Tag Archives: Southland Plumbing

Yin~Yang & Early Fall Around The Airlift Productions Studios

imagesYin me, Yang me. From the ridiculous to the sublime, and everything in between, it sure has been a rather interesting late summer and early fall around the Airlift Studios here in NOLA.


Airlift Mike – like the local fireman down at the firehouse – ready to take the call

As footballs fly, leaves fall, and political mud gets slung, far be it from Airlift & me to not get a little on us.  And just as the time-honored Yin~Yang symbol reminds us:  Every Thing contains it’s opposite! We’ll never have the concepts of Heat without Cold, Up without Down, or a Hero without a Villain.

Recording studios and VoiceOver dudes and dudesses walk the same path… especially in 2015.  Welcome to my ‘Silver Linings Playbook’.

Working alongside Nathan Ales and Todd Schmidt, lately we’ve tackled some pretty attention-grabbing television, for clients as diverse as high-end furniture outlets … 

** Georgian Furnishing & Berger Home Labor Day Sale, asking the question “What will the Future Look Like?”  ~ Ziants/Schmidt **

… to one-stop-shopping for plumbing, lighting & generators.  And with the Louisiana State University Tigers having to cancel their home-opener last weekend on account of lightning & rain for the first time in nearly a hundred years, and sending over 100, 000 home early, the boys and I were almost prescient with this one ….

** Southland Plumbing’s ‘Best Seat in the House’ TV :30 ~ voiced by Micheal Ziants, Video Wizardry by Todd Schmidt **

Nathan Ales, Sales Dude Extraordinaire
Nathan Ales, Sales Dude Extraordinaire
Todd Schmidt, Video Wizard
Todd Schmidt, Video Wizard

I just LOVE working with these characters. Nathan Ales and I go way back to radio days at Q-93 here in NOLA, I was afternoon air personality and he was super sales dude.  Todd and I met only last year, but that meeting was on the common ground where creative sparks fly and alchemy & magic live. This guy just gets it. He’ll go into the field with camera in-hand and then edit, imagineer, and cut ‘n paste masterpieces! 

But as they say in the advertising field – “That’s not all!”

The Yin~Yang continues.

The call came in from Manhattan about another job slated to air in California – San Francisco, to be precise. Andy would write the copy, cast the talent (four separate actors), the agency is in Boston – are you following so far – and yours truly, sitting here in NOLA at the Airlift Productions Studios would merely be the button-pusher engineer to make it all happen. 

Sixteen edits in a :30 spot? Really. Airing now in San Francisco is this goodie on behalf of the Armanino crowd…

** Armanino Radio :30, produced by Micheal Ziants at Airlift **

And to wrap-up the ‘Yin~Yang’ fall post, as the Louisiana Governor’s race looms – Trick or Treat – the call came into the ‘firehouse’ for some help with some boys (ironically, also in San Francisco) heading-up an Anti-David Vitter TV ad campaign.  Oh boy, oh joy!

Jamie Neumann Records VoiceOver/Vice-Over at Airlift Productions NOLA
Jamie Neumann Records VoiceOver/Vice-Over at Airlift Productions NOLA

Could I help out recording NYC-schooled, NOLA-born ‘n bred Jamie Neumann reading the riot act?…. shouting ‘fire’ in the crowded political theater… calling, in effect, the front-runner a whore-monger?!?!

Oh, sure, why not.  Sample just a taste of the phone-patched V-O session from a week and a half back, here ….

** Jamie’s ‘Anybody But Vitter’ phone-patch session excerpt **

From New Orleans, a town that pretty much invented the ‘piano player in the cat house’ thing, and where the only thing folks like spicier and hotter than their food – is their politics, why not?

Besides, as a life-long political atheist and outsider, I say, “Hey, let the best man win!”

Fall in the air, fur flying, leaves falling, mud on the tires – and the flat screens. Things just seem to get more interesting all the time around the Airlift Productions Studios. More Interesting.  And hotter!


HarlonMillerRecordsVoiceOverAtAirliftProductionsNOLA“Airlift is THE place to go for a top quality demo. With Mike behind the board you are in very capable hands. His vast knowledge and command of all things audio blends with his laid-back fun environment to bring out the best in any voice.  Airlift has the experience and all the tools necessary to make a voice-over reel that is on par with anything you would find in New York or LA!”

– – – HARLON MILLER, Voice-Actor

Hear Harlon’s most bodacious demo now at HarlonMiller.com 


Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984!

Airlift Productions Gets “Handy” for the New Year

New Orleans VoiceOver Talent Micheal Ziants – along with The Shadow – at Airlift Productions, where EVERY day is ‘take your doggie to work day’

One of the things that I’m most thank-full for as this New Year of 2015 dawns is the opportunity to use more of my God-given talents. Long the VoiceOver guy and audio producer, I’ve had few chances this century to truly flex my creative writing & advertising muscles.

You know, ordinarily the client sends along the copy, and as the voice dude and producer, I simply interpret and record those words to a wave file and send them along. What a gift it is to create that string of words … and then put them into my own mouth!

As a case in point, this thirty second spot airing all over the New Orleans TV market for the New Year. Imagine being tasked with pounding the drum (ever so softly) for a local home improvement outfit that is today expanding their services & products … and taking-on Lowe’s and Home Depot. Really? Really.

Southland Plumbing TV :30 spot for New Orleans ADI – written and envisioned by Micheal Ziants at Airlift Productions, for Nathan Ales of Ales & Associates, January 2015

So, let’s open with a truncated aphorism.  A what?!? Yes, a saying that we’ve all heard,”Home is where the Heart is”, and then twist it a bit.  Add a colorful N’awlins colloquialism “For true!” And we’re off to the races.

It all adds up to setting the homeboys – a local, family-owned business for nearly 50 years – apart and head-and-shoulders above the ‘big box boys’, all the while playing the strings of the heart.

And it all comes out of the hometown flat screens like this ….


*** Southland Plumbing TV :30, written, voiced & audio-produced by Micheal Ziants; Video editing by Todd Schmidt, on behalf of Nathan Ales at Ales & Associates  ***

Nathan Ales and I go back years! He was actually a ‘sales dog’ at Q-93 Radio when I first came to work there in the 1980s, and it was his job to sell that Mike McCann dude.

His affable, quip-filled approach has disarmed many a wary advertiser and always delivered for his clients.  I’m thrilled that we’ve re-connected here in the 21st century and the Southland account is one of our first joint ventures.

Nathan Ales of Ales & Associates, along with wife Debbie
Nathan Ales of Ales & Associates, along with wife Debbie

So Nathan, with his unique blend of street savvy, charm, and moxie does the selling and lining-up the accounts, I handle creative, voice over and audio production … and then hand it over to this guy – meet Todd Schmidt.

The multi-talented Todd Schmidt - actor, raconteur & video whiz kid
The multi-talented Todd Schmidt – actor, camera man, photographer & video whiz kid

Todd has just an amazing skill set – while not working with the poker-hot TV series “American Horror Story” or finishing-up the new “Trumbo” film (this guy stays way too busy), he hangs out with Nathan and me and brings his video wizardry to our projects.  Catch more of his magic here on the web at Schmidt VFX . Remarkable!

Lucky and indeed fortunate I am to be running with these dudes in 2015.  Audio …  and now ‘Creative’ and Video to-go! What can the boyz and I cook up for YOU today?

Airlift Productions Recording Studio ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984