Tag Archives: Murder in Coweta County

The ART Of VoiceOver Demo Production

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An Airlift Productions’ VO session in progress with Steve Blaze of Lillian Axe fame at the hot mic

Of all the audio jobs produced at Airlift Productions, I think I enjoy creating Voice and VoiceOver Demos the most.

Whether working with a ‘newbie’ or a veteran, taking the written word on a page and using all the tricks in my audio producer’s bag to bring it to life, to create ART is indeed an art unto itself.

And today, in 2019, the Voice Demo covers the gamut – from commercial to animation, video games to the medical field, and from industrial narration to audio books.

Still today affectionately called a “reel”, I’ve seen the demo go from reel-to-reel tape… to audio cassette… to compact disc… to wave file and mp3.

Yet through all the technological changes, the heart of the art remains the same —

The copy has to ‘sing’, the reads have to be spot-on, music selection and editing, along with proper equalization, compression, reverberation, and normalization remain paramount.

Art, unlike science (although there is  a helluva lot of science involved here), is indeed a very subjective call.  And what is art to one … is shite to another.

The call here is obviously up to the reader of this blog.

Enter Exhibit A – JOHN DENNEY.

When Denney first rang my phone, he’d found my website in a Google search, had experience behind a microphone – he founded the Weirdos, an LA-based punk band in the ’80s – had moved here to NOLA, and had never done a commercial in his life.

I said, “Well, John, we’ll change all that!”

And change it we did. It began with a commercial demo (heard here); after he landed his first job within two weeks of production, he subsequently returned to produce an animation demo… and a medical demo.

                               ** JOHN DENNEY VOICEOVER DEMO **

 

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Rachel Wulff records her VoiceOver Demo at Airlift Productions NOLA

Enter Exhibit B – RACHEL WULFF.

A longtime television news anchor and reporter, Rachel had moved to New Orleans just about ten years ago, and was, in 2017, looking to exit the TV scene and begin self-employment as a VoiceOver artist.

Again, like John Denney, she had a lot of on-camera and on-mic experience, but Rachel had no commercial background.

She does now.

                       ** RACHEL WULFF VOICEOVER DEMO **

 

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Mary Rose Neumeyer having way-y too much fun at the Airlift microphones

Enter Exhibit C – MARY ROSE NEUMEYER.

Mary Rose is all of fourteen years old, has studied acting for some five years now, done some on-camera things, but was looking to spread her wings into the VoiceOver field.

After a brief pre-production meeting, she pulled together some copy, I then coached her through all the reads and edited her demo. 

It captures promo pieces as well as commercial copy, and I’d have to say, for a “newbie”, she states her case for an on-mic job most eloquently.

                 ** MARY ROSE NEUMEYER VOICEOVER DEMO **

 

Finally, an entry from yours truly.

Enter Exhibit D.

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New Orleans Voice Talent & All-around Audio Dude Micheal Ziants, Airlift Mike

As I pursue the AudioBook field, I’ve only recently compiled a demo targeted at this particular audience; a demonstration recording completely different from the shorter commercial ones.

It also differs from the previous demos, which were “manufactured” and produced from scratch, in that this demo is actually from a product being currently sold and marketed.

So, in this case, the demo is more of a ‘sampler’.

What follows here are actual excerpts from “Murder In Coweta County”, a true crime drama that took place in 1940s Georgia and shocked the nation.

Think ‘The Sopranos’ gone south!  With mysticism, race, murder, and the police all thrown into one big gumbo….

                    ** MICHEAL ZIANTS AudioBook DEMO **

Commercial, AudioBooks, Industrial, Animation, Video Games, the Voice Demo in 2019 sure does cover a lot of ground.

Er, ah… make that “air”.

And make no mistake. Evoking this kind of emotion is an ART.

Or, is it a science?

OK, how about BOTH?

Well, whatever you want to call it…

Call on Airlift Mike and Airlift Productions to book yours.

