Christina Couch

Christina Couch's picture

Christina Couch is an award-winning business and human interest writer who's covered everything from the science behind fish raining from the sky to zombie-themed workout programs. She is the author of Virginia Colleges 101, one of the first state-specific financial aid guidebooks, and her articles have been published in Wired, Discover Magazine,, The A.V. Club, Time Out Chicago, and Entrepreneur.

Articles by Christina Couch

  • Dr. Deborah Hendersen TH
    A user researcher at Microsoft breaks down how game testing affects design.  
  • Comedy tastemaker Steve Heisler got his job by publicly complaining about a major comedy festival lineup. Now he’s in charge of booking Just For Laughs, fine-tuning his ear to discern between a good joke and a great comedian.
  • The scale of South By Southwest has swelled dramatically over the years. And after 26 years, the conference that launches music careers necessitates a whole new strategy for breakout artists, Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW...
  • Six Shooter Records’ co-owner Helen Britton promoted two of South By Southwest 2012’s biggest buzz bands. She discusses her overall conference strategies and how she adjusts to position bands from different genres with...
  • Having been with Fox Broadcasting before it was even called Fox, Minna Taylor has seen the company through decades’ worth of legal crises, including the latest issues arising from a shift in how viewers access, view, and discover hit...
  • As second assistant director, M. Ryan Traylor compares his job to a logic puzzle. Juggling the needs of cast and crew, he shifts the pieces around on set until they fall into place, leading crews through the necessary steps to keep the...
  • Both on-screen and behind-the-scenes TV talent convened in Austin, Tex., to discuss what makes shows successful. We picked out the best advice that screenwriters shared to help you transform your script or show idea from spec to ...
  • Mix and Match: Craig Duman
    The best sound design in video games goes unnoticed, as the player escapes into a new world. It’s Craig Duman’s job to sonically encourage that absorption. With 75 titles to his credit, Duman is an expert at mixing sounds and...
  • Grunt Work: Dave Brockie
    Nearly 30 years after GWAR’s inception, Dave Brockie is still executing presidents, slaying aliens, and putting on the freakiest show in metal. Learn how the scumdogs of the universe were born and see why this show is getting...
  • Roger Barr thumbnail
    Flash developer Roger Barr blends nostalgia with parody to keep humor instilled in games on  
  • Film Producer: Mark Wolfe
    Reading Rainbow went off the air in 2009, but now it’s back as an iPad app, thanks to a partnership formed between film producer and production manager Mark Wolfe and former Rainbow host LeVar Burton, continuing its original mission...
  • Sebastian Cowan
    Turning down a job with Sony isn’t the only way that Sebastian Cowan raised eyebrows in the music scene. His label Arbutus Records functions as a collaboration between a variety of artists working toward one common goal: creating...
  • Peter Simonite
    Cinematographer Peter Simonite is a master at executing other people’s visions, which is why the 60 productions to his credit vary in style, from music videos for Spoon to animated features like A Scanner Darkly and charged live...
  • Noah Hawley
    The danger of breaking into the industry by joining a writing team, Bones writer Noah Hawley cautions, is that executives stop seeing you as a creator. Instead, Hawley built a career writing novels, then the Hollywood execs came to ...
  • One Tree Hill Creator Mark Schwahn
    Lengthy interning, countless volunteer hours, and a bit of luck landed One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn his big break. He devoted the show’s 187 episodes to giving new musicians theirs.
  • Laurie Kilmartin
    The subjectivity of humor keeps Laurie Kilmartin’s world constantly spinning. Between writing comedy books, performing stand up, and penning jokes for Conan, she must balance three very different forms of writing, but it’s...
  • Martin Atkins TH
    More than three decades after joining Johnny Rotten’s post-Sex Pistols group, Public Image Ltd, drummer Martin Atkins rebrands himself as a pedagogue for performers.  
  • Andy Dudynsky
    For professional video game coach Andy Dudynsky, mastering the science of Halo is only part of the battle. Fighting the good fight means keeping the team marketable.
