A well-crafted VoiceOver Demo should do for one’s voice what a model’s portfolio does for one’s body.
Show it off! Showcase it! Highlight it!
Just as a photographer uses lighting, sets, makeup, and wardrobe to capture its subject, the voice demo audio produceruses compression, reverberation, equalization, the just-right music, sound effects and editing to properly capture/record his subject.
From compassion and pathos … to angst-filled attitude. Sly and seductive … to bold & brassy! Demure … to confident.
A captivating VoiceOver Demo captures every trick the actor has in his/her bag, and is edited in such a way as to showcase versatility and cast-ability.
“Many filmmakers portray teenagers as immoral and ignorant, with pursuits that are pretty base… But I haven’t found that to be the case. I listen to kids. I respect them… Some of them are as bright as any of the adults I’ve met.” ~ the late film director John Hughes
“Micheal Ziants is a great voice talent who is generous with his time and energy. I have worked in TV for years, but needed the guidance of a professional to create my radio reel and found it with Ziants. He made me feel comfortable in studio and encouraged creativity, coaching me to a reel I hope will bring many job opportunities. “ ~ California-bound, Former WWL/WDSU Anchor/Reporter, Mom, Realtor – RACHEL WULFF
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.
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.
“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
I first met and recorded Norman Robinson in 1991. He was fresh back in NOLA from the White House CBS-TV Network news beat, and was the newly-ordained anchor man at our WDSU.
Little did we then realize, or even think about future days, but the fact is, 28 years later, we’re still at it!
Our most recent project? Recording and compiling every electronic message for every streetcar and bus – even the ferries – in the cityof New Orleans.
“Senior citizens ride the bus for only 40 cents”… “Please look around you for any personal items you may have left behind before exiting the vehicle/next stop, Canal Street.”
NORTA – the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority – tagged Norman and me to record well over 1,500 wav files for use in their system citywide.
** Norman narrates NORTA’s ‘Go Mobile’ App Tutorial **
Rich Lenznow calls Tulsa, OK home, a gone pecan from NOLA for over ten years now (gee, Thanks, Katrina), but he served for 16 years as sports director/anchor atWDSU.
Richie and I’ve recorded countless tunes together, including epic anthems to herald the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon fund-raising year-after-year to benefit and support our Children’s Hospital’s life saving efforts for our kids.
** the 1st, of many, Telethon Tunes for Children’s Hospital **
After meeting WWL/WDSU anchor gal Rachel Wulff around the aisles of our local Lowe’s Home Improvement store, I helped Rachel improve her post-anchor life and UP her game by producing a VoiceOver demo for her.
** Rachel’s VO Demo, with her daughter’s cutesy intro **
His compassionate, and knowledgeable in-the-field reporting is always incisive and spot-on. And he picks quite a guitar, at that.
2019 continues to see local NOLA news veteran Camille Whitworthdrop by from time to time for various VO commercial and industrial projects.
Camille dedicated years to the anchor chair at WDSU, and today fills her days public speaking, doing on-camera work for our East Jefferson Hospital, and recording various VoiceOver projects forclients in and around NOLA.
Dependable, personable, and experienced, Camille is always fun to have around the Airlift Studios.
There is simply no reason or need for news anchors to walk away from their skills & finely-honed talents when they walk away from the nightly news anchor desk.
Norman, Rich, Heath, Rachel, Lee & Camille are all exceptionally fine and experienced talents with, as the expression goes, ‘ a lot of good miles left on their tires’.
It has also been said, and rightly so, that journalism, as well as the nightly news, is ‘History – the first draft’.
I am so gratified – and humbled – that these remarkable ladies and gentlemen have all chosen to work with me and Airlift Productions to write new chapters.
And, as Paul Harvey used to intone, tell ‘the rest of the story’.
“I’ve been in studios from the Bayou to the Beltway and I can say after recording my last two audio books with Mike that there is no better place than Airlift Productions. The quality of the production, the studio, and frankly the comfort make it the only place I want to record now or in the future”— JAMES CARVILLE, Political commentator, Tulane professor & Campaign Strategist behind the most dramatic political victories of our generation
When ‘Fantastic Four’ opens today down at the mall cineplex , Airlift Productions & I will be watching it quite a bit differently than most. Let me tell you why.
I almost didn’t take the call that morning because it in no way looked familiar on my caller ID. Turns out it was a ‘Louise’ calling from Tag/Europe in London. She’d found my website in a google search, and was wondering if I had the time to help her on ‘a project’.
As it turns out, Tag’s client is Sony Corporation in Japan, and they’d hand-picked TOBY KEBBELL as VoiceOver spokesperson for all their Xperia-Z tablet computer TV ad campaigns.
Now, the problem was that in the UK the letter ‘Z’ is pronounced ‘Zed’, and their entire TV campaign – now destined for the US – needed re-voiced with the Yank’s sound … Toby was in NOLA at the time, and the call came in for some HELP!
Perhaps you’ve seen Toby already in ‘War Horse’, ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’,’Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, or ‘Prince of Persia : Sands of Time’. Today, he’s cast as Victor Von Doom in Marvel’s ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot. He’s a product of Nottingamshire, England, quite studly, easy on the eyes – and the ‘birds’ in the UK are just gaga over this dude.
In any event, Toby shows up at the Airlift Studios in a rent-a-car driven by his brother that morning… relaxed, unshaven, in shorts and flip-flops – hey, it IS a voice over session after all. And via the Airlift phone-patch, we joined forces with Louise in London … and her associate/client – in Japan!
Hey, all’s well that ends well (didn’t Shakespeare say that?), the session went splendidly – Toby laid down the tracks, they were approved by all the powers-that-be, and Airlift Productions & I delivered the big fat aif files into the mac computers at the edit bays within Tag/Europe in London within minutes.
LISTEN to just one track, destined for United States TV, and how well my new pal Toby says the letter ‘Z’ right here …
** Toby Kebbell speaks for Sony Corp at the Airlift microphones **
Not bad, huh? So when Toby – as Victor Von Doom – terrorizes and spreads mayhem versus those Fantastic Four dudes down at the theater during this smoking-hot summer of 2015, at least now you know what’s going on under the hood … of Doctor Doom!
Save some popcorn for me, stay safe out there, and I’ll see y’all at the movies!
“For Voice Actors, the demo serves as a calling card and is unquestionably the most important tool in the pursuit of voice over work. Micheal 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 for the notorious LA-based 80s Punk Rock band THE WEIRDOS, and aspiring Voice-Over Talent