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Johnny Carson, toilet paper, and supermarket chaos.
48 backers pledged $5,066 to help bring this project to life.
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$5,066

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"The Great Toilet Paper Scare" is a short documentary about a notorious incident concerning Johnny Carson, a lot of toilet paper, and millions of fearful Americans. In 1973, during a period of intense economic stagnation, Carson made a joke on air about a possible paper shortage that created an actual paper shortage when people went and bought up as much toilet paper as they could get their hands on. Through this comedy of errors, the film will explore the power and impact of media sensationalism, and how the consequences of such events have evolved since this brief period of paper-less panic.

TV Guide Article from 1974
TV Guide Article from 1974

A WORK IN PROGRESS:

The film will be comprised entirely of archival footage and animation. Animated sequences will be drawn from various contemporaneous news reports, and the archival footage we use has already been painstakingly sourced. However, licensing footage and creating high-quality animation is quite costly...and that's why we need your help.

BUDGET BREAKDOWN:

Animation > $3,000

Archival Licensing > $2,000

TOTAL = $5,000

We feel that this is a realistic and achievable goal, and it will ultimately allow us to complete the film in a timely manner. And once we get over this first big hurdle, we plan on a modest festival run and hopefully we'll find the film a proper home online. 

WHY WE'RE MAKING THIS FILM:

We hope to bring this nearly forgotten piece of history to life for a variety of reasons: 1) It's pretty damn funny. 2) Not many people know about it or remember it. 3) This story is a classic example of media sensationalism, currently seeing a startling resurgence among American news outlets, and we believe lessons can be learned from this particular case. 4) We think you'll find this to be an engaging, entertaining, enlightening, and enriching documentary when it's all said and done.

With your contribution we can tell a story that ought to be told and shared with the world. 

Newspaper Article from 1974
Newspaper Article from 1974

Risks and challenges

There are plenty of risks with this kind of a project: short films are never easy to make or market and that's certainly the case with this one. This is a particularly niche subject matter, but we're confident that we will find a solid audience and home for the film. I've launched two successful Kickstarter campaigns in the past (both dealing with extremely niche topics) and those films went on to have tremendous success at film festivals and online.

Aside from finding an audience, simply finishing the film is obviously the biggest challenge. But again, we're confident we have everything in place to finish the film in a timely manner. We have already edited a rough cut of the film, and we are working with an incredible animator, Joe Presser, to really shape and stylize the film. We also have some absolutely incredible archival footage to share. So all the elements to make a successful film are in place...we just need a little boost from you.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Single Ply Level

    Get a digital copy of our snazzy poster! Plus, for all you filmmakers out there, you will get a fee waiver code for Drunken Film Festival Bradford or Oakland 2020 to submit your own work of art.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Double Ply Level

    Get a sneak peek of the finished film! We will send you a private vimeo link to the documentary once the film has been completed.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Platinum Ply Level

    If you're anything like me, then you spend an awful lot of time in the bathroom. Well, we want to make sure you have a pleasant experience in there. We'll be sending you a powerful scented candle, and some lengthy reading material. Also - since you're so sweet - we'll send you a link to the finished film and thank you in the credits!

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Animated Self-Portrait

    Our incredibly talented animator, Joe Presser, will create an animation of YOU! We'll send you a digital copy of your animated self. PLUS, a link to the film and your name in the credits.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Bidet, mate!

    This one is for all you dooms day preppers out there. If a toilet paper scare happened once, it can certainly happen again. And that's why we'll be sending you a bidet attachment for your toilet seat. While the rest of the world is fighting over the last TP on Earth, you'll be sitting comfortably at home without a care in the world (plus your name in the credits and a link to the film).

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Film Festival Screening & Premium TP

    Join us for a Film Festival screening of your choice! Plus, a $30 gift card for 24 rolls of "Who Gives A Crap" recycled toilet paper, the best eco-friendly TP around.

    -Includes two tickets
    -Date & Location TBD
    -Travel and lodging not included

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Toilet Tour of NYC

    Join me on a magical tour of the best public restrooms in New York City. With some help from @poopersguide, we'll take you on a specially curated tour throughout Manhattan. See the nicest cans, pots, and thrones this fair city has to offer. Drinks and snacks provided. Plus, all of the rewards from the Platinum Ply level.

    -Dates/Times of tour TBD

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    I'll help YOU on YOUR Film!

    Wow! Jeepers - that's a lot of greenbacks! Because of your generosity I will offer my services on your next short film. That could include anything from consulting, shooting, editing, engagement, etc. I've been working in documentary film for about 7 years now, with some accolades to boot, so I'm sure there is something I can help you out with (plus you get everything from the Double Ply Level).

    -Details and Scheduling TBD

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Contributing Producer

    If you help us reach half our goal we will give you a "Contributing Producer" credit. Plus everything from the $250 reward level.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Presented by "YOU"!

    If you help us reach the entirety of our goal in one fell swoop, then you and/or your organization will lead off the film with this special credit. We'll also put your name and/or logo in the end credits. Plus, everything from the $250 reward.

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Funding period

- (30 days)