Viva Andrew Hotz

Andrew Hotz

Andrew Hotz watched his table mates under the Memphis sky one night this year and couldn’t believe his luck.

A Winnetkan since 2020 and a temporary resident of Los Angeles, he was at a barbeque, surrounded by Presleys, none other than the Graceland Mansion.

“You’re talking about something important in a business, a memory that will always be cherished, which is one of mine,” said the 41-year-old Hotz, director of data strategy / EVP of Worldwide Digital Marketing for Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group.

About five years ago, Andrew Hotz found himself sitting on the couch at Bradley Cooper’s house. Hotz and a few colleagues were invited to watch the film A Star Is Born—featuring Cooper and Lady Gaga—months before its release date.

“Don’t think,” said Hotz, “I’ll enjoy the moments like that all the time. My job is hard. The pace of the digital marketing field is difficult and exciting, but it’s faster than time. It forces us to change the way we work, always.

“You have to be smart and you can’t be afraid of failure,” he added. “If you fail, fail fast – and learn fast.”

A great success: the movie Elvis. Hotz handled Warner Bros.’ local and international digital agencies and worked with marketing executives on planning and launching digital campaigns for the film, which, as of July 24, had grossed $210 million worldwide on the box office since its June 24 release.

Now you know why Hotz got that invitation to cook and imbibe outside the place Elvis Presley called home for 20 of his 42 years.

Hotz entered the building shortly after the Cannes Film Festival in May to witness the making of an Elvis promotional video featuring Austin Butler, the actor who portrayed the “King of Rock and Roll.”

“We tried to get Austin to sit in Cannes, in a quiet place, and sing an Elvis song,” Hotz recalled. “But things didn’t work out in France. With our time quickly approaching, we got Austin to try again in the Jungle Room at Graceland. The lady who ran the grounds brought one of Elvis’ guitars and handed them to Austin, who played ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’.

“Good,” Hotz continued. “Good. I sighed again, just thinking. Austin, whose role was changed in the movie, gave exactly what we wanted before the movie was released.

The fast-paced film, directed by Australian Baz Luhrmann, also stars Tom Hanks as Elvis’ evil boss, Colonel Tom Parker. Luhrmann directed Moulin Rouge! (2001) and The Great Gatsby (2013), among other great films.

“I was thrilled when I learned we were going to make a movie about Elvis,” said Hotz, who grew up in Flossmoor and La Grange and majored in theater at Northwestern University. “But I got more interested in it when I found out that Baz was directing it. It’s a horror movie. It turns you around, starts to destroy; that’s Baz’s kind of story.

“In his films,” added Hotz, “Baz likes to include the most important events that happened in the world at that time. There’s nothing funnier than everything that’s been going on over the years.” 1950s, 60s, and 70s before Elvis Presley. You lost your innocence, with the assassinations of MLK and Robert F. Kennedy—their deaths devastated Elvis. Then he got you years of excess in the 1970s.

Luhrmann, Hotz received many positive comments – from Priscilla Presley and their daughter Lisa Marie. Many of the early Elvis movies portrayed the character as a caricature rather than a person.

“Priscilla is excited about what Austin has done, and she tells Baz that Elvis would have liked an honest picture, maybe to appreciate everyone’s role in making the movie. ,” said Hotz. “Priscilla also said that the movie showed Elvis’ anger better than any other movie. His anger… can be seen in several scenes.

The film’s soundtrack debuted at No.

But the elderly aren’t the only ones watching and listening.

“We’re proud that Elvis inspired so many young filmmakers,” Hotz said. Hotz’s father, Joe, is an economist, while his mother, Diane, is a teacher who teaches mathematics. They live in Chicago’s Gold Coast Historic District.

“I’m the product of two geniuses,” said Hotz, who raises sons Leo, 9, and Eddie, 5, with her husband, Kevin, in the beloved North Shore village of the family. “But I was drawn to a creative side and I was probably the only student with a bachelor’s degree in theater who got an MBA (in finance) at Columbia University.

“The arts, especially theater and music, have always made me happy. I’m a Ravinia Club junkie; last year I had a lot of fun, going to at least one concert a week at the station.

Walking from his Winnetka home to the beach continues to bring joy to Hotz. An avid paddler, and loved watching his kids kayak.

“Beach time with the boys … it doesn’t get much better than that,” Hotz said. “Winnetka is a great, tight-knit community, and we take advantage of everything it has to offer. In LA, we live on a cul-de-sac, with five other families. One child goes to each family. in a different school. In Winnetka, we can’t leave our house without running into one of our kids’ classmates within minutes.

Prior to joining Warner Bros., Hotz managed the relationship between Google/YouTube and NBC Universal as head of business at Google and negotiated with studio and business partners. measure digital marketing efforts, such as media planning, data and measurement platforms, digital performance, and relationships. .

His acting career began with a stint at DreamWorks Animation.

“The digital marketing platform gives us a limitless canvas to promote our film,” Hotz said. “Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, 10-minute videos, social media content. I could go on and on. Remember when people only knew about a movie through a TV commercial 15 -, 30-, or 45-seconds?”

Don’t worry Darling, another Warner Bros. film, opens in theaters in late September. Olivia Wilde directed the psychological thriller. It stars Wilde, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine.

“I wonder if I said a few things about that movie?” According to Hotz. “I can’t spend enough time. It’s beautiful and lively, with a variety of twists. It’s the kind of movie that makes people say, upon leaving the theater, ‘This is why I go to the movies.’”

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