AN ORIGINAL SERIES
AN ORIGINAL SERIES
My vision for OTZI, is to depict prehistoric man as the intelligent and capable innovators that we were. Not the Neanderthals we see in comic books and old movies. This isn’t the Geico Caveman or “Quest for Fire”. This isn’t bad TV re-enactment. There are no apes hunched over, grunting, carrying clubs. Instead, this is the most realistic portrayal of prehistoric life ever seen on film.
I want to show the conflicts, dilemmas, and joys inside us that are timeless, and to explore what life was like for hunter-gatherers when we lived alongside animals in the wilderness. This will be an honest portrayal of primitive life and early culture and an homage to our balance with nature.
The tone of the series will be cinematic and realistic. A vérité aesthetic that makes you feel like a voyeur in a different time. The sets, the costumes, the language will all be subtle, and stunning. The color, the camera work and the tone will resemble movies like ‘The New World’ and ‘The Revenant'.
The story of the modern quest by scientists to discover what happened to Otzi, will parallel the epic tale of the final days of Otzi’s life in the Alpine wilderness, as the film explores the eternal conflicts of man on earth. The storylines will span millennia and gracefully intercut between the past and present.
AESTHETICS + PERSPECTIVE
I want to show you how Otzi lived. I want to show what love means now, by showing what love has always meant. I want to show man’s connection with the earth and our natural quest for knowledge and complexity in communication through a basic need to survive. I want to show how that has shaped who we all are today and will be in the future. I want to explore gender identities at our earliest stage. I want to explore the struggle for power and the need for acceptance in our communities. I want to explore their rituals. I want to do this in such a realistic manner that you are lost this new world and meditate on what being human is all about.
I want the show to focus on the everlasting mystery. Our constant gaze into the wonder. The scientists beautiful quest to answer what really happened to Otzi? How? And why? And how the scientist’s own conflicts affect their own progress and to show man’s truly fascinating trait: curiosity. I want to explore why we found this body and to explore the lives of the people whose lives were forever changed by this miraculous discovery.
This show will be a version of my primal artistic urge to show man in his/her basic brilliance and primal sophistication. I want to pull back the curtain on our modern selves and attempt to show humanity as we are, by showing us as we were.
Creator / Director
THE HIKERS + THE SCIENTISTS
HELMUT & ERIKA SIMON — 50’s, are the German couple who miraculously discovered the 5,000 year old corpse protruding from the ice, while lost on a hike in the Alps. Helmut, a school janitor; Erika, a secretary at a newspaper, watch on as their miraculous discovery becomes an international sensation. At first they feel like they’ve won the lottery. But it’s not as it seems. Helmut became bitter that he was not recognized or financially compensated for his discovery. He spends the rest of his life, stubbornly fighting legal battles, straining their marriage, and costing them everything. After losing his final battle, Helmut goes on a solo hike in the Alps and never returns. His frozen body is found eight days later by a group of hikers.
DR. KONRAD SPINDLER — 52, tenured professor of Archeology at the Innsbruck University. Recently passed over to Head the Department for the third time. Divorced twice. His students either love him or hate him - because talks straight through his lectures, never once pausing for questions. By sheer luck, he becomes the lead scientist on the Otzi case and recognizes it as the opportunity that will glorify his legacy, and maintains tight control on the other scientists. He becomes the most famous archeologist in Europe for his “Disaster Theory” that explains the death of the Iceman and tours around the world, picking up huge checks everywhere he speaks. When his famous theory is questioned, he stands to lose it all - the money, the power, the legacy.
DR. ANDREA LIPPERT — 39, passionate and charming, can make the details of moss particles engaging to her five year old. A classic adventurer/field archeologist, she travels anywhere in the world and gets dirty. She flocks to the Iceman discovery second in line and immediately starts an excavation of the burial site, despite the blizzard conditions. With a book deal inked with a premiere publishing company, she finds out Spindler demands a gag order on all scientists, and must present any findings to him for inclusion in his own book. At risk of missing major discoveries, Dr. Lippert finally signs the gag order, ending her own planned book deal. When she conducts unauthorized excavations that question Spindler’s ‘Disaster Theory’, Lippert is blacklisted from the project.
