Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Screenwriting

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2011

Course Code: COMM5411

Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Screenwriting

School: 345T Media and Communication

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

Teacher: Roz Williams
Phone: 9925 4974
Email: roz.willims@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

Enrolment into this course at RMIT requires the completion of Produce Writing - Screenwriting

At RMIT Refine Writing and Editing – Screenwriting is delivered and assessed along with the following competencies.
CUVCOR04A - Originate concept for own work and conduct critical discourse
CUVCOR13A - Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice
CUECOR01B - Manage own work and learning
CUSADM03A - Manage a project
CUVDES05A - Interpret and respond to a brief
CUSRAD02A - Conduct Research


Through the development of these competencies, you gain the skills needed to manage your work and learning while responding to a project brief. You research the work of other writers and apply your findings to your own projects through the development of a concept into a written work.

Course Description

This unit covers the knowledge and skills required to research and experiment with writing and editing techniques to write for the screen.  It develops the skills used in 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:

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Element:

3. Determine and organise resource requirements for work

Performance Criteria:

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Element:

4. Plan the writing

Performance Criteria:

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Element:

5. Realise writings                              

Performance Criteria:

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Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this course, you will be be able to use storytelling methods and techniques  to develop a concept into a piece of writing  suitable for the screen.                   
                     


Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you will learn through -
in class activities:
• lectures
• guest lecturers
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• workshopping
• independent project based work
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• workshopping of students’ own projects
• analysis/critique of screenplays

out-of-class activities:
• online research
• reading of scripts to provide examples of writing elements
• viewing films, television, on-line drama.


Teaching Schedule


Week Starting
Class <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />content               
      Assessment Due                         
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />Competency and Elements                                               <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
Feb 7
Week 1
Introduction to adaptation, material sources, general techniques.
Adapting novels, identifying methods.

 CUSADM03A: 2             
VBP553: 3
CUVDES05A: 1
CUVCOR04A: 1
CUECOR01B: 1
CUSRAD02A: 2

Feb 14
Week 2
Adapting short stories, plays and musicals. Identifying methods.
 Assignment 1 delivered throughout 1st semesterCUVCOR04A: 2
VBP553: 4
CUSRAD02A: 2
Feb 21
Week3
Progress reports on work/workshop
Non-fiction – different sources, methods
 CUVCOR13A: 1
CUSADM03A: 3
VBP553: 4
CUSRAD02A: 3

Feb 28
Week 4
Completion of non-fiction.
How to create marketing synopsis, adaptation notes
.
 VBP553: 3
Mar 7
Week 5
Cartoon characters, franchises, fairy tales, songs and poetry
Legal aspects involved with adaptation
 VBP553: 3
Mar 14
Week 6
Acquiring rights/options, public domain, legal aspects continued.
CUSRAD02A: 4
Mar 21
Week 7
Workshop synopsis, character notes and adaptation notes VBP553: 5
CUSADM03A: 4
CUECOR01B: 3
CUVDES05A: 3
CUVCOR04A: 3
Mar 28
Week 8
Creating scene breakdowns
Guest speaker
 VBP553: 2 
Apr 4
Week 9
Tutorials. Discuss progress with treatments VBP553: 2
Apr 11
Week 10
Scene transitions, manipulating screen time, discuss progress on treatmentsSUBMIT Assignment 3VBP553: 1
Apr 18
Week 11
Discuss treatments
Character needs
 VBP553: 4
CUSADM03A: 4
CUECOR01B: 2
CUVDES05A: 4

 Mid Semester Break  
May 2
Week 12
2nd Act Story VBP553: 1
May 9
Week 13
Workshop treatments
 VBP553: 5
CUVCOR04A: 4
CUSADM03A: 4
CUECOR01B: 3

May 16
Week 14
Workshop treatments VBP553: 5
CUVCOR04A: 4
CUSADM03A: 4
CUECOR01B: 3
May 23
Week 15
Workshop treatments. VBP553: 5
CUVCOR04A: 4
CUSADM03A: 4
CUECOR01B: 3
May 30
Week 16
Different ways to begin screen stories
SUBMIT Assignment 4
VBP553: 1
CUVDES05A: 5
Jun 6
Week 17
Assessment and review  
2ND SEMESTER   
Jul 4
Week 1
Review 3-act structure, action points (major ones & everyday ones). Their use in film/tv VBP553: 4
Jul 11
Week 2
Screen stories which have no obvious 3-act structure, character-centred screen story
 VBP553: 2
Jul 18
Week 3
Screen stories which have no obvious 3-act structure, character-centred screen story VBP553: 2
Jul 25
Week 4
Writing for television – series and serials VBP553: 3
CUVDES05A: 4
Aug 1
Week 5
Workshop script material – 10 pages Guest speakerSUBMIT Assignment 5 for photocopying VBP553: 5
CUECOR01B: 3
CUSADM03A: 4

Aug 8
Week 6
Workshop script material VBP553: 5
CUVCOR04A: 3
CUSADM03A: 4
CUECOR01B: 3

