Seeing. Playing. Living.
I believe these elements to be central to immersive story worlds that transcend format boundaries. Worlds that linger in our minds long after we’ve stepped away from the screen. Worlds that keep our inner adventurer, lover, hero, and rebel alive for otherwise unlivable journeys, romances, rescues, and revolutions.
We’re often quick to dismiss entertainment media, but I’ve seen how movies, video games, songs, or books can be so powerful. I’ve seen how they can inspire, breathe meaning, and instill hope. And I’ve seen not only how people make these stories, but how these stories make people – in fact, I’ve lived it.
Right now, I’m finishing up my PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, where I’m completing my dissertation investigating how individuals prefer media products they perceive to have a “brand personality” similar to their own personality. I’m fortunate to have my graduate training in media research backed by my undergraduate training in media production at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and its Interactive Media and Games Division. I believe my research is greatly enhanced by my familiarity with and ability to speak the language of media production.
As a grad student, free time is scarce, but when it’s there, I like to read, write, build computers, compose music, watch movies, and take long walks on the beach – there isn’t a day when I don’t miss hopping the 720 bus to Santa Monica, walking down to Venice for lunch, and lounging and writing in the sand.
Favorite movies: Before Sunset, La La Land, (500) Days of Summer, Back to the Future, Midnight in Paris, Senna, Serendipity, Forrest Gump, Interstellar, Cinema Paradiso
Favorite musicians: Queen, Fun, Coldplay, OneRepublic, Train, Sara Bareilles, Michael Giacchino
Favorite books: Brave New World, Cloud Atlas, Under a War Torn Sky, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Steve Jobs
Favorite TV shows: Band of Brothers, Battlestar Galactica, How I Met Your Mother, Stargate SG-1, House, Psych, Black Mirror
Favorite video games: Quantum Break, Alan Wake, The Walking Dead, Mass Effect, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, X-COM: Enemy Within, Forza Horizon 4
Countries traveled: United States, South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, France, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Italy, Vatican City, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, United Kingdom.
Danny (MA, The Wharton School; MCM, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism) is currently a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, where he is completing his dissertation on brand-self congruence and media preferences. In summer 2018, he was a graduate intern at Paramount Pictures, managing projects to gather strategic insights relevant to immersive media production for Ted Schilowitz’s Department of Future. Before coming to Annenberg East, Danny received his BA cum laude in interactive entertainment from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts and master’s in communication management (MCM) from the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. During his time at USC, Danny worked as research assistant for Dr. Sheila Murphy at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and project manager for Dr. Daphna Oyserman and Dr. Norbert Schwarz at the USC Dornsife Mind and Society Center. His research has been published in the International Journal of Communication and International Journal on Media Management.