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“For voice over actors, the demo serves as a calling card and is unquestionably the most important tool in the pursuit of voice over work. Mike Ziants and Airlift PROductions produced my first VO demo and within weeks I landed my first job in the industry. Airlift’s state-of-the-art recording studio combined with Mike’s wisdom and expertise provided me with an excellent demo as well as the confidence needed to achieve success.” ~ JOHN DENNEY, Founder/Lead Singer of the notorious LA-based punk band The Weirdos … and relatively new VoiceOver Artist

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“We’ll keep the mics hot…and leave the light on for you!”

Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from New Orleans since 1984

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airlift Mike: “Seriously Serious ‘Bout Bein’ Serious”

Truth be known, one of the biggest negative raps I encounter while marketing my VoiceOver talents is this: “Oh, but you’re a RADIO dude, and they always sound so ‘announce-ery’!”

Oh, really?

What few realize today is that my skills at the microphone began over a decade before I ever went “on-air” as a disc jockey – ON THE STAGE!

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Airlift’s Micheal Ziants  taking a dive, while playing Tom Edison’s best childhood friend Arvine Stevenson in “Young Tom Edison” , Youngstown, Ohio 1962

From Civic Children’s Theater performances in 1960s Youngstown, Ohio to the starring leads in high school plays, I honed my acting chops while “pounding the boards” on-stage.

I went on to become the President of my high school Thespian Club (even performed as Jack Kennedy, with mimic skills, at PTA meetings), and found the role of ‘Stage Manager’ in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” as my most challenging performance ever. Perhaps it’s that Life/Death thing.

No doubt, at the heart of any outstanding VoiceOver gig is the art of acting & theater, not radio DJ patter & chatter.

** Airlift Mike gets seriously serious for The New Orleans Mission & “Desperate Reality” radio show, airing Saturday nights on WWL **

But, alas, as the Danish theologian & philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once opined, “Once you label me… you negate me.”

I guess it’s only human nature to label others, but make no mistake – this particular radio dude has acting chops honed through a half-century of study, practice & experience.

** With over 7,300 views on You Tube, it’s Airlift Mike gettin’ serious for the Oil & Gas Production Hub of America – Port Fourchon, LA **

So, what I learned from the stage, I then took to the radio … and what I learned from both of them, I then took to create what is now the longest continuously operating recording studio in New Orleans – Airlift Productions.

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Airlift Productions, New Orleans

What an equation: Seriously serious acting chops + finely-tuned major market radio skills + decades of audio production & mixing experience = Airlift Productions.

** Airlift Mike AudioBook Demo, featuring excerpts from “Murder In Coweta County”, courtesy Pelican Publishing … a true-crime drama, dripping with murder, treachery & mystical powers in 1948 Georgia – oh, my! **

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Airlift Productions Audio Spin Doctor Micheal Ziants off the job

And you’ll find me … from anywhere, anytime, anyhow – as close as the cell in your pocket at 1-800-210-WORD; On-Line at www.AirliftProductions.com; or in your outgoing email box by simply clicking here – mike@airliftproductions.com

 

Airlift Mike: Seriously serious ’bout bein’ serious – from New Orleans since 1984.

 

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“Working with Airlift Mike in NOLA was an utter pleasure. I was in town for business for a month and needed to maintain my audiobook recording schedule. Mike was accommodating and a pure professional. He mastered the punch and roll technique in 24 hours to be ready for our first session, and over the course of the month we laid down 5 books and a number of auditions. His studio sounds great. The vibe & atmosphere can’t be beat. You’d be hard pressed to find a better recording studio in the southeast – no matter what your needs. I wish I could have stayed!” ~ AMY LANDON, Los Angeles-based actress & Audio Book Narrator

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Is A Good Audio Book Just Really Good Old-Time Radio?

radioAs a couple of my Airlift Productions associates (pals, cronies) were listening to excerpts from “Murder in Coweta County”, Ed Clancy chimed-in and said, with his eyes closed, that the whole presentation sounded to him like the early days of radio.

Think about it,”The Shadow”, “The Lone Ranger”, “Dragnet”, “Amos & Andy”…  In radio’s infancy, and way before TV was born, radio delivered early 20th century drama, suspense, intrigue, laughs, and even coined the term “soap opera”.

I was flattered.  Deeply.

Because as a student of radio, and not just the crazed on-air personality music days of the ’70s and ’80s, but of that good old-time radio … that was exactly what I was going for as I laid down the tracks to “Murder in Coweta County”.

AirliftProductionsMurderInCowetaCountyBookJacketAnd what is so fascinating about this particular piece of work is that, in retrospect, it would not be too far a stretch to say that this audio book version has proved to be a bridge between the centuries. Because here the old-time radio approach is married to the poker-hot, ripped-from-the-headlines issues of today.

Really.

In 2017, as America continues to wrestle with racial strife and the over-reaching of police forces from Charlotte to Baltimore and from Baton Rouge to Tulsa, “Murder in Coweta County” casts quite the spotlight on race, murder, the police and the scales of justice.

** Micheal Ziants reads from Chapter 7 **

Little did I realize when approached by the Pelican Publishing gang to record the audio book version of “Murder in Coweta County” how challenging, demanding, and damned thrilling this project would become.

And how similar to old-time radio it would turn out to be.

** Airlift Mike reads from Chapter 3 **

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Gee, when they did the made-for-TV version in the 1980s, Johnny Cash had to play only ONE guy, while Andy Griffith had to play only ONE guy. Here, I was tasked to play them ALL!

And play it I did, calling on all my life’s travels & travails, all my metaphysical studies, and 40+ years of behind-the-mic experience to give that old-time radio feel to a book written in the 1970s about an actual crime that happened in the 1940s – here in 2017!

 

             ** Excerpt from Chapter 21 of Murder in Coweta County **

 

Micheal Ziants in the Airlift Productions ‘torpedo room’, during a break from giving LIFE to “Murder in Coweta County” for Pelican Publishing, NOLA

 

 

 

** Excerpt from Chapter 4 of Murder in Coweta County **

Truth be told, radio commercials are a kick, TV VoiceOvers are rewarding, but audio books are where it’s at.  To get completely lost in a zen-like way telling a compelling story while playing and giving voice to every single character is truly a remarkable experience.

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Directly tied to the ease of digital distribution, the Audio Book industry has exploded here in 2017!  Retail sales have  increased from a mere $480 million in 1997 to a projected Two Billion for this year!  As  intriguing narration coupled to a great story and delivered just like good old-time radio … delivers … again.

And everything old is new again.

I’ll meet you between the headphones one cold & rainy night.

Airlift Productions ~ telling America’s Great Stories from New Orleans since 1984

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Zak George recording with Micheal Z at Airlift Productions NOLA, October 2016

“Micheal Ziants is an absolute professional with a thorough understanding of his craft. I could not be more pleased and happy with my experience at Airlift Productions, and I’m confident that anyone who has the pleasure to work with Micheal will feel the same! Recording an entire audio book can be a stressful process, but his experience, calm professionalism and determination to get it right really made all of the difference! Thank you for a truly wonderful experience, Airlift Productions!” ~ ZAK GEORGE, America’s preeminent Dog Trainer, Animal Planet/YouTube star, & Author of the best-selling “Dog Training rEvolution”

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Audio Books Are Murder! But Only When Done Correctly.

"Murder In Coweta County", the true crime drama that shocked Georgia - and America - from 1948, via Margaret Anne Barnes...and Pelican Publishing
“Murder In Coweta County”, the true 1948 crime drama that shocked America – Now in Audio from Airlift Productions , Micheal Ziants  & Pelican Publishing

It really is true: To the VoiceOver guy, if the thirty second radio spot is the 100 yard dash, then the audio book recording process would have to be the marathon.

What a marathon – and what an audio book – “Murder In Coweta County”  turned out to be.  An autopsy on American Ideals and Dreams that mixes prejudice, racism, big money, pride, murder and southern justice all cast against the backdrop of 1948 Georgia –  I lost count after 75 all the different characters I would have to portray by book’s end.

The courtroom scenes, which dominate the back half of the book, involve questioning from agenda-filled lawyers and testimony from terrified and frightened witnesses. For they have been called to help fill in all the details and build the state’s case against the villainous, feared, arrogant John Wallace.  

