‘Respect’ is a biographical film based on the life of global singing icon Aretha Franklin fondly referred to as the “Queen of Soul.” Directed by Liesl Tommy, the film takes the viewers on a fascinating journey through Franklin’s personal and professional life. The inspirational film is made all the more memorable thanks to the beautiful backdrops of the movie that perfectly recreate the story’s retro vibe. If you wish to learn more about the filming locations of ‘Respect,’ here’s everything you need to know!
Respect Filming Locations
Principal photography on ‘Respect’ commenced on November 3, 2019, and concluded on February 15, 2020. The movie was primarily filmed on location and on sets in Atlanta, Georgia, while some portions were also shot in New York. Let’s take a closer look at the specific filming sites.
The movie was extensively filmed in Atlanta, the capital city of Georgia. Also known as the Hollywood of the South, the city is the cultural and economic center of the Metro Atlanta region. The cast and crew filmed several scenes at the First Congregational Church, a United Church of Christ church located at 105 Courtland Street in Downtown Atlanta.
A few scenes were also filmed at the famous Georgian Terrace in Midtown Atlanta. Franklin spent her early days as a church choir singer, and the movie begins and ends in a church. Therefore, it should suffice to say that the location has huge significance in the film. Other spots in Atlanta where filming took place include Walton Street, Forsyth Street, Broad Street, Marietta Street, Poplar Street, and Peachtree Street.
Franklin grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where a majority of the population is African American. Atlanta has a similar ethnic background and also shares conservative values not too different from Detroit. Additionally, Georgia offers up to 20% tax credit to qualifying film and television productions based on their expenditure in the state. All these factors likely contributed to the production team’s decision to shoot the movie in Atlanta. The third season of the anthology drama series ‘Genius’ (titled ‘Genius: Aretha‘), which is based on Franklin’s life, was also filmed in Atlanta.
New York City, New York
Some sequences for the movie were shot in New York City, mainly in the Harlem neighborhood. Franklin moved to New York City in the 1960s and lived there until the mid-1970s. Franklin performed a five-day concert series in 1971 at Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater. The concert series is considered a high point in Franklin’s career. Therefore, it is no surprise that the film’s cast and crew shot some scenes in Harlem, New York City, specifically at Mount Morris Park Historic District and W 122nd Street. Filming also took place in the vicinity of the Woolworth Building, a skyscraper located at 233 Broadway in Manhattan.