Back to Black: Where Was the Movie Filmed?

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, ‘Back to Black’ chronicles the rise of British singer Amy Winehouse and the story behind her titular record-breaking album. Born in a Jewish family with song and music lovers, Amy grows up around the streets of Camden and nurtures a talent for songwriting. She gains acclaim for her first album, ‘Frank,’ and meets Blake in a Camden town pub. The two fall in love and begin a passionate relationship, which is soon threatened by their respective addictions.

Just as Amy is leaving for New York City, a tragic event occurs in her family. Her violent flux of emotions is channeled into her songs, creating the album ‘Back to Black.’ Amy’s journey takes her from quaint Camden parks and gritty London streets to posh jazz clubs and NYC, prompting inquiry into the real-world shooting sites employed by the biopic.

Back to Black Filming Locations

True to the narrative, filming for ‘Back to Black’ took place in London, England, and New York City, New York. Principal photography began on January 16, 2023, and was wrapped up by March 23 of the same year. The production team took special care to visit the authentic locations connected with Winehouse’s life and shoot in as many of them as possible.

London, England

The capital city of England was the home of Amy Winehouse and, therefore, became the primary filming location for ‘Back to Black.’ Shooting took place in many real-life places the late musician visited and lived in. The Jazz club Ronnie Scott’s is featured in the movie twice: when Amy performs at the club and when she joins her father in a jamming session. Situated on 47 Frith Street, Soho, the club was set up by jazz musicians Ronnie Scott and Pete King. Incidentally, Ronnie Scott dated Amy Winehouse’s paternal grandmother, Cynthia, who was a jazz artist herself.

An enthusiast for tattoo art, Winehouse was a regular at Flamin’ Eight Tattoo Studio at 2 Castle Road. The film’s sequences of Winehouse getting a tattoo were shot in the authentic establishment, which is still in business. Scenes of Amy in front of her flat when she first gained fame were filmed at the singer’s historic first flat. As seen in the movie, Winehouse was often harassed by paparazzi, and upon receiving compensation for her album, ‘Frank,’ she bought a house in Jeffrey’s Place, Camden.

The private property located at 2/3 Jeffrey’s Place can be seen in the background as Amy is being swarmed by paparazzi. Interestingly, while the segment was being recorded, an actual paparazzi infiltrated the shoot and had to be kicked out of the set. Director Taylor-Johnson recounted the incident in an interview: “I called cut and told him to leave the set, and he said, ‘I’ve got every right to get that picture like they do,’ and I said, ‘They’re actors. There is no picture. This isn’t Amy.’ That’s when it gets meta and confusing.”

The scenes of Amy and Blake meeting for the first time were lensed at The Good Mixer on 30 Inverness Street. Winehouse was known to frequent the establishment after a tiring day. According to Taylor-Johnson, the bar hasn’t changed much since Winehouse’s days there, and the production team only switched the jukebox to a more antiquated model before filming.

Amy and Blake had their first date at the London Zoo, and the production team recreated the event at the actual location. The cast and crew were spotted at Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, while shooting in the Zoo. Both picnic scenes in the movie were shot at the park, Primrose Hill, Camden. The Mildmay Club, 33-34 Newington Green, can be seen in the movie when Blake leaves Amy for the first time. In real life, Amy would often stop at Bar Italia in Soho for a coffee, and the establishment can be seen in the background as the singer tells her father about wanting to go into rehab in the film.

Amy would often go for walks along the Regent’s Canal in Camden, which makes an appearance in the film as her contemplative walks are recreated. The unfenced perimeter of the canal became a risk for crew members as the scenes were being taped. “We did have quite a few crew almost fall in on one day,” revealed Taylor-Johnson in the aforementioned interview. “Also, bolshy people who don’t care when you’re filming and just push their way through, so we’d have to cut. We had one guy who kept doing it, so that was quite entertaining.”

New York City, New York

Amy Winehouse’s visit to New York is chronicled in the film, and some particular landmarks can be identified alongside NYC’s iconic cityscape. The broad thoroughfare of 5th Avenue in Manhattan can be observed in the sequences. Winehouse arrived in NYC in 2006 to record her iconic second album, ‘Back to Black.’

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