Cian Magner is a freshman at John Paul the Great Catholic University studying production. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska and subsequently living in Peoria, Illinois for most of his life, Cian experienced a cultural shock when his father, Scott Magner, was relocated to Grenoble, France by Caterpillar Inc. for work. Cian and his family lived there from 2012 to 2016.
“Living in France was one of the most eye-opening experiences that I’ve had. Not only the most challenging but one of the most fulfilling that I’ve had. I’d say before I moved, my worldview was pretty much limited to my small town in Peoria, Illinois with my neighborhood friends. I didn’t have to worry about anything else than my family of eight at the time and being with them. Once I was given the opportunity to travel overseas, suddenly I had to leave all of that stability behind and transition to a foreign land,” Magner said.
Some of the challenges that Magner experienced was being thrown into the French education system, learning an entirely new language, and being exposed to an entirely different environment. This experience allowed him to realize how there was so much more than just his specific worldview. “My dad is an engineer and I thought I would be an engineer, just more of a blue collar worker, I guees. But after surviving the transition, it gave me the confidence to do pursue something that I actually wanted to do with my life. Something that was more passion-filled, and a little more risky but something that fit with my character.”
This risky pursuit and passion for art started when Magner experimented with stop-motion animation as a child. This led to him trying out with different art mediums. He settled on filmmaking, which he felt suited to his talents the best.
His art has been inspired by his family and his experiences in exploring new places. “I just get inspired by places that I will go and I think that ties into France a lot. Being able to have seen so many historical places and being fortunate to have that, I tie a lot of stories that I tell to places that I’ve been to because of the sort of environments and cultures out there are very impactful and unique.”
His favorite roles on set have been working in the grip and electric department. “It was one of the aspects I wanted to get the most experience with and I have really fallen in love with it. I love all the people that I’ve worked with doing grip work. I love all the different terminology and all the shenanigans we get up to.”
Magner wants to work more on with directing while getting more involved with the pre-production process at his time in JPCatholic.
Photo by Peter Mai