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Actual courtroom photograph from 1948 of a smiling, confident – and headed to the electric chair (“Old Sparky”) – John Wallace

Bringing LIFE to printed words on paper, painting mental pictures, taking the listener to front-stage center in the ‘theater of the mind’ are the challenges posed to the audio book narrator & actor.

In this excerpt from Chapter 21 of “Murder In Coweta County”, it was my task to, in effect, be the Judge, Jury & Executioner, as the saying goes … as I create antagonist, protagonist and everyone in between – from the prosecutor to the service station attendant cleaning up blood-stained car mats.  Even the aged father of the poor, murdered victim.

~ Airlift Mike reads from Chapter 21 of “Murder In Coweta County”, courtesy of the krewe at Pelican Publishing ~

If a printed book can be referred to as a “page turner”, urging the reader ever-onward, it’s Pelican Publishing’s and my hope that this audio book will be a tough one to turn off.

MurderInCowetaCountyJohnWalGiven the fact that the outcome, which is a long foregone conclusion having been based on a true crime drama (“he gets the chair”), the magic has to be in the story telling. Or as Billy Shakespeare used to say, “The play’s the thing”.

And play it I did. My heart, soul, blood, sweat & tears … metaphysical studies & philosophical leanings, coupled with my decades of on-mic experiences are all boiled down into the tracks of every chapter of this audio book. Truly.

So, as 2015 continues to grind on – with tensions from Ferguson to Baltimore – give a listen to this fascinating autopsy on America’s roots and ideals. 

 Available from the krewe across the river at Pelican Publishing, it will serve as a permanent reminder around the house and to all of America,  that racism must be a thing of the past, that might does not make right … and that “crime does not pay”!

The late author Margaret Anne Barnes together with Johnny Cash, who portrayed her MICC hero Lamar Potts in the made-for-TV movie version
The late author Margaret Anne Barnes together with Johnny Cash, who portrayed her MICC hero Lamar Potts in the made-for-TV movie version

Airlift Productions  ~ Telling America’s Great Stories since 1984

Airlift Mike Tosses An Audio Potpourri!

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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….)

*** Airlift Mike talks (sort of) for “Legends Encore” ***

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Like I said, never boring.

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.

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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 **

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Airlift Productions & Airlift Mike ~ treating cold, metal microphones like warm human ears … from New Orleans … since 1984.

Airlift Productions Creates A Monster For Halloween! And One Saint.

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The “Murder in Coweta County” made-for-CBS-TV movie starred Andy Griffith as the villainous John Wallace – and the iconic Johnny Cash as the heroic sheriff Lamar Potts

In Mary Shelley’s gothic “Frankenstein”, her monster was created from the exhumed body parts of the murderous and insane dead.  In the controversial true crime drama “Murder in Coweta County”, Margaret Ann Barnes attempts no less a task.

In this case, venerable & beloved Andy Griffith, in the made-for-TV movie, is cast against type as the villainous & evil 1948 Georgia wealthy land baron John Wallace. And the iconic legend Johnny Cash portrays the noble sheriff on his tail – Lamar Potts.

Today, in 2014, Airlift Productions and I have assumed and shouldered the truly awesome responsibility of voicing, recording and editing the bound-for-Pelican Publishing concerns audio book title of the same name. 

While previous blogs of mine have dealt with the arrogant, violent, racist, monstrous John Wallace character (spoiler alert!) who was put to death in the Georgia state electric chair in 1950 – today’s blog introduces you to the noble & righteous real-life hero Lamar Potts!

Even though many of the scores of characters in the Airlift version of this audio book are painted with broad strokes of southern caricature and color, I’ve chosen to paint this unique sheriff in neutral tones … relaxed, calm, reassuring, caring, and almost dialect-free.

Destined for a Halloween finish date – and the night before All Saints Day – meet the hero, the true star of “Murder in Coweta County”. Meet the sheriff of Coweta County.  Meet Lamar Potts ….