Aug 15
Week 7
Workshop script material VBP553: 5
CUVCOR04A: 4
CUSADM03A: 4
CUECOR01B: 3
Aug 22
Week 8
Myths and symbols in screenwriting VPB553: 1
CUSRAD02A: 3


Aug 29
Week 9
Myths and symbols in screenwriting
Genre – in-depth look at motifs
 VPB553: 1
CUSRAD02A: 3

Sep 5
Week 10
Myths and symbols in screenwriting
Genre – in-depth look at motifs
 VPB553: 1
CUSRAD02A: 3

Sep 12
Week 11
Genre VBP553: 1
Sep 19
Week 12
Genre VBP553: 1
 Mid Semester Break  
Oct 10
Week 13
Script editing and script assessment VBP553: 5
CUSADM03A: 3
CUVDES05A: 3
Oct 17
Week 14
Workshop 30 pages screenplay WORKSHOP Assignment 6 <style type="text/css">@font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math"; }@font-face { font-family: "Calibri"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; line-height: 115%; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }</style>VBP553: 5
CUVCOR13A: 3
CUSADM03A: 4
CUECOR01B: 3
Oct 24
Week 15
Workshop 30 pages screenplay VBP553: 5
CUVCOR13A: 3
CUSADM03A: 4
CUECOR01B: 3
Oct 31
Week 16
Student choice of favourite scenes – either adaptation or original creationsSUBMIT Assignment 6 for marking CUSRAD02A: 4
Nov 7
Week 17
Assessment and review  


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

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

Books, plays, films to be examined in adaptation in 1st semester are:

•Chocolat, novel by Joanne Harris, plus film of same name
•The Quiet American, novel by Graham Greene, plus film of same name directed by Phil Noyce
•Chicago, play by Maureen Watkins, plus film of same name
•Les Liaisons Dangereuses, play by Christopher Hampton and film Dangerous Liaisons (with Glenn Close and John Malkovitch)
•Elizabeth I, any history on Queen Elizabeth I of England, plus film Elizabeth (NOT Elizabeth and the Golden Age starring Cate Blanchett)
•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
•In the Name of the Father, film which was adapted from autobiography, Proved Innocent by Gerard Conlon
•Familiarity with the usual blockbuster franchises: adaptations from authors like Ian Fleming (James Bond), comic books/strips like Batman, Spiderman, etc.
•Student to research one or two films of their choice that have been adapted from a short story.

<style type="text/css">@font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math"; }@font-face { font-family: "Calibri"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; line-height: 115%; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }</style> If students have difficulty in tracking down any of the above texts, please discuss with teacher.


References

You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.


Other Resources

You require access to the internet for this course


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 and workshopping and through class presentations and written assignments.                     


Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.

For further information on the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site.


ASSESSMENT TASKS
 
1.Film or tv review/presentation (5%)
Class presentation of approximately 20 minutes (including screening a few scenes) of your favourite screen adaptation Comparisons with source material.
Due date: Throughout 1st semester

2.Film or tv review/presentation (5%)
Class presentation approximately 20 minutes (including screening a few scenes) of a film or tv program similar to your own script.
Due date: Throughout 2nd semester

3.Write story and marketing synopses, character notes and adaptation notes (10%)
1-page story synopsis (single-line spacing, 12 point),
marketing synopsis,
character notes of 250 words each for 2 main characters in your adaptation, taking into account psychological profile, needs, etc.
1-2 pages of notes on your adaptation, including notes on why you have chosen this story and what methods of adaptation you will use,
Workshopping.
Due date: Week 7, 1st sem. (workshop), Week 10, 1st sem. (to teacher for marking)

4.Write 10 – 15 page treatment (entire story) in 1.5 or double-line spacing of adaptation (25%)
Workshop
Due date: Week 13, 1st sem. (workshop), Week16, 1st sem. (to teacher for marking)

5.10 pages of screenplay for workshop (20%)
This can be 1st 30 pages of your adaptation from 1st semester or 30 new pages from script written in Produce Writings – Screenwriting, or the 1st 30 pages of an entirely new screenplay commenced in 2nd semester
Due date: Week 5, 2nd sem.

6.30 pages of screenplay (35%)
This can include 1st 30 pages of your adaptation from 1st semester or 30 new pages from script written in Produce Writings – Screenwriting, or the 1st 30 pages of an entirely new screenplay commenced in 2nd semester
Workshop in small groups
Due date: Week 14, 2nd sem. (workshop), Week 16, 2nd sem. (to teacher for marking)


Grades used in this unit are as follows:

Grades which apply to curriculum-based courses:
80 – 100% HD High Distinction
70 – 79% DI Distinction
60 – 69% CR Credit
50 – 59% PA Pass
Under 50% NN Fail


Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are
available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

Submission of assessments
Submit all assessment tasks in hard copy with a completed School of Media and Communication cover sheet. You are expected to keep a copy of all assignments submitted.

Feedback:
You will receive spoken and/or written feedback from teacher on your work. Where appropriate, this feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Plagiarism
RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece
of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:
http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1;



Course Overview: Access Course Overview