Tag Archives: Tim Weston

Airlift Productions: A Life Lived In The Hurricane’s Eye

AirliftProductionsInTheHurricanesEyeThe National Weather Service defines the “Eye” as the region of mostly calm weather at the center of strong tropical cyclones.

Metaphorically, the ever-changing media & technology would be the tropical cyclones/hurricanes, and  Airlift Productions & I would be the ones who have for over thirty years resided… calmly, persistent & steady, in the hurricane’s eye.

Airlift Productions New Orleans Logo Re-boot 2012 by Ethan Anderson
The Airlift Productions logo, conceived & trademarked in 1984, and re-imagined for the 21st century

In 1984, the needs of my first full-time client – WGNO-TV/Tribune Broadcasting – gave birth to the Airlift Productions Studios. That very year Ronald Reagan sat in the Oval Office, the compact disc was brand new, and top-rated  CBS affiliates WWL-TV WWL radio here in New Orleans were owned by Loyola University (“World Wide Loyola”) and… the Catholic Church.

From the changing complexion of the White House to digital music distribution (and piracy), TV/radio deregulation and consolidation,  and from Loyola’s WWL ownership to Gannett, Tegna & Entercom … my, how the media and technological winds have blown!

Meanwhile, through all the changes and through all the years, Airlift Productions and I have resided calmly and ever-persistent in the Hurricane’s Eye.

A recent Search Engine request for just two words “Airlift Productions” yielded the most remarkable result – in the Images section was an internet-search-generated montage of a Life lived in the Hurricane’s Eye…

Bing Search Engine “Airlift Productions” Image Montage 2019

There was every studio I’d ever built – from the closet at Rock Creek Apartments to Iberville to Pomona.  There was Norman Robinson, Rich Lenz, Heath Allen, Deuce McAllister, Congressman Steve Scalise, Dr. Morgus, Rachel Wulff, Jamie Neumann, Sean O’Shea, Sister Thecla, even studio mascot The Shadeaux, the studio’s stained glass window and game room!

From radio commercials, TV voice-overs, music projects & audio books, to educational software, industrial training & safety videos,  from cathode ray tubes to flat screens and broadcast to podcast – the Airlift Studios & I have shifted and tacked into the winds of change … while remaining calm & steady in the Hurricane’s Eye.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence & Determination alone are omnipotent.” ~ Coolidge/Ziants

                   *** Micheal Ziants AUDIO BOOK Demo ***

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Airlift Productions proprietor Micheal Ziants putting in another day at the office ~ along with studio mascot ‘The Shadeaux’

And the winds continue to blow! My grandfather John was born before the radio, my father Charlie was born before the television, and I was born before the internet & digital.

What’s next?

Well, whatever it is, you can rest assured that Airlift Productions and I will be there … in the Hurricane’s Eye.

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Airlift’s Micheal Ziants (Right) with actor Joe Renier, On-Camera with TLW Productions for Seacor Marine … deep in the Gulf of Mexico

“We’ve worked with Mike for almost 15 years, both as voice over and on-camera talent in more than 50 films.  Not only is he a great guy and a super talent,  but he has the coolest recording studio in the South.” ~ TIM WESTON, President TLW Productions, NOLA 

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Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984

… we’ll leave the light on for you.

Airlift Productions ~ Recording With Mood & Attitude!

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Airlift Productions Recording Studio & PROduction House, New Orleans, 2019 Panoramic Studio Pic. Check it out … “Weapons of Mass Production”

 

With all the equipment in the Airlift Productions studios – bouncing meters, glowing lights, ‘bells & whistles’ – the one thing visitors and clients seem to remark the most about is, strangely enough, the Window!

Its custom-cut, stained glass beauty captures every New Orleans sunset from it’s setting in the western wall of the studio, and gives constant feedback on current sky conditions as it reflects the tempo of each and every recording day.

Inspired by ancient Mayan illustrations and pyramid hieroglyphics, it was custom-designed to carry the colors of the Airlift Studios into it’s intricate artwork – from the passionate purple of the walls to the midnight blue carpet & charcoal grey acoustic foamed walls.

“The Gift of Life”, as it is called, symbolizes the spiritual journey of man.

At the center is the flame-like symbol of God who is Light & Life, the Creator of All.

The Triangle – symbolizing Mind, Spirit & Soul enlightened by God in its midst – is within the circle that signifies God is All in All, without beginning or end.

