Category Archives: Director

Alexander Payne Talks About the Creative Process Behind Writing and Producing ‘Downsizing’

Alexander PayneWhether you go to the cinema or indulge in your film of choice from home, watching movies is usually a relaxing pastime activity. However, the writers and directors behind the scenes go through a taxing artistic process to produce the fine quality movies you enjoy. From creating the film to editing and marketing it, the entire process can take a toll on the producers.

Alexander Payne, a celebrated American filmmaker, has had his share of beautiful experiences during his time in the industry. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Payne discovered his creative nature from a young age. He went on to study history and later earned his MFA from UCLA.

Alexander is known to take a different turn when making his films, which brings a different taste to the regular Hollywood movies we are used to. He is known for dark comedies and thought-provoking storylines like Sideways, About Schmidt and Citizen Ruth. During his three-decade career, several Alexander Payne’s films have been nominated for 19 Academy awards.

Alexander notes that Downsizing was the most challenging project he has ever done. The film was released in 2017 and National Board Review named it one of the best movies of the year. However, Payne feels that Downsizing was worth the sacrifices he made because it is a continuation of his bodywork.

Downsizing pushed Alexander Payne out of his comfort zone because he had to use special effects for the first time. Being a fan of real-world grit, Payne made a difficult decision, but he knew that the effects were vital in creating a believable film. Although the movie used special effects, Alexander didn’t allow them to define the plot. He collaborated with the effects team to ensure the scenes were realistic.

Alexander Payne

Downsizing’s storyline was not a single story but rather several sequences and acts. Alexander Payne and his co-writer, Jim Taylor, wanted to balance comedy with social and political satire. Their vision to create a hyper-realistic world led them to a problematic scenario, where they needed to fit all their commentary and intricacies of daily life into the film. The process took them longer than they expected because of the mind work involves and the complexity of the plotline. However, Alexander Payne notes that while they faced many challenges writing the film, the project had a significant cumulative impact and was worth the effort.