Course Title: TV Script Analysis

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2007

Course Code: COMM7116

Course Title: TV Script Analysis

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6045 - Advanced Diploma of Arts Professional Screenwriting (Film,Television and Digital Media)

Course Contact : Brendan Lee

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Noel Maloney
9925 4944

Nominal Hours: 68

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

The purpose of this module is to develop the necessary skills to critically interpret and evaluate TV script components which include formats, narrative structure and plot techniques, TV genre and script mapping requirements.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBM388 TV Script Analysis

Learning Outcomes

1. Analyse the necessary components of a script to ensure presentation at industry standard.
2. Identify components of script construction, style and content.
3. Map script development and evolution.

Details of Learning Activities

Lectures, close script readings, discussions and presentation.

Teaching Schedule

    WEEK 1     14/15 Feb
Dates for presentations
WEEK 2    21/22 Feb
How TV script departments work
Job roles
Developing a  language to critique script

Blue Heelers, Wildside

WEEK 3    28 Feb/1 March     
Formats: series, serials, sit com,  mini series, tele memovies
Plotting a serial and a series ep
Types of conflict: inner, situational, relational

Blue Heelers, Wildside: how do the scripts differ? What makes the better script? Why?

The Surgeon

WEEK 4    7/8 March    
Basics story concepts: premise, dramatic question, theme, exposition
Basic story components: conflict, action, character, time, place, design etc
Story structure
Definitions of story

Grass Roots

WEEK 5    14/15 March    
Characterisation and character development

Love My Way

WEEK 6    21/22 March
Structuring an episode  
Structuring a scene

WEEK 7    28/29 March
Assignment 1 (in class)

Six Feet Under

WEEK 8    4/12 April
Story stranding within episode
Series vs serials

Top Shelf

WEEK 9    18/19 April
Story and character arc through a series

The Insider’s Guide to Love, Ep 1

No classes on Thursday 5 April and Wednesday 11 April

WEEK 10    25/26 April
The first episode
The ‘Tribe’

Queer as Folk
Compare Neighbours to Queer As Folk

WEEK 11    2/3 May
Suspense, irony, mystery
Escalating conflict

Doctor Who

Excerpt from The Way Of The World
Sex And The City

WEEK 12    9/10 May
The sitcom
-    farce
-    satire
-    parody
-    comedy of manners

WEEK 13    16/17 May


Assignment 2.

WEEK 14    23/24 May
Presentations (3)

WEEK 15    30/31 June
Presentations (3)

WEEK 16    6/7 June
Presentations (3)

WEEK 17    13/14 June
Presentations (3)

WEEK 18    20/21 June

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

 Suggested reading material will be provided in class by teacher.
Handouts provided in class by teacher
Internet access through RMIT Library
Final Draft program on several computers in RMIT Carlton Library and Main Library
Publications & dvds/videos through RMIT Library, community libraries, video libraries and other sources

Overview of Assessment

Students are required to produce :
- A Close Script Analysis  
- A Genre/Format Study
- A Series Analysis 

Assessment Tasks

1.    Close script analysis 30%
    Close text study 700 words
    Critique a given script in terms of story structure, characterisation and character development.
2.    Genre/Format Study 30%
    Comparative study 700 words
    Compare two given scripts from a particular genre in terms of premise, format and narrative structures.
3.    Series Analysis 40%   
In pairs
Choose a TV drama series from the list provided.
Analyse and present on the following:
-    Premise
-    Audience
-    Format
-    Narrative structure and plot techniques
-    3 major character arcs
    Draw on examples from at least five episodes
    In your presentation, provide at least five video/DVD segments as evidence.
    Assignment will be assessed equally.

Assessment Matrix


Course Overview: Access Course Overview