Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Screenwriting

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2009

Course Code: COMM5411

Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Screenwriting

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5181 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Brendan Lee

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

Course Contact Email:brendan.lee@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Contact name:             Roz Williams
Location:                       Building 94, level 2, room 6, 23-27 Cardigan Street, South Carlton
Phone:                           9925 4974
Fax:                                9925 4362 
Email:                             roz.williams@rmit.edu.au

Nominal Hours: 85

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

Produce Writings – Screenwriting  (VBP552)

Course Description

This course covers the knowledge and skills required to research and experiment with writing and editing techniques and media to generate writings. It develops the skills used of film and television writing and examines storytelling methods and techniques used to engage audience emotions.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP553 Refine writing and editing techniques - Screenwriting

Element:

1. Inform work through experimentation with writing techniques and media   

Performance Criteria:

.

Element:

2. Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings

Performance Criteria:

.

Element:

3. Determine and organise resource requirements for work

Performance Criteria:

.

Element:

4. Plan the writing

Performance Criteria:

.

Element:

5. Realise writings                              

Performance Criteria:

.


Learning Outcomes


Not applicable                          
                      


Details of Learning Activities

Screenwriting 2 is a continuation of Introduction to Screenwriting (Screenwriting).  The course examines storytelling methods and craft techniques used to engage audience emotions.  Adaptation will be examined. Characterisation and its impact on structure to create a multi-layered story will be explored.
Classes will include planned lectures, weekly class exercises to review what has been learnt in class, workshopping of students’ own projects, screening of video/dvd excerpts to provide examples of screenwriting elements, analysis/critique of scripts, films and television programs of students’ choices, and film & tv review presentations.


Teaching Schedule

WeekContent - 1ST SEMESTEROutcomes
1Orientation/introduction 
2Introduction to adaptation
Material sources
General techniques
Adapting novels
Identifying methods

CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
3Adapting short stories
Plays & musicals
Identifying methods
Writing for the Australian market
How the industry works
Pitching your script
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)

4Progress reports
Non-fiction – different sources

CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)

5Completion of non-fiction


How to create marketing synopsis, adaptation notes

CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
6Cartoon characters
Franchises
Fairy tales
Songs & poetry
Legal aspects
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
7Acquiring rights/options
Public domain
Legal aspects cont.
Refining screenwriting processes
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
8WORKSHOP synopsis, character notes & adaptation notesVBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
9SUBMISSION OF ASSIGNMENT FOR MARKING
Guest speaker

Creating scene breakdowns
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
10Tutorials with teacher
Discuss progress on treatment

VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)

11Heroes & villains
Anti heroes
Transitions
Manipulating screen time
Discuss progress on treatment
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
12Discuss progress on treatment
Character needs
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
CUVCOR13A
13HAND IN TREATMENT FOR COPYING
2nd Act story
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
14WORKSHOP treatmentsVBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
15SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT FOR MARKING
Different ways to start a screen story
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
16Students’ choices of scenes of adaptations
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)








WeekContent - 2nd SemesterOutcomes
1Review 3-act structure
Action points – major ones & everyday ones.
Their use in film/tv
Introduction to adaptation
Material sources
General techniques
Adapting novels
Identifying methods
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)

2Screen stories that have no 3-act structure.
Character-centred screen story

CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
3Screen stories that have no 3-act structure.
Character-centred screen story

CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)

4Writing for television – series & serialsCompletion of non-fiction
How to create marketing synopsis, adaptation notes
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)

5Writing for television – series & serials
Identifying methods used when adapting from cartoon scripts & franchises
Legal aspects in adaptationCUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)

6SUBMIT 10 PAGES OF SCRIPT FOR PHOTOCOPYING

Guest speaker

CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)

7WORKSHOPVBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
8WORKSHOPVBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
9Myths & symbols in screenwriting
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)

10Myths & symbols in screenwriting
Genre

CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
11SUBMIT 30 PAGES OF SCRIPT FOR COPYING
Genre
Discuss progress on treatment
Transitions
Manipulating screen time
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
12WORKSHOP 30 pages script in small groups
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
13WORKSHOP 30 pages script in small groupsVBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
14SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT FOR MARKING
Genre
CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)
CUECOR1B
(Manage own work & learning)
CUCOR04A
(Originate concept for own work & conduct critical discourse)
VBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)
CUSADM03A
(Manage a project)
CUVDES05A
(Interpret & respond to a brief)
15One on one tutorials with teacherVBP553
(Refine writing & editing techniques)

16Analysis of scenes & sequences similar to students’ work (student choice)CUSRAD02A
(Conduct Research)




 


 


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Students will be expected to make full use of the Carlton Street library in accessing scripts, and will also be expected to view films and tv programs in their own time.

Books/plays/films to be examined in adaptation in 2nd semester are:

•    CHOCOLAT (novel by Joanne Harris) plus film of same name
•    THE QUIET AMERICAN (novel by Graham Greene) and film of same name directed by Phil Noyce
•    CHICAGO (play by Maurine Watkins) plus film of same name
•    LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES (play by Christopher Hampton) and film DANGEROUS LIAISONS (starring Glenn Close and John Malkovitch)
•    Elizabeth I (any history on Queen Elizabeth I of England) plus film ELIZABETH (1st one with Cate Blanchett – not Elizabeth and the Golden Age)
•    Battle of Stalingrad in 2nd World War (any history) plus film ENEMY AT THE GATES
•    Cuba Missile Crisis in 1962 (any history) plus film THIRTEEN DAYS
•    PROVED INNOCENT (autobiography by Gerry Conlon) plus film IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER
•    Familiarity with the usual blockbuster franchises:  adaptations from authors like Ian Fleming (JAMES BOND), adaptations from comic books/strips like BATMAN, SPIDERMAN, etc.
•    Students to research one or two films of their choice that have been adapted from a short story.

If students have difficulty in tracking down some of the above texts, please discuss with teacher.


References


Other Resources

Students will be expected to make full use of the Carlton Street library in accessing scripts, and will also be expected to view films and tv programs in their own time.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment includes class exercises, synopses, character profiles, a scene breakdown, part of a script and presentation of reviews.                        


Assessment Tasks

1. Film review
15 minute class presentation with partner (David & Margaret style) of film currently in release or re-release at cinema
Due date
tba (first semester)

Percentage weight
5%

2. TV review
20 minute class presentation with partner of tv program (current or non-current).
Presentation to comprise 10 mins screening of material in class followed by 10 min presentation & discussion
Due date
tba (second semester)

Percentage weight
5%

3. 10 pages of script for class workshopping (taken from 1st 30 script pages of new original project or 2nd 30 script pages of project commenced in Screenwriting 1)
Due date
23 April (workshopping will commence 30 April for several weeks)

Percentage weight
20%

4. 1st 30 script pages of new project or 2nd 30 script pages of project commenced in Screenwriting1
Due date
21 May for workshopping
4 June submitted to teacher

Percentage weight
20%

5. Creating 1-page marketing synopsis & 1-page story synopsis of adaptation from another source.
Notes on why student has chosen this story for adaptation and what methods of adaptation will be used.
Character biogs & notes
Due date
20 August for workshopping
10 September  submitted to teacher

Percentage weight
25%

6. Treatment/story outline of adaptation
Due date
8 October for workshopping
29 October submitted to teacher

Percentage weight
25%


Assessment Matrix

Other Information

All relevant education/administration fees with this course are to be met by student (as outlined in RMIT invoice/s), plus any film/tv viewing and texts.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview