsman. You don’t often hear that word when describing digital media, but it most certainly applies to work done at AIRLIFT PRODUCTIONS. Mike’s produced literally thousands of audio segments for me, and they’ve all sounded perfect. He also understands how to get things done! I wish all of my contractors were as responsive and committed to meeting deadlines. You’re in good hands with AIRLIFT PRODUCTIONS.” ~ Ethan Anderson, Former Manager of Multi-Media Development for JRL Enterprises, Creators of the “I CAN Learn” Mathematics Educational Software
The life of a VoiceOver Recording Artist in 2015 is never boring. I mean, no sooner do you think you have all the answers, than they change all the questions!
In the early days of the craft we were all called ‘Announcers’, as we all tended to speak rather loudly, with perfectly pear-shaped, authoritative tones… think preachers, teachers, parents, carnival barkers and military sergeants.
In 2015 not so much.
Consumers today worldwide are more savvy. And the delivery method has become more personal. The big box styled TV set of the 1950s has given way to personal, pocket-sized screens … and the tinny, brittle speakers have given way to earbuds and headphones.
All that being said, today’s blog is all about mixing it up – as Airlift Productions and I toss an audio potpourri that helps to capture the changes, and runs the gamut from newly-produced radio ads and audio books … to a soliloquy!
This week, tasked to amp-up the crowds at a local night club, like the old radio days – where shock jocks would walk a fine line between good taste on the radio … and the unemployment line – the very first word out of my mouth is (OMG) “S-E-X!” (well, now that I have your attention….)
Back to the 1950s for a second. Not only were all TV sets huge pieces of furniture dominating your living room, all books were found doing a Dewey Decimal System search in a library, trees had to die to produce them, and they were read – page by flipped page.
Today, not so much.
In 2015, we google search and download to our personal digital device (mp3 player, I-Pod, I-Pad or phone) and LISTEN to the printed word – again read and cooed into our ears by a sympathetic, compassionate, yet dramatic voice.
My very first fully-Airlift-produced, narrated and read-by-yours-truly Audio Book is now on the market, and available for download on a digital device near you. But, fair warning, it is not for the faint of heart.
Murder in Coweta County, a true crime drama set in 1948 Georgia, well before Dr. King, Selma and the Civil Rights movement is indeed a shocker. It tackles racial prejudice, arrogant power and southern justice head-on. Give a listen to just a bit of Chapter 7 through the Airlift Productions microphones here ….
** Micheal Ziants interprets Chapter 7 of Murder in Coweta County ~ courtesy Pelican Publishing, NOLA **
Download the entire “Murder in Coweta County” Audio Book from the krewe at Pelican Publishing across the Mississippi River in Gretna by clicking either of these links. On sale for a mere $17.60, about the price of a good pizza. And this story will stay with you a lot longer. Truly.
But better strap yourself in for the ride first. And keep your hands and feet inside the car… and your 21st century sensitivities intact.
To wrap-up the Audio Potpourri, the VoiceOver Recording Artist of today is always sowing seeds for future work. We create demos to showcase our reach and talents wherein we cast ourselves in arenas within which we’d like to work.
Well, my favorite Rom-Com ever (and I’ve viewed many with the ladies through the years) would have to be ‘Love Actually’. In the opening sequence, Hugh Grant does this reflective monologue VoiceOver shortly after the events of 9-11, while we watch loved ones embracing at the airport.
Poetic license affords a name change from Heathrow to Louis Armstrong, and for demo purposes, re-casts the V-O with none other than yours truly, and it sounds like this ….
** Love Actually Soliloquy from Airlift & Micheal Ziants **
The Airlift Productions Studios have sure been humming lately!
The Laser Tag of Metaire ‘While the Cat’s Away’ campaign starts all over New Orleans TV this Monday … but this weekend is consumed with bringing the startling true southern crime drama ‘Murder in Coweta County’ to LIFE for the krewe at Pelican Publishing.
This ripped-from-the-headlines story featured – in the movie version – not only Andy Griffith as the evil John Wallace and Johnny Cash as the heroic Lamar Potts …
But also cast Johnny’s real-life-wife June Carter Cash! Central Casting gave her the role of the mystic seer who lived deep in the woods – Mayhaley Lancaster.
As a Voice Talent dude, it’s my job in the audio book to give LIFE to the words. To animate. Ignite interest…and tell ’em the story. Wow! This project has been like ‘breach-birthin a baby’! If you’ll pardon my dip into 1948 Georgia vernacular.
So, scrape the rust off your imagination. And imagine, if you will, the scene from Chapter 4, wherein a desperate John Wallace ventures deep into the woods to seek guidance and direction from the mysterious and spooky Mayhaley Lancaster….
~ Micheal Ziants reads from Chapter 4 of Murder in Coweta County, courtesy Pelican Publishing ~
Sheesh! What a page-turner this one is. Or in this case, an ‘ear-scapade’ This story mixes together Power, Arrogance, Racism, Bootlegging, Big Money, Murder & Mysticism – all cast against the backdrop of the state of Georgia, as well as America, in 1948.
I have to confess that I am thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with such a weighty and controversial title. So far, it’s been not only extremely taxing and very challenging but richly rewarding.
And when we last left our hero, Lamar Potts was hot on John Wallace’s heels….
As Airlift Mike turns to … what was that? Uh, was that page 97 or 98?….
Airlift Productions & I are honored to aid the Audible.com audio book crowd today – 7-18-14 – recording some additional tracks for Michael Pitre’s stunning and unflinching portrait of the Iraq war.
A novel informed by first-hand experience through two tours of duty in Iraq, “Fives and Twenty-Fives” is Pitre’s no-holds-barred story of not only life in Baghdad – but readjusting to life, love and work back in the U.S.
Yes, from IEDs to PTSD.
Louisiana native & New Orleanian, LSU grad with a double major in History & Creative Writing, a U.S. Marine Captain … and now, Author – this is the book Michael was destined to write.
And together today, we’ll attempt to tie a few loose ends together and help tell ‘the rest of the story’.
“Fives and Twenty-Fives”, coming soon to an Amazon.com audio book and Audible.com download near you.
From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, indeed the toughest battles of all may be the ones fought here, post-war, in the hearts and minds and lives of those who came home.
Semper Fi, Michael, Semper Fi!
VoiceOver Recording & Production … with a New Orleans twist