Scotland for the Cold War

Here at MTP, we’re always on the lookout for location doppelgänger’s for Scotland and the rest of the world and we were impressed to see how the streets of Scotland were recently used to replicate Soviet-era Russia in BAFTA-winning Scottish director, Jon S. Baird’s new film, Tetris. The film is based on true events around the race to license and patent the video game Tetris in the late 1980s, during the Cold War.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the mounting tensions in Russia, the Tetris crew were unable to film on location, so moved filming to Edinburgh, Ayrshire, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The chosen locations not only replicated Russia but also Japan, America, and England, proving that Scotland is the perfect chameleon for filming locations.

As Peterhead-based director Jon S. Baird was born and raised in Aberdeen, he made sure some of the scenes were filmed in the ‘Granite City’. Baird stated in an interview for The Scotsman, “I was very proud to take the production to Aberdeen. I don’t think anything of this scale had been filmed there before."

From Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire to Seamount Court in Aberdeen, Scotland had the Tetris crew covered. 

The University of Aberdeen Zoology Building as Elorg’s Headquarters

Former Halliburton building in Aberdeen as Nintendo’s Japanese Headquarters

The Square at St. Vincent Terrace in Glasgow as Soviet Russia

Morrison Street in Tradeston as Soviet Russia

Scotland’s mix of inner-city brutalist architecture and diverse, dramatic landscapes have provided an ideal backdrop for a host of films and TV series set during the Cold War including, High Flight, From Russia with Love, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Churchill and The Crown.

Scotland strives to support the growth of filming in Scotland from with charitable organisations including Screen Scotland and BFI providing a number of funding grants for large scale productions to more indigenous projects being supported by organisations such as Short Circuit and GMAC Film. Tetris received £500,000 through Screen Scotland’s Production Growth Fund to support filming and provide opportunities for Scottish crew.

For fans of: The Third Man, Lord of War, The Social Network, Tinker Tailor Social Spy and The Founder.

Watch the Screen Scotland backed Tetris now on Apple TV+.