And surrounding the circle are the glyph signs for sky, earth’s abundance, and precious water.

And this magnificent artwork accomplishes all this spiritually without being overtly religious, to say nothing of ‘choosing up sides’ –  favoring one religion, faith,  or approach over another.

“The Gift of Life” also serves as the perfect backdrop and vibe for all the intensely creative audio projects & work being recorded and captured at the Airlift Productions Studios.

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The Airlift Productions “Engine Room” ~ a view into the studio control room, as seen from the Talent room, along with the “Gift of Life”, Myron’s Discobolus … and the Laughing Christ.

 

Catch the Fire!  At the  Airlift Productions Recording Studio  ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984

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Airlift’s Micheal Ziants (Right) with actor Joe Renier, On-Camera with TLW Productions for Seacor Marine … deep in the Gulf of Mexico

“We’ve worked with Mike for almost 15 years, both as voice over and on-camera talent in more than 50 films.  Not only is he a great guy and a super talent,  but he has the coolest recording studio in the South.” ~ TIM WESTON, President TLW Productions, New Orleans, LA, USA

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Oil Prices Tumble, But Airlift Productions Gets “Industrious” Anyway

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Airlift Mike On-Camera for Tim Weston, TLW Productions & Seacor Marine Worldwide

The field of VoiceOver is more than ‘hoo haa’ & ‘boom shaka laka’! While commercial voice work is positioned to cajole, pitch and sell, the industrial read has to be, well… industrious.

Industrial narration is a different bird. And here in Louisiana, Sportsman’s Paradise, it would seem that bird is becoming somewhat of an endangered species.

Through over thirty years of VoiceOver (as well as on-camera work) here in NOLA, Airlift Productions and I have helped steer many a company – both large and small – through some pretty tricky waters.

We’ve narrated and produced audio for Shell Oil, Bollinger Shipyards, Edison Chouest Offshore, Amoco Oil, and Seacor Marine Worldwide Interests, among others.

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Airlift’s Micheal Ziants (Right) with actor Joe Renier, On-Camera with TLW Productions for Seacor Marine … deep in the Gulf of Mexico

But America’s current oil situation, and its subsequent nationwide drop in oil prices, while causing glee for giddy drivers has been cause for major concern – as well as job losses – for countless thousands here in the Bayou State.

Count yours truly in that number.

While Louisiana continues to reel from yet another oil bust, the trickle-down effect is reverberating across the state. And as the oil money dries up, so does the Industrial Narration Voice Over work.

Get a feel for the impact of oil – to Louisiana and America – with this one video which I narrated post-Katrina for the Port Fourchon (pronounced FOO-shon) Commission, along with stunning aerial photography from Andreas Frentzos & Tim Weston at TLW Productions here in NOLA —

Port Fourchon, Louisiana’s southernmost port, and “the nerve center of oil and gas drilling and production in the Gulf of Mexico!”

The VoiceOver read for industrial concerns strips away all the cajoling, pitching and selling. It remains sober, confident and in-control, as it crosses all the Ts and dots all the Is with letter-perfect diction and tone.

On top of that, with much of this type work addressing safety concerns,  it occurs to me that teaching someone how not to DIE while on the job is not only necessary, but rather noble.

TedWilliamsCloseUpWithCardboardSignSo, as we move through the balance of 2016, Airlift Productions and I will tack into the winds of change yet again, adjust our sails/sales, keep a vigilant eye on the oil prices, and keep moving forward.

But should you happen to find me alongside this guy at the interstate overpass … with a black-magic-marker-on-cardboard sign, a PB & J will work, ham ‘n cheese preferred, but remember — ” Airlift Mike will talk – WELL – for food!”

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Airlift Mike on-camera shoot with Tim Weston of TLW Productions - 2004
Airlift Mike on-camera shoot with Tim Weston of TLW Productions – 2004

“We’ve worked with Mike for almost 15-years, both as voiceover and on-camera talent in more than 50 films.  Not only is he a great guy and a super talent, but he has the coolest recording studio in the South.” — Tim Weston, President, TLW Productions, NOLA

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Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984

Mike Church & Mike Ziants Take It Down To The Church … Via Veritas

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Mike Church putting in another day at the office on the Veritas Radio Network

Mike Church, the longest-running conservative talk show host in the history of Sirius satellite radio is now on to the most exciting and provocative phase of his career.

