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Check Out Andrew Bird's Video On Gun Violence Filmed At Morgan Park Academy

By Howard Ludwig | January 30, 2017 8:32am
 Morgan Park Academy is used as the backdrop for Chicago musician Andrew Bird's music video for
Morgan Park Academy is used as the backdrop for Chicago musician Andrew Bird's music video for "Pulaski at Night." The video is a joint project with the Everytown for Fun Safety Action Fund.
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MORGAN PARK — Chicago musician Andrew Bird's music video "Pulaski at Night" touches on the impact of gun violence through the eyes of a child and was filmed at Morgan Park Academy.

Filming took place in August at the school at 2153 W. 111th St. and was part of a joint project with the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which aims to change gun laws often thwarted by the gun lobby, according to the Everytown website.

The six-minute video is directed by actress Natalie Morales, known for her roles in "Parks and Recreation" and "Girls." It follows a young boy named Evan throughout his school day, including a tense moment where the music stops for an active-shooter drill.

The video is not about any extreme event. Instead, it points to the normalization of such drills as well as the frequent reminders of violence via street corner memorials, Morales said in an interview with Adweek.

"When I was growing up, we had fire drills and we didn't have to walk past memorials of people who had died in a fire. [Walking past memorials to the victims of gun violence] is a very real reality," said Morales, who was raised in suburban Miami.

She also told Adweek that the main character's orange backpack is a nod to Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-years-old Chicago girl who was gunned down in 2013. The fatal shooting drew national attention and wearing orange was tied to an effort to call attention to gun violence.

"There were a lot of moments where I was tearing up because we were shooting on the street, and there was a kid just like our kid with a backpack walking home from school [past these memorials]. So we were shooting the exact same thing that was happening all around us, and it was really sort of impactful and crazy," Morales said.

As for using Morgan Park Academy as a backdrop, producer Shane Simmons spoke briefly about the school while filming was underway this summer. He was working with the Chicago office of 71 Degrees North.

Simmons said he was looking for the perfect backdrop and stumbled upon the Southwest Side campus via an Internet search.