For our artifact and schematic for Platoon we choose to focus on water buffalo as they’re a symbol of Vietnam. After creating the character spreadsheet we realised that much of the platoon are together for the movie and that the water buffalo would have more of an opportunity for creating off screen stories. When we got feedback from the second years in week 3 they also seemed to encourage this idea the most. We thought of creating a water buffalo skull for our first artifact as it ties in with our story and the eagle spattered from the bullet hole represents America. Kerry was an awesome ninja and crafted most of this with clay in a day according to the teams vision.
We designed our schematic around characters we created from a young Vietnamese girl and a water buffalo who appear in the movie. Bao is our buffalo and Suong is the young girl (Bao means protection in Vietnamese). We chose to follow Dan Harmon’s story structure and made our story/drawings physically circular/cycical. We choose burnt umber, yellow ochre and red because these were recurring colours in the Vietnamese art that we looked at. These also contrasted with the greens that dominated Platoon (contrasting American point of view) except for the village scene, where the platoon set fire to the straw houses, which is when Bao’s story takes place. We made the bottom half of the canvas darker to represent the world beyond the threshold.
Bao and Suong’s story:
- You: Bao and Suong are in their ordinary world, having a peaceful life in the village.
- Need: They see Chris and other American troops been flown into Vietnam above their village. They’re curious about the events transpiring in the distance.
- Go: Barnes’ and Red’s platoons entering the village represents crossing the threshold for our characters. The platoon begins to disrupt their lives.
- Search: Bao thinks he can protect everyone and fights the soldiers out of a sense of ego.
- Find: Bao is tied up and Suong is taken away by Lehrner. Bao’s meeting with the Goddess is the great revelation of realising what’s most important to him – Suong.
- Take: Elias frees Bao. This is where Bao must completely shed his ego/atone with father (the war world) in order to save Suong. Bao kills Lehrner and saves Suong.
- Return: Bunny kills Bao.
- Changed: Bao may have been killed but he was capable of change and, because of this, succeeded in saving Suong. The story comes full circle, back to the state of perfection in that Bao is present in spirit and is able to protect Suong. The cycle may begin again.