Tag Archives: Hollywood South

Han Solo Records VoiceOver At Airlift Productions

The New Han Solo recorded “Beautiful Creatures” movie V-O at Airlift Productions NOLA

Little did  Alden Ehrenreich or I realize when we first met that he was destined to become Han Solo!

Hired to record some last-minute Hollywood South VoiceOver for Alden’s latest movie “Beautiful Creatures”, I certainly didn’t know what to expect that June morning of 2012.

In this teen-goth, supernatural, romantic thriller with a southern twist, Alden had been cast as the star-crossed lead lover Ethan Wate. And as the fates would have it, there were a few key monologue voice over tracks left un-recorded when they got to post-production.

Enter Airlift Mike and Airlift Productions.

Alden Ehrenreich at the Big Star Wars Han Solo Announcement Party

When I answered the door that morning there was Alden, boyishly handsome, with a cheery “Good Morning”…. and a pint bottle of Jamaican Red Stripe lager in his hand.

When I questioned this rather novel approach to a recording session, he said simply that “This is for after we’re done!”

So, after it we went.  Together with veteran movie sound pro Jeffrey Haupt, screen play writer & director Richard LaGravenese, a dialect coach from London, and their entourage, we laid down VoiceOver tracks for this moody suspense thriller.

Witness a taste of Alden’s acting chops here; don’t you love the faux southern accent? I mean, he was born and raised in Los Angeles, with roots further back (like yours truly) in Austria & Hungary —

And more recently, Alden stole the show – and even upstaged George Clooney himself –  in the 2016 Hollywood-Golden-Era homage Coen Brothers flick “Hail, Caesar!” as celluloid cowboy hero Hobie Doyle. Check him out here….

Fast-forward just a tick, then, and imagine our collective surprise when out of the thousands who auditioned for the part, the Lucas-Disney machine that IS the STAR WARS franchise cast this dude for the Star Wars prequel – as the NEW HAN SOLO!

You go, Alden!

So, let me see, if Alden is 29 today, back when we met and recorded together he was all of 22. So, back to that day ….

Alden (dead center) holding his own at the “Hail, Caesar” Party – with Josh, George, Jonah, and Channing …. hey, there goes the neighborhood, huh?

After the session, he popped the top on his Jamaican Red Stripe and began to share it with me! We went slug-for-slug like Catholics at a communion rail, laughed, and talked of his past, present and future.

But little did either of us realize that day that the future would include his casting in the biggest movie juggernaut of the 21st century!

And today, that empty bottle of Jamaican Red Stripe is still sitting up on the Airlift commissary shelves, beside other noteworthy bottles of wine, scotch & Wild Turkey emptied after sessions past to celebrate & commemorate memorable Airlift Studio recording sessions.

Happy and thrilled for you the Airlift Productions krewe is, Alden!

Thanks again for the laughs, brotherhood… and Jamaican lager.

Oh, and despite some of the sketchy reviews of your latest intergalactic celluloid effort (some say “meh”), may the Force Be With You, my brother!


E.R.I.C. the talking skull records VoiceOver at Airlift Productions

“Dr. Ziants:

My dear colleague, it was a true delight to visit and work with you in your digital laboratory. I somewhat envy your remarkable equipment, which far exceeds anything we can afford here in the old city ice house. Your audio production facilities are second to none, and I thank you again for the excellent recordings you produced for the Momus A. Morgus Institute.” — Momus

** A tested-by-time Testimonial from Dr. Morgus (aka – Sid Noel Rideau) direct from the old city ice house to the Airlift digital lab via email.  Check the good doctor out anytime at www.morgus.com ***

Airlift Mike On-Camera performing with Sid in “Morgus Presents” 1988, re-broadcast on Fox-8


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

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.