It was at an early age when Keysha Lee became interested in television and broadcasting.
After spending seven years combined working as a TV news reporter and anchor in Augusta; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Montgomery, Alabama; the award-winning television host and broadcast instructor returned to her hometown of Atlanta and is lending her talents in this industry to students interested in the television and broadcasting business. She also owns Leeway Productions, a Sandy Springs-based production company.
The North Atlanta High School and University of Georgia graduate, a native of Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, is also a teacher with the DeKalb County School District’s STEM and technical education program. She also holds classes in more than 15 Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System branches, including the Northside and Buckhead ones.
Lee said the need to teach all elements of the film production industry came about when she felt a need existed for a program where students could expand their knowledge in this field and receive more training outside the classroom.
“As a result, I created the format for a workshop that would give interested students the opportunity to create a film production and include training in pre-production, production and post-production,” she said. “I then presented it to the Atlanta-Fulton County Library System officials, who loved the idea and picked it up. We have been partners in this effort for five years.”
Each library class is three hours long, and participants go through the entire production process, including scripting, storyboarding, shot types, camera moves filming and, finally, editing.
“Those in our classes learn by making a video from start to finish and, by the end of the workshop, participants will take home a video to share with family and friends,” Lee said. Students use their smartphones or other mobile devices to create the films.
Geneva Pemberton, a graphic designer who works with Lee, said Lee hosts “very engaging lessons” with the students and teaches them how to be professional and develop their skills.
“Keysha has won quite a few awards, and she has a passion for what she does and is on point and is moving up as she networks quite a bit. (She) is involved with many different people in the film industry in Atlanta, so she has a lot of connections,” Pemberton said. “She is also a liaison for students who want to get into the film industry, and she gives students the opportunity to develop production skills and experience a real professional work environment in the film industry.”
Lee said the courses she designs are based on student needs and, with the master’s degree she has in education, she is able to prepare curricula for her students.
The next course she is designing is for National Library Week in April and to kick off a summer reading program for students and will involve commercials for the Atlanta-Fulton County Library System’s Take Your Dreams off the Shelf program.