Public Relations Movie Short

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K9STH, Oct 29, 2002.

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  1. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My wife just happened to come across a 15 minute "short" promoting amateur radio that was produced by MGM in the mid to late 1930s. It was shown as a "filler" on the Turner Classic Movie Channel (TMC) at the end of a regular feature and ran from about 10:45 to 11:00 AM CST today, 29 October 2002.

    I didn't see the first couple of minutes since my wife was watching it in another room and came out to tell me about it. Therefore, I don't know the actual title. However, it concerned a teenage boy amateur radio operator who was being called by his grandmother to dinner. The first person sent to get him was his grandfather, then his mother, father, sister, etc., until the entire family including the grandmother was in the shack. The film featured true stories (re-created) of amateur radio saving lives, as well as more normal operations. The saving of lives was, of course, the "high light" of the film.

    It featured both phone and CW operation, and showed communications as far as from Alaska to New Zeland. Also, airborne amateur operations were shown.

    Anyway, considering that this film is at least 65 years old, and was probably shown in theaters all over the country (often several short films and cartoons were shown before the "feature" film" was shown) for several weeks, I would think that amateur radio got a very good public relations boost.

    I know that present day TV productions are costly. However, there are definitely a number of people who are involved in doing this on a day-to-day basis that are amateur radio operators. Also, the quality of home type video cameras are rapidly approaching that of the commercial stations (and are as good as those in use commercially just 4 or 5 years ago) that use of such cameras could produce a viable product for airing at TV stations.

    Considering that amateur radio operators have been, at least in the past, very adept at utilizing low cost and free items, that it would be possible to produce at least one, and hopefully a series of, program(s) about amateur radio that would be "up to date" and show amateur radio in a positive manner. Subjects like interference to consumer devices, CC&Rs, and the like could be addressed in such a series of programs. In fact, if a series were made, there could be several segments therein addressing things like getting started, interference, etc. which would be continued in the next segment.

    Anyway, until today, I had not seen this particular film. There was an "Andy Hardy" movie starring Mickey Rooney from the late 1930s that featured an amateur radio operator as a significant player which I have seen a few times over the years (can't remember the title of the film right now - they say the mind is the 2nd thing to go and I can't remember the 1st!). But, for a major film company to have produced such a film does say something about the importance of amateur radio during the 1930s.

    Glen, K9STH
  2. W3SY

    W3SY Ham Member QRZ Page

    All we get these days are movies that say the following about ham radio:

    1) Any idiot can unbox their dad's gear from 20 years ago, cable it up and put it on the air.

    2) You can stick a mic in a Heath SB-303 receiver and transmit with it.

    3) You can work VOX with perfect intelligibility from clear across the room. And sometimes, it's FULL DUPLEX!

    4) The station on the other end is heard with no QRM, QRN, QSB, splatter, tuner-uppers....

    5) You can talk to dead people in the past if ionispheric conditions are "just right."

    But that's Hollywood. I think TV could do a better job. Perhaps Bob Villa could get a ticket and have a show called "This Old Shack." He could show how to measure and cut dipoles, solder PL-259's, troubleshoot TVI...  

    Or let's get Jerry Springer licensed, and he can show us some handy techniques for busting through a DX pileup.

    Say, wasn't there a documentary in the early 70's about ham radio? Was it called "Tuning the World with Ham Radio," or something like that? Maybe we need an updated version of that.

  3. W5ATX

    W5ATX Guest

    I've said it here before. The image of ham operators gained from TV in the modern era is a very frightening one. We are portrayed as geeks, perverts, weirdos, and nerds. Looking at ham radio as portrayed makes me worry that I look like any of the above.

    Look who the hams on TV have been in recent memory. A guy who talked to his father who had died 30 years earlier. ALF. Kenneth - what's the frequency . . .

    Why, knowing that's how TV wants us portrayed, would ANYONE want to join us? It's kind of the same as gun control issues on TV. The mass media, for the most part, favours gun control. Ever notice then that when crime is reported on TV, there's a picture of a gun in the background? Even if the crime was commited with a kitchen knife.

    Gun owners know they will never been seen in a positive light on TV, and I think it's pretty clear we hams won't either.

    Sorry, I think this is a losing issue.

    Good luck,

  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"> Perhaps Bob Villa could get a ticket and have a show called &quot;This Old Shack.&quot; He could show how to measure and cut dipoles, solder PL-259's, troubleshoot TVI...
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'> Lets see, Visiting different shacks while re-modeling with new antennas,towers,inside set ups etc. Maybe even get it sponsered by one of the big manufactures like Kenwood or Yaesu kind of like Chevrolet did with Bonanza. Now there is a show I would watch ! But by todays standards it would never fly without at least -some- sex and violence thrown in so maybe we could slip by if we talked Tim,Al &amp; Heidi from Tool Time into doing it but on a little more serious side. [​IMG]
  5. mackinac

    mackinac Banned

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (w3sy @ Oct. 29 2002,11:08)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Say, wasn't there a documentary in the early 70's about ham radio? Was it called &quot;Tuning the World with Ham Radio,&quot; or something like that? Maybe we need an updated version of that.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    With enough web searching I was able to come up with the names of several documentaries, produced by Dave Bell, W6AQ, and some hosted by Roy Neal, K6DUE and Dick Van Dyke.

    The Ham's Wide World - 1969

    Moving Up to Amateur Radio - 1976

    The World of Amateur Radio - 1979

    Amateur Radio's Newest Frontier - 1983
  6. K6UEY

    K6UEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last one in 1983 ?? Some of todays Hams had not been born then.What happened to all the whining and crying about updating the &quot;HOBBY&quot; and doing away with all the traditions, CW and stable elements of the SERVICE. Isn't the NEW generation of Hams willing to put forth some effort to publisize the &quot;HOBBY&quot;? Maybe that would be too serious after all it is only a &quot;HOBBY&quot;......73,ORV
  7. N7WSB

    N7WSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wouldn't knock the movie frequency to much. I watched it with two friends a few months back and they had all kinds of questions for me.

    Last I heard they were studying to become licensed [​IMG].

    Not to knock the ARRL videos - but the older ones (the ones for the no-code tech series - I'm not sure if they have changed recently) were pretty bad.

    The ISS IMAX film was kinda bad - I mean it was there, but most people I talked to that saw the film missed it. More like a foot-note to hams actually. Most people didn't notice it. I don't blame them - the clip is stuck right in the middle of the film with no relation to the previous topic - and it only lasted a few seconds. Its too bad really because there are some real pioneers in amateur space communications between amsat and nasa.

    anyhoo - if you want some funny clips of ages past check out this, (featuring Phil w9tzw) (1947)

    (off topic - there are some other interesting things on there - for instance search for communism...)
  8. K9KJM

    K9KJM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds to me like something that the
    ARRL should spearhead. Oversee the
    production of &quot;short&quot; PSA (Public Service
    Announcements) of 15 to 60 seconds,
    to be aired on radio and TV promoting
    amateur radio for it's ability to help
    the general population during emergencies,
    and also show how &quot;neat&quot; it is to
    be able to communicate when all other
    services are &quot;down&quot;
    Radio and TV stations are required to
    run a certain number of &quot;PSA's&quot; every
    month, Why not make some  that would benefit
    a very useful service?  At the end of the PSA,
    make the point that ANYONE can become
    involved in a fun hobby that could be
    called upon to help the country during
    BIG name stars sometimes do these PSA's
    for tax reasons............    Why not a few
    for us?
  9. N0PU

    N0PU QRZ Member QRZ Page

  10. N7WSB

    N7WSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    That would be cool, but make these public service annoucements exciting. Along the lines of making you leap out of your chair and start studying.

    Phil is interesting and all, but in that movie he appears to be the most boring person on earth.
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