Course Title: Script and story edit television drama

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: COMM7327

Course Title: Script and story edit television drama

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6125 - Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting

Course Contact: Course Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

John Reeves

9925 4895

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

Required Prior Study

At RMIT, you are required to have completed all first year core competencies before enrolling in this elective course.

Course Description

This course delivers the skills and knowledge required by a professional script and story editor working in all facets of television drama production. It introduces you to the business and techniques of running a story meeting, working with the writer, editing a script to match the writer’s vision to various production requirements, and liaising with other screen professionals including fellow editors, directors and the production team.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ASWSET614A Script and story edit television drama


1 Run a story meeting

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Effective working structure for story meeting group is established
1.2 Contributions from team are encouraged
1.3 Conflict in team is managed effectively
1.4 Story plotting is managed effectively, to deadlines
1.5 Story requirements of program are met


2 Edit a script

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Series requirements are identified
2.2 Script requirements are identified
2.3 Strengths and weaknesses of script are noted
2.4 Script is edited for character, story and production conventions and requirements
2.5 New scenes are written where required
2.6 Story is restructured where required
2.7 Deadlines are met effectively


3 Work with writer

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Writer’s intentions are clarified
3.2 Strengths and weakness of script are communicated to writer clearly
3.3 Changes are negotiated effectively
3.4 Assistance is given where necessary


4 Liaise with production

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Production meetings are scheduled and attended
4.2 Production concerns are noted and acted upon
4.3 Amendments are incorporated into script where needed
4.4 Communication with production personnel is maintained throughout editing process

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to story edit television series or serials.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through:

1. In-class activities:
• lectures
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• class exercises
• individual and group project work
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent and group project based work
• online and other research
• discussion and comment via blackboard
• 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. 



Assessment due


The Personality Compass

Skills inventory
Sample scripts
Final Draft/Celtx - discussion



Role of the Story and Script Editor.

Our collaborative work – discussion and development/briefing



Role of the Story and Script Editor (cont’d): Series and Serials

Script editors – short list

Pitching to a Story Producer



Story editing/development/research exercise
Script editing: assessing script content and structure

Assessment task #1: Script Editor Visits (as scheduled)


Story editing/development: Building characters
Script editing: scene and sequence analysis
structural modification
Story hooks and character transition Building stories



Writing character and story notes
Segment plotting

Story conference debrief/feedback

Assessment task #2: Story Conferences


Presentation of character and story notes
Segment plotting (cont'd)

Story conference debrief/feedback

Assessment task #2: Story Conferences



Story Producer input

Out-of-class writing of first draft sequences


Delivery of written first draft sequences
Script editing: script rewriting and polishing

Timing Intensive



Delivery of written first draft sequences (cont’d)
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings

Assessment task #3: Working with Writers


Final day for Script Editor visits/reports
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings (cont’d)

Assessment task #3: Working with Writers (cont’d)


Mid-semester break –

Monday 18 September - Friday 29 September inclusive



Delivery of written second draft sequences
Reshaping skills: structure and rhythm



Delivery of written second draft sequences (cont’d)
Masterclass: Script Editing Intensive



Delivery of final scripts

Assessment task #4: Edited Script 


Delivery of final scripts

Assessment task #4: Edited Script (cont’d)


Semester review




Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

To be supplied by teacher.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is on going throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through participation in class discussion and exercises and through the application of learned skills and insights to your written projects.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete all of the following assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment (refer to Blackboard for assessment criteria) and where indicated, you will receive a grade. 

Assessment Task #1: Script Editor Visit (Due date: as scheduled with your teacher)
Host a visit from a Script/Story Editor active in the industry, and discuss their role and working methods, using at least 3 scripted and/or visual examples of their editing work.

Assessment Task #2: Story Conference (Due dates: Weeks 6 and 7, 10 and 17 August)
Play your part in a story conference with other students at which episode stories will be plotted. You will each lead the group in plotting a sequence, take meeting notes, and oversee the progression to scene breakdown and first draft script. 

Assessment Task #3: Working With Writers (Due dates: Weeks 10 and 11, 7 and 14 September)
On delivery of first draft sequences, you are to participate in a meeting with the writers, at which the writers' intentions are clarified, and the strengths and weaknesses of each writer’s sequence are discussed. Story restructuring and any other changes are negotiated. Your job is to make each writer’s task as clear and effective as possible, with particular regard to the sequence you plotted. 

Assessment task #4: Edited Script (Due dates: Weeks 14 and 15, 19 and 26 October) graded
Submit a fully-edited final draft of your group's complete episode, including the sequence you plotted and progressed. Your fully-edited script will be presented and discussed in a class debrief, and should be accompanied by a brief synopsis, character notes and location lists, and contain both individual and cumulative scene timings. 

Assessment Submission
All material is to be formatted in Final Draft, and submitted in hard copy as well as digital attachment emailed to your teacher.

A digital, signed cover sheet must be emailed with all digital submissions. In the program Blackboard site you will find a digital copy of the cover sheet together with instructions on how to set up and use a digital signature.

Once you have demonstrated competency, your final assessment (#4) will be graded (refer to Blackboard for grading rubric). Your individual contribution to the group process will be taken into account.

The grades used in this unit are as follows: 

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

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.

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