At the moment my protagonist is a stereotypical radio presenter who desires to stop the war, however through a conflict which spirals out of control, he is forced to face the horror and devastation which accompanied the war. My film being a historical drama set in 1969, means the historical context needs to be correct in order to add to the depth of the piece, and therefore along with my knowledge of the Vietnam War I conducted additional research into the radio station Radio First Termer.
Radio First Termer was an underground rock radio show broadcast for 3 weeks in 1971 from the back of a Saigon Brothel (Kramer:2013:p.155). It was hosted by Air Force sergeant C. David Delay, Jr. (above), who went by the pseudonym “Dave Rabbit” and played hard acid-rock music which connected the GI’s to the domestic counterculture and boosted morale in Vietnam (Kramer:2013:p.156). Kramer (2013:p.156) claims the show wasn’t overtly anti-war, however it was misogynist, homophobic, and racist, but it also indulged in endless comedy, full of hypersexualized male innuendo. My own protagonist will be heavily based on Dave Rabbit, but with an anti-war mind-set. Dave’s sense of humour is something which I want to capture in my dialogue, so I listened to sections of the broadcasts which utilize this kind of humour (link below). Also while doing this I came across the introduction to his show which is an element which I shall adopt in my own introduction. The broadcast begins with a woman describing the radio show;
“The following program is in living colour and has been rated X by the Vietnam academy of maggots. This is Radio First Termer, operating on Dave Rabbit’s own frequency of sixty-nine megacycles on your FM dial. The purpose of this programme is to bring vital news, information, and hard acid-rock music to the first termers and non-reenlistees in the Republic of Vietnam.”
For my own introduction I will start with a black screen where this text is all that can be heard until the presenter starts talking. In order to get more research into how the Vietnam War is depicted within films, I plan watching Apocalypse Now (1979) and reading the screenplay.
Apocalypse Now. 1979. [Film]. Francis Ford Coppola. dir. USA: Omni Zoetrope
Funny or Die. 2008. Radio First Termer Saigon, Vietnam 1971 – Funny Bits & Gags. [Online]. [Accessed 7 March 2017]. Available from: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/581a1a22b1/radio-first-termer-saigon-vietnam-1971-funny-bits-gags-from-dave-rabbit
Kramer, M. J., 2013. The republic of rock: Music and citizenship in the sixties counterculture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.