Award-winning filmmaker Alexander Payne was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha and received his B.A. in English Literature. Payne’s father was an Air Force pilot; as a result, Payne would often be moved around the country as a child. He spent time in Northern California as a child and lived in Berkeley and Woodland Hills during his early years. His mother, Lois Payne, taught English at the University of Nebraska, while his father was an executive at General Telephone and Electronics (GT&E). Payne also spent time in Northern California as a child and lived in Berkeley and Woodland Hills during his early years. His mother, Lois Payne, taught English at the University of Nebraska, while his father was an executive at General Telephone and Electronics (GT&E).
Payne’s first job out of college was as a production assistant on That’s Entertainment! III at 20th Century Fox. After that, he wrote for various television shows, including The New Leave It To Beaver and The Facts of Life. Payne began working as an editor on Roger Corman’s film Piranha. He then worked on various films for Corman until 1985. At that time, he began working in Hollywood as an editor on films such as The Last Dragon, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Ghostbusters II, The Money Pit, Light Sleeper, Jingle All the Way, and Little Monsters.
Alexander Payne made his directorial debut with Election, starring Matthew Broderick; it won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Academy Awards. He followed this up by directing About Schmidt, starring Jack Nicholson, about three years later. About Schmidt also won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 1993 Academy Awards.
Alexander Paynehas a gift for making the audience care about his characters and their struggles. Payne’s films are hilarious but always have a dark undertone. His films are an excellent example of how to make a film that is both funny and moving.
In an interview with NPR, Payne said, “I grew up in a house where it was always my father’s job to be the hero. He was the pilot, and he would save the world.” His films often feature an eccentric character who is a “loser” but also has a lot of heart. According to Bossmagazine.com, Payne’s films are ” often populated by a variety of losers who, despite their shortcomings, find themselves in situations that ultimately lead to their redemption.”