Hello, my name is Corey Lightner, the director, producer, and one of the several writers of the "Say I'm Just A Friend" mini series. During the creative process of this project, I led a team of writers from cross country, created a music team, and put together a casting team -- all of which I had never done before this.
If you've watched my last film, "Comfort Zone" you know that I operate on a grow or die mentality. In order to advance you must continue to learn and experience discomfort...it is the only way forward. "Say I'm Just A Friend" is special to me because it's my first time returning to my comedic origins I abandoned about 3+ years ago. I wanted my work to be taken seriously, and this led me down a spiral of psychological thrillers. As a result, my first two films were birthed ("White Face" and "Comfort Zone"). SIJAF is a humorous, light hearted, and vulnerable world I built after trying to find someone to take on a family trip one year. I had recently been on the delivering end of a break up and wanted to find someone to watch the show that is my family, alongside me. When things happen to me I always say "that's a skit", however this idea felt more weighted and I missed making people laugh -- so what better time to write a romantic comedy?
SIJAF is funny, honest, bold, and most of all its real. I recently realized how often I actually enjoyed rom-coms, but I noticed a clear pattern of them being told from the woman's perspective. There's nothing wrong with that of course, but it made me wonder, how would a straight, Black male tell this same story...how would I tell it? After being put on to a few recommended shows I began brainstorming the outline that became the mini series. This story takes a vulnerable look at masculinity and uses the tool of comedy to open up deeper discussions.
This isn't my first series that I've ever created. In fact, SIJAF actually pays homage to "CURVED", my first mini-series I did in college -- centered around the why's, how's, and what's of getting rejected by someone you find attractive. I was happy to revisit similar themes and humor, but from a more experienced filmmaker and adult perspective, this time around.
Get into the world of "Say I'm Just A Friend" and help us reach our goal to tell more stories on vulnerability.
I am forever grateful to anyone who has ever supported me. With every project I intend to share my experience and connect with viewers on a deeper level. With your support, we can do just that for this latest story. Support us via Venmo, Cashapp, or Zelle! Our paypal campaign closed on 11/11, so we'd extended crowdfunding to go until Friday 11/17.
Progress as of 11/24/23 -- $2,885 / $3,000