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ACHTUNG PANZER

PRODUCTION DETAILS


Title: Achtung Panzer

Genre: Action / Military

Type: 10 piece mini series

RT: 10-12 hours (total)

Media: High Denition

Logline:

A relentless general in Nazi Germany uses a new weapon, the tank, to
revolutionize warfare but discovers that winning battles and ending a war
are two different things.

Summery:

With the country of Germany in tatters after the defeat in the great war,
general Heinz Guderian has come up with a new way for Germany to
defend herself when the next war comes. The tank (panzer) was a key
reason of why Germany lost the great war. Now, the tank will be the key
to Germany reclaiming her former glory. Its up to Guderian to convince
his superiors, including the new high chancellor Adolf Hitler, that the old
tactics of the past are obsolete. When war does come, Guderians tactics
and panzers bring Germany military success and glory never thought
possible before. However, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party become spoiled
by the victories and have no intention of nding peace. As a loyal soldier,
and a patriot, Guderian does his duty to ght for his country. Yet when it is
clear that Germany is destined to lose again, Guderian will struggle on
how best to serve his country.







SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 1: A WAR ENDS

A black and white silent movie (1910s style) shows the German army
being routed by French tanks on the battleeld of World War One. With
the German army in retreat a title screen informs us:

The Great War is over. The country of Germany has been defeated.
Peace will reign forever as long as men allow it

Years later.

A man, Adolf Hitler, gives a rousing speech to the German government
about how Germany has risen from the ashes and will go on to eternal
glory. The speech is intercut with German civilians dancing, acting gay,
and giving their loyalty to Adolf Hitler. Hitler ends his speech by saying
Germany has found its glory in peace.

Cut to a German tank facility building tanks. There we meet Heinz
Guderian who is the head of the Panzer Troops trying out one of the
tanks.

Later, Guderian discusses with other generals about how Germany is
surrounded by enemies and that a new kind of warfare must be conceived
and that the tank is the weapon to develop new ideas around. As war
games demonstrate, Guderian shows how tanks can change the nature
(specically speed) in battle. Attending one of the games is Hitler who is
impressed by what he sees.

The episode ends when Hitler res a section of the top generals (which
promotes Guderian) in the army and demands that the army give full
loyalty to Adolf Hitler. While Guderian is bothered by some details, he is
still very excited about how Hitler has reinvigorated Germany.
SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 2: THE HEIGHT OF POWER

Guderian gets a phone call late at night informing him that he needs to
ready the panzer troops as a takeover of Austria is imminent. This puts
tremendous pressure of Guderian as many of his troops are scattered and
their equipment (specically the vehicles) have not been fully tested yet.

The takeover of Austria does not go smoothly for Guderian. Many vehicles
breakdown, supply for fuel and ammo is inconsistent (a scene where
Guderian has to threaten a lower ranking soldier who didnt get the proper
orders), and the only maps anyone has are tourist brochures. Despite
this, there is no ghting to be had as many Austrians welcome the
German army with open arms.

There, Hitler gives a speech to a roaring crowd who give the Nazi salute.
Guderian cant help but see how so many people (a group of young
women crying at Hitlers feet) are grateful to Hitler for saving them.

However, Guderian is chastised for the slow movement of his troops by
other generals. He defends himself vigorously, but obviously his ideas
have not taken hold yet.

Rumors begin to circulate that war is coming. While no reason is clearly
dened, what IS clear is that Poland will be the rst target. Guderian,
despite looking to avoid war (for industrial reasons), is looking forward to
re-claiming the land where his family originated from.

German troops begin to line the boarder of Poland. Guderian readies his
troops while preparing his attack on Poland.


SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 3: PROVING GROUNDS

Invasion of Poland begins. After a slow start (Guderian almost hit by his
own artillery, tank commanders not going fast enough, and timid soldiers),
German panzers begin to roll over Polish defenders with ease. A
particularly gruesome scene where the Polish cavalry charge the panzers
(the result predictable) demonstrates that a new era has arrived.

During the campaign, it is learned that the Allies have declared war on
Germany. World War Two has now ofcially begun.

Hitler visits the front lines and Guderian shows him the success of the
panzers. Erin Rommel is there as well to see it.

Guderians panzers nish off the Poles and Guderian meets with the
Russians to discuss the proper boundaries as well as the German
withdrawal from Russian sectors (quicker than Guderian would like).

With the Polish campaign over, Hitler praises all branches of the military
with the exception of the Army. Guderian and others are astonished.
Guderian then has a private meeting with Hitler where to discuss Hitlers
private thoughts on the Army. Hitler is polite as can be but quietly
disagrees with everything Guderian suggests.

The episode ends with Guderian readying the troops during the winter
break as they prepare the invasion of France.










SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 4: THE TANKS

This episode follows a specic tank commander, Franz, on the front lines
at the start of the French campaign. Franz must deal with a plethora of
details when commanding his tank group. Supply, logistics, breakdowns,
going too far, going too fast, planning ahead, dealing with contradictory
orders, asshole superiors, and staying alive.

While the job is prestigious, being a tank commander (being in a tank at
all!) is a dirty, noisy, uncomfortable, and deadly job.

The episode ends with the French campaign going well but not over yet.
We see Franz and other tanks driving into the distance to glory










SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 5: THE GENERALS DANCE

The episode starts off with Guderian and some panzers looking out over
the British channel. The Allies are trapped at Dunkirk. Guderian rushes his
tanks forward but gets a direct order from Hitler to stop. Guderian and
others are astounded as the Allies escape.

While Dunkirk is disappointing, theres no time for rest. Guderian rushes
his troops south to sweep up the rest of the French army and then
congratulating his troops on a historic victory. Guderian then celebrates
with other generals, in high style, after the conclusion of the French
campaign. This is to be short lived however.

Hitler gives a speech to the top military personal (Guderian included)
about the need to invade Russia. Guderian and others are skeptical about
this as Russia is vastly larger than France and has a much harsher winter
if Germany fails to meet her objectives.

However, Guderian is a soldier. The episode ends with troops preparing to
invade Russia.



SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 6: IT RAINED ON CHRISTMAS

The episode begins with a propaganda lm about Guderian and his
panzer troops linking up with another general after encircling mass
Russian troops.

However, we (the audience) learn from Guderian that going south instead
of trying to go for Moscow was a mistake as Germany has lost precious
time before the Russian winter hits. Now Germany must rush towards
Moscow in a race against winter.

Progress is slow as Russian resistance builds up. A post-battle review
reveals the new Russian T-34 tank which is superior to any of Germanys
current tanks. This could be a problem

One night, as Guderian looks over his maps, a downpour begins. The
next day men and vehicles struggle through the muddy roads. Despite
this, Guderian keeps up a positive attitude. A commander must always be
positive in any situation.

The Russian winter arrives turning the roads into ice. Soldiers and
equipment begin breaking down. Guderian orders one last attack on
Moscow but it fails. Guderian then has a private meeting with Hitler who
talks to him coldly about the progress of the war. The meeting is
unproductive.

After suffering more casualties, Guderian strategically retreats his forces
to a better defensive position for the winter. However, this is against
Hitlers orders and Guderian is dismissed on Christmas day.



SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 7: I NEED YOU

The episode starts off with Hitler and Guderian meeting alone face to
face. Hitler simply says I need you.

Guderian has been appointed Inspector General and works with Albert
Speer about how to increase tank production. While it seems that
everything is back to normal, we learn about Germanys precarious
situation and how defeat is inevitable.

Guderian begins to meet with Hitler on a more regular basis but each
meeting is beyond frustrating as Hitler is loosing his grip on reality. While
Hitler conjures up insane campaigns (Kiev), which Guderian
unsuccessfully tries to talk Hitler out of, Guderian still does his job to the
best of his ability with what he has to work with. Questions arise from
others for the need to keep ghting.

No battle scenes are needed in this episode. Its more of a montage of
scenes of Guderian dealing with the incompetence of Hitler and other
Nazi leaders.

The episode ends with Guderian arguing about the need to evacuate
troops from a specic area. There we get a hint of the next episode by
meeting Hans, a Tiger Tank Commander.



SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 8: THE TANK

This episode is about Hans, a Tiger Tank commander, who is responsible
for holding the line as the infantry retreats (much of the German army is in
retreat, things are looking grim).

We see how differently things work now for the German army now that are
loosing (and we see WHY they are loosing). Supply and logistics for Hans
tank group is a nightmare as supply lines are stretched to the breaking
point. The infantry are worn out from years of battle. The German army no
longer as the speed it once had as the Tiger tank, although big, is very
slow.

After an intense battle, with Hans successfully knocking out many tanks,
Hans must retreat as well. This proves easier said then done as Russian
troops surround him with tanks, infantry, and artillery.

After a long and painful retreat, Hans and his crew manage to crawl back
to the German lines. But they are worn out. How long must this go on?



SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 9: CONSPIRACY

Guderian, at his private home, is confronted by Tresckow about the
possibility of assassinating Hitler. Guderian is furious, but more angry with
whos involved with the plot than the plot itself. Generals have their duty
and he wants no involvement with the assassination. However, Guderian
also does not tell anyone else about it.

A scene of Guderian out in the woods hunting. Yet when he has a clear
shot at a buck he hesitates. Then, a dispatch rider nds Guderian and
says there is an urgent phone call.

Back at home, Guderian learns of an attempt on Hitlers life but there are
few details about what is going on. At midnight, Guderian learns that the
assassination plot has failed.

