Course Title: Create a drama series or serial

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: COMM7320

Course Title: Create a drama series or serial

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

Teacher: John Reeves
Phone: 03 9925 4895

Nominal Hours: 140

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

Required Prior Study

Enrolment into this course at RMIT this year requires the completion of Assess TV scripts and Write an episode of a TV series.

Course Description

This course aims to develop and enhance the practical skills you need in order to work as a freelance writer on series and serial television, and assist you in the development of a concept, a series bible and a pilot script of your own to take to the marketplace.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ASWSER607A Create a drama series or serial


1. Analyse current market

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Market demographics are delineated
1.2 Markets for established programs are identified
1.3 Characteristics of current programs and market trends are classified
1.4 Program gaps are defined
1.5 Network program requirements are assessed


2. Produce series bible

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Audience for proposed series or serial is identified
2.2 Basic premise of series or serial is established
2.3 Characters and character arcs are developed
2.4 Stories are appropriate to genre and format
2.5 Story arcs for duration of series or serial are outlined 


3. Create pilot episode

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Scene sequences are outlined showing story and character arcs
3.2 Plot and sub-plot are integrated into a clear narrative line
3.3 Budget considerations are taken into account
3.4 Consultation takes place with appropriate industry personnel
3.5 Script is revised to meet industry or enterprise requirements


4. Promote series to key industry persons

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Key producers appropriate to project are identified
4.2 Support for project is obtained from own network
4.3 Series bible and supporting documents are pitched to appropriate industry personnel 
4.4 Appropriate follow up action is taken following initial pitch

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to analyze trends in serials and series, develop and write scripts appropriate to TV genres, and identify and approach suitable markets for a series or serial concept, series bible and pilot episode you have created and developed.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you will learn through:

1. In-class activities:
• lectures
• industry speakers & mentors
• teacher-directed group activities/projects
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• mentoring by industry professionals
• reading of script excerpts to provide examples of writing elements
• table readings and workshopping of students’ own projects

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

Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

Semester 1: Week

ContentAssessment Due

Overview of course content and assessment requirements
Discuss: a series bible and a pilot script for your own series. Exercise: "The sequence I lived for real, and the person I'll never forget". Group presentation: initial planning


Group presentation: discussion & drafting
Exercise: The language, approaches and methods employed in the screenwriting process

Creating and developing a dynamic core character


Your premise: define a simple, compelling idea and a place to set it
Developing an awareness of the market. Case study #1: Market demographics and beyond.
Group presentations and reports: Pilots, projects and popular success

Assessment #1

Your characters: use personal sourcing and ongoing research to create a nucleus of key characters.
Creating a market analysis.
Group presentations and reports: Pilots, projects and popular success (cont’d)

Assessment #1 (cont’d)

Preparation for Assessment #2: Pitch your key character/s, their story arcs, and one crucial sequence


6Pitch your key character/s, their possible story arcs, and one crucial sequenceAssessment #2
7Pitch your key character/s, their possible story arcs, and one crucial sequence (cont’d)Assessment #2 (cont’d)

What makes a successful TV series? Case study #2

Samples of success and possible models: research and analysis via group forums

Conflict & story development: how do we break the rules?


Story arcs: develop involving stories for your key and secondary characters


Your bible: key character/s, their story arcs, and the story arena


Mid-semester break: no classes from Friday April 14 to Friday April 21 inclusive


Your bible: drafting


Drafting and workshopping

13Part draft script readings and draft bible pitchAssessment #3
14Part draft script readings and draft bible pitch (cont’d)Assessment #3 (cont’d)
15Part draft script readings and draft bible pitch (cont’d)Assessment #3 (cont’d)

No class meeting: redrafting begins


Semester break: no classes from Monday June 5 to Friday June 30 inclusive

Semester 2: WeekContent  Assessment

Redrafting: the key to successful drama and a rewarding career


The full draft: group workshopping


The full draft: group workshopping (cont’d)


Putting together a successful pitch

Guest speaker: Is your project ready for the market? Planning for success

 5Visually pitch your project (including market-ready self assessment)Assessment #4
 6Visually pitch your project (including market-ready self assessment) (cont’d)Assessment #4 (cont’d)

Editing your bible for maximum impact


Drafting: no class meeting


Final drafting: workshopping


Final drafting: workshopping


Final drafting: workshopping


Mid-semester break: no classes from Monday September 18 to Friday September 29 inclusive


Table readings: a professional approach

 13Table readings of full draft script/final bible pitchAssessment #5
 14Table readings of full draft script/final bible pitch (cont’d)Assessment #5 (cont’d)

Table readings of full draft script/final bible pitch (cont’d)

Assessment #5 (cont’d)

No class meeting: marking 


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


You are strongly advised to make use of the listings of recommended reading and viewing posted on Blackboard, which will be updated on an ongoing basis.

Other Resources

You will require access to a computer, screenwriting software (Final Draft, Celtx or similar) and the internet for this course. RMIT will provide you with further resources and tools for learning through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have full access to the extensive RMIT library resources.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the year. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include: participation in class exercises, oral presentations and practical writing tasks.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment to a satisfactory standard. 
Assessment #1: Group presentation and report: Pilots, projects and popular success.
Assessment conducted: Sem 1 - Weeks 3 & 4 (22 February and 1 March)

Assessment #2: Your key character/s, their possible story arcs, and one crucial sequence.
Assessment conducted: Sem 1 - Weeks 6 & 7 (15 and 22 March)

Assessment #3: Part draft script readings and draft bible pitch.
Assessment conducted: Sem 1 - Weeks 13, 14 & 15 (10, 17 and 24 May)

Assessment #4: Visually pitch your project (including market-ready self assessment).
Assessment conducted: Sem 2 - Weeks 5 & 6 (2 and 9 August)

Assessment #5: Facilitate a table reading of your full draft script/final bible pitch, and submit material.
Assessment due: Sem 2 - Weeks 13, 14 & 15 (11, 18 and 25 October)

Once you have demonstrated competency, your final assessment task (#5) will be graded (refer to Blackboard for grading rubric).

Grades used in this unit are as follows:

HD 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

For further information on the assessment and grading criteria, please refer to the course Blackboard site.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available from the course contact person (see above).

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.;ID=kehn9bz22r41

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