Coronavirus seems like such old news in wake of the current protests going on worldwide due to the brutal murder George Floyd at the hands of four police officers. Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes, now faces second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter charges. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane are also in custody.
However, the global community is still dealing with COVID-19. As the status changes by the day and restrictions gradually lift in cities, states, and countries worldwide, Oscar-winning actor and philanthropist Sean Penn continues his crusade in saving lives with free testing via his new PSA “Guardians.”
Released by Penn’s nonprofit CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), the emergency relief organization he co-founded with Ann Lee, CORE praises Los Angeles’ guardian angels in the short film – namely those putting their lives at risk and helping those in need everyday of the pandemic.
The :90-second piece pays homage to those on the ground administering COVID-19 tests as well as all the many other frontline volunteers, the City of Los Angeles, and the L.A. Fire Department (LAFD) tirelessly working to protect and save lives.
Produced by SAVAGE Content Ltd. and Untethered Content, the film was created by award-winning creatives, Oliver Frank, director Samuel Bayer, and editor/director Mischa Meyer at Spot Welders. It features an emotionally touching script narrated by Edward James Olmos set to poignant music composed by Matthias Biermann & Sebastian Pille.
As the film moves from image to image of an almost-desolate Los Angeles where only essential workers and CORE volunteers remain on the streets, Olmos’ voiceover reads, “Angels come in many ways. You might not recognize their faces, don’t know who they are. From downtown to LAX, from South Central to PCH, watching over us. Protecting us. Let them know that we see them.” Watch below:
“I witnessed firsthand the brave and selfless work of CORE and its volunteers and thought perhaps by documenting the anguish that Los Angeles feels right now and the hope that I saw at those testing facilities, maybe a film could touch people and help give back to CORE,” director Bayer says. “I wanted to create something real and honest. A snapshot, a small piece of the story. It sure isn’t about me, there’s nothing heroic in making a film about this pandemic. I saw real heroes. That’s the story I tried to tell.”
A frequent collaborator of Bayer’s, editor & creator Mischa Meyer shares, “Seeing these first responders and volunteers at test sites all over the city, and how dedicated they all were helping, is what ultimately inspired the entire concept of this piece. From young college students, to doctors and experienced firefighters, we saw real angels at work and that’s what we wanted to talk about and show how we can all support them at these demanding jobs that keep us safe.”
CORE co-founder Sean Penn says, “Sam Bayer so beautifully captures our most essential message. Testing is more vital than ever as we work to safely reopen. The hope to disarm this beast is volunteerism. I am a full tilt believer in a policy of mandatory service, but when I see CORE’s volunteers serving…that one makes me weep.”
CORE is working on the frontlines managing and staffing free testing sites, relieving firefighters to do their more skilled work within their communities.
The organization has been operating free COVID-19 testing sites in Los Angeles in partnership with Mayor Garcetti and LAFD since March 30, and is currently managing 12 sites across California, with seven in the Los Angeles area. Having administered more than 80,000 tests, CORE has activated a team of 120 staff and over 300 volunteers. The NGO plans on additional sites opening around the country.
Creative Director: Oliver Frank
PRODUCTION: SAVAGE Content Ltd. and Untethered Content
Director: Samuel Bayer
EDIT: Spot Welders
Editor: Mischa Meyer
MUSIC: Music by RWDY
Composed and produced by Matthias Biermann & Sebastian Pille
- Supervising Colorist: Natasha Leonnet
- Color Assistant: Lily Henry
Special Thanks To
- Frontline Workers
- City of L.A.
- Sean Penn
- Ann Lee
- CORE staffers & volunteers
- Jillian Dierenfield
- Markeith “Speedy” Taylor
- Sascha Peuckert
- Lily Garcia
- Maz Makhani
- Casey Price
- Dustin LaForce
- David Glean
Edward James Olmos, voiceover
SOURCE: Carrie Wick PR