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Kickstarting: A Documentary On Cicadas That Will Either Make You Shudder Or Cry

Kickstarting: A Documentary On Cicadas That Will Either Make You Shudder Or Cry

Cicadas are the Halley’s Comet of insects–except instead of 75 years, it only takes them 17 to reappear. Samuel Orr is a filmmaker and time-lapse photographer who wants to catch them when it happens.

The Brood II cicadas have already begun to emerge in the Northeast for the first time since 1996, making this moment the perfect time for Orr to complete his documentary. In 2007, he began filming the insects, who remain underground for years until the six-week period in which they enter daylight, grow wings, and spawn. It’s a biological process that looks rather poetic when viewed up close.


The director was only asking for $3,000 to help crowdfund his project on Kickstarter. In less than a week, he received more than double that amount. Perhaps it had something to do with Orr’s extreme close-ups of the insects en masse and the amazing time-lapse imagery of the cicadas shedding their shells. While those easily disgusted by creepy-crawlies may want to stay far away from funding, donors are buying into a front-row seat to one of nature’s rare marvels.

Watch a time-lapse video by Samuel Orr about a day in the life of New York City below.

JB