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The Director's Cut with Kei LaGuins

Updated on November 14, 2016
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I started working in the performing arts industry after attending Colgate University in 1981. My early work was as a personal manager.

Kei LaGuins

A native of Athens, GA., Kei LaGuins has established her own Film and Entertainment Production Company.

Kei LaGuins, a writer, director, producer and actress whose ready for Hollywood.
Kei LaGuins, a writer, director, producer and actress whose ready for Hollywood.
Kei LaGuins Productions.
Kei LaGuins Productions.

Lakeisha LaGuins, also known as Kei (Key) LaGuins, is an award-winning stage play Writer and Producer from Atlanta who resides in Athens, GA.

Her current film, When A Woman Loves A Man, is her first indie feature film from a script she wrote, and served as the films Producer and Assistant Director.

A Love story for the ages, When A Woman Loves A Man, is full of the drama and humor you need in a film that flips the gender from the theme song, When A Man Loves A Woman, originally sung by Percy Sutton in 1966, and that was a labor of love for Kei to make.

The film is also adapted from the stage play of When A Man Loves A Woman, where Kei was the executive writer and producer. And when she decided she was going to pursue filmmaking, she thought the play was a perfect vehicle for her to launch as a film. And even though the play was acclaimed by the press and critics, and requests were made to tour nationally, Kei had made her mind up and wanted a new direction for the production.

The storyline from the film reads: Janet is so out of control and Michael is ready to settle down but she doesn’t want to be tied down to his controlling ways. Michael runs to his friends Gregory and Tony and Pastor Jimmy for advice but Trina is nagging in Janet’s ear. Janet loves the lifestyle of partying with her girls but she is willing to give everything up just to be with her man.

Filmmaking is a labor of love. Director and NYU Graduate Film School Professor, Kasi Lemmons, says that making a film takes so many people doing their best work to get a movie made. It’s the hardest thing, but also the most rewarding thing. Lemmons would go on to site that making a movie falls "just short of having a baby.”

Now that the film is completed, Kei's next goal is to get distribution. She started Kei LaGuins Productions December 1st 2014 to launch the film and to allow for a place where she can pursue her other entertainment endeavors, and create a "think tank" for her fellow writers, producers to create films, music, and develop publications for books and magazines.

While Kei is busy developing new works at her production company, and seeking distribution for the film, she has been expanding her visibility by working with fellow filmmakers. She serves as Assistant Director and Script Supervisor in the indie film, Eternal Game, written by Rody Pollock, and she is the Marketing Specialist for the Hollywood Peach State Film & Music Festival.

To keep her hands on every aspect of filmmaking, Kei has also begun acting and recently portrayed a cop in the web series, Ambitions, by Terre King.

There is no doubt that Kei LaGuins is following the advice of one of her Producer idols, Shonda Rhimes, and making 2016 her Year of Yes.

Like her predecessors, Shonda Rhimes and Kasi Lemmons, look for Kei LaGuins to be standing in the Light with her films and entertainment ventures very soon.

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Badassery is a new level of confidence in both yourself and those around you.”

— Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes

One of the people Kei LaGuins' admires and hopes to work with one day is, Shonda Rhimes, one of Hollywood's A-List TV producers.
One of the people Kei LaGuins' admires and hopes to work with one day is, Shonda Rhimes, one of Hollywood's A-List TV producers.

Kei LaGuins utilizes two areas of success from Shonda Rhimes

Motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, has said for years that if you want to be successful in life at whatever your passion is, find someone who has achieved success in the very same endeavor you are pursuing, and follow that person's path because successful people have developed formulas and patterns on how to win...why reinvent the wheel.

Here are two paths of advice that Kei has been following from one of the successful people she admires, Shonda Rhimes:


To be successful, you need to work at it:

The idea that people who are successful are simply lucky is an idea she takes issue with. “Lucky implies that I was handed something I did not earn, that I did not work hard for,” Rhimes writes. “Gentle reader, may you never be lucky. I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented. I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”

Strive for badassery: A word created by Shonda Rhimes.

"The concept involves knowing, accepting, and celebrating your gifts, living life with swagger, and not caring what anyone thinks about you. It’s a state of mind she worked to achieve after spending too many years feeling uncomfortable with being powerful and successful. “I strive for badassery. Men do it all the time. Take the compliment and run. They don’t make themselves smaller. They don’t apologize for being powerful. They don’t downplay their accomplishments. Badassery is a new level of confidence in both yourself and those around you.”

Kei's film turns the table on the famous song, When A Man Loves A Woman.
Kei's film turns the table on the famous song, When A Man Loves A Woman.

As an Actress

Kei plays a cop in the web series drama, Ambitions.
Kei plays a cop in the web series drama, Ambitions.
Ambitions is the cop drama series that Kei LaGuins has a part in as an actress.
Ambitions is the cop drama series that Kei LaGuins has a part in as an actress.

"Making a Film falls just short of having a baby" ~ Director, Kasi Lemmons

K.L. Productions, developed by Kei to allow her to launch her films and other entertainment ventures.
K.L. Productions, developed by Kei to allow her to launch her films and other entertainment ventures.
Script working with a staff member while on set.
Script working with a staff member while on set.

Q&A with Kei LaGuins


Q: Kei, When a Woman Loves a Man is your breakout film debut as a director/producer. Did you also write the script, and tells us what your inspiration for wanting to make this movie?

A: It's my first feature film as a writer, producer, Production Manager, Assistant Director etc it's my first film project and I love to write about love, romance and drama

Q: So, the movie is now ready to be seen? What are some of your goals with this film?

A: the goal is to get distribution but not only that I want people to enjoy the film yes there will be drama, passion, romance and little violence but the story is she's going to hold him down no matter what

Q: You started your own production company. What is the name of the company and is that a film company? What other projects are you developing?

A: I started Kei LaGuins Productions December 1st 2014 and I started doing my first stage play October 2014 and Kei LaGuins Productions deals with film, music, TV, plays and fashion line coming soon. I'm also in other projects Eternal Game as the Assistant Director and Script Supervisor and I had my first role as a police officer in the webseries Ambition plus I'm working on some short films another feat film and I'm thinking about doing a pilot

Q: Filmmaking is not your only passion in the arts, what are some of the other areas of entertainment you are pursuing?

A: Music and Fashion.

Q: Who are some of the celebrity actors and singers you would like to work with?

A: Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, and Shonda Rhimes Mary J, Blige, Adele, Anthony Hamilton, Missy Elliott, Kelly Rowland, Kandi Burruss, The weekend and Jagged Edge. Denzel Washington, Michael B Jordan, Sandra Bullock, Sanaa Latham, Taraji P. Henson, T.I, Tyrese Gibson, Liam Neeson, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Bradley Cooper, Adam Sandler, Mark Wahlberg, Dwyane Johnson, Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck just to name a few

Q: Where do you see yourself n 5 years as a producer? What's the goal for your production work?

A: I would like to have my own studio I would like to work with Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey and Shonda Rhimes
I would like to get a deal on ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC as a writer.


Q: My articles are read by a lot of young people. What words of encouragement would you share with anyone thinking of pursuing similar career in stage productions?

A: Keep God first. Never give up. Have a good support system.

Kei works on this independent film, Eternal Game, as Assistant Director.
Kei works on this independent film, Eternal Game, as Assistant Director.
Not just producing films at Kei LaGuins Productons, Kei is working on creating Publications as well.
Not just producing films at Kei LaGuins Productons, Kei is working on creating Publications as well.
Kei at the TPN Film Festival and Awards in 2015.
Kei at the TPN Film Festival and Awards in 2015.
Kei (in red top), at her Press Conference with family, friends and supporters announcing the start of Kei LaGuins Productions.
Kei (in red top), at her Press Conference with family, friends and supporters announcing the start of Kei LaGuins Productions.

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      Tiara Smith 20 months ago

      I had an amazing experience working with kei. She's very professional, hard working, passionate and outgoing. She's a good friend and if she says she's going to do something, she follows through. Kei is definitely heading in the right direction.

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      J. Brown 20 months ago

      Hard working, passionate, and focused! Getting set to work with this talented filmmaker and she is showing true signs of a promising producer

    • profile image

      Kevin Garrett 20 months ago

      Kei is a very talent writer n producer, looking forward to your work, and future projects

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      akeim sears 20 months ago

      Kei Laguins is defintly a hard working lady,who is serious bout her passion.She also make sure anyone else in business,do the samething.She is ambition,and always look into it,before she makes a move.Im so happy to have her as great friend,and looking forward to doing more work with her.She is true woman of God.Im happy to be working with her.

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      Slim 20 months ago

      This is great! Kei is going places. She is very easy to work with and Expects nothing but the best From anynody she work with. Cant wait to see more of her work.

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      martin 20 months ago

      Kei brillance as a writer, gives us an in depth look of her creativity. Knowing her for a few years now her passion is very high and you can expect more from this talented woman in months and years to come.

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      Rody Pollock 20 months ago

      Kei is a very talented motivated multi-gifted entertainer that inspires me to be like her one day. She has shown dedication to getting the task done. I am happy to work with her and I can not "wait" to see the end project.

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      Tobie Famusipe 20 months ago

      Kei exemplifies her writing skills as one of the best writers I know. She is gifted as a writer, and an awesome director. She is constantly developing her skills as an actor and always learning on all facets of film making. She is one the best writers out there today and I'm so honored to be working with her.

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      Kwame Williams 21 months ago

      Working with Kei has been a blast. She is a true professional with a clear vision. I look forward to working with her again.