Movie Script: 2020 Field Day in South Park

Explanation of the purpose of a shooting script.

When making any movie, writing any script, taking any photograph, the author should have in mind his audience. This video is for people who are unfamiliar with amateur radio. This script is the skeleton of the final results. Written dialogue is only a suggestion of what can be said. People will always tell things in their own words—except for Big Dummy, who is used in the video as a way to ask simple questions and, therefore, allow for discussion or explanations.

At the very end of the video, Big Dummy will be revealed as a skilled amateur radio operator.

EXT. DAY Field Day Area:

Sound of softly ticking clock.

Establishing shot of South Park. Trees, Field, Wildlife, sound of a clock ticking a bit louder. .

People sitting in their shelter.

No one is doing anything—just waiting.

A person flexing his index finger and thumb, as if he were going phony exercises.

CU of clock, 1 minute to 12 noon. “Tick, tick, tick, tick.

A person slowly puts on his head phones and mike. He carefully adjusts it.

ECU of clock: 30 seconds to 12 noon. ‘TICK, TICK, TICK, TICK.’

CU of radio. It is on but there is a low hiss but no heterodyne.

XECU of clock 15 seconds to 12 noon. ‘TICK, TICK, TICK, TICK.’

People hunker down to their notebooks and radios. Everyone is ready for something but it is not obvious what. The guy exercising his fingers positions them at a keyer.

XXECU of clock as it ticks down the last five seconds. Each tick sounds like a drum until the second had is straight up.

One second of absolute silence.

Quick series of freeze frames.

Suddenly, everyone is talking. People are turning their radios. Much heterodyne. Morse code noise. People calling:

Six PIP of many operators.


C Q Field Day. C Q Field Day. N 3 S H calling C Q from South Park Pennsylvania. Over.

Animated Map of USA. Specific areas lite up to show the station broadcasting

Response to CQ:


Amateur Radio June 27, 2020

Field Day


The Search for Elmer

Originating from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

More examples of communication

Who Is Elmer?

EXT. DAY Field Day Area

Car Interior. POV

BD getting out of car.

A stereotypical Big Dummy walks up to several hams. He looks like he has no idea where he is and walks like a bull in a china shop.



Wires and cables all over the place,

Antenna Tower,




BD (Big Dummy) Voice Over

Wow. What is going on here?

BD walks up to some radio operators.


Hi guys. I was told to ask for Elmer. Who is Elmer?

Ham 1

I am Elmer

A Spartacus Moment.

Ham 2

I am Elmer

Two hams together.

I am Elmer

Female Ham

I am Elmer

The BD is obviously confused.


Elmer is the name given to a person who helps another person learn about amateur radio.

A group of 50+ hams say in unison.

Hi. I am Elmer.

A Sexist Moment

BD notices that one of the Hams is a woman.


You have girls that are ham radio operators

This generates many evil looks from the women hams and other hams: Anger, amazement, you stupid idiot, shaking of heads.

What is a Ham?


Why are you people called “hams”.


That’s a good question. Originally, ham referred to a bad actor. To the professional broadcasting world, us nonprofessional operators were “bad actors”.  We were hams.

When government allotted which radio frequencies were to be used by which group, they gave us the high frequency range,  because everyone believed that they were useless. To everyone surprise, the amateurs found ways to transmit much further than anyone thought possible and we could do it with less power.

People were impressed, but we are still called “hams”.

Why so many Antennas?

EXT. DAY Field Day Area

DB looking up at antenna.

Montage of many antennas


Why do you need so many antennas?


Each antenna has a resonance or frequency – kind of like a guitar string. Our challenge is to get our antenna vibrating at the same rate as an antenna in Alaska or Siberia. When we do that, then we can talk to each other.


Establishing shot: Person with guitar.

CU: Guitar string being plucked.

CU: Guitar string vibrating.

MS:  Person tuning the guitar. Sound of pitch changing.

EXT. DAY Field Day Area


Can’t an antenna work on more than one frequency?


