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Through miniature puppets, we follow the lives of the Cicadas as they come out of the ground for the party at the end of their lives.
Through miniature puppets, we follow the lives of the Cicadas as they come out of the ground for the party at the end of their lives.
1,097 backers pledged $74,272 to help bring this project to life.

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And the crickets would sing...


Dear kickstarter friends,

I would love you to be the very first people to see what we have been up to during this last while. Without further adieu, come take a look at the Crickets Would Sing website and trailer. 

Crickets is the next chapter in our journey and everyone here has helped us get to this point. It is the sequel to our work only in that it furthers the message we began with Cicada Princess. Love carries with it the expectation that good will arise from our acts. Please help light this kindling by posting the trailer everywhere.

Other than that we are casting the final 25 princess dolls, I am looking forward to spending the holiday break painting those ladies. It really has been and is a continuing honor.

I am very excited to see where Crickets goes now that the wind is blowing. I humbly thank you and raise my little kite high over my head. 


And we're back!


[ well....]

It's been a long time since the last update to the Cicada project. You may have noticed the project is no longer suspended. Yes, all legal matters are settled and for the betterment of all involved! It came to an end on the day of my 40th birthday which is normal for how things work in the Cicada universe. There have been changes to the credits which all the parties agree better represent the contributions made by Steven Ferrera and Jose Loyola. You can watch that version here or on vimeo. I wish all the parties the best and a special thanks goes out to the lawyers on both sides.

While the court stuff made for an expensive ordeal and put a damper on new productions, I had an amazing year. It would take awhile to list out all the things that happened. Let's just say that I am really happy and have stability and joy in my life. That's the first time I have had that in five years and I have alot to be grateful for. I love my job at Swordfish in San Francisco, my two boys are absolutely crazy, and very shortly you will get to see the legs come under the new film, "Crickets Would Sing". We had a blast back in March with the production of the first segment. We shot for 11 days at an undisclosed location in the financial district of San Francisco. I felt a naughty feeling that is hard to describe walking with little puppets in the rain through the crowd of people in suits. It would suffice to say that the spirit that carried us through the hard times on Cicada is alive and well.

[ Let's talk rewards! ]

Now that the legal matters are settled we can finally get back to this. We are going full steam in the coming weeks to ship out the remaining princess dolls and bugs. All continental bugs shipped out in March of 2013 but not all the princess dolls. If you have not received anything it could be that you may not have filled out the form from Kickstarter and your shipping information may not have made it into our database. If so, please contact me directly as soon as possible. Also, if you have moved in the last year, please update me as well. For our princess backers I will be sweetening the deal with something extra in your box from the film. Thanks everyone for your ongoing patience but most importantly for all the warm support that you sent my way during the legal downtime. I really really appreciate it.

[ If you love someone, set them free ]

The final film means many things to many different people. For me, I was trying to represent a feeling more than a story. It's actually much more obvious in the credits of all places. If you listen to the track there are the sounds of children playing over the beautiful music Jesse composed. The feeling I was trying to express is something I call the "sweet melancholy", joy and sadness entwined and inseparable both happening at the same time everywhere. It was something I saw in the eyes of a friend years ago when she was suffering. It was a gesture that I thought if done just right would resonate itself into new acts of kindness. With that being said, let's set the Princess free. 

Here's a link to a downloads page with digital copies of the film which will be up for this week. Please give it away with my blessings to your friends and family. There's a chance the servers may get overloaded, if so keep checking back.

Cicada for all its joy and troubles... I will always look fondly back on as the starting place for the things we are now able to take on. I will always be grateful. I have the feeling she'll be coming back one day in one form or another.

Thank you for being a part of this, 


Cicadas in May! SFIFF / Pixar!!!

Hi everyone, it's the middle of May already! It has been a great month!!!

[ San Francisco International Film Festival ]

It was an honor to have been included in the country's oldest running film festival. With it being in our home turf, it was easier for us to be part of the extended activities associated with the festival. As part of the program, we screened Cicada 10 times at both public and school screenings. Nine of those had visits by set pieces and puppets from the film as well as featured crew members. Last Monday we had a screening for 400 first graders at the Kabuki. I got there late because of traffic and when I walked in I got hit with major anxiety as the theater was completely empty. It turns out my audience was too short for the seats... it was a packed house! I even got a house roaring welcome of little kids screaming "GOOD MORNING MR.MAUCHI!!!". That will probably go down as one of my favorite memories from this journey... for sure!!!

Robert Barnes and I did four school tours in the Bay Area with the show. Robert really was the star at the schools once they learned of his past working on Star Wars. At one point he was mobbed by little girls wanting drawings and autographs on everything from post-it notes to napkins. I had both my hands full carrying puppets... I wish I had gotten a picture! 

For a take home gift, we made an activity book for children. If you'd like to print a copy for your little ones, please download it here!

[ USA film festival Award ]

Cicada was one of three films to win the "Special Jury Recognition" award at USA films earlier this month. USA is a qualifying festival and it was humbling to be invited to a festival of that caliber as well as to be recognized for our work. 