DR. ANNALOUISA PEDROTTI — 30, newly minted PhD at the University of Innsbruck, native to the Alpine mountains, grew up on dig sites with her father from the time she could walk, she’s as comfortable on the mountain as she is in the lab. Wry humor in one moment, fashioning a Neolithic-era flint dagger out of rock in the next. She becomes obsessed with the story of Otzi, and makes keen observations that align her quickly with the higher management of the study. Initially excited by the high profile of the study, she helps Lippert unearth the clues that lead to a new understanding of the case, and Spindler’s downfall.
DR. KLAUS OEGGL — 45, thoughtful, patient, prefers contemplation to the publicity of the Otzi case, Dr. Oeggl is a botanist with one eye in the microscope and one eye inspired by nature’s wonder. When Drs. Lippert and Pedrotti provide him with samples from their unauthorized excavation, he dissects the story of the Iceman’s death from every possible angle, realizing the key clue that unravels Spindler’s ‘Disaster Theory’ and opens the study up to more questions.
CHARLOTTE SENGTHALER — 39, a master of spin, the edgy director of EKE, a PR Firm, turning lab discoveries into storylines and sales pitches that the press and investors eat up. With no other PR firms willing to take this messy case on, Charlotte takes on "the corpse” & South Tyrol Ministry of Tourism as a client. She was tasked with raising money for scientific research and the construction of the ambitious Museum dedicated to OTZI. She clashes with DR. SPINDLER, the about 'strategic messaging' vs 'truth', but Charlotte is as persuasive as they come.
DETECTIVE HOOK - 49, a hard nosed cold case detective, known for not mincing words, obsessed with the ‘Curse of the Iceman,’ a mystery surrounding the deaths of multiple people connected to the discovery of the Iceman corpse. Hook is invited to investigate the corpse to determine the story of his death. When his team of radiologists finds new clues, Hook develops an official narrative of the death of the Iceman known as Otzi.
THE ANCIENT TRIBE
OTZI — An alpha male in his 40’s, Otzi knows the wilderness, the weather, the animals and bad spirits, better than any male in his tribe. He spends months of the year on hunting trips in the wild, surviving on bare minimums. He’s a devout, spiritual man and a mentor to the young men in the tribe. He’s very hard on his younger brother Gero. Otzi believes in Maata’s prophecy to lead Hina, pregnant with the tribe’s next prophet, and the rest of the tribe to start a new life in their ancestral home: Vishnigau. When he finds silver in his people’s burial grounds, he knows Maata’s prophecy was right. Even when the silver threatens to tear his people apart.
MAATA — 125 years old, the Matriarch and spiritual leader of the tribe, believed to be a direct descendant of the first woman on earth. She carries the spirits and tribal knowledge of the past. Despite her ability to channel the spirits, she is growing old and ill. She is a master of reading the stars, and spends long nights eating mushrooms and star gazing at the richly visible night sky. She uses the stars to interpret the ancestors messages and says that the baby Hina carries in her womb, will be heir to her spiritual throne. But only if she gives birth in Vishnigau.
HINA — 24, the first of 9 children in her family, and after her mother died in labor, Hina mothered her siblings long before she could bear a child of her own. She is fulfilling her destiny to bear her first child, who Maata believes is the prophet to lead the tribe into the next epoch of their existence. The whole tribe treats Hina with an intense respect, though she denies the prophesy, and would be happy with just a healthy child. She refuses to be treated any differently on the trek to the Vischingau, and walks along the rest untroubled by the pangs of her pregnancy, which grow worse and worse as they move farther and farther into the forest.
GERO — 30, headstrong and scornful of his older brother Otzi. He challenges Otzi’s authority at every decision, but always follows his lead. He believes Otzi is too old to lead the tribe, and shouldn’t believe so deeply in Maata’s prophecy. The discovery of the silver further divides Otzi and Gero, until Gero takes the health and wealth of his community into his own hands.
AMARA — 29, a descendant of Maata and a warrior, Amara is tough. The first to sacrifice herself, the first to lead, the first to fight when they must fight, she is shocked when her mother Maata, passes her the mantle of the spiritual life of the tribe. She never considered herself a Matriarch, she always considered herself a Hunter and a warrior, but must come to grips with the role Maata has chosen for her and lead what’s left of the tribe after Maata’s death.