Tag Archives: Sue’s Jewelry

It’s An Audio Christmas Card From Airlift Mike

From Nat King Cole’s “Chestnuts roasting…” to Bing Crosby’s “I’m dreaming…” to Karen Carpenter’s “Greeting cards have all been sent…” the Christmas holidays every year have always been about all things audio to me.

And since I long ago left the snow-covered northeast for warmer climes in New Orleans, I’ve also replaced the crunch of snow and the sound of snow shovels scraping across concrete sidewalks with holiday sounds of my own making.

Conveniently enough, my Airlift Productions Studios have long provided me the platform and vehicle for making those holiday sounds.

Funny. Sarcastic. Profound. Inspirational.

So, on this Christmas 2018, let’s queue up a few for this audio Christmas greeting from NOLA…

Archie Manning records with Airlift Productions

While I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Peyton or Eli Manning, I sure have met and worked with their pop Archie.

In the early days of the Airlift Studios down on the Crescent City’s Iberville Street, acting as writer and producer for Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym, it was my job to work with Archie on his various different radio campaigns.

Among my fave creative efforts for Archie was this one, wherein I was Santa Claus and he was the kid on Santa’s knee at the mall telling me what he wanted for Christmas.

** Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym ** from 1992 **

And with our Saints making a Super Bowl run here in late 2018, how much fun was that?

Another 1990s Christmas effort of mine has resurfaced here this Christmas season, as old pal Sue Bonano resurrected a couple spots of mine to air on Entercom radio stations here in 2018!

Yeah, it all sounds a bit crazy but, with a little editing, a radio ad that is now 23 years old, was brushed-off and aired all over NOLA this holiday season to lovers who weren’t even born when it first aired.

** Sue’s Jewelry “Because…” Radio Campaign, again in 2018 **

As the Christmas audio memories continue…

Hired by a Chicago-based ad agency called Right Hat in late 2015, I was tasked with lining-up the talent and recording a web-based “politically correct” Holiday greeting card for a Washington, D.C. law firm.

Wait a tick, a what?

That’s right.  A politically correct greeting card! So I tracked down a trio of very talented professors at our Loyola University to come to Airlift Productions to record a classic that would have old Ebeneezer himself doing a double take.

** Right Hat’s take on Christmas 2015, with Airlift Mike **

Whew! Let’s decompress after that one, OK?

And at the same time shift gears totally.

Shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific school shooting at Newtown, CT just before Christmas in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary, I was inspired to hit the Airlift Studios.

Taking an anonymous internet writing and adding Danny Elfman’s mystical score to my voice, I came up with an answer from the “other side” as to what happened to those beautiful young souls that fatefully painful December morning…

** Christmas Eve in Newtown  by Micheal Ziants**

Without a doubt, Jesus of Nazareth is the Reason for the Season!

But given the fissures & cracks in our 21st century society, is it any wonder why the season can be so paradoxically wonderfully troubling and problematic for so many?

Meanwhile, the prayers and reflections continue to this day…

Like I said, for this Christmas audio greeting card – Funny, Sarcastic, Profound, Inspirational.

Which pretty much sums up my feelings, my take here on my 66th Christmas here on the 3rd rock.

From yours truly and the Airlift krewe here on Pomona, here’s to a Merry Christmas!

And for 2019 – a wish for everyone across the planet to Increase the Peace.



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

Everything Old is NEW Again at Airlift Productions

Airlift Productions’ Micheal Ziants putting in another day at the office.

Gee, it’s Thanksgiving week in New Orleans, we’re not even really into the Christmas season yet, and I’ve already got one of my fave holiday stories.

The Airlift Productions studios‘ bat phone rings Tuesday morning, and who’s on the other end but my old friend and client Sue Bonano of Sue’s Jewelry here just outside NOLA on fashionable, swanky Old Metairie Road.

You see, kind of like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, who once said that if she ever went looking for happiness again she’d never look further than her own backyard, some of voice work’s & radio’s most rewarding gems can be found not on national TV or radio… but right down the street.

suesjewelrysignagefrontstoreAt any rate, Sue says to me, “Mike, do you remember that radio campaign we ran back in the ’90s? Those ‘Because…’ spots?”

I knew immediately what she was talking about: a pair of sixty second ads I’d put together for her in a year that was, well, twenty-one years ago!

As I pulled them out of the Airlift Archive, still safe & sound – on those little DATs (digital audio tapes) – I’ve got to admit, they still sounded pretty effective.

I mean, to be clear here, no one actually talks like this, and I’m obviously putting on a show, playing on emotions and heart strings like a Hallmark Channel special meets Harlequin romance novel.

** Diamonds for Christmas ~ at Sue’s, with Airlift Mike **

Effusive. Intensely dramatic. Even melodramatic. And, along with the DeBeers diamond music swelling underneath and all around, they make quite the poetic & compelling case for ‘Diamonds for Christmas”.

And the only thing I had to edit-out was the line saying, “No payments until February 1996” which, of course, would never work.

** Engagement Rings ~ at Sue’s, with Airlift Mike ***

suesjewelrywebsitelogoSo, I input them to the computer, created the mp3 files, and just like that, these ear-gasmic creations from November 1995 are now airing through the holi-daze  all over NOLA at an Entercom radio station near you. 

For yet another generation of lovers here in 2016.

As everything OLD becomes NEW again.


Outside the Airlift Productions Studios at night

“Well, Mike, you’ve done it again! Thank you for producing another rock and sock-em voiceover demo that I can be proud of!! Your professionalism and expertise is greatly appreciated and highly respected. I highly recommend Mike of Airlift Productions to anyone in the industry for great quality production work. He is your man!” ~ Karlin T. O’Neill, VoiceOver Artist




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