Tag Archives: WWL-TV

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 ***

AirliftProductionsMichealZiantsAndTheShadowOnTheJob
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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L-R.JoeRenierMichealZiantsSeacorMarineShoot
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.

N’awlins Cries Wulff! Rachel Wulff, That Is

RachelWulffRecordsAtAirliftProductionsNewOrleans
Rachel Wulff records her VoiceOver Demo at Airlift Productions NOLA

I first met Rachel Wulff innocently enough around the aisles of our local Lowes Home Improvement store on Veterans in Metairie.

Go figure.

After our brief introductions, she confessed that, together with her husband, she was looking forward to the birth of her second child come the summer and had plans to take some time off from the grueling grind of television news.

My story was somewhat less dramatic.

I filled Rachel in on my thirty-plus-years run owning and operating a recording studio here in NOLA, and told her all about the decidedly un-glamorous world of VoiceOver ~ and Airlift Productions.

She seemed intrigued, agreed to a meeting at my studio, and last month we went to work.

If you want to call it that.

After all, for a guy who’s played with tape recorders and sound for fun since he was a pre-teen, I still marvel at the fact that people will pay me for what amounts to playing with my train set!

In any event, back to Rachel

Rachel Wulff on-set at WDSU-TV
Rachel Wulff on-set at WDSU-TV

Rachel Wulff is as accomplished as they come.  With seasoned, measured, articulate and compassionate tones, she’s reported in the field and anchored at the desk on TVs across America.

The folks of New Orleans have been fortunate to have her around delivering ‘the good, the bad & the ugly’, locally on WDSU & WWL, since 2007.

But, perhaps, it’s time for a different chapter in this reporter/anchor/realtor/mother’s life.

A chapter that I’m proud to help her write.

RachelWulffOnWWLset
Rachel on the WWL set, shortly before announcing her maternity exit

Last month, in early February, Rachel laid-down the tracks for a VoiceOver Demo – no news, no body count, no tragedy – an opportunity for her to str-e-t-ch, bust-out, and showcase her remarkable skill-set at the microphone.

I was somewhat surprised when she left the production end of things (music, sound effects, editing) entirely up to me!

And it all comes out of your digital device’s speakers like this…

** Rachel Wulff Commercial VoiceOver Demo **

Playful. Up-Tempo. Seductive. Versatile. And, yeah, that’s her little girl, “S.B.” on the intro.

While we’ll sure miss her news-filled contributions, in the future, if that voice coming out of your radio or TV speakers sounds a bit familiar, but you’re not quite sure – now you know the rest of the story.

Go get ’em, Rachel!

Here’s to a healthy delivery this early summer, and allow me & the Airlift Productions krewe to raise a glass to toast your new addition to the Wulff-pack.

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

 

 

 

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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 Los Angeles-based, ’80s Punk Band “The Weirdos”…and newbie VoiceOver dude 

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