~ Micheal Ziants creates the iconic Coweta County, Georgia sheriff Lamar Potts, excerpted from Chapter 3 of the audio book, courtesy Pelican Publishing ~

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Micheal Ziants creates  the audio book “Murder in Coweta County” for Pelican Publishing, New Orleans

I wanted the listener of this book anywhere in America, or the world for that matter, to be able to personally relate to the hero.  To make him appear with a drawl, southern accent, or any caricature of any type would totally defeat that purpose. So, he kind of sounds pretty much like … me. But the best part of me.

You know, a quick look at today’s headlines, both national and international, would indicate that we today are still making many of these John Wallace type monsters… from the dark basements of Ohio to the bloody sands of terrorist-laden Syria.

But along with the release of this audio book, it is Airlift Productions and my sincere hope and prayer that we are also creating ethic-filled, righteous – and yes, almost saintly – triumphant and true heroes!

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The real John Wallace (center) and Sheriff Lamar Potts (right) entering the Georgia courthouse for trial, circa 1948

 

Airlift Productions New Orleans ~ telling America’s Great Stories since 1984

Variety Is The Spice Of … Airlift Productions!

Truth be known, across America today there might very well be busier VoiceOver dudes and recording studios than Airlift & me, but I seriously doubt that any are doing a wider variety of work!

In the past week alone … I’ve recorded incendiary tracks for the controversial audio book “Murder In Coweta County” (coming soon to a Pelican Publishing download/CD near you),  in-your-face TV audio for Baton Rouge, banging the drum for a Laser Tag outlet …. and canned stage announcements for a N’awlins-based Bollywood dance team!  I mean, really.

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~ Audio Excerpt of Micheal Ziants, interpreting the pain of dealing with a dead body, in Chapter 7 of ‘Murder in Coweta County” – courtesy Pelican Publishing ~

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~ Airlift Productions’ Micheal Ziants invades the flat screens of Baton Rouge – along with ad ace Nathan Ales – with this :30 TV spot (written, voiced & produced in the Airlift engine room by Micheal) to promote ‘Laser Tag of Baton Rouge’ ~

Meanwhile, as the Laser Tag dudes are going at it in the dark of the arena ….  on a brightly lit, spot-lighted stage in an auditorium somewhere around Louisiana and the Gulf South tonight –  jubilant and righteously proud moms & dads are cheering on their daughters to these stage announcements ….

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~ Airlift Mike – at it again – with pre-recorded (canned) stage announcements for Indian export Ruby Pal and her New Orleans-based Ruby Creative Dance team ~

Whew! Honestly, in my thirty years owning and operating Airlift Productions here in America’s most fascinating city, I’ve had busier, more versatile and challenging weeks … but I’d be hard-pressed to name one.

And, yes, the beat goes on …

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~ Airlift’s Micheal Ziants – bustin’ out all over! ~

Do the math ….

Versatility + Quality + Dependability = Airlift Productions.

Airlift Productions – coming soon to a radio speaker, flat screen … or auditorium near you.

Murder In Coweta County…The Saga Continues

The "Murder In Coweta County" made-for-CBS-TV  movie shook-up America in 1983
The “Murder In Coweta County” made-for-CBS-TV movie shook-up America in 1983

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.

June Carter Cash as mystic seer Mayhaley Lancaster, in the TV Movie of 1983
June Carter Cash as mystic seer Mayhaley Lancaster, in the TV Movie of 1983

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.

Johnny & June Carter Cash in a relaxed picture while on the set of 'Murder in Coweta County', 1983
Johnny & June Carter Cash in a relaxed picture while on the set of ‘Murder in Coweta County’, 1983

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?….

“Murder in Coweta County” coming soon to a Pelican Publishing Download or CD near you….

Murder In Coweta County ~ Airlift Productions Style

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The “Murder In Coweta County” made-for-CBS-TV-movie created quite the stir in 1983…starring Andy Griffith & Johnny Cash

If a radio or television :30 spot is the sprint – then the recording of an audio book would have to be the marathon.  And yours truly is off to the races!