  • Wayne White Thumbnail
    His mission, in his own words, has been to bring humor into fine art. For years he covertly imprinted the minds of children and injected fantasy into the rock scene. Wayne White’s body of work is eclectic to the point of defining and...
  • Neville Page Thumbnail
    After designing iconic monsters for James Cameron, JJ Abrams, and Steven Spielberg, creature designer Neville Page applies his considerable expertise as a judge on the Syfy Channel reality series Face Off.
  • Al Goto
    Even as a teenager, Al Goto knew he wanted to be the man on screen taking the hard knocks. Ditching his engineering major, Goto turned his attention to film studies and athletic training in pursuit of his goal. 
  • Steve Wolf Thumbnail
    Everyone loves a good explosion, but only those with a mind for science and the work ethic of an ox can make a booming career says pyro expert Steve Wolf.
  • Paul Jones
    When Syfy and Trion Worlds set out on a unique collaboration to introduce the world of Defiance to television and gaming audiences, they tapped the special effects makeup and prosthetics designer Paul Jones, whose background in gruesome...
  • Tom Boyd
    Whether it’s following wild dolphins through the Amazon or who’s willing to gross-out the most on Fear Factor, underwater camera operator Tom Boyd is making a splash.  
  • SXSW
    If you get two minutes of face time with the mentor or industry pioneer of your dreams, don’t screw it up by committing a festival faux pas. There is an etiquette to chance encounters. How you approach networking opportunities says a...
  • Jeronimo Carbi
    According to Jeronimo Carbi, the only thing more in sync than Cirque du Soleil’s performers are the people who make the show happen backstage.  
  • Defiance thumbnail
    In a landscape of endless sequels and reboots, Syfy teams up with Trion Worlds to take both television and gaming beyond the boundaries.   
  • Emily White TH
    Entrepreneur and talent manager Emily White has a college degree in music business and an education from the school of practical knowledge. With eight internships under her belt and the experience of life on tour, the co-founder of...
  • Saschka Unseld TH
    Inspiration spawns from the most unlikely of places. Screenwriter and director of the upcoming Pixar animated short The Blue Umbrella walks us through the development process. Get In Media writer Christina Couch was at SXSW in...
  • Jason Graves TH
    Frustrated with the direction of his career, composer Jason Graves answered an ad for an Australian game developer seeking original music for an upcoming title. He got the gig, and has gone on to produce award-winning scores for the Dead...
  • Pitch Perfect TH
    How to nail your pilot, documentary, or screenplay pitch the first time.  
  • Emily Hagins TH
    Emily Hagins may not be old enough to drink, but with four feature films, screenings at South By Southwest and the Chicago Critics Film Festival, a distribution deal, and connections with some of Robert Rodriguez’s technical crew,...
  • Michael Schaubach TH
    In a world of online one-upsmanship, CollegeHumor’s director of post-production competes against cat videos, epic fails, and fainting goats to keep comedy aficionados and online procrastinators up to their earbuds in laughs....
  • Susan O'Connor TH
    In the “story-optional” world of gaming, digital wordsmith Susan O’Connor says that her job is just as much about understanding how players emotionally engage as it is executing the lead developer’s ultimate vision...
  • Ben Cousins TH
    According to mobile game developer Ben Cousins, consoles are headed the way of the woolly mammoth in the not-so-distant future. Make way for a more sophisticated mobile experience.  
  • Charlie Jennings TH
    Transforming an empty field into an art-comedy-music megafest capable of rocking the faces off of 80,000 people takes dedication, organization, and an uncanny ability to keep cool when catastrophe strikes.  
  • Richard Garriott TH
    After re-entering earth’s orbit, the space entrepreneur/game creator best known by his Ultima alter ego, Lord British, resurfaces with a new MMO and advice for new developers to boldly go where no man has digitally gone before...
  • Mike Elizalde TH
    Computer-generated effects may hog the spotlight, but animatronics expert Mike Elizalde believes in building mechanical baddies one bolt at a time.  
  • Blaine Christine TH
    BioWare senior producer Blaine Christine wants to reassure gamers that, when it comes to Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Force is still with them.
