The Microsoft Showcase is an interactive event providing our production community partners an opportunity to interact with Microsoft and Xbox in an experiential format that encourages and facilitates inspiration for the creative use of hardware and software onscreen.
On April 15, 2023, the team hosted our New York partners from across the entertainment spectrum at the New York Microsoft Experience Center for our 2023 Product Placement Showcase. Attendees included a range of guests across studios, networks, and production, ranging from network executives, talent, prop masters, art departments, and writers from Showtime, Hartbeat productions, Paramount+, Billions, The Joker, Succession, and more.
The event was designed in a format that allowed our guests to get hands-on with Microsoft products and services through several interactive, technology-forward experiences. This format allowed attendees to experience and interact with the Surface family of devices, Xbox consoles, Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft 365, Windows 11, and Microsoft Bing AI. Guests left the showcase educated and inspired on how Microsoft products and services can empower them professionally and personally.
Key LEARNINGS & Takeaways
- Props and Sets teams who predominantly worked with Apple devices in the past were excited to see the Surface family of devices in person and could interact with them. They left with new perception of the brand and are excited to use Surface in their next projects.
- While there was nothing new to show off in hardware and software, guests were excited to see a specially curated cut of the up-and-coming Xbox titles available for placement opportunities.
- Microsoft Bing Chat was a hit with the community. Our partners loved getting to experience the beta and were using the feature to plan vacations, look up shooting locations, and ask about popular restaurants in the city.
- You are never too old to become a gamer. Several of our guests were not into gaming but after digging into Game Pass with the team, they were converted!
Barbra Heller (Set Dec for Blue Bloods and The Good Fight) – “Tobias and I both had such a nice time at the BEN event last night. The Microsoft experience was truly impressive, and I will do my best to get the products onto the sets of my next projects. The food was very tasty – Tobias really enjoyed it (and the games) and we’ve already plugged in our nifty new cordless chargers!”
Ryan Gargiulo (Prop Master on The Girls on The Bus and upcoming prop master for Season 5 of You) said the event was “a great function.” He loved the showcase room in particular. Wants to utilize the devices, specifically the Surface Studio, for future projects such as You. He also loved the AI portion and did some research into a particular prop he was trying to buy. Bing Chat gave him the same results he found in 2 hours in only a matter of 10 seconds! He also loved seeing fellow prop friends in the NY community at the event.
Glenn Gatti (Prop Buyer for American Sports Story) – “Thanks for the invite and allowing me to bring my family. I loved watching my daughter get a caricature. It was great getting to meet with the brand and BENlabs face-to-face.
Richard Lieberman (Prop Master for Mr. and Mrs. Smith, currently working on The Savant) began the event saying he was an “Apple Guy” and was resistant to using Microsoft products. After conversations with the team and a hands-on demo with the Surface Family, he ended the tour really open and was brainstorming which productions he could see our devices in!
Gino Fortebuono (Prop Master on Dumb Money) “I love using Microsoft in my shows. The products look great on set and BENlabs makes it easy for me.”
Julian Mazzola (Props on The Penguin and Wu-Tang: An American Saga) – “Thank you so much for the wonderful tour! We had a really fun night at the Microsoft Experience.” Julian loved how hands-on you can be with the Surface products. He spent a particularly long time at the AI desk and asked Bing to write a film script about Forza Horizon. The result, generated in seconds, was a fun, sophisticated read that began to form like a ‘choose your own path’ story. He was very impressed!
Guneet Singh (Development Coordinator for Electric Hotdog) – “Couldn’t you see this (holding a Surface Duo) being used for a businesswoman on set?” She loved the Surface Duo’s and thought they really added a new dynamic to the product range. She thought the Microsoft products also looked great in professional dressing.