I’m not sure how you spent this past weekend (aside from joining fellow Saints fans crying in their beers), but I was ankles & elbows-deep behind the microphone bringing the true southern crime drama “Murder in Coweta County” to LIFE for the krewe at Pelican Publishing.

Raw.  Gritty. Visceral. Shocking. Controversial.   And I feel quite safe in saying that the folks who live in and around Atlanta, Georgia today in 2014 …. would scarcely recognize Coweta County and life as it was … in 1948.

When greed, money, arrogance, power, bootlegging, racism … and southern justice collide, you have to know that it’s not going to end well.  And the picture that you’re left with?  Well, who’s going to want to paint that?

Enter Airlift Mike at the mic – with one big paintbrush!

~ Excerpt from Chapter One of “Murder In Coweta County”, as voiced by Airlift’s Micheal Ziants … courtesy Pelican Publishing ~

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New Orleans VoiceOver Talent Micheal Ziants gives Voice to “Murder in Coweta County”

Honestly, I’ve recorded quite a few audio books – and yet never one quite like this.  It’s almost as if I’m helping to perform an autopsy on the very ‘Soul’ of America.  Too heavy a statement?  Well, you haven’t read this book.

While we, as a country, continue to wrestle with racism & violence – from Ferguson, Missouri to the locker rooms of the NFL –  now, let’s throw the legalization of marijuana issue into the pot (if you’ll pardon the pun), for this book deals with big $$ made off bootlegging during Prohibition … and the fallout that ensues.

Oh my.

Believe me, as a lifelong Champion of the Human Spirit, and the polar opposite, 180 degree antithesis of a racist – much of what’s in this book is awfully painful for me to articulate.

And to breathe Life into some of these characters is a seriously daunting task. Truth be known, I would never have read this book – I lean more towards spirituality, mysticism & inspiration – and now, I’m sleeping with this book.  Literally.

So, hey, light another candle for me, Lord.  And pray that I can effectively run this marathon … and come out the other side with even more compassion, understanding, and peace than I went in with.

Trust me.  This audio book is going to make a lot of noise!

The REAL John Wallace, as he made his way into the county courthouse fro trial, Coweta County, Georgia, circa 1949
The REAL John Wallace, as he made his way into the county courthouse for trial, Coweta County, Georgia, circa 1948

 

Airlift PROductions – Audio Alchemy from New Orleans since 1984

Murder, Race & The South – Airlift Mike Tells The Tale

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“Murder in Coweta County” Face Book Page Screenshot

I guess it’s not just any true crime drama story that has it’s own Facebook page – with a legion of fans nationwide.  But, then again, this is not any ordinary story.

Written by Margaret Anne Barnes, “Murder in Coweta County” tells the rather incredible true story, ripped from the headlines, of a brutal murder, it’s investigation, and the fallout in Coweta County, Georgia.

In 1948, John Wallace was a powerful and feared man, whose family holdings were known as ‘the Kingdom’.  But when he killed a poor tenant farmer, the ensuing investigation led to a trial – the very first in Georgia to condemn a man to the electric chair:  a white man convicted & sentenced to die … on the testimony of two black men.

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While the 1983 made-for-CBS-TV film starred Andy Griffith (against type) as the villainous John Wallace, and Johnny Cash as lawman Lamar Potts ~ yours truly has been invited to audition for the audio book version!

A-hem!  Now, audio books are a whole different animal.  And a story such as this deserves a rich, straight-ahead narrative … while s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g the ‘actor’s chops’ to embrace the colorful sounds of the south, yet at the same time tread that oh-so-thin line between authenticity and stereotype. 

How’d I do?

~  Micheal Ziants Audition for “Murder in Coweta County” ~

You know, the life of the VoiceOver actor and talent is always interesting and never a boring one, that’s for sure.

And if selected to commit the pages of this gripping, dripping-with-blood, salacious page-turner into it’s audio bedtime story counterpart, I will certainly have my work cut out for me. 

How does that old line from radio/TV days around the newsroom go?  “If it bleeds – it leads!”  And now “reads”…”Chapter one, page one …”

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Airlift PROductions Recording Studio & Airlift Mike …. telling                                 America’s story from New Orleans since 1984!