Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Juan Carlos I: Downfall of a King. Interview with Producer Christian Beetz

Christian Beetz reveals in this interview and in our detailed case study how Berlin-based Gebrueder Beetz developed, funded and delivered his €2.5 Mn, 4-part docu-series that sheds new light on the former King’s notorious personal life and dramatic abdication.

Watch here (20 min)


Read our Case Study Juan Carlos I: Money, Sex, Power and the Downfall of a King


  • [1:00] How did you decide to develop this “dark” story?
  • [2:28] What are the highlights? Why is Juan Carlos’s story so dark?
  • [3:58] Resistance to taking on a true crime narrative involving royalty.
  • [5:20] Threats to the journalists working on the story.
  • [6:00] How did you get anyone in front of a camera?
  • [7:00] At what point did you pitch the project to potential funders?
  • [8:30] The missing piece: getting access to the King’s former lover.
  • [10:00] Netflix’s appetite for political true crime.
  • [11:20] Closing the deal with ZDF/Sky.
  • [11:50] Initial investment by GBF to develop the concept.
  • [12:30] Access determines format.
  • [13:10] Is there a German fund that supports the development process or is it a commercial risk?
  • [14:50] What was the timeline from concept to delivery?
  • [15:40] The multi-market advantage of working with a TV studio.
  • [16:30] Total budget for a 4-part European docu-series?

About Christian Beetz

Christian Beetz is the CEO of the German production house Gebrueder Beetz Film Production, which has specialized in international co-productions since the very beginning and is operating under the umbrella of Leonine Studios since October 2022.

Beetz is a producer and executive producer of numerous documentary feature films and series including Oscar-nominated Open Heart (2013), Emmy-nominated Wagnerwahn (2013), and The Cleaners (2018). He won the Producer Award at Filmfest Hamburg for the first GMPF-funded high-end documentary series Reeperbahn-Special Unit FD65 in 2022 and received the producer award at Hamburg Film Festival. He is currently producing both a three-part true crime series for Netflix and the portrait #racegirl – The Comeback of Sophia Florsch, about the first woman on her way to F1. 

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