  • Darry Frank TH
    As Breaking Bad comes to an end, the Emmy Award-nominated production sound mixer discusses why the show’s lack of audio gimmicks is one of its greatest weapons.  
  • Alex Macmillam TH
    Lead game developer Alex Macmillan wants to keep you out of the clutches of the hungry undead and into mobile games that blend elements of the digital and physical worlds.  
  • David J. Peterson TH
    Behind every Klingon, Na’vi, and Middle Earth dweller is someone who creates the written and spoken words for the language as well as the rules for idea construction. For David J. Peterson, a professional alien language and culture...
  • John Wirth TH
    With two seasons and an Emmy nod under its belt, AMC’s Hell on Wheels has a history of its own. As the series’ new showrunner, seasoned producer John Wirth wants to take the railroad-centered show slightly off track.
  • Mike Simpson TH
    Listen up future cinematographers. It takes more than an eye for design and technical know-how to make it says cinematographer Mike Simpson. To evolve with the times, think about boning up on your post-production skills.  
  • Christian Remde
    After years of creating films for corporate clients, editor and director Christian Remde’s career took an unexpectedly tasty turn when he started giving away his art for free.  
  • Uranium Drive-in TH
    Save yourself the hassle and court fees by following these guidelines before, during, and after filming. 
  • Matt Gilgenbach TH
    When mental illness took over his life, indie developer Matt Gilgenbach fought through by letting players do the same.
  • John Romero TH
    Game legend John Romero shifts his sights from shooters to social games.  
  • Chris Roberts TH
    After spending over a decade in film, Wing Commander and Freelancer creator Chris Roberts gets his newest PC space simulation game off the ground with a crowd-funded boost.  
  • Ann Shin TH
    For documentary director Ann Shin, getting the funding, organizing a crew, and writing her film was the easy part. Following escapees out of North Korea through China, Laos, South Korea, and Thailand while facing possible imprisonment...
  • Parke Gregg TH
    Colorist Parke Gregg explains his contribution to the filmmaking process and how color and lighting can drastically change the story. 
  • Dave Finkel TH
    Take it from New Girl executive producer Dave Finkel—creating razor-sharp comedy week after week is no joke.    
  • Kellee Santiago
    The co-founder of thatgamecompany made waves when her studio gained commercial success and critical acclaim developing games seeking to emotionally engage players. In her current roles with OUYA and Indie Fund, she’s making way for...
  • Tom Quinn TH
    After 14 years of distributing films for Samuel Goldwyn and Magnolia Pictures, Tom Quinn’s newest venture is shaking up how and when films are released.
  • Lindsay Wolfington TH
    Shaping the sound of a television series and getting to help undiscovered artists gain valuable airtime are why Lindsay Wolfington loves her job. Acting as a liaison between artists, labels, and TV producers, Wolfington handpicks music...
  • James Moll TH
    With nearly every major award already won, producer-director James Moll heads for wide-open spaces.  
  • Oscar Dominguez TH
    As a young man, Oscar Dominguez was “relatively clever” and in the right place at the right time, leading him toward a career as an Emmy Award-winning lighting designer.   
  • Heather Kelley TH
    A former designer on Thief: Deadly Shadows and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory wants to incorporate new senses into gaming and bend the rules of social interactivity.
  • Richard Hatem TH
    A writer and executive producer’s unlikely career trajectory takes him from fistfights on top of trains to werewolf dens and beyond.  
  • David Semel TH
    A few white lies got director David Semel into the editing room, but years of consistently producing good work landed him gigs on shows like Heroes, Homeland, and House, as well as two Primetime Emmy nominations.   
  • Michael Semanick TH
    The Oscar-winning re-recording mixer for The Lord of the Rings series, The Social Network, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo discusses establishing the aural tone for films.  
  • Wendy Day TH
    Wendy Day went from being a fan of hip-hop to one of the genre’s fiercest advocates.  
  • Ben Blacker TH
    Ben Blacker, who has developed pilots for USA, FOX, Paramount, and Spike TV, walks us through how to sell a television pitch.
