Tag Archives: Chiwetel Ejiofor

From the Airlift Productions Studios to “12 Years a Slave”?

The Airlift Productions Studio doubles as the Ultimate Home Theater!
So I’ve got the Airlift Studios in the ‘home theater mode’ the other night to catch another blockbuster in 5.1 surround sound. It’s my favorite way to watch a movie. No texters, no talkers, no cell phones! I get to actually hear every word. And imagine my surprise!
McQueen’s ’12 Years a Slave’ – 2014’s Academy Award winning Best Picture – is a brutally painful one to watch for sure.  But I reveled in it. For personal reasons. Very personal.
Astonished I was to catch not one, not two, not three, not four… but FIVE different  and wildly talented  individuals who’ve recorded, laughed and spent time with me at Airlift Productions …. IN THE MOVIE!
There was – for all the world to see – Quvenzhane Wallis, John “Spud” McConnell, Donald Surtain, and that dynamic mother-daughter combo of Deneen & Devyn Tyler!  Wow!
And they all comported themselves quite admirably.  No.  No starring roles, but in very key supporting ones.
Quvenzhane as Margaret Northup in ’12 Years a Slave’
Playing Solomon Northup’s daughter Margaret as a child was little Quvenzhane, all dolled-up. And in the critical closing and final scene, playing Margaret as an adult and mother … was Deneen’s real-life daughter – Devyn Tyler!
In fact, as she cried while holding the lead character (Chiwetel Ejiofor/Solomon), Devyn had the final words in the entire movie! Double wow.  
Deneen Tyler On-Camera teaching Mathematics for JRL Enterprises & I Can Learn


In scenes where Solomon was seen playing the violin, Chiwetel was faking it, but Donald Surtain  – who was in the Airlift Studios just two months ago now, recording with Greg DiLeo –  was on-camera and laying-down the REAL thing!
Violin Virtuoso Donald Surtain lays down his totally awesome violin tracks at Airlift Productions January 2015

Spud was a plantation owner picking up a slave down along the Mississippi River in the French market and Deneen, as Phoebe, sure cried a lot.

 OK, so my work with this talented crew was nowhere near as dramatic.
John “Spud” McConnell as slave owner Jonus Ray,  on-screen in ’12 Years a Slave’
Spud McConnell sold air conditioning installation & maintenance via radio spots for Comfort Engineered Systems, Deneen & Devyn Tyler worked on educational software tracks for John R. Lee and I Can Learn at the Airlift Studios, and little Quvenzhane , the youngest actress ever to earn a best actress Oscar nominee nod, recorded VoiceOvers with me to sell cars for Chrysler & Maserati.
God, but I truly admire, love and respect talent.  At the Airlift Productions microphones … and on the big silver screen.
Congratulations, Kudos & High-Fives gang!  Proud to work shoulder-to-shoulder with you … and know you I am.
So as Hollywood South continues to explode in NOLA (they’re starting to call Hollywood ‘New Orleans West’!), I’ll see you at the cinema.  And next time, the popcorn’s on me.

Airlift Productions Proprietor Micheal Ziants along with the youngest Best Actress Nominee in the history of the Academy Awards - Quvenzhane Wallis - at the Airlift Studios 2014
Airlift Productions Proprietor Micheal Ziants along with the youngest Best Actress Nominee in the history of the Academy Awards – Quvenzhane Wallis – at the Airlift Studios 2014
                    To Communicate is the Beginning of Understanding.
    Airlift Productions Communicates.