Chalkfest Voting is Open! View the artwork & vote now — Aug. 1

Film

Beautiful Notions in Motion: Chicago-based Filmmaker Creates New Film, Featuring Eau Claire Scenery, Actors

‘Magus Park’ shows the beauty of downtown Eau Claire to thousands of viewers, thanks to a new film by a North High grad

Parker Reed |

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: ‘Magus Park,’ a new film made by Chicago-based filmmaker Ryan Liddell, features key Eau Claire scenery. See if you can recognize this iconic park, which Eau Claire musician Paige Vasel appears in. (Submitted photos)
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: ‘Magus Park,’ a new film made by Chicago-based filmmaker Ryan Liddell, features key Eau Claire scenery. See if you can recognize this iconic park, which Eau Claire musician Paige Vasel appears in. (Submitted photos)

The beauty of downtown Eau Claire is taken in by thousands of people daily. But it isn’t every day that it’s captured on film for tens of thousands more to enjoy.

Ryan Liddell, a Chicago-based filmmaker and Eau Claire North High School graduate recently completed work on his first full-length motion picture Magus Park, based on a script by local playwrights Jane and Jim Jeffries. The film includes a number of individual vignettes taking place in various magical and mystical parks. These parks bridge the gap between ordinary and extraordinary, and each feature geocaches in which individuals must contribute to if they choose to take from it.

“Every time we went to film, I was thinking of parks back home, because when I was growing up we spent a lot of time out on Lake Wissota in Chippewa Falls and downtown at Owen Park... I wanted to capture a feeling of home in the movie, so every scene has a bit of Eau Claire in it.”

Ryan Liddell

filmmaker

“Every time we went to film, I was thinking of parks back home, because when I was growing up we spent a lot of time out on Lake Wissota in Chippewa Falls and downtown at Owen Park,” Liddell said. “And even though where I live now has mostly urban parks, I wanted to capture a feeling of home in the movie, so every scene has a bit of Eau Claire in it.”

The film features scenes shot in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, prominently featuring key locations such as Owen Park in downtown Eau Claire. Magus Park also features Eau Claire native actors, including Paige Vasel and Ali Abraham.

“I’ve always been passionate about storytelling in all of its forms,” Liddell said. “Filmmaking allows you to share stories on a broader scale. People who go to see theatre or read books are always going to be the same set of people who do those things, but there are a lot of people who will try a film and give something a chance. It’s a great chance to have longevity with an audience long after you’ve completed it, while reaching many people who might not have viewed your story any other way.”


Magus Park will be available to view from Aug. 5-15 on the Minnesota Fringe Festival website at minnesotafringe.org, and future showings will become available following the festival.