Netflix’s Mea Culpa: Where Was the Legal Thriller Movie Filmed?

Helmed by writer-director Tyler Perry, ‘Mea Culpa’ is a thrilling Netflix film that introduces us to Mea Harper, an ambitious criminal defense attorney who is seeking partnership status at her law firm. The perfect career opportunity seems to come her way when she is assigned the case of Zyair Malloy, an artist accused of murdering his girlfriend. A charming and sophisticated man, Zyair insists that he is the target of a witchhunt. As Mea delves into the evidence surrounding his case, her client’s statements seem to leave missing links. Her concerns are briefly swept aside when Zyair seduces her with a late-night rendezvous.

However, Mea remains uneasy around Zyair, feeling that he is hiding something. As more and more evidence turns up against Zyair, Mea ventures into the depths of his home, uncovering a shocking secret about her client. The narrative takes us through twists and turns along its riveting mystery, which unravels around sleek apartments as well as the fringes of its urban landscape. The mystifying settings of the film could prompt questions about the specific places where it was shot.

Mea Culpa Filming Locations

Shooting for ‘Mea Culpa’ took place across sites in Atlanta and Chicago. While filming was carried out on location, many of its scenes were lensed in an Atlanta Studio. Principal photography began on March 6, 2023, and was wrapped up in 20 days by March 26, 2023. Let us take a closer look at the shooting locations used in the Netflix movie’s production.

Atlanta, Georgia

The bulk of filming for ‘Mea Culpa’ was carried out in and around Atlanta. Known as the Hollywood of the South, the city’s diverse landscape, eclectic neighborhoods, and robust filming infrastructure draw filmmakers to its sites and studios. Most of the interior scenes for ‘Mea Culpa’ were shot in the Tyler Perry Studio on 315 Deshler Street South West. The former Fort McPherson army base’s area was acquired by Tyler Perry in 2015, and its 330 acres became the grounds for twelve specialized sound stages, 200 acres of green space, and a multi-purpose backlot.

Scenes set in apartments, offices, and basements were shot in the studio’s soundstages, while some exterior shots were lensed in the backlot. Shooting in a studio affords filmmakers a ton of conveniences, from easier access to production equipment and resources to uninterrupted shooting schedules with controlled lighting to simulate the time of day. In an interview, Tyler Perry explained how the facility’s efficiency helped him wrap up most of his shooting within 20 days. He said, “Well, all the interiors on the show were on the lot, so I could move from one building to the next building, to the next building.”

The filmmaker continued, “That’s cutting down on so much time and moving to different locations, it cuts down on so much. My team is phenomenal, so we know how to move and make things work and go as quick as the actors can handle.” He further advocated for decisiveness and speed in the filming process, saying, “I just don’t understand why there’s so much time wasted in this business. When I first got in, I would see millions of dollars wasted. I’ve seen hours and hours wasted on bad decisions. So, I like to be efficient, make the right decisions, get in and get out, and get the show done.”

Chicago, Illinois

The emblematic cityscape of Chicago is featured in the film as a backdrop to the narrative. We can spot the urban sprawl of downtown Chicago as Mea drives to Zyair’s home. In establishing shots, we are treated to a view of the city’s skyline, with the One Chicago skyscraper visible alongside 330 North Wabash. Known as the Windy City, Chicago offers a blend of urban sophistication and gritty realism that fits well around the provocative mysteries of ‘Mea Culpa.’

With its dynamic urban landscape, diverse neighborhoods, and scenic waterfront, Chicago serves as an ideal filming location for filmmakers seeking to capture the essence of city life. Shooting in Chicago can provide a striking and dramatic backdrop to storylines, one that can be seen in movies and shows such as ‘Chicago P.D.,’ ‘Prison Break,’ ‘The Killer,’ ‘The Good Wife,’ ‘Natural Born Killers,’ and ‘Couples Retreat.’

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