After a brief, but harsh, interview with the SS, Guderian is then promoted
to Commander in Chief. He then gives a speech which talks of duty,
honor, and absolute loyalty to Adolf Hitler. He gives another radio address
about how the Russians are lying about the concentration camps they are
nding for Guderian never saw them when he was on the front line (is
Guderian lying?).

Guderian continues to do his job working with whatever he can (scene
working with the Hitler Youth). Hes just doing his job. A soldier follows
orders.




SYNOPSIS

EPISODE 10: UNTIL THE NEXT WAR

The episode begins with Guderian making the long drive over to the
Hitlers headquarters. Repeated scenes of Guderian arguing with Hitler
and his staff and the long drives to and from the HQ. The empire that was
Germany is long gone. After many of these meetings, Guderian faints for
a brief moment from exhaustion.

After a brief meeting with the Japanese ambassador (discussing
Germanys defeat and Japan being on her own), where Guderian has a
shot of saki or two, Guderian has another meeting with Hitler.

Here, Guderian explodes when Hitler condemns another one of his
ofcers for failing to defend the battleeld. For a brief moment, Guderian
intimidates Hitler, but Hitler simply changes the subject to something
absurd and Guderians arguments fall on deaf ears again. Guderian
simply gives in to the situation

The nal meeting has Guderian and Hitler arguing over the performance
of the troops once more, but this time Hitler relieves Guderian for health
reasons (Guderian must stay till the end of the meeting).

After a long drive home, Guderians wife remarks it was a long day
today.

Guderian then tells her It is the last day. I have been relieved of
command.

Guderian and his wife embrace.

End credits roll over scenes of destruction from all over Europe.


TONE

WW1 is shown as a black and white movie of the 1910s showing a
French tank as an inhuman metal beast killing all before it. The lm is
grainy and dark. After the prologue, the rest of the lm is brightly colored,
even the bloody battle scenes. The Nazis are gay like and war is
beautiful. The blacks shine and the whites glisten. Only towards the last
episodes in the bunker does everything turn grey and depressing. Without
war, what is there to live for?

BUDGET

Estimated Budget: $149,000,000

Based upon the budgets of previous World War Two series and movies,
Achtung Panzer will require a large budget to provide the same EPIC
scope as earlier successful war series. However, money can be saved on
several scenes that take place in small areas such as inside a tank, the
bunker, map rooms, etc. However, the larger tank battles will require
signicant coordination and exterior sets that will need be doctored up in
order to look like the necessary battleelds. Here is a list of previous
movies that the budget for Achtung Panzer is based on:

Band of Brothers: $166,000,000 (adjusted for ination)

The Pacic: $130,000,000 (adjusted for ination)

Stalingrad: $150,000,000 (multiplied for 10 episodes)


CALENDAR


A full year of pre-production for the series will be required in order to scout
out the proper locations for tank battle scenes as well as properly
coordinate them as well. Production design will need the necessary time
to doctor up exterior sets as well as interior sets that will need to be
historically accurate as well as aesthetically matching the visual tone of
the lm.

Production of the series will take place over 8 months. Essentially each
episode will get a month of production with the exception of episodes 1
and 10 as these episodes have fewer (and simpler) action scenes.
Episodes will also have to be arranged in a specic order where exterior
shots are schedules during the proper months for weather.

Post-production will greatly depend upon the necessary visual effects
required in order to complete the series as well as the efciency of
production. While six months have been allocated for post-production, this
schedule could vary greatly depending upon the needs of the series.


Pre-Production: May 2015 - April 2015

Production: May 2016 - December 2016

Post Production: January 2017 - July 2017





MARKETING

The main audience for Achtung Panzer will be young adult males over the
age of 18. Specically, World War 2 gamers (such as myself) will be
excited to see the German side of the war come to life (this does NOT
mean sympathy for the Nazis). Recent games such as Company of
Heroes have offered gamers a chance to play as the German army and
most gamers now prefer to play as the Germans as it provides something
never before available in previous games.

Of course, World War 2 will ALWAYS have a massive audience as this
was the largest war in history. There is always a constant stream of
historical documentaries, television shows, movies, etc., on this era.

By telling the story from the German perspective, there is a great
opportunity to express multiple themes that are relevant to todays society:

Change is good, not changing is evil.
Following orders does not excuse responsibility.
We live in a world of war, those for peace dont belong.
Wars are never won, they can only end.





ADVERTISING

Advertisements should be focused on military enthusiasts as well as anti-
war audiences. They should display the awesome power of the German
military AS WELL as the destruction and devastation they caused. Quotes
from Guderian will help vocalize the tone of the series.

In a world of war.even the greatest army in historyis destinedto
lose. - Patrick Sullivan

Anger gives you a thirst! - Guderian

Strike with a st, dont feel with your ngers! - Guderian

Patriotism is a virtue of the viscous. - Oscar Wilde









ACHTUNG PANZER