Comedic Short About Incompetent Guardian Angel Heading to Film Fest

Greg (Greb Vorob), at right, speaks with his incompetent guardian angel (Elmer Santos)

Having a guardian angel isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, at least in the locally-produced short film Greg’s Guardian Angel, which is screening at the Long Island Film Expo next month.

Downtown Jersey City director Dan Kowalski, 29, explains the premises of the 10-minute comedic short. “It’s about a man whose life is changed when he meets his guardian angel because it gets ruined,” he says plainly.

The project originally began as a collaboration between Greg Vorob (who plays Greg) and writer Dan Conrad, who worked with Kowalski on Marty and Doug’s New Religion, a comedy about two roommates who form their own religion to get women and avoid paying taxes, in 2011.

Vorob and Conrad were talking on the set of Marty and Doug about some of their favorite potential web sketches that never got off the ground, including Guardian Angel. Kowalski overheard, thought Conrad’s script for the film was great, and the trio decided to produce the film.

“We were scrambling for financing and needed locations, especially an office. With a shoestring budget, it’s hard to find a decent office,” says Kowalski. Their God-sends came in the form of Indiegogo crowdfunds and Armas Realty in West New York, which provided them with an office set. For the film’s restaurant scenes, the trio shot at Dorrian’s Red Hand in Jersey City.

Another challenge, says Kowalski, was dealing with the schedules of half a dozen actors, extras and several crew members. In the end, however, everything came together and they wrapped filming within two days in May 2012.

Since August, the film has been making the rounds in the festival circuit. So far, they’ve been accepted into the Long Island Film Festival, the Paterson Falls Film Festival and the Diamond Film Festival. Audience reception, Kowalski says, has been good.

“There was a lot of laughing. It’s just a quick 10 minutes of entertainment and that’s what we set out to do,” he says, adding that the film also gives viewers more than just a few chuckles. “To a degree, if you get deep about it, it also shows that your fate is in your hands solely and the only person that can make decisions for yourself is you.”

Later this summer, Kowalski says they hope to hear back from even more festivals. He is also focusing on more commercial productions as well as a heist-genre spoof about guys who break into a sperm bank to get the identity of their father.

Greg’s Guardian Angel will be at the Long Island Film Expo on July 18 at 2:30 pm at the Bellmore Movie Theater in Bellmore, N.Y. For more information, visit the festival website.

Photo courtesy of Dan Kowalski

Summer Dawn Hortillosa

is a freelance arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal, the International and other publications. She is also a creative writer and theatrical director.