Course Title: Assess a film script during development

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: COMM7315

Course Title: Assess a film script during development

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6125 - Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Alan Woodruff

Tim Marshall

Nominal Hours: 70

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This course looks at the skills and knowledge require to assess a film script.. It involves assessing script construction, style and content, evaluating script changes and  writing a script report.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ASWAFS602A Assess a film script during development


1. Assess script construction, style and content

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Film genre and the elements establishing it in the script are identified
1.2 Premise and plot are determined
1.3 Consistency and strength of story structure, characterisation
and character development are analysed
1.4 Effectiveness of narrative elements is evaluated
1.5 Style and genre are analysed for effectiveness
1.6 Script format is examined for compliance with industry requirements


2. Evaluate changes made in various drafts

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Any changes occurring in premise, theme or subject are delineated
2.2 Principal changes in plot, characterisation and character development are charted
2.3 Changes to narrative elements are identified
2.4 Effectiveness of changes is analysed


3. Write a script report

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Overview of script’s strengths and weaknesses is prepared
3.2 Estimate is made of work needed to bring script to production quality
3.3 Strategies and/or options for rewriting are outlined
3.4 Report is formatted to company or funding body’s requirements
3.5 Report is provided punctually to agreed deadlines

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to assess a film script and provide constructive feedback on  construction, style and content. You will be also be able to evaluate changes that are made and write a script report.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through:

1. In-class activities:
• lectures
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• analysis/critique of students’ writings

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work
• writing and reading assignments
• online and other research
• independent study

Teaching Schedule

WeekClass ContentAssessment Due

You will be given a draft of a feature script which will be the basis for the class exercises and assessments throughout the course.

Techniques on how to read a script.

Introduce Assessment 1. 

2Script theme
Identify what it is and how the writer conveys it.

Introduce the Screen Australian external reader’s report template (this will be the basis for your final assessment task).


The protagonist and other characters.


The conflicts.
Identify all the different types in the script and how well they are used.

Introduce Assignment 2.


Identify the script’s turning points in relation to the protagonist and other main characters.

Assessment 1: Critique of Turning Points

The action line and the emotional line of the protagonist and the other main characters.



8We start to edit the script here. We will begin with the plot structure, theme and character.

The concept of ‘market ready’, how it’s a term currently used by funding providers and producers, what’s really meant by it and how to work with it.

Introduce Assignment 3.

Assessment 2:Character descriptions.

Sub plots

10Editing dialogue

Communication between editor and writer

 Mid-semester break: Monday 18 September – Friday 29 September inclusive 

You will each present your editing notes to the class for feedback.


You will each present your editing notes to the class for feedback.


You will each present your editing notes to the class for feedback.

15Screening & discussionAssessment 3: Editor’s report

 Semester review


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

At the beginning of the semester you will be given:

  • A draft of a feature screenplay
  • Screen Australia guidelines for external script readers writing reports on feature films. 

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, oral presentations and through the application of learned skills and insights to your written script assessment  tasks.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment tasks and once you have demonstrated competency, you will receive a grade for Assessment Task 3.

1. Summary and Critique of Turning Points (Tue 1 Aug)
A description of the genre, premise, plot and turning points of the supplied script. Refer to the Ass 1 Student Brief for details.

2. Analysis of three characters (Tue 22 Aug)
Using the framework provided in class, describe three characters of your choice, and comment on their effectiveness in the story. Refer to the Ass 2 Student Brief for details.

3. Editor’s script report (Tue 24 October) (graded)
Using the Screen Australia reader’s report template provided, you will produce a formal editor’s report. Refer to Ass 3 Student Brief for details.

Graded assessment in this course uses the following grades:

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Grading criteria for this Assessment 3 can be found on the course Blackboard site.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. This is available through the course contact in Program Administration.

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

How to submit work
Your assessment brief will specify how you should submit your work – as hard copy, digital copy or electronically through Blackboard. When you submit your work, you must include a declaration of authorship. 

For submissions on Blackboard, you need to agree to an assessment declaration when you submit.

For all other submissions, you must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work.;ID=x3ddsmsrwa1hz

Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises. We strongly advise that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.

We request that you speak to your teacher if regular attendance becomes difficult.

Assessment feedback
You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work. Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.;ID=qwxbqbg739rl1

Student progress
Monitoring academic progress is helps us to assist you in achieving your learning potential.

Adjustments to assessment
If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.

Academic integrity and plagiarism
Academic integrity is about the honest presentation of work that is your own. RMIT University has a clear policy on plagiarism (see web page for more detail).

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Credit Transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview