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The Art Of: The Narrative Writer and director LaKeisha Fleming ’95 is the founder of Vision 2:2 Productions.

LaKeisha-Fleming-95-800x533 The Art Of: The NarrativeLaKeisha Fleming ’95 (Photo by Chris Moore)

“As a writer or director, you must have an ability to draw people into story and draw something out of them — and then make it an interesting journey along the way.”

~ LaKeisha Fleming ’95

Fourteen years ago, LaKeisha Fleming ’95, launched her own production company, Vision 2:2 Productions (vision22productions.com), because there were certain stories she “wanted to give voice to.” Since then, she has written and directed numerous projects, from client music videos to her own short films.

One of her films, “I Know Too Much,” explores a universal theme: making hard choices. For Fleming, a compelling story comes down to relatability.

“If people can see themselves in a story, even if they just relate to the emotion it’s conveying, then it’s a good story,” Fleming said. “As a writer or director, you must have an ability to draw people into it and draw something out of them — and then make it an interesting journey along the way.”

Fleming, who double majored in journalism and mass communications and French, started her professional journey as a video journalist at CNN, eventually landing in the travel journalism unit. With her passion for language and knack for storytelling, it was a great fit.

“I’m such a geek for words,” she said. “I love finding the perfect word for a sentence, or the right way to say something. Coupled with my love of asking questions, journalism seemed like a natural path for me.”

Although she thrived in the news environment, the whirlwind of long hours and high stress prompted her to switch to a nonprofit setting. Yet she missed the hustle and bustle of her old workplace. Not one to shy away from risk, she took another career pivot.

At-work-on-First-Impressions-1-635x533 The Art Of: The NarrativeLaKeisha Fleming ’95 on the set of the TV movie “First Impression.”

“I enjoyed the storytelling aspect of journalism, so I thought maybe entertainment was more of what I wanted to do. I started at the bottom again,” she said.

That leap of faith landed Fleming at Tyler Perry Studios, where she worked as a production assistant on various TV shows. It was a grueling gig — and one she executed with fervor. She had been scouted for the job by one of the studio’s producers, who was visiting a set Fleming was working on pro-bono for a different studio.

“The producer was like, ‘Wow, who is that person running around like that,’ and when she found out that they weren’t paying me, and she said, ‘I want her,’” Fleming recalled.

A year into her job at Tyler Perry Studios, an opportunity arose to write a script for “Meet the Browns,” one of the shows she worked on. Her long hours on the sitcom’s set as a production assistant granted Fleming the insight to know the right words for the characters’ lines and the best scenarios to place them.

“I knew the character’s voices — I felt like I lived with these people,” she said. “So when I sat down to write a script, I thought about what would really spark something in these actors, and help bring the show alive.”

Her approach worked. The studio adapted her script for an episode, and she was promoted to a staff writer shortly after. Fleming said the experience provided her a platform to make connections, secure other gigs and build up confidence in her ideas, which ultimately gave her the courage to start Vision 2:2 Productions.

“It really showed me that hey, my voice matters,” she said.