*Technology is moving at warp speed–and one young man who is definitely riding the speedy tech highway is Microsoft User Experience Designer Brandon Foy.
Foy’s incredible story is like a Cinderella tale in the digital age.
“My cousin showed me a Windows Phone 7 phone early this year and I was blown away by what it could do,” recalls Foy, who at the time was attending Full Sail University working towards a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Animation and Game Art.
“The phone spoke to me. It was different from a lot of other phones—it ties everything together. It’s got Facebook, Twitter, and contact lists, and you don’t have to download it. It had a nice rhythm—it’s very fast and fluid. There are also plenty of apps—but what really makes it stand out is that it feels like a social device. You don’t feel like you have to go to different applications to use it.
Inspired by the phone, 24-year-old Foy developed a concept for a commercial featuring the Windows Phone 7. He worked feverishly over the next two weeks to create a “We Love WP 7” ad. (Watch it at YouTube.)
“I recorded footage of how the phone moves,” said Foy, whose commercial not only showcases the phone’s numerous features, but features a rockin’ techno beat, as well.
“When I work on projects, that’s all I think about—I eat and sleep the project. It possesses me—I really didn’t realize that the project would turn out to be that intense.”
When the commercial was completed in March, Foy uploaded it to the video file sharing site. “After that, I just basically crashed,” he recalls. “I created the commercial to show things I could do that I could add to my online portfolio,” said Foy, who graduated from Full Sail University as a Valedictorian in Game Art. Brandon hoped he’d land a job working in some aspect of the entertainment industry.
Foy admits he didn’t really expect much to happen—so when the commercial instantly went viral, attracting over 100,000 hits, he was completely blown away.
“I was contacted by a student who saw the commercial and went to the same school as I did,” recalls Foy. “He met an employee at Microsoft who also saw the Windows Phone 7 video.”
Foy’s obvious creative talent created a buzz at Microsoft. Microsoft invited him to make a second commercial to premiere at Microsoft’s Mix 11 event, promising that if the second ad reached 200,000 hits, they would air the spot nationally. Foy made the second commercial, and although it fell shy of the 200K mark, Microsoft still expressed interest in him.
“Both of the commercials are doing pretty well on YouTube,” said Foy. “I’ve had people email me and tell me they were inspired by the videos.”
In between completing the commercial for Mix 11, Microsoft held meetings with the impressive young man who had created the innovative videos.
“They flew me to Redmond,Washington, Microsoft’s headquarters,” Foy recalls. “It was really inspiring to meet these professionals. They looked at my portfolio and said they really enjoyed my work.”
Based on his talent, Foy was recruited by Microsoft in August as a User Experience Designer and now works on the Windows team.
“We’re working on Windows 8,” says Foy, who stated he started using Microsoft Windows at the age of 4. “Microsoft is great. The company is very inspiring,” said Foy, who said he is surrounded by creative types who are constantly dreaming up new and innovative ideas. “Before I started working here, I had no idea that Microsoft had positions for design and animation.”
And Foy is proud that he is part of a team that will impact lives.
“It’s amazing to me that I’m working on a product that will touch or inspire 4 or 5-year-olds in the near future,” said Foy. “I want to be an influencer and an innovator and I’ve always wanted to have an impact on the industry. Working at Microsoft is like a dream come true—I’m working on products that billions of people will use around the world.”
Foy said that although he is enjoying his work as a designer, he also has a passion for music, motion pictures, computer animation and compositing–and that he still has room to grow. “I don’t think I’m at my greatest yet, but I’m in a really amazing place right now. I feel I have a bright future,” he said.
Watch Brandon’s commercials at www.brandonfoy.tv/.