  • Jenni Powell
    Jenni Powell got her foot in the door of online media by poking fun at her future bosses. That’s the beauty of online media, she says—it’s wide open for rewriting the rules.  
  • Vance Van Petten TH
    After a long-fought war with film studios over the best way to determine who really does production work, the Producers Guild of America unveiled a certification mark that’s raising a few eyebrows.  
  • Game Girl TH
    Despite the misconception that QA testers just play video games all day, the job requires dedication, an eye for detail, and great communication skills. Here’s what you need to know.  
  • Wearable Instruments TH
    Artists and inventors seek to redefine what it means to be a musician. 
  • Ryan Wyatt TH
    Better known by his Call of Duty handle, “Fwiz” gets an extra life as Head of Live and eSports for Machinima.  
  • Dina Hillier TH
    To get her dream job, Dina Hillier landed an internship and wouldn’t let go. Now the former VP of Comedy Development for Sony Pictures Television is helping young writers attract the attention of major networks.  
  • Christopher Keyser TH
    A playwriting class Christopher Keyser took during his second year in law school caused him to consider writing as a future profession. Now, as President of the Writers Guild of America, West, Keyser is on the forefront of the fight to...
  • Kelsey Porter TH
    A former Texas cheerleader goes from supporting stars on the field to helping reality shows find theirs.  
  • Chicago Fire TH
    Craig Jackson and his production team have mastered the art of playing with fire. 
  • Steve Gaynor TH
    Former BioShock designer Steve Gaynor discusses player psychology and interactive storytelling in his award-winning indie game.
  • Sarah Heyward TH
    From Harvard to HBO, Girls writer Sarah Heyward discusses her move from aspiring novelist to screenwriter.  
  • Graeme Timmins TH
    Graeme Timmins started designing mod levels for first-person shooters like Quake, but he didn’t think about a career in game development until a Seattle company wanted to recruit him straight out of high school. Now as lead level...
  • Erin Reynolds TH
    Indie game designer Erin Reynolds discusses Nevermind, a game that tests the player’s ability to handle fear and anxiety while delving into a story of repressed memories. 
  • Intern Rights TH
    Thinking about taking an unpaid internship? Read this first. Here’s your guide to your legal rights as an intern.    
  • Richard Dansky TH
    Red Storm’s Central Clancy Writer takes espionage and intrigue from the page to the player.  
  • Jen K. Messer TH
    At Brain Games, production design is equal parts set and science.  
  • Aaron Walz TH
    With more than 100 games under his belt, Aaron Walz knows that sound design is more than music to the ears.  
  • Virtual Internship TH
    How to find, land, and conquer a virtual internship  
    Four SXSW success stories share their advice for an effective festival showing.
  • Kent Hudson TH
    The Novelist writes a new chapter in game narratives.  
  • Mistaken for Strangers TH
    After Tom Berninger was fired from The National’s tour by his brother, lead singer Matt Berninger, he kept the camera rolling. 
  • Josh Larson TH
    In Josh Larson’s empathetic indie game, the real enemy is feeling disconnected.   
  • Chad Nackers TH
    Chad Nackers of The Onion breaks down how an idea goes from brainstorm to fake front-page news.  
  • Tony Swatton illustration by Timothy Banks
    Forging the perfect blade is as much craftsmanship as it is research and work ethic. You might not see his name in the credits, but metalsmith Tony Swatton is the man behind 20 years of iconic movie weapons.   
  • TQ Jefferson TH
    Marvel’s VP of Game Production talks about taking Captain America across multiple platforms.  
  • Game Designer Tracy Fullerton
    An experimental developer leads gamers to enlightenment through savvy design.  
  • Mike Wilson TH
    Veteran game developer Mike Wilson and Devolver Digital aim to create a “culture of curation” to support indie filmmaking.  
  • Kerbal Space Program TH
    An (accidental) educational indie game gets a rocket boost from NASA  
  • Greg Nicotero TH
    Special effects legend and executive producer of The Walking Dead, Greg Nicotero discusses his work with Robert Rodriguez on From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.