[ Pixar!!! ]

This week started awesome with an invitation from Pixar to screen the film and extras for their employees. Ray was able to shift his schedule around to make the show, I was really happy to see him and spend sometime together as were his fans at Pixar. After the screening we got a tour of the place, there's certainly a high concentration of amazing artists there. It's kinda crazy our little garage movie made it on their radar....

[ Moving forward from May... ]

Once again our shipping effort has stalled as my primary shipping investor ("job") is coming to an end in a few weeks. For International folks who are still waiting on DVD / bug combos and so on, I'll be sending out a secure link to the film so in the meantime you can have it to play at home. On a side note if there are any job fairies out there, please feel free to sprinkle job fairy dust this way. I know I always look tired in photos but I clean up real nice (see picture of me in $30 suit below with the awesome Randy Gaul). 

Other than that, pre-production is moving along nicely on Dragons. It's looking like we'll be back to making good things again soon enough. I'm pretty sure of it.



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Late April / Early May

Hi there!

This is a long update which includes recent milestones, Aspen, San Francisco International, our spring picnic, and a recent sighting....

[ shipping milestone ]

Some room was freed up on a credit card and ALL domestic bridge bugs have shipped as well as a small batch of international bugs and princesses. I can't tell you how relieved and joyful I was to see almost 200 boxes off to their new homes!!!! Being that we are in the midst of brood season, it would make me totally happy to see pictures of bridge bugs with your kids, your pets, your plants, anywhere they look like they belong. Please post the images on our facebook page for other cicada fans to enjoy!!! woohoo!!!

For international folks, thanks for your continued patience! We will continue to trickle those out as credit frees up, please let me know if there are birthdays or other important dates looming and I'll do the best I can!

[ Aspen ]

The Aspen film festival was a wonderful event to be part of. I got gifted a plane ticket to Colorado but I had reservations about going on my own. Laura, George, Laurie, and Kip from the show were waiting for me and made me feel at home as did the dozens of other independent film makers in attendance.

Cicada played after latest film by Topaz Adizes, "Branko: Return to Auschwitz". You can watch it here. Initially one would think an odd pairing for a puppet film and a film about the holocaust, but it was an honor and humbling to be there and to be part of the same breath with the audience. I am hoping to catch up with Topaz later this summer in the bay area and work on something together for the future. After the show, the snow storm came back and I walked home in the dark with the princess under my arm, all of Aspen comfortably sleeping. It was a beautiful and serene moment with the princess and I under a blanket of snow, far from home but at peace. 

Oh yes, I almost forgot. Cicada won the "Special Jury Recognition" award at Aspen!

[ San Francisco International Film Festival / Picnic! ]

Cicada Princess has been accepted into SFIFF56! It will be playing May 5th as part of the family shorts program. Show time is 10:30 am at the Kabuki Theaters, more info here. We are planning on heading over to Crissy Field after the show for an informal crew picnic day at the beach. If you are in the Bay Area, and even if you can't make the screening, please come out to the beach with us. It should be a great day and I / we would love to meet you in person.

[ Recent sighting ]

Just about a year ago I was sitting out by the water, I was pretty beat down by film and everything else that was going on. I looked at my shoe and there appeared to be a tiny cicada. I had never seen one on the West Coast and never one so small, I figured I probably was just exhausted. This weekend, I got this picture from a Director I met at Aspen who recently moved to Napa. Apparently they do exist here, and they are tiny. The one captured is sitting on a rosemary branch, probably just a little over 1/4". Wow

I think that's it. I hope to see you in San Francisco and I look forward to bridge bug photos of all kinds on facebook!!


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SXSW Report - Aspen - Cal Academy

[ sxsw 2013 ]

Sxsw 2013 was great. Austin is a very laid back town, I was there with a small representation of our crew and we got to meet some of the nice folks from Kickstarter at the show. Cicada got written about in a few places


It was very humbling to be included in such a line-up of great films including the premiere of Pixar's new short film. I'm glad no-one knew our film was made in a garage.

We did not place at the festival, the jury award went to a really beautiful film called "Oh Willy". You can see a trailer here but it doesn't do the film justice. It's a really wonderful piece. 

The most important aspect of the show for me was getting to meet other filmmakers, they also looked pretty worn out which made me feel a tad more normal. I got a little down time in and got to work on some new writings after being inspired by the show. I came back home and we started pre-production on a new film this week called "Daddy's Dragon". More details to come as this comes into light.

[ Aspen Shortsfest]

Next on the festival circuit for us is the Aspen Shortsfest. It is also a qualifier so cross fingers, toes, and wings. It should be a great show, please join us for the folks out there in Colorado

[ Nightlife ]

For the folks in the Bay Area, join us April 4th at the California Academy of Sciences! We will be showing the film as part of their "Nightlife" series, there will be puppets on hand as well as a special showing of their cicada specimens. Details can be found here

All the best,


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