From Publishing to Film Producing: A Graduate's Journey

Christina Behnke

December 10, 2018

Nearly two and a half years ago, Christina Behnke '08 decided to leave her job as a magazine editor to pursue full-time filmmaking. She's now finishing up a feature film and working on a Netflix feature.

"It's been pretty surreal," she says.

After graduating from Susquehanna, Behnke attended Columbia University's summer publishing course. In the following years, the creative writing major found herself writing for and eventually becoming an associate editor of magazines like Vogue Knitting and Noro.

In late 2016, Behnke landed an internship at Belladonna Productions. This led her to a summer job in Los Angeles in the writers' room for SundanceTV's Hap and Leonard under the direction of writer and director Jim Mickle.

She's now in the post-production process for her and her husband's upcoming debut feature film, Blood Conscious. She also recently finished working on a future Netflix feature, In the Shadow of the Moon.

While looking back on her days at Susquehanna, Behnke cites her writing workshop classes as some of the best preparation for her future career. "They taught me how to build trust and become familiar with colleagues while still maintaining a professional relationship."

Even though Behnke has moved from the publishing industry into the filmmaking world, she still appreciates the necessity of the written word.

"It's important to remember that writers are needed everywhere," she explains. "Having a solid background in writing is becoming rarer, but everyone needs good writers, no matter where they work."

She also advises thinking outside the box: "There are lots of magazines and websites—even writing blurbs for a cosmetic company is a start. From what I've learned, no two people get into the business in the same way."   

What's next?