Course Title: Write television comedy

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: COMM5932

Course Title: Write television comedy

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6088 - Advanced Diploma of Screenwriting

Course Contact : Professional Screenwriting Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

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


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Semester 1.

Teacher: Tim Ferguson

E-mail : tim.ferguson@rmit.edu.au

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

Enrolment in this course at RMIT requires you to have completed all first year courses.

Course Description

This course aims to develop the skills needed to create narrative and sketch comedy for television.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VPAU663 Write television comedy


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this course, you will be able to write television comedy in a variety of formats.


Details of Learning Activities

• lectures
• demonstrations
• guest lecturers
• peer teaching and class presentations
• exercises
• discussion
• group activities/projects
• workshopping

While you will be introduced to concepts and theories by way of short lectures, screenings, student reports and selected readings, most class time will be given to writing exercises and story workshopping.


Teaching Schedule

WeekTopicsElement
 1The Principles of Humour1
 2Comedy Genres (Satire, Farce and Domestic Comedy) 1
 3Desivising a Sitcom Premise and theme1, 2
 4Creative Comic Characters 1
 5Creating Comic Character Conflict 1
 6Character Arts and Narative Jokes 1
 7TV Comedy Formats 1
 8Devising Comic Scenes 3
 9COmic Story Structure 1
 10Synopses and Bibles1
 11The 3 Act Structure In Sitcom 3
 12Pilot Treatment Development 3
 13Script Development (Dialogue) 3
 14Script Development, Episode 3
 16Writing Comic Dialogue 3
 17Pitching to Market 1
 18Presentation 1
   
   

PLEASE NOTE: This unit also includes sketch comedy writing. This will be delivered and assessed in semester two.


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References


Other Resources


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 through the application of learned skills and insights to your writing tasks.


Assessment Tasks

1.  DEVELOP A CONCEPT FOR A NARRATIVE-BASED COMEDY SERIES

Establish sustainable comic premise 
Devise a group of dynamic, active characters with potential for ongoing conflict 
Accurately identify market(s) for series 
Clarify genre and format 
Develop major story arcs appropriate to the genre and format 
Apply principles of narrative humour and comic structure

2. WRITE A BIBLE FOR A COMEDY SERIES

Develop a synopsis for the bible which introduces concept, premise, genre, format and major storylines in an engaging style 
Develop more detailed characters and character arcs 
Write treatments for several episodes, which effectively summarise the story. 

3. WRITE A PILOT FOR A NARRATIVE-BASED COMEDY SERIES 

Structure a dynamic story for the pilot 
Explore conflict between characters in a dramatically satisfying way 
Integrate themes into story 
Weave character arcs into the action

PLEASE NOTE: This unit also includes sketch comedy writing. This will be delivered and assessed in semester two.


Assessment Matrix

VPAU663 Write television comedyCONCEPTBIBLEPILOT
ELEMENTS:
1 Develop a concept for a narrative based comedy series
X  
2 Write a bible for a comedy series X 
3 Write a pilot for a narrative based comedy series  X
4 Develop a sketch comedy conceptDelivery and assessment of these elements will be offered in Semester 2
5 Write an episode of a sketch comedy Delivery and assessment of these elements will be offered in Semester 2
SKILLS:
• Ability to develop concepts 
X  
• Ability to develop and sustain characterisationXXX
• Ability to re-draft own writing  XX
• Ability to work in a creative team XXX
• Ability to present pitches or ideas to others XXX
KNOWLEDGE:

• Principles of narrative humour and comic structure 
XXX
• Major genres of comedy including domestic, farce and satire and their conventions.
XXX
• Television comedy formats, including sitcom, sketch and mockumentary
XXX
• Potential national and international markets XXX
• Key local producers and writers XX 
• Current industry formatsXXX
• Current local programming schedules
XXX
•Characteristics of particular demographic groups XXX

Course Overview: Access Course Overview