My Book, ‘Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film – A Reporter’s Perspective 1998-2012,’ is Now Available




My book about acclaimed filmmaker Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska) is available just as interest in the two-time Oscar-winner is at an all-time high. The critical and commercial success of Payne’s 2011 hit The Descendants further confirmed the writer-director’s place among the world’s leading cinema artists. That only made anticipation all the greater for his followup film Nebraska (2013), which more than lived up to the anticipation for it. Now cineastes are eagerly anticipating his planned next film, Downsizing.

I am an Omaha-based author-journalist-blogger. My recently published book, Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film – A Reporter’s Perspective 1998-2012, is a compilation of my decade-and-a-half reporting on Payne and his work. Long before he arrived as a world-renowned filmmaker I spotted Payne’s talent. By the time he completed Citizen Ruth and prepped Election I made him a special focus of my journalism. My book is the first comprehensive look at one of cinema’s most important figures. I take readers behind-the-scenes to glimpse aspects of Payne’s creative process. “Throughout many years of being interviewed, I find Mr. Biga’s articles about me to be the most complete and perceptive of any journalist’s anywhere,” says Payne.

The book is generating strong media buzz, including an Indiewire feature, to go along with high praise from industry insiders. Actress Laura Dern, film critic Leonard Maltin, and novelist and public radio host Kurt Andersen have all endorsed the book. Here’s what they’re saying:


“Alexander is a master. Many say the art of filmmaking comes from experience and grows with age and wisdom but, in truth, he was a master on day one of his first feature. Leo Biga has beautifully captured Alexander’s incredible journey in film for us all to savor.” – Laura Dern, actress, star of Citizen Ruth

“Last night I finished your wonderful new book and I enjoyed it so much! Alexander Payne is such a terrific director and I loved reading about his films in detail. Congratulations.” – Joan Micklin Silver, filmmaker (Hester Street, Crossing Delancey)

“Alexander Payne is one of American cinema’s leading lights. How fortunate we are that Leo Biga has chronicled his rise to success so thoroughly.” – Leonard Maltin, film critic and best-selling author

“I’d be an Alexander Payne fan even if we didn’t share a Nebraska upbringing: he is a masterly, menschy, singular storyteller whose movies are both serious and unpretentious, delightfully funny and deeply moving. And he’s fortunate indeed to have such a thoughtful and insightful chronicler as Leo Biga.” – Kurt Andersen, novelist (True Believers) and Studio 360 host

“Alexander Payne richly deserves this astute book about his work by Leo Biga. I say this as a fan of both of theirs; and would be one even if I weren’t from Nebraska.” – Dick Cavett, TV legend

“Leo Biga brings us a fascinating, comprehensive, insightful portrait of the work and artistry of Alexander Payne. Mr. Biga’s collection of essays document the evolution and growth of this significant American filmmaker and he includes relevant historical context of the old Hollywood and the new. His keen reporter’s eye gives the reader an exciting journey into the art of telling stories on film.” – Ron Hull, Nebraska Educational Television legend, University of Nebraska emeritus professor of broadcasting, author of “Backstage”


The book reflects the extended period that I’ve covered Payne and the rare access the filmmaker’s accorded me. I reported from the set of Sideways and Nebraska. I’ve conducted exclusive interviews with the writer-director and his collaborators.

Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film collects for the first time my work about the filmmaker in one volume. This is a must-read for any casual fan or serious student of Payne because it provides the arc of his filmmaking journey. That journey has largely played out in his home state, where he returned to make his new film, Nebraska, whose production headquarters was base in Norfolk, Nebraska. I visited the set in mid-November of 2012.

If you’re a media professional please note that I am available for interviews. I have many anecdotes from my years of interviewing, trailing and interpreting the filmmaker.

The book, released through Concierge Marketing Publishing Services and my own Inside Stories, may be previewed at

Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film – A Reporter’s Perspective 1998-2012, 304 pages, paperback, ISBN: 978-0-9883293-1-7, $19.95, and eBook formats, $7.95.

Available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble and for Kindle and other e-Readers.

To request review copies of the book and to schedule interviews with me, contact Erin Pankowski, Marketing Director at Concierge Marketing Publishing Services at 402-884-5995 or at

It is my sincere desire that you add the book to your personal library and recommend it to friends, family, associates, et cetera.

Thanks for your support.


“I’ve long admired Leo Biga’s journalism and prose portraiture for its honesty, thoughtfulness, and accuracy. On a personal note, throughout many years of being interviewed, I find Mr. Biga’s articles about me to be the most complete and perceptive of any journalist’s anywhere. They ring true to me — even in critique — in a way that reveals the depth of his talent in observation, understanding, and expression.” 

Alexander Payne 


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