And yours truly, Airlift Mike, is most fortunate and blessed to be his running partner in Crusade & Veritas.

You see, Mike & I both believe that what is ailing the “body politic”, as well as American society today, is a collective “turning of the back” on Christ the King and the Law of His Gospel!

I know, I know, I hear you … “But in polite social circles, in order to gain and keep friends”, you say (or create successful radio), “One should never discuss Politics, Sex, or Religion”. To those who still today adhere to this quaint 20th century saying, I say …

MikeChurchFacebookFunMeme“Politics” ~ Rush Limbaugh; “Sex” ~ Howard Stern; and now, Crusading with Faith into the most volatile and incendiary of the three, America will now add the name of Mike Church!

“VERITAS” in Latin means “Truth”. But this is truth with 21st century swag, relevant relate-ability, pop culture (?) and style.

VeritasNetworkLogoMikeChurch.comAirliftProductionsNOLAAs a devout and devoted Roman Catholic boy of Faith, Mr. Church has launched THE CRUSADE CHANNEL and THE VERITAS NETWORK … available FREE 24-7-365 on everyone’s digital devices. Stream it anywhere and anytime to your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or laptop here — www.MikeChurch.com.

And Mike, known affectionately as “King Dude” to those who know and love him – and there are tens of thousands – has now tagged yours truly to act as Imaging Voice for this exciting new adventure. So, I shoulder the awesome, and fun, responsibility of setting the tone for this mission. Sample a montage of our initial efforts here …

I first met Mike earlier this century through our mutual radio comrades-in-arms Bo Walker & Don Banks, and have pitched-in through the years to help narrate and give cohesive voice to his patriotic & conservative films & DVDs.

CrusadeChannelLogoMikeChurch.com

But this Crusade – this championing of the Human Spirit, Faith & Truth – will prove to be really …. something …. else altogether!

Pray for us.

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MichealZiantsAirliftProductionsOnCamera4Seacor
Airlift Mike On-Camera for Tim Weston, TLW Productions & Seacor Marine Worldwide

 

“We’ve worked with Mike for almost 15 years, both as voice over and on-camera talent in more than 50 films.  Not only is he a great guy and a super talent,  but he has the coolest recording studio in the South.”~TIM WESTON, President TLW Productions, NOLA 

 

 

 

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Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from New Orleans since 1984

Airlift Mike Goes Industrial. Again.

shell oil logoIt sure has been an interesting week around the Airlift Productions Studios here in NOLA. And a day in the life of a VoiceOver artist is certainly never boring.

There is not an ocean on the planet that Seacor Marine vessels do not sail.   And multinational Shell Oil is among the largest and most powerful oil companies in the world.

This past week I had the honor of working for both of them.

Yes, the Airlift Studios were buzzing as commercial work & audio book projects gave way to industrial fare.  You know, it occurred to me a long time ago that teaching someone how not to die while on the job was not only necessary… but rather noble.

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Airlift Productions Proprietor Micheal Ziants working On Camera for Seacor Marine

Working alongside Tim Weston of TLW Productions here in NOLA, Wednesday afternoon I narrated Safety Videos for the SEACOR MARINE crews in an effort to get the boys out to sea from Port Fourchon safely.

Meanwhile, Friday morning, contacted and contracted by new Airlift client Launch Media in Baton Rouge, I recorded a corporate outreach effort on behalf of SHELL OIL. 

In fact, this job struck like lightning! The call and email came into Airlift after hours Thursday night, and was signed-off on, recorded, tagged & bagged by 9:30 Friday morning.

Launch Media Creative Director Wes Kennison made the request, then orchestrated and directed via the Airlift phone-patch, and wave files were relayed back to Baton Rouge for post-production.

When it comes to corporate, industrial V/O jobs, the person behind the mic has to take control… cross the T-s and dot the I-s, with letter-perfect diction. With Authority. With Conviction.  With Sincerity.

*** Airlift Mike, setting the pace for Port Fourchon, LA ***

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Airlift’s Micheal Ziants (Right) with actor Joe Renier, On-Camera with TLW Productions for Seacor Marine … deep in the Gulf of Mexico

Like I said, a day in the life of a working VoiceOver artist is never boring. Especially if you get to occasionally play around in front of the camera too!  From New Orleans …. 150 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico.

 

And teaching someone how not to die while on the job is not only necessary … but noble.

           To Communicate is the Beginning of Understanding.

                            Airlift Productions Communicates.