Yes, we can force it, but we lose some signal strength and when you are trying to send a signal thousands of miles with only 100 watts, you don’t want to lose of it.

Your typical commercial radio station is putting out thousands of watts of power. We are very weak, so we use very big antennas.


YouTube Video: ATT Archives – Similarities of Wave Behavior (Bonus Edition).mp4

Planning for Field Day

EXT. DAY Field Day Area


How did all this stuff get here?


Physically, we started putting it up yesterday. However, our plans for this year started at the end of field day last year. Or you could say it started may years ago because we’ve been doing this for many years.

INT. NIGHT: Operators around table, reviewing the plans for Field Day,

Camp Set Up maps.


The 80-meter, we can put that here.

The tower will go here (pointing to map)

Setting Up

EXT. DAY: Flash back of the day before field day

Montage of setup.

Montage: Putting up the antenna.

Putting in anchors.

Stringing and Connecting coax

Putting up Tent

Setting up table.

Moving equipment

Positioning radios on tables




Connecting cable and coax.

Powering Up Equipment

Antenna Raising

Positioning the trailer.

Lilting the tower up.

Raising the tower.

The Potato Gun (a joke)

Ext. Day

Music: such as the final scene in the Good, Bad, and the Ugly.

Ham pull out his gun which looks like something from Men in Black..

Operator, with snake eyes, looks from side to side.

Down the field is another person.

They look at each other with steely eyes.

He takes a few steps to one side.
The other man takes a few steps the other way.

First man takes a large, unknown item and slips it into the barrel of the gun.

The two men stare at each other.

Music get more dramatic and louder.

The second man takes off his hat with his left hand but still holds it. We never see his other hand.

The music stops.

Both look over to a third person with a tape recorder.

Audio Man

I think the batteries died.

Suddenly, he raises the gun, aims it high and shoots.

The ball flies, with line streaming behind.

It passes over a tree limb.

The other man catches the ball in the hat

It is a potato with a string going through it.

He attaches a heavier line.

The line is pulled back and hooked to an antenna to it.

They return the potato to the mess area.

Later, the scullery picks up the potato, notes the hole through the middle, ponders a moment, shrugs her shoulders, and adds it to the others.

EXT. DAY Field Day Area


Sunday, we will take it down (beat) until next year.


Ham walking round the park, looking at the setting.

Hot Seat Questions

Rapid series of Hams in the interview chair.

I am (Call Sign)

My name is (First Name)

Rapid series of Hams in the chair.

Voice OS

Why are you a ham?

Hams Answers:

Because it is fun.

Who needs a reason?

Voice OS

What is the most interesting contact you made?

Voice OS

What is the longest distance…?

Voice OS

Have you ever responded to an emergency?

Closing Scene


The BD is still in the big dummy mode.

Director’s Voice OS

Cut. Print it. That’s a wrap. .

EXT. DAY Cameraman starts to take down his camera. Director is making notes in his book.

The BD, in Big Dummy mode, changes to a person who is no longer playing a part. He looks directly at the camera, puts on the hat with his call sign, smiles and says:


Hi. I’m N7TDX (beat)

and my name is ______ (beat)

But you can call me Elmer.


Open Topics

Purpose of field day.

What are the contester designations?

A GOTA station for visitors.

Contact map. Location lights up when someone is transmitting.

Location of the WASH club.

What does WASH mean?

Morse Code demo:

               Jay Leno video

What do the Q sign mean? QSL, GL, QRZ

Someone almost gets clothes lined by a guy wire.

Azimuth map.

Time laps video of set up.

Food station.

Phonetic Alphabet.

Equipment Profile.

Cars with antennas.

Signal strength

Is something a big problem or little problem?

End of contest.

About erharoldsen

Information about Family Life, Family History, Humor, Emergency Response, Disaster Preparation, Latter-day Saint Religion (Mormon) and other stuff that tickles me. Contact me through erharoldsen at But use the @ symbol. (This helps me avoid spam.)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s