Matt Payne Writer

Matt Payne is a multi-talented writer and photographer who spent fifteen years in Los Angeles working in the film, television and travel industry. A graduate from the University of Oklahoma, Matt Payne’s career began in 2001 when after spending a summer working on an independent film in Paris, Matt moved to Los Angeles and shortly thereafter began working as a set production assistant on Fox’s famed 24. Matt stayed on with the show for two and a half seasons working largely as a production assistant to the writers and producers.

From there, Matt went to work for the Talent and Literary Agency Endeavor, now William Morris Endeavor, where he cut his teeth learning to read scripts with a critical eye, to write efficiently and successful and learned, from the ground up, how movies and television shows got put together.

In addition to his work with so many hit television shows, Matt worked as a freelance story consultant; first for Summit Entertainment from 2007-2010 and for Relativity Media from 2010-2011 where he read and analyzed hundreds of scripts and concepts for studio consideration.

Between television seasons and on weekends, Matt began travel writing in 2010 for the Washington Times Communities and has continued to do so since, expanding his outlets and traveling to and writing about Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Central America, the Pacific Islands and every corner of the continental United States up to Alaska.

Matt’s unique experience as a television, film and travel writer, script analyst, and a true citizen of the world has inspired him to create The Point Writer’s Workshop. Here, his colorful amalgamation of skills and experience combined with his ability to educate and inspire will lead writers of all levels to greater heights and take them into places inside them they didn’t know existed.

Shortly thereafter, Matt began working for showrunners Jan Nash and Greg Walker on the CBS hit series Without a Trace. Matt stayed with Walker and Nash for three years until the show’s run ended. Matt stayed with Walker, ultimately writing episodes of his own for CBS’s The Defenders starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell, Vegas starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis and TNT’s Memphis Beat starring Jason Lee and Alfrey Woodard.

Since living in Oklahoma City, Matt has embraced many opportunities to bring his talents into the Oklahoma community. He has been both a speaker and a judge for the deadCenter Film Festival as well as the Tulsa International Film Festival. In June of 2017, Matt will write, direct and produce ten short documentaries in conjunction with OETA, PBS and the Oklahoma City Zoo. These will air alongside a three-part documentary series about famed National Geographic wildlife photographer Joel Sartore. In addition to his work in the film community, Matt writes and shoots photos for 405 Magazine, Oklahoma City’s most popular lifestyle magazine covering local, national and international travel.

In November of 2016, Matt lead more than 130 aspiring writers in an all-day screenwriting seminar sponsored by deadCenter and Oklahoma City University. In spring of 2017, Matt taught a range of writing-oriented topics at the Independent Schools of the Southwest Conference at Casady High School. Matt also completed his first year as an adjunct professor teaching courses in Film Business and Short Screenplay Writing at Oklahoma City University and in summer and fall of 2017, in addition to Oklahoma City University, Matt will teach a variety of screenwriting workshops at Metro Tech’s downtown OKC campus.

In addition to developing his own screenplays, Matt consulted and co-written more than a dozen screenplays for local Oklahoma writers. He continues to travel the world with upcoming trips to Panama, Costa Rica, Alberta and the a river cruise on the Amazon. His outlets include, 405 Magazine and is now a weekly contributor to, a men’s lifestyle website which enjoys more than a million unique visitors a month.

  • “Matt Payne’s writing impresses on every level, from CBS period dramas to wild, woolly adventure and travel reporting.   His humor, common sense, and wonderfully skewed eye and ear make for a delightful read every time.  A true multi-talent.”

    Greg Walker

    Executive Producer, Vegas, The Defenders, Extant, Without A Trace

  • “Consider yourself very lucky if you get the chance to study writing with Matt Payne. Matt’s a great writer because he’s a great person: funny, endlessly creative (ask him about One Weird Shoe), and deeply interested in…well, everything. He has a handle on how awesome it is to be alive. It shows in his work, and anyone who enters his sphere will get to revel in it. You’ll come away a better writer. More observant. More tuned in. More daring. And even if you never turn that into external riches, you’ll become a better person for it.”

    Robert Howells

    National Geographic, Men’s Journal, Outside Magazine

  • “Matt Payne is a unique writer who has mastered the art of storytelling in all its forms. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, a compelling hour of television drama, or his funny, insightful travel writing, Matt has a voice full of thunder and lightning that crashes with truth, and flashes into your heart with its beauty.  Strap in, hold on, and take the ride, you’ll be happy you did.”

    Bruce Rasmussen

    Producer, Kingdom, Dallas, The Drew Carey Show

  • “Matt Payne is a pleasure to work with. He has crafted all manner of stories and knows how to develop small ideas into concise concepts with focused direction. His industry experience and mainstream sensibility are a great combination.”

    Brendan Parker

    Spaghetti Eddie

  • “Matt Payne helped us take our writing and knowledge of the industry to the next level. Without his help we would have been lost.”

    Scott Girardin

  • “Matt is a great writer and collaborator. He has helped improve our script and screenwriting knowledge by leaps and bounds.”

    Major Skinner

  • “’Writers’ these days become so pigeon-holed and narrowly focused as journalists or novelists or screenwriters or as critics, but MATT PAYNE is one of those rare individuals who embraces the whole carnival of writing both fiction and nonfiction with his writing aimed for multiple audiences with passion, insight and always with originality!”

    Andrew Horton

    The Jeanne H Smith Professor  of Film & Media Studies, The University of Oklahoma

  • “Matt and I have worked together for years and he has written for me before. He is fun, smart and musical and I can say with certainty that at least two of those are relevant to understanding how to write better stories.”

    Jan Nash

    Executive Producer – Rizzoli and Isles, Without A Trace

405 Magazine
Communities Digital News
Fox Television Studios
Dead Center Film Festival
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle
Individual Artists of OKlahoma
Matt Payne