  • Victoria Camera TH
    ReverbNation’s head of West Coast operations talks about teaming up with brands and taking it on the road.  
  • Indie Fund TH
    A look at one of the only major funding organizations for independent game developers  
  • Penny Dreadful TH
    The Impossible director turns to television and revisists classic horror tales for Showtime’s Penny Dreadful.  
  • Wolfenstein TH
    Bethesda Softworks and COPILOT tiptoe across politically treacherous territory with Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Oren Brimer TH
    Production perfection takes a back seat to sincerity on The Pete Holmes Show.  
  • Producer Goldie Chan
    Producer Goldie Chan talks branded content, edutainment, and creating on the company dime.  
  • fighting content bullies thumb
    New Media Rights staff attorney Teri Karobonik explains fair use and copyright law in the era of YouTube.
  • Elisabeth Holm
    Elisabeth Holm spent three years leading Kickstarter’s film team. Now the crowdfunding maven and producer of festival darling Obvious Child offers advice on getting the most out of your campaign.
  • Noah Hawley TH
    The Fargo TV series creator resurrects a franchise that killed off its major characters nearly 20 years ago.  
  • Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman TH
    Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman admits to weekly ideations about walking away from North America’s longest-running music festival, but as long as fans keep pouring through the gates, that’s not likely to happen. 
  • Narrative Designer Chris Avellone
    If you want to break into narrative design, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you, says Obsidian Entertainment’s creative director.   
  • PlayScience CEO Alison Bryant
    When it comes to children’s media, there’s a delicate science to determining what works.  
  • Elliot Walker TH
    How to create a following and make money on YouTube. There is no get-rich-quick secret.
  • Narrative Designer Jill Murray
    Ubisoft Quebec’s director of narrative design on how the studio creates compelling characters, and the gameplay to match.  
  • Photographer Chase Jarvis
    Long before the Internet, Chase Jarvis dropped out of grad school to backpack through Europe with a camera he inherited from his grandfather. Twenty years later, he’s named one of the 30 most influential photographers of the decade and...
  • Force Media Management CEO Randy Nichols
    Connections count in the music industry. And all the talent in the world can’t overcome anti-social tendencies. Here’s how to create those relationships, one fan at a time. 
  • Goat Simulator
    How an inside joke sold nearly 1 million copies.  
  • Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine
    What’s next for a guy whose last game sold 6 million copies and nabbed more than 85 awards? Starting over from scratch.  
  • Eric Henry TH
    While musicians focus on writing songs, marketers like Eric Henry of Rostrum Records work behind the scenes to hammer out a digital strategy that can catapult an artist to global stardom.  
  • Executive Story Editor Jamie Pachino
    Another playwright makes the leap from stage to screen, bringing with her character development skills that don’t rely on murders and explosions.   
  • Narrative Design Director Leah Hoyer
    From Disney’s Recess to the Holy Roman Empire, Microsoft Studios’ narrative design director extends stories beyond the screen.  
  • Christiane Kinney
    An attorney who specializes in music law and copyright gives the scoop on avoiding the long arm of the law when making remixes and mashups.  
  • Navid Khonsari TH
    The former Grand Theft Auto cinematic director was branded a spy by an Iranian newspaper for his latest indie title. This is the story of 1979 Revolution.   
  • Anna Megill has written scripts for a wide variety of games; here, she talks about how flexibility and communication skills are essential when working on titles like Guild Wars 2.
  • To capture the lo-fi sound of South Park, Obsidian Entertainment had to ditch the notion that bigger is better.  
  • The producer with credits include V/H/S, You’re Next, and A Horrible Way To Die talks about the challenges of overnight shoots, blenders to the head, and real cabins in the woods.
  • Industry experts give guidance on how to best take advantage of networking opportunities at GDC Next.
  • Two industry veterans with decades of experience join forces to create Source Sound, Inc.
  • Advances in technology are increasing accessibility for visually impaired game players, but it requires dedicated development and design descisions.
  • New immersive technologies make a whole new world filled with everything from motionless motion to “sim-sickness.”