Alexander Payne is a director that favors a certain genre just as most directors do. While many directors favor escapism for their audience, he actually favors realistic contemporary stories that rely on the audience relating to the story or the humor he presents in it. A good number of movie goers nowadays prefer the ability to escape from reality with super hero movies and action movies. But there is an audience out there that prefers something they can relate to.
Alexander Payne’s preferences for reality based contemporary stories probably stems from being from a state in the middle of the country that is steeped more in reality than in the fictional world of Hollywood. He originally is from the state of Nebraska. He’s studied all over though away from his home state. He studied abroad in Spain and at Stanford and UCLA. He got his first directing job after he spent his time at UCLA and graduated.
Even after moving far away from Nebraska, he decided to make movies set in Nebraska. He’s filmed a number of movies in his home state to capture a more realistic tone to his stories. He filmed his projects Election, Citizen Ruth, About Schmidt, and the movie named Nebraska in Nebraska. Each movie has some quirky or dark humor, but is mostly set in reality even if the humor might be a little over the line of reality.
Alexander Payne enjoys contemporary story writing and filmmaking because he feels like there are plenty of stories to tell in contemporary times and often Hollywood doesn’t focus on those as much.