‘BMF’ (stands for ‘Black Mafia Family’) is a drama on Starz that follows the journey of two brothers who build a drug empire in the 1980s to escape crippling poverty. Loosely based on the lives of Demetrius and Terry Flenory, the show is a rags-to-riches story that pulls no punches and aims to portray the rise of the characters’ drug empire in brutal detail.
A large part of the story is inspired by where the two brothers grew up and started out as small-time drug dealers. The show’s directors — Tasha Smith and Solvan Naim — and its writers have gone through great lengths to accurately portray the city where it all went down. Curious about where ‘BMF’ is filmed? We’ve got the story!
BMF Filming Locations
‘BMF’ is filmed in two major cities and uses various urban locations to give the narrative its distinct and authentic look. Filming locations are carefully selected because they have to be faithful to where the Flenory brothers actually started their empire and the backdrops also have to match the show’s time period, which begins in the 1980s. Principal photography began in January 2021 and was seemingly wrapped up by April end, with the crew undergoing COVID-19 tests three days a week to ensure safety. Now let’s take a look at the specific locations used to bring the show to life.
The show is filmed largely in Atlanta, Georgia, despite being set in Detroit. However, great care is taken to ensure that the footage filmed resembles Detroit as much as possible in order to maintain authenticity. Atlanta has a large number of buildings that boast impressive vintage architecture. Some of these structures are seemingly used by the production to achieve the show’s period look. Additionally, the urban aesthetic of Atlanta is used as a convincing stand-in for Detroit.
From what we know, production is a lively affair, in part, due to the show’s iconic cast and crew that includes music industry legends like Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and even Eminem, who makes an appearance as 16-year old Richard Wershe Jr. (aka ‘White Boy Rick’) using de-aging digital technology.
Despite the production crew spending only a week in Detroit for filming season 1 of the show, the scenes filmed here are crucial in giving ‘BMF’ an authentic Motor City feel.
Filming takes place at multiple recognizable spots around Detroit. The city’s iconic Belle Isle Park, located at 2 Inselruhe Avenue, is one of the major locations that appear in season 1. Filming here was seemingly undertaken at night to capture the park in all its lit-up glory.
The show is also filmed in the actual house where Demetrius and Terry grew up, which is a testament to the lengths the show goes to maintain authenticity. Lensing is also carried out in various parts of Detroit for establishing shots.
Read More: Is BMF Based on a True Story?