top of page


The end of the roll as we know it

April 19, 2020

The current run on supplies echoes a 1973 shortage sparked by a joke by talk show host Johnny Carson.

The Great Toilet Paper Scare

April 16, 2020

You might be one of the people who have recently waited in a long line just to buy toilet paper. This isn't the first time Americans have hoarded TP: we'll  look at the role that Johnny Carson played in another run on the product. 

The toilet paper shortage of 1973

April 5, 2020

Mo Rocca talks with documentary filmmaker Brian Gersten about the great toilet paper shortage of 1973.

Watch a short documentary about the time Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage

March 20, 2020

Last summer, we signal-boosted an in-the-works documentary about the time that Johnny Carson inadvertently caused caused a toilet paper shortage. Well, wouldn’t you know it, it’s finally finished, just as we’re undergoing yet another two-ply crisis.

The Great Toilet Paper Panic

March 19, 2020

“I was completely blown away by the whole tale,” the filmmaker Brian Gersten told me. His short documentary The Great Toilet Paper Scare, premiering on The Atlantic today, details the frenzy that ensued following Carson’s remarks. 

Johnny Carson and the Toilet Paper Scare of ‘73

July 19, 2019

Documentary filmmaker Brian Gersten is making an animated short film about an incredibly peculiar incident in American television history: Johnny Carson, host of tremendously popular The Tonight Show, accidentally spurred a run on toilet paper throughout the country. 

Get Involved, Internet: Support this film about Johnny Carson causing a toilet-paper shortage

June 25, 2019

"With an offhand monologue remark, Johnny Carson kicked off a toilet paper shortage in 1973. Now, filmmaker Brian Gersten is hoping to make a short, animated version of the 1973 manufactured crisis called “The Great Toilet Paper Scare.”

A Surprising U.S.-Canada Border Dispute

August 14, 2018

“When we think of modern-day international border disputes, we imagine places like Kashmir, Jerusalem, Crimea, or the U.S.-Mexico border,” filmmaker Brian Gersten told The Atlantic. “So when I heard about Machias Seal Island, it was just so unexpected.”

We Are Moving Stories - Caviar Dreams

July 31, 2017

A short interview with Brian Gersten, the director of "Caviar Dreams".

Local doc finds black gold in the Carolina mountains

February 14, 2017

“Caviar Dreams” relies on experts, connoisseurs, farmers and archival footage to illustrate the product one person calls more valuable by weight than cocaine...

Caviar Dreams: The Unusual History And Economics Behind Caviar's Decadence

Forbes - February 14, 2017

At the center of unearthing some common misconceptions about caviar is the upcoming short documentary film Caviar Dreams. 

Documentary on the endangered art of hollerin'

Boing Boing - November 6, 2016

Filmmaker Brian Gersten writes, "To honor the tradition of hollerin' and to celebrate the inaugural Hollerin' Festival, we've decided to release our documentary on vimeo."

An Interview With The Hollerin' Documentarian

Strange Carolinas - November 2, 2016

In June of 2016, the folks behind Spivey Corner's National Hollerin' Contest decided to put an end to their festivities after forty-seven years. But for those wanting a look at the classic contest, director Brian Gersten has come to your rescue with The Hollerin' Contest At Spivey's Corner.

THE HOLLERIN’ CONTEST: Kooky & Heart-Warming

Film Inquiry - August 22, 2016

"Perfecting a tight rope balance between a feel good slice of Americana and an elegy for a dying way of life, directors Brian Gersten and Liv Dubendorf have created an unashamedly populist documentary about one of the most niche subjects imaginable."

Hollerin’ Documentary

WNCN - September 4, 2015

Documentary filmmaker Brian Gersten gives us a preview of his documentary on the Spivey’s Corner Hollerin’ Contest.

Hollerin' Contest Documentary

NC Now | UNC-TV - August 13, 2015

Producer Erica Starke-Knight talks with the filmmakers of the upcoming documentary "The Hollerin' Contest at Spivey's Corner".

Documentary Peeks Inside Ash's Magic Shop

Gapers Block - July 14, 2015

Brian Gersten takes you inside Ash's Magic Shop, one of the few remaining magic shops in the city, in his new documentary The Amazing Mr. Ash.

Short Film Highlights Quirky Magic Shop in Lincoln Square

Curbed Chicago - July 10, 2015

In The Amazing Mr. Ash, filmmaker Brian Gersten tells the story of the quirky store and its owner.

Loud and proud: High-decibel doc seeks support

YES! Weekly - May 27, 2015

For filmmakers Brian Gersten and Liv Dubendorf, first-year graduate students at Wake Forest University, the National Hollerin’ Contest spoke loud and clear to them.

It’s Time For Some Hollerin’

WUNC - May 19, 2015

In 1969, a group of people in Spivey’s Corner, N.C. began the National Hollerin’ Contest. A new documentary, “The Hollerin’ Contest at Spivey’s Corner” tells the story of the competition through the lives of three contestants who competed in the 2014 contest.

'The Amazing Mr. Ash' and His Magic Shop Get Star Treatment at Film Fest

DNAinfo - April 20, 2015

After driving past Ash's Magic Shop on Western Avenue more times than he could count, Brian Gersten decided to stop in and satisfy his curiosity.

Please reload

bottom of page