Indiana University

People | Graduate Students

Sean Connolly

PhD Student
The Media School
seaconno 'at' indiana 'dot' edu



Broadly, my research interest is in media psychology. More narrowly, my research focus is about storytelling in the Hollywood tentpole movie experience. I look into why this unique object became what it became and the psychological and social impacts of what it currently is. I also look at how the symbols and symbolic moments of the brand identity and movie experience are remediated across platforms and generations. My inquiry has been both experimental (psychophysiological and psychological) and content analytic. Recent works tend to show that small creative choices in these movies and their trailers do indeed affect media consumption behavior at the box office.

I attained a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in English from Duke University and an M.A. in Telecommunications from Indiana University. Before coming back to grad school, I started a career in feature films in the motion picture department of United Talent Agency. Later I became a story editor for Mostow/Liberman at Universal Pictures. As an entrepreneur I also helped found and develop the still-running start-up company with producers Roy Lee and Ed Kashiba (sold in 2001). It's been my privilege to teach scriptwriting and production classes as an Instructor of Record or Associate Instructor at IU, and my good fortune to have a few former colleagues Skype in for Q&A on media topics. Go IU!